The question on how many speakers can a 4 channel amp power? is asked a hundred times every single day so I’ve put together this article to answer it once and for all. In this article, I’ll cover what kinds of drivers and amplifiers we can combine to get the best possible sound from our system. In addition, I’ll discuss some specific problems that might occur when combining these components, and how you can overcome them.
How many speakers can a 4 channel amp power?
The number of speakers that can be powered by a 4 channel amp is restricted by the speaker’s impedance rating. Speakers that have a higher impedance rating need more power to operate. 4 channel amps are monoblock amps that are meant for powering a single pair of speakers. Speaker impedance is signified by ohms. The higher the ohms is, the more power the amp needs to produce sound. An amp can be able to handle a certain impedance, but it would cause distortion. Therefore, a 4 channel amp can safely power a 4-ohm speaker.
This is actually a question of impedance. Amplifiers are rated in terms of the impedance that the speaker outputs. Many speakers are rated at 4 ohms. A 4 ohm speaker can be safely connected to a 4 ohm amplifier but connecting a 4 ohm speaker to a 2 ohm amplifier will work but will cause the amplifer to work harder and the amp’s life will be shortened. If the impedance of a speaker is unknown then you should check the impedance of the amp and see if the numbers match.
What can a 4 channel amp run?
A 4 channel amp has a lot of power, but the number and kind of speakers can drastically alter the power needed. 4 channel amps typically have 200 watts to each channel and the ability to power up to four different speakers. The actual number of speakers which will work well with these amps depends on the impedance and sensitivity of the speaker. Sensitivity is the measurement of how accurately a speaker converts the power to sound.
Impedance refers to the resistance speaker has to the flow of electrons. The more power a speaker has, the larger the impedance is going to be. Different speakers can take a larger load, but when it comes to 4 channel amps, you need to choose a speaker that matches the load of the amp and can handle the power it puts out.
An amplifier channel is a unit that makes up a 4 channel amp. The 4 channel amp is typically made up of 4 channels but can vary from three channels to six channels. Each channel on the AMP has the ‘sound’ of the amplifier, which represents the power output of 1 channel..
So why is this important to know? Let’s say you have a 4×100 watt amp, this means that it has a total of 400 watts of power. Thus, 400 watts of power divided by 4 channels equals 100 watt ‘voice’ per channel. Remember, each channel carries the same characteristics as the other; it is not a split channel. In this case, each channel is the same 100 watt ‘voice’.
How much does the amplifier really matter?
I know that sometimes a small amount of amplification plays a major role in achieving even better output. But don’t underestimate it too much, it actually affects both the volume (the amplitude) as well as the audio quality (the dynamic range).
If your amp is designed with drivers that are suitable, but the volume isn’t optimal, let me share two examples:
- A clean tonal response with no additional noise/vibration
- A smooth tone with very little vibration (noise and vibration is completely eliminated)
In my experience, a standard 2 channel amp is sufficient for most cases, although this depends on specific audio requirements. Of course, if you want more details, read about the various factors affecting loudness, e.g., soundstage, subwoofer placement, etc.
Speaker selection is also another factor that has a huge impact on sound quality. If you go too cheap or over-price, your system probably won’t offer any significant improvements in terms of overall dynamic range and soundstage. Also, look at how good these specs are from a warranty point of view, it will be important to pay attention to these things. Otherwise, you could end up buying an expensive product and not enjoying its benefits.
How loud will this amp really be?
I believe that there’s nothing more natural than a quieted back-lit room. However, let me give you a different example:
A lot of people like it when they hear music through headphones. They usually have their ears in front of the screen. It sounds amazing! You can check out some videos here.
Unfortunately, listening to radio stations (i.e., digital radio) requires so much battery power that it practically won’t make sense to listen to it at all. Moreover, even playing live music with decent loudspeakers that are near enough can still lead to hearing loss. This is why having just a dedicated speaker is always preferable over multiple channels.
I mean, no, a separate amp won’t necessarily solve all of those issues, on the contrary, it may reduce the current burden on your ears and can be used alongside other sound sources.
You can find a detailed explanation of each topic above, I recommend going there. As I mentioned before, there are plenty of places where you are able to learn about the subject itself.
What about low-cost solutions?
Low cost can be achieved by designing an amp-based (e.g., using a discrete) system that uses highly selective drivers and high-quality amplifiers. For instance, the following model makes up for a great value proposition:
Here’s a nice graphic showing some of the specs – including the price of the components:
You can see that in this type of system, you only need to use the best drivers available. Also, it comes equipped with several features that allow adding of numerous levels of sound output – including a 6.5:1 ratio, which can allow the user to switch between modes, e.g., mono or stereo. Some of these features include switching mode switches, built-in bass boosters (3.4’s included in this version), dual input level shifter plus attenuation (for dynamic range improvement), auto equalization, and a built-in microphone array allowing to control external sources via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
However, I would recommend going beyond that model and getting a system with more drivers and amplifiers. I am personally working on such an amp myself. On top of all that, it offers several advantages that might make them worth considering.
A higher degree of freedom: With six drivers and 8 amplifiers, it lets you choose, modulate, and mix signals
A higher degree of customization: Unlike most systems that can’t change the soundstage, this one can
A wider range: Even though a single device might not deliver all of the benefits of a full 3 channel amp, it provides plenty of possibilities to choose, modify, and blend your signal, and as I mentioned earlier, it can provide a wide range.
And there you go!