Many car audio producers have in their offer 2-ohm 6×9 speakers, stating they can double your amplifier’s output.
But are 2-ohm 6×9 speakers good? Let’s find out.
As a general rule, 2-ohm car speakers are very good and have one advantage over 4-ohm speakers, which is their volume that can be higher than in 4-ohm speakers. Unfortunately, the higher volume goes together with reduced sound quality. 2-ohm speakers also require much more powerful amplifiers.
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In the article below, you will find out how good speakers are when manufacturers throw in terms like ohms and if they affect the performance and power of speakers, especially 6x9s.
You will also see a comparison of different types to see which speakers are better regarding 6x9s, 6.5-inch speakers, coaxial, and components.
Finally, I will show you how amplifiers handle 2-ohm speakers and how to wire them correctly.
Understanding Ohms on Car Speakers
Before we go deeper, first you need to understand how ohms, resistance, and speakers work together.
This is crucial to determine whether or not ohms play a role in speaker quality and volume and the differences between speakers with fewer ohms and higher ohms.
Without diving into too much detail and trying to keep things simple so you can understand impedance, with regards to speakers, it means how much load they place on an amplifier, and speakers achieve this with resistance.
The speakers’ impedance is measured in ohms, and the number of ohms a speaker has, tells how loud it is and how it affects the audio quality.
Lower speaker impedance (resistance) means that the speaker will produce a louder sound but at the cost of audio quality. This reduction in sound quality is not always noticeable, and it depends on the whole car sound system and the music type you listen to.
This is because a speaker with a low impedance (in our case, 2 ohms) will have more current flowing through it. Hence the load will be less significant on the amplifier; however, the amplifier will be pushing too much power to the speaker.
The opposite is true for speakers with a higher impedance, and those values can go increasingly high, but for our purposes, car audio equipment and speakers typically range from 2-ohms to 8ohms.
Anything above this, and you are looking at large audio systems typically not designed for use in cars.
The more ohms a speaker has, the more resistance it will have, and that typically means the speaker will be somewhat softer than a speaker of 2 ohms (this is because the amplifier will have to work hard to send power through the speakers).
The sound produced by speakers of a higher impedance is often creating a higher audio quality.
Regarding Speaker Efficiency
One thing that many car audio enthusiasts do not take note of is speakers’ efficiency. Although I will not cover this in detail, I will briefly highlight its core characteristics.
High-efficiency speakers with typically over 90dB are clustered as higher-quality speakers. They will produce better and louder sounds with less power than speakers with a lower efficiency rating.
On the downside, high-efficiency speakers will be more pricey than speakers with low efficiency. You should definitely consider speaker efficiency no matter the ohms and the speaker’s power rating (watts) if you are genuinely looking to purchase top-quality speakers.
For example, you could have a 4-ohm speaker with a high efficiency that will produce louder and better sound than a 2-ohm speaker with low efficiency that may even cost more. Does it make sense? Do not look at one separate parameter, but instead at the whole technical specification.
Considering 2-Ohm Speakers
The last thing you need to consider before starting any comparison between speakers and audio equipment is why there are 2-ohm speakers in the first place and if you can use them in your car.
Many people say that 2-ohm speakers are louder than similar speakers with a higher impedance rating, and this is a fact, but only when it comes to similar speakers.
This is because the amplifier, when it works with lower impedance, has less resistance when sending power to the speakers and, by sending more, it allows the speakers to play at a higher volume.
Higher volume does not necessarily mean good quality audio as well, and depending on the 2-ohm speakers you purchase, you can hear the difference.
However, when you do not have a head unit or amplifier capable of handling 2-ohm speakers or incorrectly wire the speakers to your amplifier or head unit, this can be destructive to your car sound system.
If your power source has a higher rated impedance level and you push 2-ohm speakers through it, your amplifier or head unit will more than likely burn out.
Are 6×9 2-Ohm Speakers Better Than 6,5inch Speakers?
For me, “Better” is a relative term and can vary widely depending on the individual and the existing car audio system itself.
When comparing the speakers, you have to first consider various factors before clarifying this question. In our example, I assume that both the 6×9 and 6.5-inch speakers are either coaxial or component speakers.
In the past, it was more beneficial to purchase a 6.5 inch set of speakers instead of 6x9s because 6×9 used to have lower performance.
Today times are different, and the difference in the design is not as critical anymore. Many 6x9s speakers are outperforming some 6.5inch speakers.
It depends on the brand and how much you are willing to pay, but you can find 6x9s that are as good as 6.5-inch speakers and vice versa.
From the technical side, 6×9 speakers have a larger surface area, which means you can get more dynamic or midbass from the driver using the same amount of power as you would from a 6.5-inch speaker.
2 Ohm 6×9 Component vs. Coaxial Speakers. Which Are Better?
As you already know, the only real advantage of having 2-ohm speakers is that they can be louder than speakers with higher impedance values.
But also, you have to consider speaker efficiency; that is where you will find the actual quality of sound directly proportional to volume.
Component speakers are designed to handle specific frequency ranges depending on each of the independent drivers. They are driven by separate crossovers, which send the correct frequency range to the drivers.
