How To Connect 2 Speakers To One Output – All You Need To Know!

In this article I’ll cover all the details needed for connecting two speakers to one stereo or amplifier channel output. Despite some claims out there, it’s not as simple as they’d have you believe!

Read on and I’ll explain why. I’ll show you the pros and cons of series vs parallel speakers along with how to get the best sound or simplest connection based on what you need.

Can I connect 2 speakers to one output?

Basic facts first
The short answer is generally yes, but it depends on several important things such as the minimum Ohm rating of the receiver or stereo amp, the type of speakers, and the speaker Ohms rating.

The type of speaker and how it’s connected can affect the quality of sound you’ll get as you’ll see below.

What happens if you connect two speakers to one channel?

two speakers in series or parallel impedance diagram illustrated

When two speakers are connected to one channel it will see a speaker load (total Ohms load) that’s lower or higher than one speaker alone.

This is because either more or less electrical current is flowing depended on how they’re connected. The end result is that the amplifier does more or less work.

  • For speakers connected in parallel, the total Ohms impedance is lower. It is the speaker Ohms divided by the number of speakers. More electrical current will flow if the radio or amplifier can supply it.
  • For speakers connected in series, the total Ohms impedance is higher. It is the total of the speaker Ohms all added together. As the total resistance (speaker impedance, in Ohms) is increased, this means less electrical current will flow.

If the total Ohms load seen by the output channel is too low the audio device can overheat and suffer permanent damage.

If the Ohms load is higher, it’s safe – the amp will simply produce less total power. Each speaker will receive less power than it would when connected alone (usually 1/2 to 1/4 of the full wattage).

How power is shared between parallel or series speakers

diagram showing how power is shared between series or parallel speakers

One thing to know is that you can’t get free power – connecting two speakers to one output channel means they will have to share the available power.

Remember these basics:

  • Parallel speakers share the output power for the total speaker load. For example, connecting two 4Ω speakers in parallel means a total of 2 ohms. Each speaker would then get 1/2 of the rated power output at 2 ohms.
  • Series connected speakers receive less power overall because the total power to all is lower than parallel speakers. For example, two 4 ohm speakers in series add to an 8 ohm total load. Power output at 8 ohms is 1/2 that of 4 ohms (due to Ohms Law for power), with each speaker having 1/2 of that.

When connecting 2 speakers to one output channel it’s a compromise you have to live with. A car stereo, home AV receiver, or home or car amplifier is often designed with one speaker per channel in mind.

How to connect 2 speakers to one output

how to connect 2 speakers to one output diagram

Steps to connect multiple speakers to one output in parallel or series


  1. Strip the wire insulation to bare wire and connect one speaker wire to the positive terminal of the output then to the positive terminal of the first speaker.
  2. Keep (or cut) enough length to reach the second speaker. Connect the negative terminal of the first speaker to the positive terminal of the second speaker.
  3. Connect the negative terminal of the last speaker to the negative terminal of the output.


  1. Connect a speaker wire to the positive terminal on each speaker. Both speaker’s positive wires should connect to the same positive terminal.
  2. Connect a speaker wire to the negative terminal on each speaker. Both should connect to the same negative terminal at the output at the amp.
Important! ONLY wire speakers in parallel if the stereo or amplifier can handle the Ohms load you’ll be using. Always check the output label or specifications before doing so.

example of speaker Ohms ratings on a speaker box and a home receiver

When connecting two speakers in parallel to an output, remember to divide the speaker Ohms rating by two to know how much your receiver, radio, or amplifier will need to be able to handle.

When to use a parallel connection or a series connection for speakers

single cone vs 2-way speaker comparisons image

Image showing single cone vs 2-way/coaxial speakers.

Single cone speakers don’t have an additional tweeter like you’ll find in a 2-way stereo pair speaker set or car audio coaxial 2-way speakers. While that might not seem important at first, 2-way speakers always use at least a tweeter crossover and in many cases a woofer crossover as well.

Speaker crossovers use inductors and capacitors which will affect the sound when connected in series as I explain in the next section.

Here are some guidelines to follow for series vs parallel speaker wiring:

  • If your radio, amp, or AV receiver can handle the Ohms load of two speakers in parallel that’s the better option. You’ll get more power to each speaker vs. series wiring.
  • When that’s not an option, or if you’re unsure, connecting speakers in series is a safe bet. They’ll receive less power but there’s no risk of damaging the output electronics.
  • Connecting 2-way or 3-way speakers in series will work to produce sound but the sound quality will suffer. I’ll explain more in the next section.
  • If sound quality isn’t a big deal for you and your amplifier or stereo can’t support the Ohms load of your speakers in parallel, wiring them in series is ok in most cases.

