There are many ways to wire 6 speakers to a 4 channel amp. However, wiring 6 speakers to a 4-channel amplifier is not a common practice nor is it a good practice. Just like its a not a great practice to wire 6 speakers to a 2 channel amp.
Usually, a 4 channel amp will overheat when the load is increased to 6 speakers. The better option is to get a 6-channel amp for the 6 speakers. But you can still easily connect 6 speakers to your 4 channel amp anyway.
There are two main ways to wire 6 speakers to a 4 channel amp. You can either wire the speakers in series or in parrel. Series connection is safe but offers low power while the parallel connection is unsafe but delivers more power. Your choice should be based on your circumstances.
Read on to get more details on which approach is best for you and how to do each.
Can I Wire 6 Speakers To A 4-Channel Amplifier?
The fact is, it is possible to connect 6 speakers to a 4 channel amp. However, the question should be whether this setup is recommended.
While many people may want to try this kind of connection anyway, the idea is generally not supported by most manufacturers. That is why we recommend that you acquire a 6-channel amplifier for your six speakers. Otherwise, you will risk internal damage as the speakers may put too much demand on the amp.
Indeed, this kind of connection is achievable with ease. However, exceeding the amplifier rating overworks the system and causes it to overheat in the process. It may not be too good for your amp, especially if it’s one of the lower quality options.
However, if you are interested in investigating how this connection can affect your audio output and you accept the risks, you can proceed with the assembly.
Wiring 6 Speakers To A 4 Channel Amp
Wiring 6 speakers can be an interesting experience, especially if you want to do it on an amp with a lower rating.
Primarily, there are two main ways you can get this done. Although, we still recommend you acquire a 6-channel amp if you must proceed with the 6-speakers in one system.
If this kind of setup still interests you, we will show you how to proceed, in two ways: Parallel connection and Series connection.
Before we proceed to the wiring process, if you are not familiar with 4-channel amplifiers, read the section below on understanding 4 channel amps.
1. Series Connection
It’s rather easy to wire 6 speakers to a 4-channel amp in a series connection. In this case, one wire goes from one end of the amp to one speaker which is then connected to the next speaker while the last speaker is connected to the other end of the amplifier.
However, in this case, we have 4 amplifier channels and 6 speakers. As such, the connection is a bit more complicated.
Firstly, 2 speakers will be connected in series on one channel. This means that you will have 4 of the 6 speakers connected on 2 channels.
Then, the remaining two speakers will be connected on two channels. This means that you will have 6 speakers are wired up with your 4 channel amp.
Here is a more detailed walkthrough of how to set it up:
Speaker 1 And 2 Go To Channel 1
Begin by plugging the -ve wire of speaker 1 into the -ve terminal of channel 1. Connect the +ve wire of the speaker to the -ve wire of speaker 2. Finally, connect the positive terminal of speaker 2 to the positive terminal of channel 1.
Speaker 3 and 4 Go To Channel 2
Follow the same steps above to connect speakers 3 and 4 to the second channel of the amplifier. Now you have 2 channels left.
Speaker 5 and 6 Go To Channel 3 and 4
Each of the two speakers, 5 and 6, will now go to channels 3 and 4 of the amplifier.
Now you can easily change this order to have the combined speakers either to the front or rear for varied sound qualities.
Is Wiring 6 Speakers To A 4 Channel Amp In Series Safe?
Yes, wiring 6 speakers to a 4 channel amp in series is safe because you will not be lowering the impedance of the speaker load. This form of connection is preferred and is safer than parrel as we will discuss below.
Now, remember that a series connection adds up resistances or impedances of your speakers. For example, if two 4-ohm speakers are connected in series, this will therefore produce a combined resistance of 8 ohms on the head unit and the audio quality may not be much better as the rating will be higher than the power rating of the channel and you may have mismatched impedances.
However, this is not very bad for the amp because the impedance of the load will be high. This means that the load will not pull too much power from the amp and so the risk of damaging your amp is low.
Pros and Cons of Wiring Speakers In Series
The advantage of wiring your speakers in series is that your amplifier will be safe. Moreover, you can quickly and easily adjust by adding or removing speakers.
The disadvantage of wiring your speakers in series is that your speaker’s overall impedance will increase and the speakers will pull less power from the amp. As such, sound quality may not be great.
2. Parallel Connection
Two speakers with equal impedance will produce half of the resistance when connected in parallel. As a result, if two 4-ohm speakers are wired in parallel, they produce a 2-ohm load on the head unit.
