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Single Vs Dual Voice Coil: We Test Which Has Better Output

If you’ve ever shopped for subwoofers, you probably encountered two speakers with identical specifications. However, one is labeled “Single,” while the other is “Dual.” These are both commonly used in car speakers, so you might assume they serve the same purpose.

That’s why…

We’re here to teach you the differences between an SVC and DVC and how you can use them to improve your car audio system.

Main Differences Between Single Vs. Dual Voice Coil

The main differences between single vs. dual voice coil are:

  • Single voice coil speakers have one winding coil, whereas dual voice coil speakers have two.
  • Dual voice call subwoofers are easier to configure, whereas single voice coils require much knowledge and experience
  • One SVC subwoofer can only be wired in one way, whereas one DVC subwoofer has two wiring options.

Voice Coil Defined

Let’s start with a quick science lesson.

A speaker creates sounds by moving air, precisely when the speaker cone moves up and down.

Inside the speaker, the voice coil is a section of thin copper wire wrapped around a heat-resistant cylinder, as you can see below.

Voice Coil

When an electric current (like the audio signal from your radio) runs through the coil, a magnetic field is produced. This creates north and south polar orientations.

The voice coil is surrounded by a permanent magnet with its own magnetic field. The two magnetic fields interact, causing the coil to move back and forth.

The moving coil presses and pulls against the cone, creating vibrations in front of the speaker.

DVC

Meanwhile, a DVC has two separate windings of copper wire. These two coils are intertwined, where you would see that they’re alternating if you went up the entire coil.

Additionally, a DVC has two positive and two negative terminals. You’ll usually see one with a 2, 4, or 8-ohm impedance rating.

Advantages

Dual voice coils offer greater wiring flexibility because they have multiple impedance connections.

For example, a 4-ohm DVC sub can have its coils wired in a series connection, producing an 8-ohm load. On the other hand, parallel wiring creates a 2-ohm load.

In the previous example, you need two 4-ohm single voice coil subwoofers to achieve a 2-ohm load.

However, you only need one dual voice coil sub to do the same.

Additionally, multiple DVC subs can each be connected to a separate channel of a multiple-channel amplifier. This provides further flexibility to meet the total impedance required by your system.

Disadvantages

Suppose you compare a single and dual voice coil speaker from the same brand. The latter is usually more expensive because of the extra coil.

Plus, a dual voice coil subwoofer can be confusing to connect, especially if you’re not experienced with audio components.

SVC

As the name suggests, an SVC has only one coil with only one positive and one negative terminal.

A single voice coil subwoofer typically has 1, 2, or 4-ohm impedance, which is a measure of the opposition against the flow of electricity in the speaker.

Advantages

An SVC is cheaper and easier to connect because there’s only one set of terminals.

Disadvantages

A single voice coil sub has only one wiring option. For example, if your SVC has a 4-ohm specification, you can only wire it to have a 4-ohm load.

This limitation can be remedied by getting more speakers. Having another 4-ohm SVC now gives you two wiring options. For example, wiring them in a parallel connection now results in a 2-ohm load.

According to Ohm’s Law, less resistance results in a higher current (flow of electricity), considering that the voltage of the amplifier stays the same.

Given the equation P (Power) = Voltage x Current, a resistance of 2 ohms would result in more power than the original 4 ohms.

However, remember that more power isn’t always better. The ohm level should still match what your amplifier can handle.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Are DVC subs better than SVC?

There’s no performance advantage between single and dual voice coil subwoofers – only the number of coils differs.

The frequency response, power handling, volume specifications, and other features are usually identical for products of the same brand.

Is DVC louder than SVC?

No. However, the wiring options from a DVC can help you make the most of your amplifier’s power.

Do you have to hook up both voice coils?

Yes. In dual voice coil subs, you must hook up all the voice coils to avoid issues, such as audio distortion and unbalanced frequency response.


Conclusion

As you can see, there aren’t significant differences between an SVC and a DVC. These are simply options to choose from depending on the individual requirements of your audio system. You only need to worry about getting the right components and wiring them correctly. Of course, we recommend consulting a professional if you’re inexperienced.

That said, we hope our article helped you pick between single and dual voice coil subwoofers.

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