Question How important is it to match speaker impedance?

Mattsville

Novice Member
Hi All,
New to home cinema and just building my first setup. I currently have a sub and just bought a set of fronts - Wharfedale diamond 220s. I'll be using these for music as well so I've spent more on the fronts that I will on surrounds.
Now, I want to add a set of rear surrounds and some high fronts (I think I will prefer these to additional rear surrounds, but will experiment and decide when I have them). I know some people recommend having the same speakers all round but I wanted to spend more of the budget on good fronts. Plus 220s are too big to be mounted above my screen and would look too imposing.

My idea was now to buy a set of Wharfedale DX-1HCP speakers, and ditch the sub and center (whether to have a center or not is another topic) but use the small satellite speakers for my surrounds and extra fronts, because they're the same make so I guess they should have a similar sound, they're cheap, small, and I like the look of them.

However - the DX1s have a nominal impedance of 4 ohm, where the 220s state a "nominal impedance" of "8 ohms compatible". Does this mean it's not a good idea to put them into the same amp? The 220s also say "minimum impedance" 4.1 ohms, so I'm a bit confused.
Do I need to specifically buy surround speakers that have the same (8 ohm) impedance?

Sub is an Acoustic Energy Neo but as it's active I don't suppose the impedance matters.
For completeness the amp is a Sony STR DN1050.

Thanks for the help!
Matt
 
Last edited:

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
The Wharfedale DX-1-HCP will not work well without a Sub, these are small speakers with a limited range.

Sony amps are less tolerant of low impedance loads than most amp, though it depends on when they were made. Most Sony AV Receivers have a lower limited of 6 ohms, so the DX-1 might not be a good choice.

If you want somewhat small speakers at a low cost, consider the Q Acoustic 2000 or the newer 3000 series.

Q Acoustics Q2000i Cinema Package (5.1) - Home Cinema Packs (5.1) - Speakers

Q Acoustics 2020i Cinema Package (5.1) - Home Cinema Packs (5.1) - Speakers

Q Acoustics 3000 Speaker System - Home Cinema Packs (5.1) - Speakers

Steve/bluewizard
 

Mattsville

Novice Member
Steve, I think you missed my point. I have a sub as stated above that I'm happy with. I wanted to know if it's ok to mix speakers with different impedance on the same amp.
If the amp needs 6 ohms or more then I can't get the DX-1 HCP though, so thanks for that info. Does that mean I can happily use 6 ohm speakers, of do I absolutely have to get 8 ohm units, seeings as the diamond 220s I'm using are 8 ohms?
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
You will be fine with different impedance speakers as long as they the amp can handle the impedance of each. Personally I would want the same make and model all around so would be looking at the smaller 200 series speakers for the rears etc.
 

Mattsville

Novice Member
Great, thanks for the help. I think I might do this and get the smaller 210s, but they're currently about £150/set, and I'd need 2 sets even if I didn't get a centre (which would be another 200) I was looking for something quick and inexpensive for the time being.
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
I would not waste your money on anything quick and inexpensive. Better off spending the money on one pair of speakers now and then save for the other set. Buy cheap and you will only want to upgrade sooner rather than later hence the money would have been better spent on the speakers you wanted in the first place.
 

Mattsville

Novice Member
Well, not really. I can buy something inexpensive 2nd hand and then sell it again so not lose any money, or at least not much. The 210s are relatively new so no real bargains or second hand around, but in a year or 2 there will probably be much better deals. That difference will more than make up for any loss on what I buy now.
TBH the 210s are going to have to come down a lot before I bought them anyway, I don't want to spend £300 on surrounds, and certainly not £400 on 2 more sets of 220s.
I understand that some people care about having perfectly matched speakers, and that's fine for you, but I don't. I just want to enjoy the surround sound experience, and have good fronts for music. Not everyone is looking for the same thing from their system!
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
Steve, I think you missed my point. ...

Perhaps I did on the Subwoofer, but I stand by my answer.

If the amp needs 6 ohms or more then I can't get the DX-1 HCP though, so thanks for that info.

That would be my recommendation. Though since the DX-1 are frequently bundled with low end amps, I suspect they are a somewhat gentle 4 ohm load. That said, I can't say whether they will work with the Sony. As pointed out, on most Sony AVRs, the low limit on the speakers is 6 ohms.

I can't tell you that the Sony won't work with the Wharfedale speakers, I can only give you the limits that Sony publishes for the AVR in question.

Does that mean I can happily use 6 ohm speakers, of do I absolutely have to get 8 ohm units, seeings as the diamond 220s I'm using are 8 ohms?

Sony recommends speakers that are nominal 6 ohms and above. I haven't checked every Sony AVR, I've not check very old model, nor have I bothered to check the very newest models. But those models I have checked are limited to 6 ohms or more.

In fact, I did an image search for the Sony 1050 and it says just above the speaker terminals - Speaker Impedance 6 ohm to 16 ohms.

Though keep in mind, the Sony will sound fine as long as it is used with in the limits specified.

This has less to do with the speakers, and more to do with the amp cooling capacity and with the amps ability to deliver current. So, I suspect part of the real limit is not so much the amps themselves, but the Power Supply and the ability of the system to dissipate heat.

The Wharfedale DX-1 are very small low-cost speakers. I would not recommend them unless circumstances are forcing you into making that choice. Though a bit more money, the Q Acoustic 2010 or the 2020 or the 3000 series are a better choice that will work better with your amp.

That's not to say the DX-1 are not good speakers, and they would likely work just fine with a different amp. Though I can't say they will not work with the Sony, only that the Sony's I've seen recommend speakers that are 6 ohms or higher.

Here is a review of the Wharfedale DX-1 HCP speaker system, though note that the test was done with a US$1200 Pioneer VSX-53 AV Receiver

Wharfedale DX-1 HCP Speaker System

Consider the still very reasonably priced Q Acoustic speaker. They sound very good and while not tiny are small speakers. I never though much of the Q Acoustic 2000 or 3000 Subwoofer, and would have probably recommended you not buy that anyway.

The smaller Q Acoustic 2010i, which are now discontinued but still available are £85/pr to £99/pr.

Superfi - Q Acoustics 2010 Speakers (Pair) (Gloss Black)

Superfi - Q Acoustics 2010i Speakers (Pair)

The slightly larger, yet still reasonably small Q Acoustic 2020i are £139/pr -

Superfi - Q Acoustics 2020i Speakers (Pair)

The newer Q Acoustic 3010 are £139/pr -

Superfi - Q Acoustics 3010 Speakers (Pair)

And the Q Acoustic 3020 are £189/pr -

Q Acoustics 3020 Speakers (Pair)

Here are the center speakers -

Superfi - Q Acoustics 2000Ci Centre Speaker

Superfi - Q Acoustics 3090C Centre Speaker

You seem to be focusing on smaller speakers which is why I recommended the Q Acoustic. But there is another low cost option in slightly larger speakers -

Tannoy Mecurcy V1i bookshelf - £134/pr -


Superfi - Tannoy Mercury V1i Speakers (Pair)

This is a complete Tannoy Mercury V1i 5.1 package - £599 -

Superfi - Tannoy Mercury V1i 5.1 Speaker Package

If you want a compact Lifestyle system in the implied budget range, and you have your own sub, then consider these -

Tannoy HTS 5.0 speakers system - £250/set -

Superfi - Tannoy HTS 5.0 Speaker System

If your budget really is rock bottom, then the Tannoy HTS would be worth a look.

Steve/bluewizard
 

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