How to Connect 6 Speakers to a 2 Channel Amp
Usually, you can connect 2 speakers or at most 4 to your 2 channel amp but the truth is connecting 6 speakers to a 2 channel amp is not an impossible task. This may come as a sort of relief to you especially if you’ve been wanting to use 6 speakers for an event or in your house. It’s obvious that the 6 speakers will give better coverage of your event grounds and hall when you use them compared to 2 or 4 speakers.
So, the question then is how do you connect 6 speakers to a 2 channel amp? Well, you can connect 6 speakers to a 2 channel amp by wiring the speakers either in series or parallel. You should determine the total power rating of the 6 speakers and divide the power output equally for each of the 2 amp channels. For similar-rated speakers, connect 3 speakers at each of the amp’s channels.
Ideally, you should connect speakers with similar power ratings to the amp, but if you want to vary your sound output, nothing stops you from using different speakers in your connections.
In this article, I will discuss how to connect 6 speakers to a 2 channel amp and which factors you should consider before deciding on the configuration that you are going to use. If you are ready for this information then keep reading till the very end.
How Does Speaker Power Get Distributed in the Amp?
Here’s the deal. The amp is designed to handle limited power output. This means that although the amp is supposed to deliver electric power to your speakers, there is a limit on the amount of power that it can deliver.
Each of the amp’s channels also has a limited power that it can handle. If you push the amp to deliver power beyond its limit, you will end up damaging the amp in the long run.
When connecting 6 speakers to a 2 channel amp, what you need to consider is to distribute the power requirement of your speakers equally between the 2 amp channels.
What do I mean by that? Let’s have 6 speakers and the sum of the power ratings is 200 Watts. How to determine the sum of their power ratings is to look up the power rating of the individual speakers at the back of the speakers and then add them.
With the 200 W, divide that by 2, resulting in 100 W. This means that each of the 2 channels of the amp should handle 100 W.
Now, when you focus on each channel at a time, set up the speakers in such a way that the total power rating of the speakers at the channel is 100 Watts.
For example, the first speaker may be rated as 25 Watts, the second speaker as 25 Watts, and the third speaker as 50 Watts. That sums up to 100 W. Do the same at the other channel of the amp.
How to Decide Which Configuration to Use
Now that you have decided to connect 3 speakers to each of the amp’s 2 channels. The next time you do this is to decide which connection configuration to use – whether series or parallel.
This is the most important thing to do before you connect your speakers because connecting the speakers wrongly will have some dire consequences on your amp and audio system.
The only thing to concentrate on at this point is the impedance of the speakers.
Here is the trick. The impedance of the speakers is what determines the amount of power that the speakers pull from the amplifier.
If the impedance is low, there will be little resistance to power flow and the speakers will pull more power from the amp. If the impedance is high, the speakers will pull little power from the amp.
Always, calculate the total impedance of your speakers to determine whether the amp can handle the power that will be drawn from it by the speakers.
If the impedance of the speakers is too low for the amp, so much power will be drawn from the amp, resulting in sound distortions in the speakers.
With the same set of speakers, different configurations or arrangements will give different impedance, that’s why it’s important to calculate the total impedance of the speakers before deciding on whether to use a series or parallel connection.
How to Calculate Total Impedance of Speakers
The impedance of your speakers can be found at the back of the speaker. It is measured in Ohms and you should have no problems looking it up.
For a series connection, the total impedance of your speakers is the sum of the individual impedance.
For a parallel connection, the total impedance is the sum of the individual impedance divided by the product of the individual impedance.
These two tips should help you calculate the total impedance of your speakers easily.
Once you calculate the total impedance of your speakers, consult your amp’s spec sheet and find out if the total impedance from the series calculation falls within the capacity of the amp.
If yes, then you are good to connect the speakers in a series configuration.
If no, then look up the impedance capacity again of the amp from the spec sheet and see if the total impedance from the parallel calculation falls within the amp’s capacity. Once it matches the amplifier’s impedance you are good to connect the speakers in parallel.
How Do I Connect 6 Speakers in a Series to a 2 Channel Amp?
Focus on one amp channel first. Connect 3 speakers in series at one channel and then connect the other 3 speakers also in series to the other input.
To connect the speakers in series, follow these steps:
- Identify the positive and negative terminals of the amp’s channel and the speakers. You will see the plus and minus signs written beside the ports.
- Get your first speaker and connect the positive terminal of the amp to the positive terminal of this speaker using speaker wires.
- Connect the negative terminal of the first speaker to the positive terminal of the second speaker.
- Connect the negative terminal of the second speaker to the positive terminal of the third speaker.
- Connect the negative terminal of the amplifier to the negative terminal of the third speaker to close the circuit.
- Turn your attention to the other channel and go through steps 2 to 5 to connect the other 3 speakers in series to the amp.
How Do I Connect 6 Speakers in Parallel to a 2 Channel Amp?
Just as you did for the series connection, you should split the speakers into two and connect 3 speakers in parallel to each of the 2 channels of the amp.
Follow the steps below if you want to connect 6 speakers in parallel to a 2 channel amp:
- Identify the positive and negative terminals of the amp and the speakers.
- Get the first speaker and connect the positive terminal of the amp to the positive terminal of this speaker.
- Use speaker wires to connect the positive terminal of the first to the positive terminal of the second speaker.
- Connect the positive terminal of the second speaker to the third speaker.
- Complete the circuit by connecting the negative terminal of the amp to the negative terminal of the first speaker.
- Wire the negative terminal of the first speaker to the negative terminal of the second speaker using another wire.
- Connect the negative terminal of the second speaker to the negative terminal of the third speaker.
- Turn to the second channel on the amp and then go through steps 2 to 7 to connect the other 3 speakers in parallel to that channel.
Does Adding More Speakers Increase Volume?
Adding more speakers increases the volume of your speakers. However, you instantly notice the increase in volume if your speakers are of different impedance from each other.
When the speakers have the same impedance, it is difficult to notice the volume change.
For instance, if your sound level is at 60 decibels and you add another speaker of the same impedance which also produces sounds at 60 decibels, you will be surprised to find out that your overall sound level will be 66 decibels rather than the expected 120 decibels.
The change in volume is not so significant but there has been an increase in volume at least.
Wiring 6 speakers to a 2 channel amp are something that can be done. It requires some technical know-how though and that’s exactly what I have shared with you in this guide.
First, split the overall power ratings of the speaker to the 2 channels of the amp. Then calculate the overall impedance of your speakers to know whether to connect the speakers in series or parallel.
Consult your amp’s spec sheet to see which impedance between configurations matches the impedance of the amp.
Decide your connection configuration from there and begin to wire your speakers either in series or parallel.