What Are Ohms?
What are Ohms when it comes to audio devices, sound systems, and electricity in general?
Understanding Ohms can be tricky for some of the less technical among us, but the easiest way to think of it is the unit used to measure the resistance or “impedance” of a device’s electrical flow. The purpose of impedance is to prevent a device from overheating.
Devices with a lower impedance allow for greater flow of electricity, while devices with a higher impedance offer a smaller, more restricted flow.
Ohms are represented by the Ω symbol and can typically be found on an electronic device’s specification or “spec” sheet. If multiple speakers have the same impedance ratings, the total impedance or Ohms can be found taking the impedance of one speaker and dividing it by the total number of speakers.
Understanding Ohms and the role they play in audio equipment is particularly important when checking devices for compatibility.
However, when multiple devices are connected, their impedance rating or Ohms need to be separately considered to make sure power can pass safely from one device to the next without causing damage. For example, while it may be safe to connect speakers with a higher impedance to an amplifier with a lower impedance, you wouldn’t connect speakers with a lower impedance to an amplifier with a higher impedance.