Impedance is one of the important concepts in audio.

Impedance is the difference between the voltage that a conductor experiences and the voltage that it would be expected to experience under the same conditions.

Impedance is the measure of how hard it is for a signal to travel through a medium. A metal object with high impedance will block the signal, whereas a less-impedant metal will allow more signal to pass.

Jargon in media can be a little bit difficult to get to grips with at first but after reading this guide, you will know exactly what impedance means!

What Is It?

When you think of impedance in audio, you should always relate this to resistance. There is a formula which represents this very well which is called Ohm’s law.

When you are measuring Impedance, you need to learn how to interpret the values and interpret the results.

You might have heard of alternating currents in electrical engineering. When relating to audio, if you increase the resistance at a constant voltage, the current in the circuit will reduce.

However, if you increase the voltage, the current will increase.

Why Is It Relevant To Sound?

Both impedance and resistance affect the electrical audio signals that can pass through.

However, impedance is usually referenced when it comes to powering headphones or speakers. The reason for this is because you will get some of the safest transfer of power.

Passive speakers – Passive speakers are a great way to add new speakers to your home audio system without breaking the bank.

They can be used to add more speakers to your stereo system or to enhance your home theater system. You will usually be looking at steep speakers with impedance  because they need audio signals to be amplified.

Impedance Headphones

Impedance headphones are headphones that convert a signal’s voltage to a different voltage and/or current, depending on its impedance. They are also called “voltage-impedance” or “voltage-current” headphones.

Using impedance headphones can result in a sound that is more balanced, with a greater sense of depth and richness.

Input & Output Impedances

The input and output impedances of electronic circuits are usually specified in ohms, while the input and output capacitances are specified in farads.

Input and output impedances are the resistances between a conductor and a ground. Their values are used in engineering where it is necessary to know them with a simple formula.

Matched-Impedance Systems In The Studio

A matched-impedance system is a system where the input and output impedances of the system are matched to create a complicated filter.

Because of this, this system has very good frequency response and will not have any resonance effects. A simple and inexpensive way to take studio audio and video recording to the next level.

Impedance Considerations With Electric Guitars

Impedance is the difference in electrical resistance between two points. It’s not the same thing as resistance. There are many impedance sources in an electric guitar.

The impedance of an electric guitar is the electrical resistance it presents to the source of an electrical current. They tend to be inductive rather than capacitive and very resistive.

What Happens If Speaker Impedance Is Too High?

When an amplifier is connected to a speaker, you will see an impedance reading (Z) on the amplifier’s metre.

If the speaker impedance is too high, the amplifier will be unable to deliver the correct amount of power to the speaker.

When connected to a speaker or amplifier with an impedance that is too high, the speaker may not produce the maximum volume. The speaker will sound distorted and the sound may be weak.

What Happens If I Use A Lower Impedance Speaker?

If you use a lower impedance speaker, you will get more power from that amplifier. That is, the power delivered to the speaker will be higher than if a higher impedance speaker is connected.

If you have a low impedance speaker (less than 8 ohms) connected to your audio system, you may notice that you hear a “swishing” sound, or a “hissing” sound, with certain frequencies.

Source & Load Impedance

Source & Load Impedance is an amazing, interactive tool that will help you understand and troubleshoot your audio system.

The source and load impedance of an electrical device is a measure of the electrical resistance of a circuit, which is a measure of the resistance of the source and load circuits.

For calculating Source and Load Impedance, including working formulas for calculating the closed circuit voltage, current, power, reactance, capacitance, impedance, and impedance of the source and load in series and parallel.


Impedance is the measure of a physical quantity that opposes the passage of electric current. It is usually measured in ohms.

It can be quite difficult to understand all of the jargon that comes with this type of topic. However, impedance can be summed up in one sentence.

Obviously there is much more to it, but starting with a simple definition first will help you with the rest a lot.

Hopefully this guide has covered different areas of this topic including instruments, speakers, headphones which are directly linked.

Audio is not one of the easiest topics to understand, but with a few simple tips you will be catching on easily.

It is important that you research different terminology which is included in the explanations if you’re quite new to audio work.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Impedance Affect Sound Quality?

Yes, it can definitely affect impedance for speakers. The reason for this is because speakers are unable to produce base-heavy sounds as effectively.

Is 4ohm Or 8ohm Better?

Which is better, a 4 or an 8 ohm speaker? It’s all about the sound, really.

A 4 ohm speaker is more efficient, which means it requires less power to produce the same volume. You can use a 4 ohm speaker without the need for an amplifier.