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What Speaker Impedance Means and Why It Matters

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Speaker impedance generally refers to a load of a speaker that places in an amplifier. Since speaker impedance is complex, sometimes it is either ignored or misunderstood. A simple understanding of speaker impedance is quite impressive. It can be useful when connecting multiple speakers to a receiver or an amplifier. This article will provide you a basic knowledge of speaker impedance and why it matters in our daily lives.

Whenever you purchase a speaker or set of headphones, you’ll always find a specification for impedance measured in ohms (symbolized as Ω or “omega”). Technically, speaker impedance act as the resistors of a speaker that offers to the current supplied by an amplifier. In general terms, speaker impedance regulates the current drawn from the amp.

How does Speaker Impedance work?

The principle of the speaker impedance is simple; the lower the impedance, the more easily electricity will flow through the speaker. As a result, you can provide amplifiers that are rated to deliver 100 watts at 8 ohms impedance, while 150 or 200 watts will yield 4 ohms of impedance.  The relationship between the speaker impedance and the power is inversely proportional. These general relationships can be summarized by:

1.       Lower the impedance-more current required-greater the load-greater the power.

2.       Greater impedance-lesser current required-lesser the load-lesser the power.

Impedance, as we said earlier, is measured in ohms. Since the signal from an amplifier is music or voice with different frequencies, the speaker impedance is continuously changing.

Looking at the above summary, we should never run an amp with a load impedance of less than the standard minimum (usually 4 ohms). Otherwise, the amp cannot produce current and power anymore. Thus, it may blow the amp fuse, or the overload circuit will kick in and switch the amp off.

The Importance of Knowing About Speaker Impedance

First, you need to ensure that the impedance of any speaker is within the capabilities of the amplifier. Most of the microphones are created for a speaker load impedance of 4 to 16 ohms. Therefore, if your speaker has a rated impedance of 4 ohms, 6 ohms, or 8 ohms, your amplifier is good. The lower the impedance, the bigger the current passing through the speaker, and the higher the power available. 

Does Low Speaker Impedance Deliver High-Quality Sound?

When you use lower-ohm speakers without the proper equipment to support them, it may turn the amplifier up. As a result, it can damage the material. The impedance of a speaker varies depending on the sound. For instance, at 41 hertz, the speaker impedance is around 10 ohms. At 2,000hertz, the impedance is about 3 ohms.

Can Your System Handle Impedance?

Before purchasing a 4 ohms speaker, ensure that the amplifier can handle its impedance. If the amp publishes power ratings in both 4 and 8 ohms, your system is safe. A lot of separate amplifiers without a built-in tuner can handle 4 ohms speakers.

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