You can easily wire 6 speakers to a 2 channel amplifier if you balance the load on the two channels and if your amp can support the entire load. However, this is not a good practice because you can overload your amp if you are not careful. You can even overload your amp if you wire 6 speakers to a 4 channel amp.
Read on for more on what you need to know and how to do this right step by step.
How to Balance the 2 Channels of the Amp
1. Use Balanced Lines to Interconnect Your Audio Equipment
Balanced audio is very important when connecting multiple speakers, especially as it relates to sound recording and production. In general, balanced lines help to reduce any interference that arises due to external stray electric fields.
The best balanced cables on the market right now are XLR cables like the AmazonBasics XLR Cable. To find out more, we discuss the difference between balanced XLR cables and unbalanced RCA cables.
Remember, the process of wiring speakers and amps is mostly the same with balanced lines. As long as you can use the right cables, your 2-channel amp will efficiently power the speakers.
So, for best results, you should identify and use the approved cables. Typical balanced cables contain two identical wires wrapped with a shield (foil or braid) and are twisted together.
Other than that, the cables should be connected to the identical impedance at the source. Impedance is an electrical term that means the resistance that a circuit presents to current flow.
2. Find the Appropriate Connectors
Some speaker connectors can be used to wire a single speaker. Here are the most common plugs to choose from whenever you want to balance audio signals:
- 2.5, 3.5, ad 6.5 mm TRS plugs
- 3-pin XLR connectors (male on the right side and female on the left
- 3-pin XLR plus 6.35 mm TRS phone hybrid jack
3. Check the Load of your Amp Model and Connect
This is a critical step since every channel comes with a specific load capacity and a specific impedance rating. If you choose an amp that cannot power your 6 speakers, you will not get the desired audio quality despite correctly wiring the system.
For example, if you have 6 speakers and two of them are 8 ohm 100 watts and the remaining ones are 4 ohm 50 watts each, that is a total of 400 watts:
Two 100 watt speakers: 200 watts (8 ohms each)
Four 50 watt speakers: 200 watts (4 ohms each)
Total: 400 watts
In this case, to balance the load right, you need half the wattage on each channel wand ideally balance the impedance as well. This means you need 200 watts on each channel and a 8-ohm speaker on each channel since you have two.
Here we go:
- Connect 1 speaker of 100 watts and 2 speakers of 50 watts (100 watts) to one channel of the amp. This is for a total of 200 watts and you have a 8 ohm and 2 4 ohm speakers connected.
- Connect the remaining speakers on the second channel. This will balance the system.
- Test the sound system (if all the speakers are fully functional and balanced, you get a balanced sound quality)
That is all you need to do to get the desired sound quality, primarily if you have used the right amp and speakers.
Does Wiring 6 Speakers To Two Channels Increase Volume?
The process of connecting 6 speakers to a 2 channel amp is simple, and anyone can do it. However, adding more speakers may not increase the volume if they have different resistances. In some cases, if the overall resistance of the speakers is too low, you risk damaging the amp.
For example, if the speakers have a resistance of 4 ohms and the amp has 8 ohms, the loudspeakers will get inadequate power. However most speakers will continue demanding the power they require but because the amp cannot deliver, it will blow!
However, if you understand this and wire compatible speakers to the amplifier, your system is safe. Nonetheless, you will not experience much increase in volume if the speakers have the same resistance and the same amplifier drives them.
However, that is not the case if you wire 6 speakers with different resistance or use different amps to drive them. In this case, you can experience a significant increase in volume, but you must be careful and ensure that the overall impedance does not go below the rated amp’s impedance.
In other words, before you decide to connect the speakers to a 2 channel amp, you must be sure that they have different impedances. Otherwise, you will not achieve the desired volume increase.
How Does Impedance Affect Volume?
Resistance refers to the opposition of a speaker to current flow and is measured in ohms (Ω) like impedance. All the materials you see around you resist current flow at different degrees. As for speakers, they can have high or low resistance:
Higher resistance: Speakers, amps, and other conductors will higher resistance require lower current flow. If the resistance is too high, the speakers will not pull a lot of power and the risk of damaging the am is low.
However, if your audio system gets an adequate power supply, it can produce a louder sound. Nonetheless, that may not apply if you are using the same amp to power 6 speakers with the same resistance since they almost function as one.
Lower Resistance: If your speakers and amps have lower resistance, it means they require a higher current flow. So, matching the resistance is one of your most essential steps when wiring 6 speakers to 2 channel amplifiers.
Please note that the work of an amplifier is to increase the power to the load. However, it depends on the load impendence, the source, and the current gain and inherent voltage to deliver as required.
How Much Volume Increase by Adding 5 Extra Speakers
You have used one speaker in the past and you want to know the difference in performance to expect when adding 5 more.
You get an increase in volume if you add a speaker with the same resistance, but it won’t double. That means if you add 5 speakers, the volume won’t increase five times. It will be much lower than many can expect.
For example, if your speaker is giving out 60 dB, you won’t get 120dB by adding another identical speaker. Instead, you get around 66 dB, which is a significant increase by any standard, however, just not double. So, adding 5 more speakers could mean getting close to 30dB or so more.
Note that another common configuration is connecting 4 speakers to a 2 channel amp.
Connecting 6 speakers to a 2 channel amp doesn’t have to be complicated. However, you must remember that volume increase only if the amp is able to drive the speakers and you vary the impedances.
Moreover, it would help if you used the right connectors and cables to balance the load. Otherwise, you may end up with a low-quality sound, or you may damage the speakers or amp.