Picking out subwoofers for a car audio system upgrade can be a confusing and daunting task. It is crucial to pick out components that will match together well or you will find the overall sound quality quite lackluster. This guide will lead you through the process of picking out a 2-ohm or 4-ohm subwoofer based on your needs and your current components. It will also explain the difference between the two.
What is Resistance?
In a car audio system, speaker components such as subwoofers need current in order to reproduce sounds. The current depends on resistance and voltage. You can calculate current by using the formula: Voltage/Resistance. The more voltage you have with the same resistance, the more current that is available within the circuit. You should pair your amplifier with the resistance of the components in your system.
What are ohms?
Ohms (Ω) is the measure of resistance in a circuit. More ohms denote more resistance. In general, car audio subwoofers only operate on 2 ohms or 4 ohms, and therefore choosing these subwoofers becomes easier. For more information on Ohm’s law, check this out.
2 Ohm Subwoofers vs 4 Ohm Subwoofers
Chances are, you will not notice the difference between subwoofers wired in 2 ohms or 4 ohms based solely on sound quality. This is assuming you have both in a properly paired environment.
2 Ohm Subwoofers
2 Ohm Subwoofers will allow you to send less voltage for the amount of output from your amplifier. For example, if you have a subwoofer rated at 150 watts, you are able to get more sound output from the 2-ohm subwoofer and amplifier than you are able to get in a 4-ohm subwoofer and amplifier.
Amplifiers and subwoofers that require less voltage to be produced and consumed are more cost-effective and efficient than ones that require more voltage. If you are working with budget constraints, go with the 2-ohm subwoofer for the best results. You are able to get a much more satisfactory sound for the money with a 2-ohm subwoofer and amplifier.
You are making a sacrifice on overall audio quality when deciding to go with a 2-ohm subwoofer when compared to a 4-ohm subwoofer. You should consider how accurate you want your subwoofer to sound. We recommend most people go with 2 ohm systems until they are ready to step up into the big leagues.
4 Ohm Subwoofers
In general, when you increase the resistance of the subwoofer and amplifier in a car audio system, you will receive a more controlled bass note from the components. 4-ohm Subwoofers are best for people who are looking for the most accurate and clear audio reproduction.
As stated above, you will receive more accurate and clear sound reproduction from a 4-ohm subwoofer. This sound reproduction can be heard from farther away because it is more accurate, and can be deciphered as louder, even if it is quieter on paper. If you truly care about the overall audio quality of your subwoofer and are not working against a budget, you should go with a 4-ohm system.
One of the major disadvantages of a 4-ohm system is the increased price of components. These speakers are geared towards people who are very serious about their car audio system so the components are normally sold at a higher price tag.
Another disadvantage of these subwoofers is that they will need more power to achieve the same amount of sound output. If you are running a weaker electrical system in your car, you should consider using 2-ohm components and a matching amplifier. This will help reduce the strain on your alternator.
2 Ohm Subwoofers will produce more sound output on less wattage than 4-ohm subwoofers. This makes 2 Ohm systems less expensive and best for most consumers. 4 Ohm Subwoofers will be more expensive but will produce a better overall sound quality. If you already have an amplifier in your vehicle, match your subwoofer with your current amplifier for the best results.