When working on a budget, getting a speaker system that produces admirable stereo sound may just be a pipe dream.
Nevertheless, four strategically placed speakers can give you a listening experience that most single stereo speaker systems can’t match.
However, it can be challenging to connect multiple speakers with your amp without overloading it.
With most Hi-Fi amplifiers, as long as you don’t play your audio at demolition volume levels, your amp should be able to handle the power load.
However, you can easily damage your speakers or amplifier if you are pushing too much power. One way to prevent this is by connecting multiple speakers to an amplifier.
One of the most popular configurations is connecting 4 speakers to a 2-channel amplifier. Below we explore three simple ways to connect four speakers to a dual-channel amplifier:
Connecting The Speakers In Series
Though a series configuration is not the best way to connect multiple speakers to a single amplifier, it will still work with four speakers.
However, you need to ensure that your amplifier stays within its limits when connecting the speakers. Here is a quick guide;
- Connect the audio cable from the positive terminal of your amplifier to the positive terminal of the first speaker.
- Connect another wire from the negative terminal of the first speaker to the positive terminal of the second speaker.
- Repeat the same process with the third and fourth speakers.
- Wire another audio cable from the negative terminal of the amplifier to the negative terminal of the last speaker in the series.
Connecting The Speakers In Parallel
While this type of wiring is very simple and practical, it’s not recommended for connecting more than two speakers, because it puts too much power load on the amp.
But again it will work with four speakers. This type of wiring resembles a daisy chain.
Unlike what most people think, the “daisy chain” type of wiring is the same as connecting all the speakers directly to the amplifier.
See, there is really no practical difference here.
Speaker Selector Switch
Using a speaker selector switch is the simplest and safest way to connect four or more speakers with a 2-channel amplifier.
What Is A Speaker Selector Switch?
Speaker selector switches are devices used to distribute sound to multiple speakers while protecting the amplifier from overload. Normally, they are used with low-power amplifiers of up to say 100 watts. Failing to protect your amplifier can lead to several issues including worse-case damage and best case the amplifier may go into protect mode.
To connect your speakers using this method, all you need to do is to connect the input wires of the selector box to the output jack of the amp and then connect all the speakers you have.
The selector switch can take care of any impedance resulting from connecting the speakers and prevent the amplifier from overloading.
Some switches may also feature a separate volume control to allow you to regulate the speaker of each speaker individually.
Keep in mind that this technique is designed to work for multi-room speaker installations in your home. However, it may not work well with amplifiers exceeding 100 watts. For commercial audio installation, see this article on distributed Speaker Systems.
Connecting Passive Subwoofers and Loudspeakers To Your 2 Channel Amp
In case you will also be connecting a passive subwoofer to your 2 channel amplifier, you will need additional instructions.
Not that it is difficult, all it takes is connecting an RCA cable, however, there are a few things to consider when making this connection.
In addition, we also have an extensive guide on how to connect passive subwoofers to powered amplifiers using SpeakOn cables or speaker wires.
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Connecting Multiple Speakers To An Amplifier
Generally, adding an extra speaker to an amplifier means adding an extra load to it. That is to say, two speakers are double the load of one speaker. Most amplifiers will comfortably cope with a load of two speakers.
However, if you add more than two speakers, the amp may overload and likely go off or blow a fuse inside, especially if played on a high volume.
While all the above methods will work, it’s important to ensure that you don’t overload your amplifier. Keep in mind that wiring the speakers in parallel lowers the impedance of the amplifier while connecting them in a series raises it. That can easily damage your amplifier.
Note that another common configuration is connecting 6 speakers to a 2 channel amp.
If you want to avoid damaging your amplifier, a selector switch is the most recommended way to connect your multiple speakers on a single amp.
It not only guarantees the safety of your amplifier, but it also makes it easy to set up and control your sound system.
Norvan Martin is the founder of BoomSpeaker.com. He is a professional Electronics Engineer and is passionate about home theater systems and AV electronics. BoomSpeaker was created as an online hub to share his knowledge and experiences as it relates to home theaters and home audio electronics.