Why 2-way or 3-way speakers have worse sound in series

parallel vs series speaker wiring sound quality problems diagram

As I mentioned earlier, connecting 2-way or 3-way speakers in series usually isn’t a great idea. That’s because they use capacitors and inductors as speaker crossovers to control the sound directed to the tweeter speaker and the woofer.

The problem is that a speaker crossover expects to see a fixed speaker Ohms amount in order to work as expected. When that speaker Ohms impedance changes, something called crossover shift happens. This simply means that the crossover frequency will change – and it can change a lot!

Home stereo tweeter with capacitor crossover

Example of a 2-way speaker’s tweeter with its capacitor crossover attached.

For example:

  • If a tweeter and its crossover are connected in series with another similar tweeter & crossover, the Ohms value can double. The crossover frequency will go down by twice as much, letting unwanted midrange, etc through.
  • If a woofer has an inline crossover inductor, connecting two speakers in series will double the total speaker load, meaning it will be affected as well.

That’s not to say you can never connect a 2-way home or car speaker in series, and in some cases it’s not a huge deal, but it shouldn’t be your first choice when you’ve got other options.

Fortunately, there’s a great workaround that’ll give you the best of both worlds (the right speaker load and the same sound quality).

How to use 2-way speakers in parallel for great sound AND no Ohms problems

diagram of how a speaker impedance adapter can be used

Example of a speaker volume control with an impedance adapter connected to a 2 channel amp. With this type of adapter two 8Ω speakers wired in parallel (4Ω total) will appear as one 8 ohm speaker to the source.

You can use an impedance adapter to ensure each speaker is wired in parallel on the output side for best sound quality and so the amp or stereo sees the correct load impedance.

An impedance adapter uses small transformers to convert the input and output sides to match the impedance load. Depending on the options, some even allow using 4 ohm speakers with an 8 ohm amp and vice versa.

They’re also really handy when using additional speaker pairs in your backyard or pool via a speaker selector switch.

Why is it bad if the speaker impedance is too low?

What happens if using a higher or lower speaker impedance diagram

Using a lower speaker Ohms load than a stereo or amplifier is rated for is bad because it causes the radio or amplifier to attempt to put out much more current than it’s rated for.

When the audio output transistors are forced to try and handle too much current due to a lower speaker Ohms load they become super hot and start to break down. It doesn’t take long before the damage is permanent and they no longer produce sound at the speaker output.


About the author

Marty is an experienced electrical, electronics, and embedded firmware design engineer passionate about audio and DIY. He worked professionally as an MECP-certified mobile installer for years before moving into the engineering field. Read more »

Your comments are welcome.
  1. Very helpful, and I learned why my amp back in the day was always fire hot… probably. Long time ago. Currently trying to find a way to make a bunch of equipment that I have been given and found sound good and not blow.

    • Hi, I’m not sure how to do this but I have two Klipsch indoor/outdoor speakers and two Bose indoor/outdoor speakers. What I want to do is hook them all up, two speakers for left channel and two speakers for right channel using only the B switch ( I have A and B ) A is two speakers outside in pool area and B is for my basement bar and what 4 speakers in each corner one side left channel and the other side right channel. Can this be done safe and without ruining either my receiver or speakers? Thanks

      • Hi Michael. Actually a guy from Canada just contacted me about a similar setup, so I happened to already have a good recommendation.

        There’s more than one way to do this, but the simplest and most convenient option is to use a speaker selector switch with built-in speaker impedance compensation. There are many on the market, but here is an example of a good one.

        It’s important to clarify that some speaker selector units do not include speaker impedance protection so you have to be careful what you buy. They typically include series power resistors, one inline with each speaker output, so that when all speaker pairs are in use, the total Ohms load is still a safe amount for your amp or recevier.

        Best regards & I hope this helps.

  2. I have a guitar amplifier that has to separate channels. It has a selector switch to choose between both speakers, but I want more power, would wiring both speakers to one source work out?

    • Hi, what are the specs (power & Ohm ratings) for the amplifier and what are the specs for the speakers?

      As a rule, the speakers will share (split, receive a portion of) the available power at is rated output. Best regards.

