Running 4 Ohm Speakers on 8 Ohm Receiver-Quick Tips

Good number receivers like midfi tend to develop challenges adequately when driving a 4-ohm speaker. Nowadays, manufacturers have tried to equip their receivers with capabilities to supply sufficient power to handle 4-ohm loads. This implies that running 4 ohm speakers on an 8 ohms receiver is possible and safe.

You want to know how to go about it? You need to understand that we have several receivers that boast impedance selectors to make operation and connectivity straightforward. You don’t have to worry yourself about all these because our article samples everything for you. The switch is significant as it controls the impedance of the speakers to be supported by the amplifier.

In our investigation, we came across various useful knowledge that I am sure you will like. You will be able to know some useful considerations that you must abide by whenever you wish to run 4 ohm speakers on an 8 ohm receiver.

Running 4 ohm speakers on 8 ohm receiverRunning 4 ohm speakers on 8 ohm receiver

Under this section, we shall educate you on how to run a 4-ohm speaker on an 8-ohm receiver. After engaging into an in-depth discussion, we realized that use of impedance selector switch is essential in minimizing the rail voltage.

Use of impedance selector switch is therefore one of the reliable ways to link 4 ohm speakers on 8 ohm receivers. On its settings, you will see measurement differences i.e., ‘low’ setting which is below 8 ohms. On the other hand, the ‘High’ settings stand for 8 or more ohms. I would recommend leaving the switch in its default state i.e. ‘High’ setting.

The ‘Low’ setting on the other hand reduces the rail voltage when the UCL tests the amplifier at a specific distortion level. It will quickly achieve the distortion level because it operates without headroom. There will be less heat generation because the amplifier is hardly driven. You are therefore likely to reduce the lifespan of your amp if you buy a protection for supporting low impedance speakers.

The end result will be the amp clipping since it may be affected with less headroom. There are two reasons explaining why you are not seeing the impedance selector switch on different amps;

  • They are not UL approved and do not meet the standards.

They typically contain bigger power supplies, a significant heat sink area, and can manage the heat better.

Useful considerations when running 4 ohm speakers on 8 ohm receiverUseful considerations when running 4 ohm speakers on 8 ohm receiver

  • Sensitivity

Sensitivity is one of the essential considerations that you should note when running 4 ohm speakers on an 8 ohm receiver. Higher speaker sensitivity is associated with louder sound. Besides, it achieves this with reasonable power level compared to a less-efficient design. However, higher efficiency doesn’t necessarily imply that it is an excellent speaker.

You can realize various trade-offs in speakers with high efficient design.

  • Separate power amplifiers

A good number of separate power amplifiers tend to feature more than enough power supply plus power amplifier sections. These specifications are responsible for driving 4-ohm loads with a lot of ease. Some experts affirm that many of these power amps perform better with 4-ohm speakers compared to 8ohm speakers as long as the design is rigid. The rigidity is essential in pumping out the additional current.

However, you should ensure that you have reliable ventilation to avoid overheating your amp. Poor ventilation can result in thermal meltdown; which is damage.

  • Other available specifications for the speakers

Sometimes a certain speaker can be rated 8 ohms, which is the nominal value to deliver a more balanced load from your amplifier to drive compared to a speaker rated at 4 ohms. The inductive reactance of the speaker plays a vital role when it comes to this. The impedance of the speakers varies based on the frequency.

For this reason, a poorly designed speaker can portray horrible impedance dips at particular frequencies. Your amp is therefore likely to be driven to oscillation when it becomes problematic. Therefore, a 4-ohm speaker with excellent design can present a more suitable load to an amplifier compared to an improperly designed 8-ohm speaker.

Tips when running 4 ohm speakers on 8 ohm receiverTips when running 4 ohm speakers on 8 ohm receiver

You should apply this approach when it comes to receivers that won’t support a 4-ohm load. On the other hand, in case the receiver can support 4-ohm load, you can go on and connect them in parallel format. Doing so will deliver greater power.

  • Use of impedance matching volume control  

This trick is useful as it gives you a chance to set appropriate impedance based on the receiver’s capabilities. Besides, you will be able to regulate the volume of every pair. This can be important when running 4 ohm speakers on an 8 ohm receiver.

  • Adding an extra outboard speaker selector

The component should feature impedance matching that can be used to maintain the load rated at 8ohms to your receiver. Remember, it’s difficult to link two speakers in a series format and expect to get stereo.


  • Do more watts imply better sound?

Not really. You can use the watts to rate your amplifier, but it doesn’t necessarily imply that you will receive excellent sound quality. The wattage might be more, but the speaker doesn’t produce better sound when fully cranked.

  • Can a low-ohm speaker sound better?

The impedance rating in speakers is measured in ohms, representing how hard speakers can resist power. Lower impedance is associated with efficient electric signals. This simply means the music that passes via the speaker.

  • Are speakers with higher ohms better?

Impedance determines the extent at which a speaker can resist current. Therefore, lower impedance in ohms, results in significant power drawn by the speaker from the receiver. Therefore, a 4-ohm speaker is famous for being ‘power hungry’.

Final words

Aggressive individuals find it easy to tolerate challenges of the 21st century. With the advanced technologies in the market, it’s possible to run 4 ohm speakers on an 8 ohm receiver. You can achieve this with the help of our investigation. 

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