1 Ohm Vs 4 Ohm Subwoofer

Subwoofers are an essential component of any car audio system. They add depth and richness to the sound, allowing you to feel the bass in your music. When it comes to choosing a subwoofer, one of the most common questions is whether to go for a 1-ohm or a 4-ohm subwoofer. In this article, we will discuss the difference between these two types of subwoofers and help you decide which one is right for your car audio system.

What is Resistance and Why Does it Matter?

Before we dive into the differences between 1-ohm and 4-ohm subwoofers, let’s first understand what resistance is and why it matters. Resistance is the opposition to the flow of current in an electrical circuit. It is measured in ohms (Ω) and determines how much power your subwoofer can handle. The lower the resistance, the more power your subwoofer can handle.

1 Ohm Vs 4 Ohm Subwoofer

1 Ohm Subwoofers

A 1 ohm subwoofer has a low resistance of, you guessed it, 1 ohm. This means that it can handle a lot of power and produce a louder and deeper bass than a higher-resistance subwoofer. However, this also means that it requires more power to operate effectively. Therefore, if you choose to go for a 1-ohm subwoofer, you will need to make sure that your car audio system is capable of supplying enough power.

4 Ohm Subwoofers

On the other hand, a 4-ohm subwoofer has a higher resistance of 4 ohms. This means that it requires less power to operate compared to a 1-ohm subwoofer. However, this also means that it cannot handle as much power and may not produce as loud of a bass. 4-ohm subwoofers are more common in car audio systems as they are easier to power and less demanding on the system.

Which One is Right for You?

Now that you understand the difference between 1-ohm and 4-ohm subwoofers, you may be wondering which one is right for your car audio system. The answer to this question depends on a few factors.

If you are looking for a powerful and intense bass, then a 1-ohm subwoofer may be the right choice for you. However, keep in mind that it will require more power and may not work well with all car audio systems. You will need to make sure that your system is capable of supplying enough power and that the subwoofer is compatible with it.

On the other hand, if you want a more balanced sound without sacrificing too much power, then a 4-ohm subwoofer may be a better option for you. It is easier to power and less demanding on the system, making it a more convenient choice for most car audio systems.

The Right Match: Amplifiers and Wiring

To make the most of your subwoofer selection, you must pair it with the right amplifier and wiring. Here’s a quick guide to ensure a harmonious match:

1 Ohm Subwoofer: To power a 1 Ohm subwoofer, you’ll need an amplifier specifically designed for 1 Ohm loads. Wiring configurations include single voice coil (SVC) or dual voice coil (DVC) setups, and it’s crucial to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.

4 Ohm Subwoofer: A 4 Ohm subwoofer provides more flexibility. You can choose from a wider range of amplifiers that are designed for 4-ohm loads. Wiring options include single voice coil or dual voice coil configurations.

My Personal Experience About These Subs:

I had been a car audio enthusiast for several years. It constantly tweaks and upgrades my system to achieve the best possible sound quality. I had always used a 4 Ohm subwoofer in my setup, which had served me well. But I’d heard a lot about the benefits of using a 1 Ohm subwoofer, so I decided to give it a try.

I purchased a high-quality 1 Ohm subwoofer and eagerly installed it in my car. The first thing I noticed was the significant increase in power output. A 1 Ohm subwoofer can handle more power compared to a 4 Ohm subwoofer. And this was immediately evident in the enhanced bass response. The deep, low-frequency notes seemed more powerful and resonant than with the 4-ohm subwoofer. And I could feel the vibrations much more intensely.

However, there was a downside to this increased power. My amplifier had to work harder to drive the 1-ohm subwoofer, and it generated more heat. I had to be cautious about not pushing the system too hard for extended periods to avoid overheating issues. The 4 Ohm subwoofer had been more forgiving in this regard.

Related:  Is a higher-wattage subwoofer better?


Is 1 ohm good for subwoofers?

Yes, 1-ohm subwoofers are good for subs as they provide higher power handling levels compared to other impedance ratings such as 4, 8, and 2 ohms. This means that they can handle more power than lower impedance models with less current drawn from the amplifier or receiver. The reduced resistance of a 1-ohm sub increases the load on your amplifier which in turn generates more bass. The downside is that the amount of power you need to drive an individual 1-ohm subwoofer is much greater when compared to higher impedance types. If you have an amp capable of supplying enough Wattage at one ohm then you can certainly use a single 1-ohm subwoofer with great results.

Should I wire my subs to 1 ohm or 4 ohm?

When wiring at 1 ohm, you’ll experience more power from your amplifier, since it’s operating closer to its maximum wattage level. That means that if you have an amp with 500 watts RMS at 4 ohms, it can produce up to 1000 watts RMS at 1 ohm. This extra power will give your system a louder, punchier bass note than wiring at 4 ohms for the same amplifier output rating. But keep in mind that because most amplifiers aren’t designed to run safely enough below 2 ohms (especially class A/B amps), if one channel dips too low while playing music and attempts to draw too much current out of your amplifier then it could go into thermal protection mode and shut off or be damaged permanently. Because of this risk, always make sure that your amp is rated for 1 or 2-ohm stereo operation before attempting a 1-ohm wiring configuration setup! 


when deciding between a 1-ohm and 4-ohm subwoofer, you need to consider the power demands of your car audio system and your personal preferences. Both types of subwoofers have their advantages and disadvantages, so it ultimately comes down to what works best for you and your car. Whichever one you choose, make sure to do your research and select a high-quality subwoofer from a reputable brand for the best listening experience. So, it is important to carefully consider these factors before making your decision.


Author, Sub that is running at 1 OHM vs a sub that is running at 4 OHMs? Posted: Jan 12, 2022

botnet, 1000w @ 4ohm vs 1000w @ 1ohm? any difference? Posted: Jan 20, 2021

Robert David

Robert David

I’m Robert David an owner and writer of subwoofergiant. I love to spend my time finding good products. I guide people about which subwoofer is best for them to pick. if you want knowledge about subwoofers. you come to the right place Thanks!

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