      • Hello Marty, thank you for your educative article. In a church, we bought an EP4000 Amplifier rated at 4 ohms , we have 2EV 4ohm speakers rated 2000w and 2 other speakers at 4 ohms rated 1000w.
        1. What is the best way to connect them?
        2. If we connect 2 speakers to one channel without switching the Amp to parallel mode, what are we doing?
        3.if we buy the stage mornitors, where are we going to connect them on this Amp?

        • Hello there.

          1. Connect them in parallel to each stereo channel output, since the unit can handle 2Ω per channel.
          2. It doesn’t change the amplifier stereo function. Parallel mode is for using a single signal channel input (as opposed to 2 as in the case of stereo signals).
          3. I’m not totally sure I understand your question, but if you buy a 3rd pair of speakers you’d have to wire them in series with one pair of the speakers. Have 3 pairs isn’t ideal, as that would mean 2 pairs would have different amounts of power to them due. If your current speakers were 8Ω you could simply wire all 3 pairs of 8Ω speakers in parallel (2.67Ω).

          Best regards.

  3. Hi Marty, I have a question if I may. Can I connect two speakers in either series or parallel, I am yet to work out the best way, but my question is whether I can wire a 4 ohm 2 way speaker and a 6 ohm single cone speaker? I am setting up a home cinema and am looking at connecting speakers from an older stereo which has long since died and some speakers that I salvaged from a rear projection tv.
    Your examples show series and parallel which I understand, but you always show the same ohms rating for the speakers.
    Any assistance is appreciated.

    • Hi Michael. Can you tell me the the following in order to help you more?

      1. The minimum Ohms rating of your stereo.
      2. Do you know if your 2-way speakers have a true 2-way crossover, or only a crossover on the tweeters?

      If you can let me know I’ll try to hlep you get the best results. Thanks for mentioning 6Ω etc. as I can hopefully add that info to the article to help others. Best regards!

      • Hi Marty,
        Thanks for your reply. I will get the info from the back of the amp and then outline all the speakers and info. Greatly appreciate your assistance.
        Finding whether the speakers have a true crossover may be harder than it seems as the speaker boxes are sealed.
        A bit of ingenuity may be required. Hmm.

      • Hi Marty,
        Thanks for your reply. I will get the info from the back of the amp and then outline all the speakers and info. Greatly appreciate your assistance.
        Finding whether the speakers have a true crossover may be harder than it seems as the speaker boxes are sealed.
        A bit of ingenuity may be required. Hmm….

  4. Can I wire my two speaker in parallel, one is aiwa and other is Kenwood,both speakers have same ohms which is 6 only difference in wattage aiwa speakers are 35 and Kenwood is 43 and aiwa is 3way speakers with true crossover and Kenwood is just using a capasitor as a crossover for Twitter cone is directly connected to the speaker. Can I write them together and how should I combine my speakers two set like aiwa+aiwa or Kenwood and aiwa ? Ohms are 3 in both scenario and matching with my amplifier

    • Hi, you could (in this case) wire them in series if you like but it’s not ideal. If your amp can handle 3 ohms, wire them in parallel.

      I would wire one Kenwood and one Aiwa speaker per channel.

  5. Hi Marty!
    Thanks for the post, great info found here. Everything is simple and logical. What my real problem is, how to make a PCB for this type of connection. How can I search for a schematic of a device that does this in a “perfect way”?
    At the end I want to make a final product that looks great with the rest of the setup.
    Do you have any suggestions?

    Thank you!

    • Hello there. A PCB for what connection, specifically? I’ll need to know what exactly you’d like to do in order to help.

      If you want to make a custom PCB, your options are 1) use a free schematic/CAD tool like DipTrace or another then order custom PCBs, or 2) etch your own copper-clad circuit board(s).

  6. Thanks for the explanation. This was very helpful of deciding the components for my car. Charging the head unit isn’t a option in it. So I have to change speakers and add an amp and line out converter.

  7. Hey Marty! I have a question for you! I have 2 pioneer 2ohm dvc subs. In order for my amp to see then in 2 ohm. I found i need to wire the speakers in parallel and the voice coils in series. I have a 4 channel bridgeable amp rated at 120 watts x4 @ 2ohm. Bridged its 240 watts x 2 but it doesnt tell me the ohms.? Would i be able to use the rear channel bridged to run those subs and if i did they would be seeing 120 watts at 2 ohm correct? And then use the front two channels normally at 4 ohm to power coaxial speakers? Thank you so much!

    • Hi Jay. Unfortunately there’s a bit of a problem here. The bridged mode minimum Ohms load is 4Ω. If you want the full power in bridged mode (240W) you’ll need to meet that.

