Last Updated on: 7th March 2022, 06:03 pm
Low impedance 4 ohm speakers need a powerful amplifier, making them extremely difficult to match with AV receivers.
That is so because of the low impedance of 4 ohm speakers means they will demand more power from your amp.
However, you can prevent a lot of headaches if you get an AV receiver that is compatible with the low impedance speakers. Here are 5 of the best AV receivers that support 4 ohm speakers and that will give you the best experience without spending too much time or resources.
1. Best Overall: Marantz SR6014 9.2-Ch AV Receiver
Marantz SR6014 is a certified 4-ohms AV receiver equipped with Wi-Fi, AirPlay, Bluetooth, and Amazon Alexa compatibility. It straddles the line between the analog and digital worlds with exceptional elegance.
- Extensively tuned by Marantz sound masters at the most state of the art facilities to deliver an exquisite...
This receiver retains its “old school” features such as component and composite video switching. It also offers a wireless bell and whistle, making it the best for playing all your sources.
Key Product Highlights
- 9-channel amplifier
- Dolby and DTS surround decoding.
- Built-in Wi-Fi
- HEOS built-in technology/
- Multi-room audio/video
- Hyper dynamic amp
- 4K.60P ANS 3d Video pass-through
2. Best Dolby Atmos Product: Denon AVR-X8500H Flagship 13-2 Ch
If you prefer Deonon over Marantz, check out the Denon AVR-X8500H.
- POWERFUL 13.2 CH AVR WITH THE LATEST HOME CINEMA TECHNOLOGY - With an advanced power amplifier design, the...
- ADVANCED HDMI VIDEO SECTION WITH 8K UPSCALING - Features a dedicated 8K input that supports 8K/60Hz or...
- OPTIMUM DIGITAL AUDIO PROCESSING - Denon's proprietary AL32 Processing Technology provides multi-channel,...
Denon AVR-X8500H’s impedance ranges from 4 to 16 ohms, and it offers exceptional flexibility for setting up an advanced Dolby Atmos system.
Users can add many Atmos-enabled speakers up to the 7.1.6 configuration or use “front width’ speakers to set up a 9.1.4 system.
Other than impressive Atmos capabilities, it passes 4K video signals. So, the receiver can enable you to enjoy high-resolution music.
Key Product Features
- 13-channel amp
- Dolby and DTS surround sound decoding.
- Built-in Wi-Fi
- HEOS built-in technology
- Three-source output
- HDMI audio/video switching
3. Best for Gaming: Denon AVR-X4700H 9.2-Ch AV Receiver
Denon AVR-X6700H 8K Ultra HD 11.2 Channel supports the Dolby Atmos as well as DTS:X object-based audio formats, which is responsible for its unmatched 3D realism.
- UNMATCHED 3D REALISM FOR YOUR HOME THEATER SYSTEM – Enjoy Immersive surround sound with Auro-3D, IMAX...
- Enjoy high quality 3D audio & video knowing that AVR-X4700H IS 8K READY WHEN YOU ARE. This high-power...
- NEXT GEN GAMING - Enjoy a smooth, lag-free gaming experience with spectacular imaging, reduced lag and frame...
Moreover, Its impedance is between 4 and 16 ohms, and at 8 ohms, the receiver outputs as much as 125W per channel.
With AVR-X4700H’s 4 K/120hz pass-through, quick-frame transport, dynamic HDR, and HDR 10+, it delivers the next generation of gaming.
Key Product Features
- 3D audio support
- 8K HDMI output
- Advanced video controls
- HRD compatibility
- Modern gaming and voice assistant support
- Bluetooth audio transmission
4. Best for Budget-Conscious Buyers: Yamaha’s RX-V673 7.2-Ch 4 Ohm Receiver
Yamaha RX-V673BL A/V receiver provides an affordable way to produce quality video for home theatre systems.
- Unrivaled experiences; Boldly explores entertainment possibilities for an advanced home theater with the...
- Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, airplay 2, Spotify connect and music cast multi-room
- Spotify, Apple Music via airplay 2, Pandora, Sirius internet radio, Tidal, Deezer, Napster, Qobuz and more
It can provide seven 90-watt channels of high-quality surround sound. Moreover, the receiver 4k upscaling ensures super quality displays. So, it effectively prevents data loss when sending signals.
This receiver provides six HDMI inputs, meaning you could connect a gaming console and a DVD player and still have four left.
Key Product Features
- 4K Pass-through
- HDMI with audio return channel and 3D
- Edge adaptive deinterlacing
- Adaptive dynamic range control
- Versatile zone control
- Low Power Consumption
5.Best for Enhancing Sound Quality: Denon AVR-X8500HSP13.2-Ch Receiver
Denon AVR-X8500HSP is designed with the needs of those looking to enhance their streaming devices’ sound.
