What’s better 2 Ohm or 4 Ohm subwoofers?
You will get a louder bass from a 2-ohm subwoofer at a low power rating and lower sound quality. In contrast, a 4-ohm subwoofer needs more power to operate and produce more refined and less loud low-frequency (bass) sound.
Many people understand the role of size and power but can’t tell how impedance or resistance plays its part in defining a subwoofer’s performance.
Most car subwoofers come with 2-ohm and 4-ohm impedance ratings. However, the majority of users can’t tell what’s the difference between 2-ohm and 4-ohm subwoofers.
If you are one of those users who can’t make anything of the subwoofer’s impedance rating, hang in there.
In this article, we will try to highlight the difference between subwoofers of different impedance ratings by comparing them for different characteristics.
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How do you tell if a subwoofer is 2 ohms or 4 ohms?
If you have two subwoofers and you don’t know their impedance ratings, you can determine them by holding the subs in your hands. The heavier subwoofer will most likely have a higher impedance rating, all other things being equal.
A 2-ohm subwoofer is lighter than a 4-ohm subwoofer. In a 2-ohm subwoofer, the voice coil has fewer winding turns since it offers low resistance to the incoming power.
The smaller voice coil with less winding means lesser weight. On the other hand, a 4-ohm sub has a bigger voice coil with more turns, increasing its overall weight.
What hits harder
A 2-ohm subwoofer offers louder output than a 4-ohm subwoofer. A 2-ohm sub offers the least resistance to the incoming amp power, resulting in a louder sound.
A 4-ohm subwoofer, on the other hand, has an extended coil with more turns, posing more resistance to the input power. The resistance of the sub neutralizes a big chunk of the amp power, and, therefore, it can’t produce loud sounds like a 2-ohm subwoofer.
Quality of bass produced
This is the main criterion for any people when they choose between 2-ohm and 4-ohm subwoofers. Since 2-ohm subwoofers operate at higher power and produce a louder sound, they are not good at handling lower frequencies. In other words, they are not comparatively good at producing high-quality bass.
A 4-ohm subwoofer has more winding in its voice coil to manage/counteract its greater impedance rating. It is like expanding the width of the water channel to improve the flow. This construction feature enables a 4-ohm subwoofer to produce bass with finer sound.
It is important to mention here that 2 and 4-ohm subwoofers might not be necessarily different when it comes to wattage rating and size. In fact, many 2 and 4 subs are of the same size and operate at the same wattage.
Which Is Better: 2 or 4-Ohm Subwoofer?
There is no impartial and absolute way to declare a better option between the two. People with different audio preferences will consider one subwoofer better over the other.
For instance, people who like to play it loud without caring about the layering and grading of the sound will go with a 2-ohm subwoofer. Meanwhile, people who don’t want to compromise on the quality of low-frequency sound production will go with 4-ohm subs.
People using an amplifier with a high impedance rating will also go with a 4-ohm subwoofer to manage the impedance load and protect their amp from overheating. If you are not picky with bass requirements, you will find both the subs equally good (or bad).
If we have to sum up the difference between 2-ohm and 4-ohm subwoofers, we can say the former offers better loudness and the latter offers better quality of sound. While buying a sub for your system, make sure its impedance matches that of the amp and then determine whether you want loudness or better bass quality.
If you find this explainer helpful, don’t forget to share it with fellow car owners who like to know the difference between subwoofers with different impedance ratings.