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How to Wire a 4 Channel Amp to 6 Speakers

Do you want to know how to wire a 4 channel amp to 6 speakers? If so, you have come to the right place!

In this article, we will walk you through the process step-by-step as well as the nuances you need to take into account.

It can be a little tricky, but with this guide, you will be able to do it like a pro!

Two Options: Series vs Parallel

There are two options for wiring 6 speakers to a 4 channel amplifier – this can be done in parallel or in series.

In a parallel connection, the positive wire is connected from the positive connection on speaker 1 to the positive connection on speaker 2 and then the positive connection on amplifier. Similarly the negative wire is connected from the negative connection on speaker 1 to the negative connection on speaker speaker 2 and then the negative connection on the amplifier.

In a series connection, the positive wire from speaker 1 is connected to the to the positive connection on the amplifier and the negative connection from speaker 2 is connected to the negative connection amplifier. Then the negative wire from speaker 1 is connected to the positive connection on speaker 2 to finish the circuit.

Which way is better?

In general, connecting the speakers in parallel is the better option to preserve the sound quality and loudness of the speaker output.

However, connecting speakers in parallel draws more power from the amplifier so you need to make sure you take the time calculate the adjusted speaker impedance to avoid overloading your amp.

Impedance and How it Affects The Connection

Impedance is the load a speaker places on your amplifier when drawing current through it. It is measured by how much the speaker resists current.

The lower the impedance, the more power a speaker draws from an amplifier, for example – 2 ohms draws more power than 4 ohms.

This can be a bit confusing as it’s the inverse of how we normally measure power draw in other scenarios.

To be safe, when wiring speakers you must take the minimum ohm (Ω) rating of your amplifier into account.

Most amps used by the average speaker system are rated for a minimum of 4 ohms, so in this case you would need to make sure that the ohms drawn from the amplifier does not fall below 4 ohms.

Wiring in parallel reduces the impedance and wiring in series increases the impedance.

In the case of wiring 6 8 ohm speakers to a 4 channel amplifier with a 4 ohm minimum rating, using a parallel connection on two pairs of speakers is a feasible option because the impedance would be 4 ohm.

And given that it preserves the sound quality – running a parallel connection is our recommended method.

How it Works

Running a parallel connection between two speakers halves the ohms sent to the amplifier.

And since the amplifier is rated 4 ohm minimum, then the impedance is within the normal accepted limit of the amplifier.

Speaker Ohm / # of speakers in Parallel = Ohm Impedance

2 speakers @ 8Ω = 4Ω

If your speakers have lower ohms or your amplifier has a higher ohm minimum rating, you will need to adjust the calculation.

What You Will Need for the Connection

Now that we have decided on running a parallel connection to allow 6 speakers to connect via the 4 channel amp, let’s go through what we need to get the job done.

In order to connect speakers to an amplifier, all you will need in addition to the speakers and amp is some speaker wire.

Wiring your 4 Channel Amp to 6 Speakers

  1. Since you only need to run 2 pairs of speakers in parallel, these steps apply to the 3rd and 4th speaker inputs on the amp. The other two speakers will be set up normally.
  2. First, disconnect the amp from power
  3. The next step is to identify the positive and negative terminals on the back of the pair of speakers
  4. Now connect the positive wire from speaker 1 to the positive connection on speaker 2
  5. Take a separate wire and then connect the positive connection from speaker 2 to the positive input on the amplifier
  6. Now do the same for the negative connections
  7. Double check to make sure that the positive terminal on the speaker is connected to the positive terminal on the amplifier, and vice versa
  8. Plug the amp back in for testing

Now, it is time to connect your speakers to plug in your system for testing.

Testing the System

  1. When testing the new connections, start your speakers at a very low volume to avoid causing any damage if there are issues with the wiring
  2. Once you confirm that the audio is playing fine on all 6 speakers, now increase the volume to test power output
  3. Then test the audio levels of each speaker to make sure that the output is even across the different speakers
  4. After these steps you are ready to enjoy your new 6 speaker set up!

Conclusion

Running 6 speakers through a 4 channel amp takes some hacking and math, but it’s definitely possible for the average DIY speaker person.

It is generally better to get an amp with an equal number of channels to speakers, but sometimes you need to work with the equipment you already have, or can afford, to set up your ideal speaker system. In that case you are in good hands with our step by step guide – good luck!

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