      You’d be better off getting an amp that handle a 2Ω load in order to drive the subwoofers well. Otherwise, you could use the rear channels, bridged, and wire the subs for 8Ω. However, that would be a total of only 120W bridged in that case, with 60W to each.

      You’d be better off just using one sub, wired for 4Ω, on the rear bridged channels if you want to use only one amplifier. Best regards!

  8. Hi Marty, ok let me see if I can ask this where it makes sense. First the receiver is 8 ohms. Now my floor speakers have a bass 4 ohms a mid 8 ohms and a tweeter of 8 ohms. I also have 2 other speakers that are 6 ohms and they are my front channel speakers on a surround sound. What I want to do is add the floor speakers to the same channel that the from channel speakers are on. Can I do this with out hurting the receiver or speakers? If so series or parallel? Any other equipment needed? Thank you for your help I appreciate it.

    • Hi, I actually cover this above in the section, “How to use 2-way speakers in parallel for great sound AND no Ohms problems.”

      A speaker impedance adapter feature in a volume control will let you safely use multiple speakers and still have access to the receiver’s full power output (to be shared between the speakers, of course).

      They’re around $25-$40 depending on the power rating you’re needing. Best regards!

  9. Hi Marty,

    Amazingly helpful stuff. Thank you for taking the time to write it out and for providing fantastic visuals.

    In your section on how to connect speakers in series or parallel, your visual for the parallel wiring shows 1 red wire from the amp’s positive terminal splitting/forking into two and connecting to each speakers’ positive terminal. The black wire does the same for the negative terminals. I’m wondering if I can simply “daisy chain” the wires at the first speakers terminals because one of my speakers is further away than the other (patio scenario).

    The steps I plan to use to connect the speakers should provide enough details on what I’m trying to say.

    Step 1: connect wire 1 between amp and speaker 1
    1a: connect positive amp terminal to positive terminal of speaker 1
    1b: connect negative amp terminal to negative terminal of speaker 1

    Step 2: connect wire 2 between speaker 1 and speaker 2
    2a: connect positive speaker 1 terminal to positive terminal of speaker 2
    2b: connect negative speaker 1 terminal to negative terminal of speaker 2

    It changes the location of the “fork” in the wire by moving it to speaker 1’s terminals, but it seems to keep a parallel wiring arrangement.

    Am I missing something?

    • Hi Spencer & thank you for your kind words. Sure, if you’re connecting speakers in parallel, as long as there’s a physical connection from each speaker to the source, it doesn’t have to be at the same point (doesn’t have to be the same way I showed it in the diagram).

      Step 1 & 2 as you wrote are perfectly fine. It’s just that parallel wiring is *typically* shown the way I pictured, not that it’s required. Either way there’s a parallel connection and will work fine. Best regards!

      • Thx for the op for the question and your clarification. I have been searching for this exact thing. I have a sonos amp in my backyard that are wired to a pair of 8ohm outdoor speakers. The speaker wire is installed under a lot of hard scape between the speakers and the sonos amp. I know that I can add another pair of 8ohm speakers but have to wire in parallel and was hoping that your wiring clarification for parallel would work and that I didn’t need to run dedicated wire to each speaker from the amp 👍

  10. Very helpful diagrams.

    I am about to install a Class D power amp into a passive 18″ bass guitar cabinet, meant to run full range. The amp runs at 4ohm, and the loaded the speaker is 8 Ohm (so far, so good). I will run a preamp pedal straight into this powered cabinet, and everything tests fine as described. If I add a second jack and wire them in parallel, I assume it would support a pair of 8 ohm speaker cabinets just fine (because they would equal 4 ohms running together).

    I ALSO want to wire in a switch to both turn ON the internal power amp, but when the switch is OFF I want it to be able to run the cabinet in passive mode (plugging a power amp signal directly into the cabinet). This should only be in effect if the cabinet is off (and preferably unplugged) to protect the internal power amp from this external signal. (or is this a problem at all?)

    I want to wire this correctly. Suggestions? Any diagram you might be able to point to or provide? Thanks so much (Joel)

    • Hello Joel.

      > I assume it would support a pair of 8 ohm speaker cabinets just fine (because they would equal 4 ohms running together).

      Yep, that’s right it should be fine.

      Regarding your idea about switching from an internal amplified mode to passive mode, that shouldn’t be hard to do, and yes it would be best to isolate the amplifier’s output from the passive connections.

