What are the Differences Between Single and Dual Voice Coil Subwoofers?

Each and every aspect of our society is influenced by technology in one way or another and music is no exception. Ever since the invention of the drum, man has been looking for new and advanced ways to get that bass pumping. Fortunately, the latest innovations in the music industry now allow car speakers, receivers, and subwoofers to incorporate a broad range of features. Even while on the move, a modern car sound system is able to offer crisp, clear and realistic sound.

Section Description
1. How Voice Coils Work The voice coil draws current from the amplifier, as this current passes through this coil it creates a magnetic field, causing the cone to move, resulting in the production of sound.
2. Structure SVC contain one single and one positive terminal whereas DVC contain two negative and two positive terminals.
3. Ohm Levels The biggest advantage DVC have over SVC is the flexibility. For example a DVC will say 4 ohm but it can be wired at 2 ohm or 8 ohms. A SVC can only be wired at the ohm level specified.
4. Series Wiring Another benefit of DVC is series wiring. Meaning multiple subwoofers can be connected to one amplifier and these subs can be played at different channels. These features are not available for SVC.
5. Parallel Connection You can wire your subs in a parallel manner to maximize your amplifiers power output. This brings about more wattage and a lower impedance.
6. Cost The cost for a DVC over a SVC is slightly higher. Obviously adding more features brings about a higher cost, but that does not always mean better. It all depends on your setup and audio needs.

One of the most essential features in your vehicle’s subwoofer is the voice coil. This component is solely responsible for generating sound waves from the input signal. Generally, there are two types of voice coils namely; single and dual voice coils. Each of these comes with its own distinct advantages as well as demerits. The kind of voice coil you choose will also have a high impact on the efficiency and performance of your vehicle’s subwoofer. Here are the differences between single and dual voice coil subwoofers and how each affects your sound. But first:

1How Voice Coils Work

Simply put, a voice coil is the wire firmly attached to the cone of the loudspeaker in a subwoofer. The coil is wrapped around a cylinder known as the former and is made from very lightweight materials to provide high-frequency sounds. Common materials for construction include bobbin or flattened ribbon wire and other collar materials. The voice coil works by drawing current from the amplifier. When this current passes through the coil, it creates a magnetic field that reacts to the permanent magnet fixed to the speakers. This reaction causes the cones to move, creating a wave that is converted to sound by the voice coil. Passing an excessive electric current through the coil tends to overheat it. This often leads to exerting the coil beyond its standard parameters and causing annoying sound distortions. To avoid such a scenario, always apply the indicated amounts of current.

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Differences Between Single and Dual Voice Coil Subwoofers


A single voice coil involves a scenario where only one coil is wrapped around the former. One side will be the positive terminal while the other end is negative. Dual voice coil subwoofers, on the other hand, have two different coils wrapped entirely around the former and carry two positive and two negative terminals.

3Ohm Levels

One of the most critical advantages the dual voice coil subwoofers has over a single coil is the flexibility when handling different ohm levels. As we established a bit earlier, the ohm levels on your car’s subwoofer and speakers should accurately match that of your vehicle’s electrical system. Should the electrical system supply less ohm levels than the subwoofer requires, the sound system will not work properly. Single voice coil’s wiring can only be done at a particular ohm level. If your car’s electrical sound system gives out 4 ohms, then that is the level the wiring needs to be done at. However, dual voice coils can be wired to 2 or 8 ohms depending on your system.

4Series Wiring

Single voice coil subwoofers do not offer this option, dual voice coil subs allow for the connection of multiple subwoofers to one amplifier. Another attractive option is wiring each of the coils in a DVC sub to a different channel. Dual voice coil subs provide a greater degree and range of flexibility in achieving the most from your car subwoofer. Since single voice coils have only one coil, series wiring is impossible.

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5Parallel Connection

Again, since DVC subs have two different coils, they can be wired in a parallel manner. The purpose of this is to get the maximum output from your amplifier. For example, 8 ohms can be wired to two 4ohm loads. This directly translates to more wattage power from the amplifier at a significantly lower impedance level. As a result, the amp is able to give its maximum output.


With all electronic products, more features bring about a higher price range. Since dual voice coils have two coils as opposed to only one, they tend to be priced slightly higher than single voice coil subwoofers. However, the difference in cost is relatively small.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately the choice is yours, there is never a universal truth when it comes to car audio. Everyone has different needs creating infinite possibilities. What you need to take away from this article is the fact that the only difference between DVC and SVC is the amount of coils/terminals, allowing DVC to have more flexibility when wiring your system. However your power handling, frequency response, box volume specifications, among others all remain the same. Use the Sonic Electronix subwoofer wiring diagram to help configure your subwoofers.

Born in a subwoofer box, music has always been my passion. At the proud age of 9 I began driving. The two eventually met and led to my career at Sonic Electronix.

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