2 Ohm VS 4 Ohm Subwoofer: Which One is Better?

In simple words:

“A 2 Ohm subwoofer is a sub with lower electrical resistance and produce a louder bass with poor sound quality, while 4 Ohm subwoofer has high impedance or electrical resistance and produce high-quality audio/bass but not much louder.”

Whenever you buy or upgrade your home theater or car stereo system, you may encounter many technical terms that may be overwhelming at first but are simple and easy to understand.

One of the most frequent and confusing questions many customers have while buying a subwoofer is about 2 Ohm vs. 4 Ohm subwoofers.

When it comes to subwoofers, sound quality and ohms are closely related because you can only get superior sound quality if you successfully choose a suitable model for your particular situation.

In this article, I’ll describe both the 2 Ohm and 4 Ohm subwoofers in detail and their differences to help you find the perfect option.

What is Ohm?

Before falling in love with a new subwoofer, understanding impedance is helpful in your decision.

In simple words, Ohm(Ω) is a term that represents the resistance or impedance of a speaker. The impedance of a speaker is the resistance to the flow of electric current by an electric circuit. This impedance is measured in ohms and is denoted by Ω.

The amplifier sends the audio signal to a subwoofer in the form of an electric current. Subs are designed to have a set level of impedance to an audio signal that prevents them from blowing out. 

Ohms and resistance are directly related. Higher ohms mean the higher resistance/impedance, and the lower the ohms, the lower the impedance/resistance.

When it comes to subwoofers, different types have different levels of impedance. The most common impedance in subwoofers is 2 ohms and 4 ohms.

Most amplifiers perform well at 2 ohms, but the amount of resistance affects the sound quality, so knowing impedance is helpful in your choice.

Resistance and its Importance in Subwoofers

Now, You got a clear understanding of what resistance is. It is measured in ohms and symbolized as Ω and is the level of opposition to the flow of electricity in an electric circuit.

Subwoofers usually have a resistivity rating of either 4 ohms or 2 ohms. It represents the opposition level to an audio signal coming from the amplifier.

So, resistance is a significant factor affecting the sound quality of your audio system and subwoofers. So, it’ll be helpful to know which resistance level will get you the best bass quality. So, you’ll be able to make a better decision.

2 Ohm Subwoofer vs 4 Ohm Subwoofer Comparison Chart

4 Ohm Subwoofer2 Ohm Subwoofer
Relatively quieter soundLouder sound
No voice distortion at loud volumesCan cause more distortion at high volumes
Extended durabilityLow durability
Can be connected to any of the 2 Ohm or 4 Ohm amplifiers or stereo.Connecting it to a stereo or amplifier with 2-ohm minimal resistance is necessary.
It produces deep and enriched bassThe bass is louder but not deep.
Consumes less powerConsumes more power.
Slightly less expensiveA bit more expensive
2 Ohm VS 4 Ohm Subwoofer Comparison

What is a 2 Ohm Subwoofer?

A subwoofer having a resistance rating of 2 ohms is called a 2-ohm subwoofer. This 2 Ohm rating shows that the resistance value is low and lower resistance means the amplifier will feed the subwoofer without high levels of opposition.

Since more electrical signals will pass through, the result will be a louder sound. So, if you are the type of person who likes loud volumes, 2 Ohm sub might be just what you need.

But 2 Ohm sub has a few downsides. This sound system has high power consumption due to low resistance. Though you’ll get loud sound, bass quality is lower than a 4 Ohm subwoofer.

2 Ohm Subwoofer Pros & Cons

Pros
• Louder sound.
• Because of lower resistance, the amplifier will transfer more power to the subwoofer.
Cons
• Poorer bass quality.
• May distort at high volumes.
• Less durable
• Consumes more power.

What is 4 Ohm Subwoofer?

A subwoofer having a resistance rating of 4 ohms is called a 4-ohm subwoofer. This 4 Ohm rating shows that the resistance value is high and higher resistance means the amplifier will feed the subwoofer with high levels of opposition.

4 Ohm subs use less power because of higher electrical resistance, which makes them more durable and long-lasting than lower resistance subwoofers.

The sound produced by 4 Ohm subwoofers is not as loud as with 2 Ohm subs. But the sound you get from these subs is more compact and high-quality than the 2 Ohm sub.

So, 4 Ohm subwoofers are a way to go if you prefer bass quality over loudness.

4 Ohm Subwoofer Pros & Cons

Pros
• Consumes less power.
• Clearer sound quality.
• More durable.
Cons
• The sound is not as loud as 2 Ohm subwoofers.

