What Hits Harder 1 Ohm or 4 Ohm Subwoofer?

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1-ohm subs and speakers hit harder than 4-ohm options if both are operating at the same input wattage. However, if you want finer details of the sound instead of loudness and don’t want to put your amp through strain, 4-ohm subs and speakers would be a better option.

For many people, the single point of buying a sub is how “hard” it hits with its output. Therefore, “what hits harder 1 ohm or 4 ohms” is a recurring question on car audio forums.

In this post, we will answer this question in detail. We will make sure that by the end of the article, you won’t just find out what hits harder among the two options. You will also come to know what the impedance load is essentially all about.

What Is the Impedance Load of a Sub or Speaker?

To know what hits harder between 1-ohm and 4-ohm subs and speakers, you must know what the impedance load itself is. The impedance load of a speaker or sub is the resistance the circuit of its voice coil offers to the incoming alternating current from the amp. A 4-ohm sub offers more or less four ohms of electrical resistance to the signal coming from the amp. Similarly, a 1-ohm sub offers one ohm of resistance to the incoming AC signal.

But it is important to mention here that the impedance load of a speaker or sub is not always constant. It can fluctuate +/- 1 ohm due to resonance frequency and voice coil inductance.

The Relation between Impedance Load and Power Load

You need to be aware of the dynamics between impedance load and power when hooking a pair of subs with your amp.

When a speaker/sub offers a high impedance load, it suggests that it will handle a lesser current. This means less load and decreased power. On the other hand, a low-impedance sub enables high current passage and more load handling, thus greater power output.

Ideally, you should match the impedance load of your sub with the impedance rating of your amp e.g. 4-ohm subs for 4-ohm amp. However, you can also hook subs with higher impedance to amps with low impedance rating e.g. 2-ohm subs with 1-ohm amp.

But avoid hooking up low-impedance subs with high-impedance amps. Connecting 1-ohm subs to a 4-ohm amp means the amp has to deliver more output than its capacity to match with the low impedance pass of the subwoofer. It can quickly overheat the amp, and in a worst-case scenario, blow it out.