In terms of coaxial speakers, they typically have all the drivers mounted onto one speaker, and no crossover is needed because there should be one built into the drivers themselves.
Coaxial speakers are great because they offer an easy installation and require no knowledge of drivers and frequencies.
However, the caveat comes in the form of sound quality. The audio quality of component speakers will always be better when compared to coaxial speakers because they are made and designed with specificity in mind.
Because all the drivers are placed on one speaker mount, you may have conflicting air pressure and sound waves that perhaps can’t move freely enough in extreme cases.
This may not be audible, but you will notice a difference if you compare coaxial and component speakers side by side.
The only advantage of a 2-ohm 6×9 over coaxial speakers is the volume, and this will be only beneficial if your amplifier or head unit is designed to handle low impedance.
Can I Use a 2 Ohm Speaker on a 4 Ohm Amp?
As a general rule, you should not install 2-ohm speakers that are powered just by a head unit.
The amplifier in your head unit is small, and in this regard, it can only handle a certain amount of power and load. Typically most head units will have an impedance load of between 4 ohms to 8 ohms, and your car will have the correct speakers set up accordingly. Hence, your amplifiers or speakers will sustain no damage.
Things are different when installing a separate car amplifier, but the amplifier’s power is also important.
Now your speakers can have different impedance values than your amplifier. Depending on how your speakers are connected to your amplifier (series or parallel), ohms law will change their impedance value.
I won’t go over Ohms’s law because that is beyond the scope of this article, but I will give you a simple understanding of how this process works.
If you connect a 2-ohm speaker to the left channel and a 2-ohm speaker to the right channel, the speakers are in series and deliver 2 ohms of resistance per channel where each channel’s impedance is 4 ohms.
This combination is not good because you have to remember the lower the ohms, the lower the resistance, which means that the amp will be powering the speaker with a lot more current than it is designed for. Hence it will overheat, and it can get damaged, blowing fuses and probably ruining the circuitry inside.
Can I Hookup 2 2ohm Speakers to One Channel?
As you already know, you should not connect individual 2-ohm speakers to any amplifier that has a rated higher impedance level, but what happens if you decide to wire two 2-ohm speakers to one channel?
If you connect two 2-ohm speakers to one channel in the amplifier, you have to make sure you are running them in a series.
If low impedance speakers are connected in parallel, the total impedance of having two 2-ohm speakers will result in an impedance rating of only 1-ohm.
That scenario is even worse than having just one 2-ohm speaker connected to the amplifier channel.
If you wire two 2-ohm speakers in series on one channel, all you need to do is add the ohms of each speaker together, giving you the total impedance rating for that channel.
In our case of using two 2-ohm speakers, the result will amount to 4 ohms, which is suitable for your 4-ohm head unit.
Hence you will be able to have two 2-ohm speakers wired in series on each channel of your 4-ohm head unit. For a better understanding of serial and parallel connections, watch this short video below:
Do I Need an Amplifier for My 2-Ohm 6×9 Speakers?
If your car stereo does not work with an impedance rating of 2 ohms or your 2-ohm speakers are not wired correctly, you will definitely need an aftermarket amplifier.
Depending on your needs, what you want, and how much money you have, the amplifier you can choose will vary greatly.
The most important thing to remember is that you will need to either purchase an amplifier that supports the impedance rating of all your speakers when they are calculated within the circuit of your amplifier.
Otherwise, depending on how many speakers you have and their impedance ratings, you will need to wire them correctly (in series or parallel) depending on how your car audio system layout is or how you would like it to be.
Can I Wire 2-Ohm Speakers in Front and 4-Ohm Speakers in the Back of the Car?
Yes, you can, and this method can apply to both the head unit or your aftermarket amplifier.
If your amplifier or head unit has an impedance rating of 2-ohms, there is nothing out of the ordinary you need to do in terms of wiring up your speakers.
If the impedance rating of your speakers is higher than that of your power source, no damage will occur. The only thing that will happen is that the amplifier will probably not drive the 4-ohm speakers as loud as possible, but no harm will come to the speakers or the power source.
Regarding the 2-ohm speakers, you will have to wire them in series on each channel. This means you need two 2-ohm speakers for both the left and right channels of your head unit or amplifier.
Hence it is up to you to decide whether you want to purchase two additional 2-ohm speakers or a mono amplifier, but for practicality’s sake, you would be better off either purchasing different speakers or another set of 2-ohm speakers.
2-ohm speakers, although louder than other speakers, are not the greatest in terms of sound quality and concerning your audio equipment.
Louder is not always better, and if your power source (head unit or amplifier) does not have a 2-ohm impedance rating or you do not wire the 2-ohm speakers correctly to your power source, then it is more than likely going to overheat and blow.
When picking up speakers, you should consider speaker efficiency rather than anything else when it comes to the volume and quality of your audio, and this applies to both coaxial and component speakers.
Hopefully, this article will make you think twice before running out and purchasing 2-ohm speakers that manufacturers say can boost or double your amplifier’s output.