- 7.2ch Integrated Network A/V Receiver
- HDMI 1.4a 7In/2Out 3D Ready
- AirPlay Ready
It has versatile connectivity and comes with multiple HDMI ports. It offers a perfect balance between low frequencies and the rhythm.
The receiver is also easy to use and innovative and lets you enjoy the best stereo listening experience.
Key Product Features
- 13.2 channels with 150W per channel
- Monolithic amp design with tailor-made transistors
- Built-in Wi-Fi with 2.4GHz/5GHz
- 8 HDMI inputs
- 4K/60 Hz full-rate pass-through
Bonus: Onkyo TX-NR616
Popular Receiver Brands For 4 Ohm Speakers
In terms of receiver brands that support 4 ohm receivers, Denon, Onkyo (mostly older models), and are usually Yamaha usually safe bets.
Impedance Matching Your Reciever and Speakers
As we have said, when a speaker’s impedance (ohms) is low, electric signals freely flow through your them, making 4-ohms speakers more power-hungry than higher impedance speakers like 6 ohms and 8 ohms speakers.
This is why you will find more 8-ohms speakers than 4-ohm speakers readily available on the market. So, before making your buying decision, it is essential to consider that many receivers and amps are not designed to handle 4-ohm speakers.
Does this difference matter? Yes, if your speakers require more power, but your receiver cannot deliver, the speakers are highly likely to blow the receiver. If you want to get the best experience, you should match the impendence of the speakers and receiver. When it comes to 8 ohm vs 4 ohm and which is better, power is the most important consideration.
When we are talking about impedance matching, we are referring to the process of designing an electrical load’s input and output impedance to maximize the power transfer and minimize signal reflection. To put it simply, it’s just the process of making one impedance look like another.
Since 4-ohm speakers require a high amount of power, you can solve the problem by buying AV receivers that supply the power levels required.
let’s say you have a 5.1 surround receiver. This device will have to deliver a tremendous amount of power to be capable of powering five 4 ohm speakers along with a sub. This means the load per channel which they can deliver is typically more limited and you risk blowing a receiver channel or blowing the entire device if you’re not careful
However, manufactures have already handled the technical work on your behalf, so all you need to do is select a 4 ohm certified receiver. Most receivers on the marketplace have an impedance between 6 ohms to 16 ohms, and they can serve your needs perfectly well.
Using a certified 4 ohm receiver is the best way to ensure you have a fair workload that the receiver can drive safely without the risk of overheating or damage in the process. In any case, we do recommend the addition of an external amp to ensure you are driving these low impedance speakers with substantial power.
There are also many technical formulas that you can use to calculate and match impedance. Many experts use the Smith Chart Impedance matching, mostly used for RF applications. However, you can match impedance without going technical.
Do I Need An Amplifier For My 4 Ohm Speakers?
How to Prevent Overheating Your Receiver and Amp
If you are driving your amp with too many low impedance speakers, the amp and receiver will likely heat up.
To make it worse, if you cram the devices between air-tight TV furniture and other badly ventilated spaces, you risk choking the amp and overheating the receiver.
Should I Use 4 Ohm Speakers with My Receiver?
To answer this question, it is important we step back and consider the important thing that your receiver provides, and your 4-ohm speakers need, and that is power. If your receiver can deliver the right amount of power, you can use the speaker with it.
Remember, most modern receivers have impedance settings that you can use to match the speakers’ and receiver impedance. For example, if the receiver’s default impedance is 8 ohms, you can use the settings and reduce it to 4 ohms.
Even though this setting can be helpful, we do not recommend that you use a 4-ohms speaker with any higher-impedance speaker. Setting the receiver impedance to 4 ohms lowers its maximum power output.
In other words, by opting for the lower impedance setting, you are telling the receiver to reduce its overall performance.
So, you should only use 4-ohm speakers with your AV receivers that support them. Your AV receivers should be 4-ohms certified. Remember that there is no harm in using a lower impedance receiver with a higher impedance speaker.
So, if you have receivers rated 4-ohms and below, it is safe to use them with 4-ohms speakers. The only challenge is that the receivers are difficult to get in the market.
For more information, check out our complete answer to the question, can I use 4 ohm speakers with my power amp or receiver.
Can I Use Any Receiver With 4 ohm Speakers?
No, you cannot use any receiver with 4 ohm speakers. For example, if your Denon receiver turn off and blinks red with a 4 ohm speaker, that means it is in protect mode due to the low impedance.
