How Many Speakers Can I Add To A System?

How Many Speakers Can I Add To A System?

Craig Walker |

The great thing about our radio systems is that you can often add more than one pair of speakers, this is great for larger rooms.

It's also great for splitting rooms such as bedroom and en-suite. One system but two rooms with music!

But how many speakers can you add to our systems?

In short, up to two pairs.


Why Only Two Pairs?


Amplifiers are designed to work to a specific impedance (load), amplifiers are most commonly safe down to 4 ohms per channel.

Speakers are most commonly 8 ohms.

Generally the lower the impedance the more power the speaker receives and therefore should be louder.

One pair of speakers at 8 ohms each means the amplifier is well within it's capabilities, excellent.

So what happens when you add more?


Ohms Law


Bear with me here, I'll keep it brief!

There's this thing called "Ohms Law" named after German physicist Georg Simon Ohm. It's a law stating that electric current is proportional to voltage and inversely proportional to resistance.

Still reading?

Here's how resistors (speakers) work together.

Resistors (Speakers) in SERIES - Add them together, so two 4Ω speakers connected in series will create a resistance to the amplifier of 8Ω

Resistors (Speakers) in PARALLEL - Divide by two! So two 8Ω speakers connected in parallel will create a resistance to the amplifier of 4Ω Once you connect more than 2 speakers this gets a bit more complicated. But as we don't recommend connecting more than two we'll ignore that for the minute.


So Why Only Two Pairs?


If your load (speakers) creates an impedance too high or too low for the amplifier, you risk damaging the amplifier, speakers or both. Not great!

Almost all of our speakers are 8 ohms, and almost all of our amplifiers are 4 ohm stable, so if you're designing your kitchen or bathroom radio system, stick to a maximum of two pairs of speakers and you won't go too far wrong.

We've also made it a lot easier for you, on the "Specifications" Tab of every amplifier product page there is a "How Many Speakers Can I Add" element which clearly states how many you can have.

We have also added options to most of the systems to add a second pair of speakers. If you see these options then you know it is safe to add more than one pair of speakers.


The Exception


As with most things, there are exceptions! We do offer systems with impedance matching speaker switches.

These allow you to connect up to 8 pairs of speakers to one amplifier for single source multi room audio.

However you will note that these systems are paired with our larger freestanding amplifiers, they aren't really suitable for use with the installed kitchen and bathroom radio systems.

The speaker switch has some tech wizardry installed which means the amplifier only sees a load of 4 ohms even though there are more than two pairs of speakers connected.

If in doubt please feel free to e-mail or call us and we will be happy to assist with system design and specification (free!)