Here is how you can go about wiring your 6 speakers to a 4 channel amp in parallel:
- Begin by connecting the negative wire of speaker 1 to the negative terminal of channel 1 of the amplifier. Tangle the negative wires of speakers 1 and 2.
- Then, connect the positive wire of speaker 1 to the positive terminal of channel 1 of the device.
- And finally, connect the positive wire of speaker 2 to the positive wire or terminal of the speaker.
- This kind of connection is followed to wire speakers 3 and 4 to channel 2. The remaining speakers 5 and 6 are then connected each to the remaining channels.
On the other hand, it is easier to combine the positive wires of speakers 1 and 2 first. Then combine their negative wires and have them wired to one channel of the amplifier.
Speaker 3 and 4 can also be combined in the same way and wired to the 2nd channel. And, the 5th and 6th speakers each connected to the remaining 2 channels.
Depending on your preference, however, the two speakers that are wired together can be connected to the front or rear channels and the result can amazing.
Is Wiring 6 Speakers To A 4 Channel Amp In Parallel Safe?
Wiring 6 speakers to a 4 channel amp in parallel is generally a bad practice unless you really understand what you are doing. This is because wiring speakers in parallel reduces the overall impedance of the speaker load.
This means the speaker load will pull more power from the amp. If the impedance is low enough, your speakers may pull so much power that they cause the amp to overheat or even blow one of your amplifier channels or blow the entire amp!
Understanding 4 Channel Amplifiers
A 4 channel amplifier is a type of amplifier that has 4-separate output channels. Produced for full-range power amplification, this set can power two speaker units at a minimum and will comfortably run one dual-voice-coil subwoofer or even two subwoofers together. The most common configuration is for a 5.1 surround sound system.
Most 4 channel amps deliver massive power to both the front and rear speakers with limited distortion.
Here’s what you should expect in terms of amplifier output outlay:
Types of 4 Channel Amplifiers
Like most amps, 4 channel amplifiers are categorized into class A, B, AB, or D, types AB and D.
Class AB is a blend of A and B. They are loved for the constant flow of current. However, they are analog.
On the other hand, class D amplifiers produce a pulsed output signal by constantly switching the current on and off.
The switching may however result in more distortions at higher frequencies. Besides, they are more efficient. To counter this problem, amps are built with low-pass filter systems.
4 Channel Amplifier Power
You most likely buy amplifiers for extra power. Amplifier power is determined by corresponding RMS (Root Mean Square) and wattages.
For every amp you choose, watts per channel is the value of power it can drive to each speaker.
It is advisable to choose an amplifier with a higher power rating than that of the speakers and subwoofers you intend to use.
As for impedance – ohms, the higher it is, the lower the RMS per channel required. This is why wiring your speakers in series is not a massive issue because the speakers won’t pull too much power.
However, wiring them in parallel can cause a problem because the speakers will pull a lot of power due to the lower overall impedance.
4 Channel Amplifier Sizes
If you have a lot of space in your media room, you shouldn’t worry much about amplifier size.
This was more of a problem with analog amps where power may be determined by size. However, with the advancements in technology, it is possible to get smaller amps with the capacity to deliver a mighty push.
4 Channel Amplifier Brands
Brands like JL Audio, Pioneer, and Alpine are deeply rooted in the audio industry and well known for constantly offering quality amplifiers. The fact is, you don’t want to buy inferior electronics from off-brands and suffer the repercussions.
Besides, amp prices differ widely. You will have to consider your budget and decide which is the best option for you. Here are some pretty good and popular 4-channel amps you are likely to encounter on the market:
This is a slim amp that can boost a receiver output by 45 watts. With a selectable high-pass filter, the class D amp comes with 45 watts by 4 at 4 or 2 ohms.
With both over-current and short-circuit protection, this device sends 50 watts to each speaker in every one of the 4 channels. The device is however protective and will go into protection mode easily if you overshoot the power.
It comes with a 45-watt rating in every channel with selectable high-pass filters.
A class D amp, it drives 100 watts to each speaker. Besides, the amp can be bridged to command up to 300 watts sub.
It is fitted with high-pass and low-pass filters to make sound adjustments easy. With the ability to produce high-quality mids and highs, this device gives you the power you want in a clean and seamless way.
Now that you understand the two methods to wire 6 speakers on 4 channel amps, feel free to take the best approach for your situation and enjoy your music.
Either way, you still have the power to choose between the safety of the low power series connection and the power gains of an unsafe parallel connection. It is however more advisable to use 4 speakers if you have a 4-channel amp or get a 6 channel amp.