How to Connect 4 Speakers to a two-channel Amplifier

You can connect four speakers to a two-channel amplifier through parallel or series wiring. The method you will use to connect them will be determined by the specifications of both the amplifier and speaker, mostly their impedance levels. You can also connect your speakers to the amplifier using a Speaker Selector Switch.

Wiring 4 speakers to a two-channel amplifier can feel like an impossible task. However, this task is quite easy to accomplish as long as you have identified the impedance levels of your speakers and amplifier. You can easily identify them by checking the ohms measurements for both. You must check the impedance levels before you start wiring, as they will determine the wiring method used. For example, if the ohms of two speakers added together do not surpass the ohms rating of the amplifier, you can adopt a series wiring method. Connecting the speakers to the amplifier in parallel lows impedance delivered while connecting them in series lower it. Read on to discover the different wiring methods you can use.

Connect the speakers using series wiring

This method of connection is not advisable and is only effective when the impedance level of two of the speakers is less than that of the amplifier. You can determine the impedance levels by adding the ohms rating of two of the speakers and comparing it to that of the amplifier.

Wiring all four speakers in a series will mean all of them will be connected in one electrical path. This means that if one wire fails to work or is disconnected, then the rest of the speakers will not work.

To connect the speakers using series configuration, you will have to connect a wire to your left speaker’s positive terminal from also the left positive terminal of your amplifier. You will then use the wire from the negative terminal of the speaker that you have just used to the second speaker’s positive terminal. Repeat these steps until all four speakers are set up.

Connect the speakers using parallel wiring

Speakers connected in parallel tend to produce better sound than those connected in series. However, this connection has a major limitation as most amplifiers degrade or get spoilt so fast when speakers are wired to them in parallel. This is because when in parallel connection, speakers deliver an excessive load on amplifiers which then affects the overall connection and the amplifier.

A “Daisy configuration” is used when wiring four speakers to a two-channel amplifier. This configuration basically involves connecting the speakers almost directly to the amplifier. To wire, your speakers to the amplifier, connect both the negative and the positive left side terminals of the first left speaker to the same left side terminals of the amplifier.

When you are done with the first wiring, route two wires to the second left speaker terminals from the same amplifier terminals you used during the first connection. Repeat the wiring process for the right-side speakers.

Connect using the Speaker Selector Switch

Using the Speaker Selector Switch is the easiest and safest way to connect all your speakers to the amplifiers. To use the Speaker Selector Switch method, you will wire the speaker selector switch input to the amplifier’s output terminal. Subsequently, you will wire the Speaker Selector Switch output to the terminals of all four speakers.

Pros and Cons of the amp connection methods

Connection methodPros Cons 
Series connection
  • Each speaker gets a particular amount of the amplified output
  • This connection method increases the overall resistance of the amplifier hence allowing it to produce sound with less heat and more efficiently
  • When one wire fails, the rest of the speakers stop working
  • The sound produced by the speakers, when connected in series, might feel muted or dull
Parallel connection
  • Both the speaker and the amplifier power output can increase
  • In case a connection fails, other speakers do not stop working
  • Speakers deliver excessive loads on amplifiers which might lead to the amplifier and the general connection degrading
  • Heat can develop with your connection in case of a short circuit
Speaker selector switch
  • The easiest and safest way to connect your four speakers to a two-channel amplifier is because the Speaker Selector Switch can hold more impedance and resistance created yet to function effectively.
  • Designed for amplifiers with low powers; under 100W

Conclusion

In conclusion, you can connect four speakers to a two-channel amplifier using series configuration, parallel configuration, or using the Speaker Selector Switch. The method you use is determined by the specifications of your amplifier and your speakers. Additionally, when selecting which connection method is appropriate, you will have to go with the one that suits your preferences. Generally, using the Speaker Selector Switch is an easy and safe connection method because the amplifiers do not face an overload as they can hold more impedance and resistance. Therefore, you need to examine the pros and cons of each wiring method keenly before settling on one.

FAQ

Can I connect more than one speaker to my amplifier?

Of course, you can connect as many speakers as your amplifier can hold.

Andrew Gibbons

According to Andrew Gibbons, playing the guitar is fun but it will take a few months before you can come up with a creative expression. Gibbons is a guitar instructor and has been teaching University music programs for over a decade, when it comes to playing the guitar a lot of factors come into play that determines the type of sounds produced. The guitarist must consider the guitar's neck and body shape, weight, and string type, the amp is also a primary determinant of the sounds produced and that is why Gibbons has created extensive excerpts detailing on the delicate topic. Guitarists must also pick a pose, be it the pro, wizard, hipster, or the old master.

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