Voice Coils

The above discussion was about subwoofers with a single voice coil. Single voice coil subwoofers have a fixed impedance level. But this doesn’t apply to subwoofers having two voice coils. Each of the coils has individual resistance of 4 or 2 ohms. You can wire them to one another in parallel or series to get a different total impedance. 

If a sub has dual voice coils, each having a 4 ohms resistance, you can wire them in series. For this, wire the positive and negative terminals of one subwoofer to the positive and negative terminals of the other. Then, the final positive and negative wires will be connected to the output terminals of the amplifiers. This arrangement will increase the resistance to 8 ohms, so subwoofers have overall high resistance.

If you want to wire the subwoofers mentioned above in a parallel arrangement-connect the positive terminal of the one subwoofer to the negative terminal of the second subwoofer. Then, the negative terminal from the first sub and positive wire from the second is connected to the amplifier, and the result will be 2 ohms of resistance.

What Hits Harder, 2 Ohms or 4 Ohm?

Its answer depends on your definition of hitting harder and your personal preferences. When comparing 2 ohm and 4 Ohm subwoofers, here’s what you need to know:

2 ohm is Louder: With this sub, you’ll get a louder bass because of low impedance/resistance.

4 ohm is Deeper: With this sub, you’ll feel a deep and clean bass in your body.

Now, you should decide for yourself what you exactly want-a deeper bass or a louder one. Another factor you need to keep in mind is the price. 2 Ohm subs are a little more expensive than 4 Ohm subs.

2 Ohm vs. 4 Ohm Door Speakers

As you know, speakers Ohm is the resistance offered by speakers in the path of electricity flow. Higher resistance means more power is needed but better and cleaner sound.

Door speakers also have the same 2 Ohm or 4 Ohm resistance ratings; some may be 8 Ohm. Choosing door speakers again depends on your personal preferences because both are better in different areas of their output.

If you want to enjoy the louder sound, go for 2 Ohm or if you want deep and cleaner sound, go for 4 Ohm speakers. 

Related Subwoofer Comparison Guides:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is better, a 2 Ohm or 4 Ohm subwoofer?

There is no conclusive answer to this question because it goes to your personal preferences and the rest of your audio setup. For example, for people who love to play it loud and don’t care about the sound quality, its grading and layering should go with 2 Ohm subs. Meanwhile, people who prioritize the quality of the bass should choose a 4 Ohm subwoofer. 

Can I run a 2 Ohm Sub on a 4 Ohm Amp?

No. You cannot run a 2 Ohm sub on a 4 Ohm amplifier because it is dangerous and can cause damage to the subwoofer. You have to connect a 2 Ohm sub to stereos/amplifiers with 2 Ohms of minimal impedance.

What hits harder, 2ohm or 4ohm?

Its answer depends on what you want from a subwoofer. A 2 Ohms subwoofer provides a louder sound, while a 4 Ohm sub offers deep and clean sound with high quality. So, both devices can hit hard, but it depends on your choice and the rest of your audio system.

What Happens if you run 4 Ohm Speakers at 2 Ohms?

It would be best if you run the speakers at their designed impedance to get the best quality and output. If you run a 4 Ohm speaker at 2 Ohms, which is possible in dual voice coils, you’ll get the louder sound of low quality.

Does 2 ohm hit harder than 4ohm?

2 Ohm subwoofer has a louder output, but 4 Ohm subwoofers can drive clear, high-quality sound. Both can hit hard depending on your personal priorities and the rest of your sound setup.

Are 2 Ohm Speakers Better Than 4 Ohm Speakers?

A 2 Ohm speaker offers lower electrical resistance than a 4 Ohm speaker. Low electrical resistance means a louder sound in 2 Ohm speakers. But the sound produced by 2 Ohm speakers has low quality due to more power consumption. So, if you prefer audio quality over volume, a 4 Ohm sub is better.

Conclusion

I could not make any conclusive argument about which is better because both are better in different aspects of their sound output. And it also depends on your personal choice.

If you like loud music or want to enhance the loudness capability of your home theater or any audio system, 2 Ohm subwoofers are a better choice. 

But if you are more conscious about sound quality than audio volume, you should choose 4 Ohm subwoofers.

Another thing that influences your decision is the rest of your sound system. You can pair 2 Ohm subs only with an amplifier that has a minimum impedance of 2 Ohms. But a 4 Ohm sub can be paired with an amplifier/stereos with a minimal impedance of either 4 or 2 Ohms.

I also advise you to think about the music genres you listen to often. Music genres that already are bass-heavy, such as modern pop or hip hop, may benefit more from 2 Ohm subs since they deliver a louder bass. But in the case of rock and metal style music, 4 Ohm subwoofer is best.

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