Can I Mix Speakers With Different Ohms?

Mixing speakers with different impedance values can be tricky for some people. The thing is you don’t want want to damage your speakers and whatever you’re using them with. Speakers on their own can be …

Pair of black speakers

Mixing speakers with different impedance values can be tricky for some people. The thing is you don’t want want to damage your speakers and whatever you’re using them with. Speakers on their own can be quite expensive but receivers, soundbars, and amplifiers are the valuable equipment you don’t want to replace. So, before setting up the speakers, you wanted to do a little research. Can I mix speakers with different ohms?

Using speakers with different ohms is generally fine. It all depends on the device you’re connecting the speakers to. The amplifier, receiver, or soundbar should support the speakers’ ohms in its impedance range. If you have an amplifier that supports speakers with 6 and 8 ohms, you can only use speakers with 6 and 8 ohms. 

It’s as straightforward as that, you can go ahead and do it if you’ve checked the impedance. If you’re still not sure, keep reading, a thorough guide follows.

Using Speakers With Different Ohms

Most people don’t get all of their audio equipment at once. Audio equipment is usually bought piece by piece. I’m guessing that’s the case with you too. You already have speakers and you want to buy a receiver. It doesn’t make sense to get new speakers just for the receiver. So, what you want to buy is based on what you already have.

I imagine that you recently bought an amp or a receiver to go with your primary speakers. But since you have more speakers on hand, why not add them on? Adding more speakers to go with your primary speakers is something that most people want. It’s one of the best ways to get sound to the whole room. Well, it’s hard to get speakers with the same amount of ohms, so you need to work with what you got.

And it’s fine to mix speakers with different ohms. You just need to make sure the device you’re plugging them in supports speakers with that impedance value. Amps and receivers don’t have an impedance value but an impedance range. That means that the device will support speakers with different ohms but not all speakers. If the device has an impedance range that includes both of the different speakers, you can use them just fine.

What happens if you mix speakers with different ohms that the amp or receiver doesn’t support though?

Marhsall amp

Can Speakers With Different Ohms Damage My Equipment?

In case you were wondering, no, you shouldn’t mix speakers with different ohms without checking the amp’s or receiver’s impedance range. It’s just a bad idea because you can damage your equipment. We’ve already talked about this in a different post. I’ll leave a link if you want to find out more. Here, we’ll just cover the basics.

The speakers will always work, no matter the impedance value. Receivers and amps don’t block out speakers with an unsupported impedance value. You can use 4 ohms speakers with an amplifier that has an impedance range of 6-8 ohms. The speakers will be recognized as output and they will deliver the output. So, what’s there to worry about?

Well, the problem occurs when you start raising the sound volume. Impedance informs you how resistant the speakers are to electric current. Speakers with low impedance are not that resistant. So, raising the volume means they draw power that cannot be controlled. This leads to overworking the speakers which will quickly burn out which in turn can damage the amp or receiver.

Most likely, only your speakers will be damaged. But there’s a chance that the amp and receiver to be damaged too. That is if you don’t notice that your speakers have burned out.

Related article – What Frequency Response Is Good For Speakers?

Broken speaker

Mixing Speakers With A Receiver

Now, mixing speakers with a receiver is really easy. As I said, all you need to do is get a receiver with an impedance range that includes your speakers. Most receiver models support either 6-8 or 4-6 ohms. There are however some receivers that can use speakers of any impedance.

I don’t know if you want to buy a receiver or if you already have one. This process will be a whole lot easier if you still haven’t bought a receiver. That way, you just need to check the impedance of your speakers and look for a receiver with the same impedance range. If you already have a receiver, I guess you can still use your speakers. Keep in mind though, that you need to make sure the speakers’ impedance and the receiver’s impedance are compatible.

One more thing you may want to know about. Some receivers have an impedance range and some have an impedance switch. Impedance range tells you which kind of speakers the receiver supports. The impedance switch is different, however. You can set the switch at a certain impedance value. So, if you’re using 6-ohm speakers, you set the switch at 6 ohms.

Sound amp receiver panel

Mixing Speakers With An Amplifier

Amplifiers and receivers are basically the same units. The receiver only supports radio channels. So, what we’ve said about receivers applies to amplifiers too. All you need to do is check the impedance range. If the amp has an impedance range that includes your speakers’ impedance, then you’re good to go. I know that some of you will use 4-ohm speakers with a 6-8 ohms amp nonetheless. In that case, just don’t raise the volume and you’ll be fine.

Mixing Speakers With A Soundbar

Some of you may want to add additional speakers to a soundbar. Right from the start, that’s a bad idea since most soundbars don’t support speakers. In case you have a soundbar that supports speakers, follow the same rule. The soundbar’s impedance range has to be compatible with the impedance of the speakers. We’ve already talked about adding speakers to a soundbar in a previous post. You’ll find the link for that post below.

Related article – How To Connect Additional Speakers To My Soundbar

Related Questions And Other FAQS

Can I Use High Impedance Speakers With Low Impedance Amplifier?

Yes, you can mix high impedance speakers with low impedance amps and receivers. There’s no danger to your equipment like with low impedance speakers. The only problem is that you won’t be able to get the most out of your amp and speakers.

Will Raising The Volume On My Speakers Damage My Amplifier?

Raising the volume is only dangerous if the impedance of the speakers doesn’t match the impedance range of the amp. That’s why high impedance units are better. You can raise the volume all you want, the equipment won’t get damaged.

Related article – Can Speakers Damage An Amplifier?