      Since I don’t have more specific info about the amplifier and what power source you’re using I’ll have to speak in general terms, but basically:

      – You could use a dual-pole, dual-throw relay (DPDT) and a simple on/off switch to control the relay. The specific type of relay will depend on the power source you’re using (AC or DC) and the rated power to the speaker(s).
      – For example, when the switch is on, the relay could be powered, closing the normally open (NO) contacts on one side, completing a connection to the speaker from the amp.
      – Having the 2nd set of contacts normally closed (NC) connect to the speaker would mean when the switch is turned off, the circuit to the speaker and passive connector input would be completed.
      – In both cases, either one or the other is in use, but not both.

      If you need a diagram I can give you one but it would be best to reach out via my contact page (see menu) and you can email me there. Best regards.

      • Thanks. I’ve since wired it up with a fused power IEC switch to turn the amp on and off, and a DPDT switch to switch the input wires to the speaker. We’ll see how it tests…

  11. Extremely well written. I was trying to explain this to my daughter when I was hooking up her system. But when trying to explain it I got the “deer in headlights ” look. I found this an now her and I are on the same page. Thanks alot for your well written guide it helped alot.

    • Hey Scott, thanks so much for your comment and your feedback. I’m extremely happy to hear that and very flattered to hear I was able to help.

      Have a great weekend!

  12. Thanks Marty, a really helpfull article. Was scrolling the web for a good explanation how to connect in total 4 speakers to a 2 channel amplifier. Want to have the same sound in bathroom and hallway with ceiling-mounted speakers.

  13. Hello Marty. Very helpful explanations on wiring multiple speakers together. Thanks for providing it. I have a question and was hoping to get your feedback. I am looking to repurpose older DCM Time Windows that work great as main speakers in a home theatre setup. I was also recently given a pair of DCM Time Frame 250s that I would like to use as a single center channel speaker. I am considering structurally combining the components of the two speakers into a single cabinet. Each Time Frame has a single woofer and a single tweeter. Could these 4 speakers be safely wired into a single center channel speaker, and if so, how would you suggest doing that? I assume I would only need one of the speakers’ crossovers? Thanks for your thoughts

    • Hi, yes most likely this can be done but it will depend on the impedance of the drivers in those speakers. It will then also need a crossover to match whatever total impedance you end up with to get an acceptable Ohms load for whatever amp or receiver you’re using.

      it would be much easier to wire the DCM Time Window speaker cabinets in parallel using one channel of a speaker volume control (I cover what they are in the article). The impedance adapter function will allow you to leave everything as it is and still get a safe total Ohms load for the amp/receiver without a need for any customization.

      Basically it means you’ll be able to use the pair of speakers as a mono center channel pair. They’re pretty affordable, too.

      You’ll need one with a sufficient power rating however for whatever power you’re wanting to drive them with. Best regards.

  14. So I have a 98 Silverado and plan on buying the door pods that can put two 3.5” tweeters and two 6.5” mids how would you recommend wiring them? I’m going with skar audio for the speakers btw.

  15. Hi Marty
    Its great to finally see such great stuff about speakers and connection simplified. Thank you so so much.

    I have a rare Technics SA -R100.
    2 Mirage Nanosat
    2 Bose 251 –

    Can I connect all 4 speakers.

    Need your advise and assistance


  16. The images descriptions are not correct. Images of series connections are described as paralels and paralels as series, please check-in and correct it, because is confuse.

    • Hi Sousa. I still appreciate you writing to me just in case I made a mistake. Thank for for following up and letting me know the article was actually ok.

      Have a nice weekend. :)

  17. Hi. Sousa

    I am Suraj from India. My long tower box as per my design. used 8 omhs one bullet tweeter 4″+ one Midrange 8 Ohms 5″ + two woofers 6.5″ x 2. ( 6 Ohms…)
    And connection…used two set crossovers(different brand)one is two way another is 3 way..
    1)Two-way network had connected with tweeter 8ohms + Woofer 6ohms
    2) Three way network connected with
    One Midrange 8ohms + Woofer 8ohms .Input is the same for two networks.

    My Amplifier impedance is 4 /8 ohms
    Harman Kardon integrated Amplifier
    4 speakers (left+right) connection
    With selection switch

    Sound is superb but working very loudly. But total impedance is 4 ohms of box.

    Please give the best advice my connection are right or worng…
    And how to change by box impedance in 8 ohms.

    Please give the advice…

    • Hello Suraj. It would be better I think to send me a basic diagram of everything you have connected, along with the impedance rating for the crossovers. That would help me to give you accurate answers.

      You can email it to me; address is on my Contact page. Best regards.

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