So, we have seen why you should not use 4-ohms speakers with higher impedance AV receivers. You may be asking whether there are exceptions to this general rule.
Yes, there are a few exceptions party from receivers that clearly allow 4 ohm speakers. You can use some other receiver with 4-ohm speakers in rare cases.
Firstly, remember that the indicated impedance is a nominal figure. It is a sort of average. So, if your speaker’s impedance can rise to about 8 ohms and the receivers’ impedance can be around the same figure for a significant portion of their curves, you can use the receiver with the speaker.
On the other hand, some speakers can fluctuate significantly and drop low on their impedance curve (such as Magnepan speakers, for instance).
However, this not always the case, especially if the receiver has an extremely high impedance rating. For example, if the receiver is rated 16 ohms, you should not use it with a 4-ohm speaker.
If the impedance fails to fluctuate you desire, you can opt to use the impedance settings. As we have said, this is an important solution, but it will reduce your receiver’s overall efficiency. However, if the quality reduction is not your major concern, you can use the settings to match the impedance.
Another common solution is reducing the volume of your audio/video system. You may know that if you use a 4 ohm speaker with any receiver with higher impedance, the receiver will likely blow if you turn the volume too high.
However, the receiver will not have to supply too much current if you keep the volume extremely low. As you likely know, the higher the volume, the higher the amount of power that your speaker demands.
So, in some cases, you can use any receiver with 4-ohm speakers, provided you ensure the speakers are getting adequate power by keeping the volume as low as possible.
Can I Use 4 Ohm Speakers With My Receiver?
Can i use 4 ohm speakers with my receiver? Yes, you can use 4 ohm speakers with 4 ohm rated receivers.
You can use a 4 ohm rated speaker with receivers rated 6 to 16 ohm as well but you need to be careful that your speakers aren’t pulling too much power from your receiver. You need to keep the speaker volume low and ensure that the power is matched.
If you are not careful in keeping the volume low, you run the risk of overdriving or clipping the receiver or amplifier if one is attached.
How Many Watts Can A 4-ohm Speaker Handle?
Different 4 ohm speakers will be able to handle different levels of power depending on the manufacture. This could be for example 30 watts all the way up to 400 watts, more or less.
In any case, you need to check the specifications of the speaker you are using. Importantly, you need to consider the amp.
Let’s say we have an amplifier with specifications of output power is 100 watts RMS at 8 ohms.
This means that the maximum output power of a 4-ohm speaker is 200 watts. However, you need an amplifier that can double the power specification of the speaker and so you need an amplifier that can produce at least 400 watts for this 4 ohm speaker.
Are 4-ohm Speakers Better Than 8ohm?
A 4 ohm speaker will be able to accept greater power than a 8 ohm speaker. In fact, all other things remaining equal, a 4 ohm speaker will be able to handle twice the power of a 8 ohm speaker.
However, this does mean that you need a more powerful amplifier for a 4 ohm speaker than a 8 ohm speaker; with all other factors remaining equal.
To learn more, check out our guide on 8 ohm vs 4 ohm speakers.
Can 4 Ohm Speakers Be Used With AV Receivers Instead Of Power Amps?
You can use a 4 ohm speaker directly with a receiver if the receiver is rated at 4 ohms, the wattage is matched and you do not max out the volume. The best option is to include an amplifier in the setup if your speaker require considerable power. On the other hand, if you have a powered speaker, you can connect it directly to your AV receiver.
What Is The Cheapest Av Receiver That Can Be Used With 4 Ohm Speakers?
It is difficult to find good and cheap AV receivers that support 4 ohm speakers. This is because these speaker normally require a lot or power and are not easy to drive. It is best to have a power amplifier if you do not have a lot of money to spend.
If you are set on using a receiver that is rated at 4 ohms then here are some affordable options:
- NAD T 748V2
- Marantz US SR5009
- Marantz US NR1608
- Onkyo TX-NR656 7.2 Channel Network A/V Receiver
There you have it, the best AV receivers that officially support 4 ohm speakers. As you may have realized, receivers that support 4 ohm speakers are not cheap equipment to begin with, quite frankly.
However, you should be able to use these receivers with your low impedance speakers and get excellent results. Remember, you may not get the best listening experience if you ignore impedance matching.
Finally, keep in mind that even if you are using a receiver that can support your 4 ohm amps, it’s still a good idea to use a power amp if you will be driving your speakers at max power for extended periods of time.
My name is Norvan Martin. I am an Electronics Engineer by profession. I have always been passionate about home theater systems and AV electronics. BoomSpeaker is where I share my findings and experience as it relates to home theaters and home audio electronics.