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Using 8 Ohm speakers in place of 4 Ohm speakers?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Can I use speakers rated at 8 Ohm in place of speakers that are 4 Ohm? I have a cheap (as in, $20 in like 2006 or 2007) 2.1 sound setup with my HDTV. It's this.





I don't have a picture of the satellites/speakers, but they say 4 Ohm on the back of them. They are what came with the system. They are rather small.

I don't really care for the quality, since I really don't use my TV too much (I was even going to consider selling it for speakers for my PC until that situation was taken care of), but I found these in my garage (the previous person living here left them), and before I toss them or whatever, I figured I'd see if they can be useful. The current speakers are just too muffled, and not clear at all. They are have a different Ohm rating, and are larger in size.





Will the different Ohm rating, the different size, or something else, prevent them from being useful? Can I just hook these random speakers up to this 2.1 sub-woofer, or do these need like an amp or receiver or whatever? I've heard of parts heating up and leading the failure when mixing stuff up, but this is stuff I know next to nothing about.
post #2 of 13
I also know next to nothing about this. However, bump
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post #3 of 13
I also know next to nothing about this. However, bump
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post #4 of 13
well dont do that always use the same impedance as the amp tells u cause u cannot connect a 4 ohms sub to a 8 ohms amp unless u wire the 4 ohms sub in series to the amp then it might work
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post #5 of 13
yes, you can use them.. an 8ohm load is easier for the amp to power than a 4ohm load.
Going the other way is what typically causes problems with an amp. (trying to drive a lower impedence (Ohm load) than the amp is designed for)

The caveat...? The amp will only run at 1/2 the wattage it ran with 4ohm speakers connected, but the amp will typically run alittle cooler. Your volume may (or may not; amp dependant) not be quite as loud.
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post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by General_Chris View Post
well dont do that always use the same impedance as the amp tells u cause u cannot connect a 4 ohms sub to a 8 ohms amp unless u wire the 4 ohms sub in series to the amp then it might work
Meh. Not really.

You can *try* the 8 Ohm speakers...however you're forcing the amp to overcome more resistance than it is designed for....but your amp may not have the power necessary to drive the speakers adequately.

http://www.prestonelectronics.com/audio/Impedance.htm
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post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skripka View Post
Meh. Not really.

You can *try* the 8 Ohm speakers...however you're forcing the amp to overcome more resistance than it is designed for....but your amp may not have the power necessary to drive the speakers adequately.

http://www.prestonelectronics.com/audio/Impedance.htm
Based on your post, I think your understanding of Ohm reduction/increase in amps/speakers is backward, although the article you linked to provides the correct information.

Lower impedence is harder for an amp to drive. An impedence of 0 Ohms is a short circuit.

Extremely high impedence is hard to drive, because an amp typically won't produce enough watts to drive a high impedence (see my post above re wattage 4 Ohm vs. 8 Ohm) load to any usable volume. ask your self, "What does it take to drive headphone that are typically 16-32 Ohms?".. not a lot, but you won't get sound that can fill a room. The difference between driving 4 Ohms and 8 Ohms is as i stated above. At 8 Ohms, the amp puts out 1/2 the wattage it does at 4 Ohms.

Lower impedence than an amp is designed for causes the amp to overheat, as it attemps to output more wattage than it is designed for.

Amps designed for 4 Ohm loads typically have no problem with 8 Ohm loads.
Edited by xandypx - 10/25/11 at 7:19am
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post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
So basically, I might not get the sub-woofer to "drive" the speakers to their fullest, but nothing bad should otherwise happen, right?

By the way, everyone's referencing an amp, but I am not using one (unless this all applies to the sub-woofer in my case). Also, the previous speakers had a rating of 4 Ohm, but I'm not necessarily sure if that's what the sub-woofer itself is supposed to be.
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Princess Garnet View Post
So basically, I might not get the sub-woofer to "drive" the speakers to their fullest, but nothing bad should otherwise happen, right?

By the way, everyone's referencing an amp, but I am not using one (unless this all applies to the sub-woofer in my case). Also, the previous speakers had a rating of 4 Ohm, but I'm not necessarily sure if that's what the sub-woofer itself is supposed to be.
From the picture you posted of the back of the sub, the sub contains an amp that drives the two satellite speakers.

The speaker terminals are marked as 4 Ohm, so you are correct that the amp (in the sub) was designed to drive a 4 Ohm load. As I stated before, you won't hurt the subs amp connecting to 8 Ohm speakers, most 4 Ohm amps have no problem with an 8 Ohm load. The only thing you need to test is if the volume from the speakers is adequate for your use. A lot of what it may sound like will depend on what control you have over the volume of the two satellite speakers vs. the sub. It is possible that the output of sub driver (speaker) may not be in balance with the two 8 Ohm satellites, if you can’t adjust the sub volume separately from the satellites. You need to hook it up and try it to find this out.
Edited by xandypx - 10/25/11 at 4:39pm
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post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Okay, I'll try later on tonight when I'm back home. Unfortunately, there's only a master volume for both the sub-woofer and the satellites. That was sort of some of the issue with the existing speakers, that you had to turn the bass up a little too loud to hear anything, but that was also due in part to how low quality/muffled/not clear the original speakers are, but if they're clearer, it'd still be an improvement. I guess I'll see tonight.
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