Do you want to know how to wire 4 speakers to a 2 channel amp? It’s actually not too difficult, as long as you follow the right steps. In this blog post, we will walk you through the process step-by-step. So let’s get started!
Know whether to use parallel or series method
Contrary to the popular belief, it is possible to connect or wire 4 speakers to a 2 Channel Amplifier if you can keep the impedance of the speaker under control and divide the power equally to both channels.
It is important to understand speaker impedance before connecting multiple speakers to a single channel of an Amplifier. The impedance is simply a resistance that a speaker offers to the current sent or supplied by an amplifier to it. Impedance is an important factor in the study of electrical circuits.
So, in simple terms, speaker impedance is the load that a speaker places on an Amplifier. Impedance is measured in Ohms (Ω, the Omega symbol). Further, the impedance of a speaker determines the current it draws from the amplifier connected to it. The lower the impedance, the lower it impedes or restricts the flow of current and thus the load on the Amp is higher.
So, to connect 4 speakers to a 2 channel amplifier, you will need to determine the minimum and maximum impedance capacity of your amplifier. Most Amps are designed to work with load impedance in the range of 4 to 16 ohms. You can get an idea of the same from the manual of the amplifier.
If the load is less or more than the range of load impedance rated for an amplifier, it will damage the amplifier. So it is necessary to keep the total load in between the suggested or recommended impedance range.
To connect in series, you can add the impedance of two speakers that you will connect to a single channel. If the sum lies within the limits of a load of your amplifier you can connect them in a series circuit.
For example, if your amplifier can take the load of 8 ohms per channel, you can connect two speakers, each of impedance 4 ohms to it.
For a parallel circuit, multiply the impedance of your speakers and then divide the result by the sum of the impedance. If the output is within the recommended range, you can connect your speakers in parallel.
For example, if you have two speakers of impedance 4 ohms each, multiplying them will give 16, and dividing 16 by the sum (that is 8) will give you 2 ohms as output. If this value falls in the range of your amp for each channel, you are good to go.
Once you decide, what kind of circuit you want to follow, you can proceed further.
Wiring 4 Speakers in Series
When you are planning to connect multiple speakers to a single amplifier, the series connection should not be your first choice. But with four speakers it can work just fine if all the factors are taken care of and the limits of the amplifier are not breached.
To connect 4 speakers to a 2 channel Amplifier in series, you can follow the steps given:
- Take the audio cable of the positive terminal of your amplifier and connect it to the positive terminal of the first speaker.
- Plug a wire into the negative terminal of the first speaker and connect the positive terminal to the second speaker.
- Now, the negative terminal of the second speaker should be connected to the positive terminal of the third speaker and the negative terminal of the third speaker should be connected to the positive terminal of the fourth speaker.
- At last, take a wire and connect the negative terminal of the fourth speaker to the negative terminal of the amplifier to complete the series configuration.
- And you are done!
Wiring 4 Speakers in Parallel
Parallel configuration is quite a simple and practical one. But it is not recommended for connecting more than 2 speakers to an amplifier as there is a risk of overloading the amp with too much power load. But, you can try as long as you have calculated the risk and the range of load is in the recommended range.
To connect 4 speakers to an amp in a parallel fashion, you can follow the steps given below –
- Connect a wire to the positive terminal of the amplifier and the next end to the positive terminal of the first speaker.
- Take another wire which is connected to the positive terminal of the first speaker and connect it to the positive terminal of the second speaker.
- A third wire should be connected from the positive terminal of the second to the positive terminal of the third and the final wire should be connected from the positive terminal of the third speaker to the positive terminal of the fourth speaker.
- Repeat the process starting with the negative terminal of the amplifier to the negative terminal of the first speaker.
- So that all the positive terminals are connected in one branch and all the negative terminals are connected in another branch.
You can also adopt a Daisy chain configuration which is essentially a parallel configuration at its core.
For the Daisy chain configuration, connect all the positive terminals of all the four speakers to the positive terminal of the amplifier and the negative terminals to the negative terminal of the amplifier. The configuration might look different from the parallel config at the surface but there is no practical difference between the two.
Using a Speaker Selector Switch
The safest and simplest way to connect four or more speakers to a 2 channel amplifier is to use a speaker selector switch. A speaker selector switch is a special device that is used to send boosted sound to multiple speakers without damaging the amplifier due to overload.
They are normally designed to work with low-power amplifiers of up to around 100 watts. To connect multiple speakers to a two-channel amplifier using the speaker selector switch you can follow the steps given below –
- From the connect the positive and negative terminals of the speaker to the designated positive and negative ports in the speaker selector switch.
- Next, from the speaker selector switch, you can connect the positive and negative terminal to the positive and negative terminal of the Amplifier.
The speaker selector switch is quite smart at taking care of any overload impedance resulting from connecting the speakers. This way, the amplifier is protected and lasts longer. With some advanced speaker selector switches, you can also control the volume of each speaker individually.
Tips For Wiring 4 Speakers To 2 Channel Amplifier
- Always keep in mind the limits of the impedance of your amp so that you can avoid overloading it and further damaging it.
- There is a limit on how much power you can output using only the speakers. If you want to draw out more power, you should opt for a powerful amplifier instead.
- The impedance factor should be checked from time to time if you want your sound system to work for an extended period of time.
- Don’t try to reach the limit of the load of your amplifier. Make sure it is will in between the range for a clear sound and solid bass. The sound will get distorted and ugly when you approach the limit of the load on either side.