2-Ohm Vs 4-Ohm Subwoofer: Which Is Better?

The question of which subwoofer is better between a 2-ohm or 4-ohm unit has plagued many a car owner. Vehicle owners that desire punchy bass from their car’s sound system definitely need subwoofers as these are meant to enhance the bass. Normal speakers might give middling bass, but if you want truly get sound, you need o pair your amplifiers and other speakers with a subwoofer. Now, considering that the question of whether to choose a2-ohm or 4-ohm model comes up, which should you choose? We realize that many car owners are in the dark and need answers. That is why we have made this post. We will see the differences between these sound systems, the advantages and disadvantages, and consider the features that determine which is better between the two.

2-Ohm Vs 4-Ohm Subwoofer
2-Ohm Vs 4-Ohm Subwoofer

Why you need subwoofers

These units are great in a cars’ audio system. They are designed to copy and reproduce the low frequencies from a sound signal.

Therefore, to get your car jamming with punchy bass, you certainly need to look beyond the regular speakers and use a subwoofer.

While checking out different models on the market, you might be befuddled by the different terminologies thrown around. To make a good decision on the type of subwoofer to choose, you must understand what these terms mean.

Resistance and its importance in subwoofers

Resistance isn’t strange to many users. It is represented with the Ω sign and measured in ohms.

Resistance is the level of opposition to the flow of electric current in a circuit. The speaker system comes with resistivity ratings of either 2 or 4. This denotes the resistance level to an audio signal from the amplifier.

While the car audio system will work well with either a 2 or 4 ohms models, it’ll be nice to know the right one that can enhance the bass quality of your audio system the most.

Amplification Circuit

What makes up an amplification circuit? Simple; the speakers connected to your stereo.

Sounds go to the speaker and return to the amplifier in the form of an electrical circuit. Resistivity occurs on different levels; from the speaker wire to the speakers.

Connect 2 Speakers to 1 Amplifier
Connect 2 Speakers to 1 Amplifier

The amplifier is made to work with speakers within a specific impedance range. You’ll notice that most stereo speaker designed for home use come with 8 ohms ratings while vehicle speakers are often 4 or 2 ohms.

Dissimilarities between 2 ohms and 4 ohms subwoofers

2 Ω and 4 Ω units are different in the following areas:

  • Cost
  • Resistance
  • Amount of power passing through them
  • How much dB produced

Let’s now see what each of these subwoofers is.

Analysis of 2-ohm and 4-ohm subwoofers

We have briefly discussed the differences between the two. Now, we will further analyse what makes these unit so different from each other.

2-Ohm Subwoofer

These units are identified by their rating. Any unit with a resistance rating of 2-ohms is a 2-ohm subwoofer.

The implication of the rating is that the resistance value is low. And as any good technician will know, lower resistance values means that the amp can feed the speaker without plenty of resistance.

With more electrical current passing through it, this results in a louder speaker.

If you want a pretty loud system, then a 2-ohm speaker might be just what you need. The downside of this sound system is the amount of power used. This increased power usage is because of the low resistance. While you enjoy a louder subwoofer, you’ll have lower bass quality.

4 Ohm Subwoofer

As with the 2 Ω speakers, the 4 Ω speaker comes with 4 ohms of resistance. Because of the higher resistivity, it is not as loud as the 2-ohm speaker system. You do not get as much bass.

While this might be a bummer, the advantage of the higher resistance is lower power consumption. Additionally, you enjoy the better sound performance and higher quality bass despite the lower sound.

Installing more than one subwoofer

For some vehicle owners, more is better. They want the absolute best sound from the sound system. That is why some opt to install more than one subwoofer.

If you plan to do this, there are several things that you have to keep in mind.

One of the most important factors to consider is how you will connect the multiple units. This factor is importance since it will affects the sound output.

There are two ways to connect them; series or parallel.

As with connecting resistors or other electrical components, you can connect your units either in series or parallel.

Connecting in series means that you are connecting the unit in a line, that is, one after the other. You connect the negative point from a unit and join it to the positive terminal of the next.

Parallel connection, on the other hand, is like stacking the units one on the other. Thus, in this method, the positive nodes are connected together and the same goes for the negative terminals.

Each of these wiring methods comes with advantages and drawbacks.

When wired in series, your subwoofers will have higher resistance. Thus, they’ll use less power and deliver a more compact sound. In practical terms, if two 2-ohm units are connected in series, their total resistance would be 4 ohms.

For units connected in parallel, the total resistance is the division of the total number of subwoofers by the resistance of an individual subwoofer. In practical terms, if two 4-ohm subwoofers are connected in parallel, the total resistivity would be 4/2, which gives resistance of 2 Ω.

With subwoofers in parallel, you get louder sound but suffer lower sound quality.

Subwoofers with dual voice coils

Many subwoofers on the market come with just one voice coil, but others come with dual voice coils.

A dual voice coil speaker system can be wired to give you higher or lower resistance, depending on what sound output you desire.

Subwoofers with dual voice coils
dual voice coil

What is better 2ohm or 4ohm subwoofer?

From the above, you have seen some of the essential differences between the two types of subwoofers. You have also seen how the wiring method will affect resistance, which, in turn, affects the sound quality and volume.

The answer to which is better depends on the kind of bass you want. If you desire bass at an average volume and excellent quality, then you should opt for a 4 Ω model.

On the other hand, if the goal is louder bass, without much attention to quality, then a 2 Ω unit would be a good choice.

Remember that connecting in series will increase the resistance and give more quality bass while connecting in parallel will provide you with louder bass but lower bass quality.

This video offers more information on how to choose the right speaker system for your amp.

Comparison Chart

2 Ω subwoofer4 Ω subwoofer
Louder soundSofter sound
Poorer sound qualityBetter sound quality
Generally more expensiveGenerally cheaper than 2-ohm subwoofers
Lower resistivityHigher resistivity

Conclusion

Choosing the bass in your car is much more than just installing any unit you find on the market. You have to consider the resistance of the unit. This will affect the sound quality, volume, and power consumption. Getting it right also involves choosing the right wiring method; parallel wiring or series wiring.

A 2-ohm model will draw more power from your car and give louder bass. A 4-ohm model will provide higher quality while consuming less power.

Which do you prefer? Let us know in the comments. You can also share this information with your friends.

Being a professional DJ, who has performed life at numerous jazz festivals, clubs, lounges across the US, today Rafe Gomez has went far beyond his expertise as a professional musician. He is also a professional consultant, sharing his impressive knowledge, providing support to companies all around the world. His passion for high quality sound, both in terms of creation and transmitting, has led him to be a great music expert with amazing personality popular all over the world.

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