How to turn a stereo speaker into mono


I have a JBL ARENA 6ICDT stereo speaker.

When I was buying it, I simply assumed it's mono since it is a single speaker, but now I can see the two inputs. Now I need to provide the same signal to both inputs on the speaker from a single output on the amplifier.

One option is to hook up the wire to just one side, but this way half of the speaker's potential will be lost. Another thing I could think of is to somehow connect the wire in series/parallel, but it's not very clear to me how the impedance and power are going to behave.

Alexandr Makhovikov

Posted 2016-09-15T04:08:32.427

Reputation: 3

There are pictures of two different speakers at that link - do you have the one with just one tweeter or the one with two? If it is the one with just one, you can simply use one of the inputs, since it is converted to mono in the end anyways.. – Michael Hansen Buur – 2016-09-15T05:57:52.550

@MichaelHansenBuur unfortunately I have the one with two tweeters. Looks like they made a mistake uploading images – Alexandr Makhovikov – 2016-09-15T06:03:26.140

I'd try a parallel connection - i.e. connect the two red poles and connect the two black poles. Depending on the filter circuit it may stay 8 Ohm or get reduced to 4 Ohm. – Michael Hansen Buur – 2016-09-15T06:32:25.840

@MichaelHansenBuur that's what I was thinking about too, but do you think it might burn out the amp? Obvioisly, if I'll decide to try anything, it will be at my own risk – Alexandr Makhovikov – 2016-09-15T06:35:46.697

Which amp model? – Michael Hansen Buur – 2016-09-15T07:19:28.150

@MichaelHansenBuur it is the Yamaha RX-A3050 – Alexandr Makhovikov – 2016-09-15T07:53:18.883

Okay - then take a look at page 26 in the manual .. – Michael Hansen Buur – 2016-09-15T09:36:39.420

@MichaelHansenBuur I guess ypu are referncing the part where they say that ypu can also use 4-ohm speakers as the front speakers. The thing is that I need to use those as presence speakers on thw cieling( – Alexandr Makhovikov – 2016-09-15T10:49:22.560

If you have a multimeter you could try measuring the resistance. It is not an accurate measurement of the impedance, but one can usually deduce it from that reading. You'll read a few ohm less than the "rating", i.e. for an 8 Ohm speaker the resistance is typically around 6 ohm (the rest comes from inductance) – Michael Hansen Buur – 2016-09-15T12:00:18.900



This is one of the situations where you should pick up the phone and call JBL support. They will be able to give the authoritative answer.

I did notice that there was an "anonymous" posting on that JBL-website with the same question, and it would be likely that that was you posting it. Still I would advise to pick up the phone and call them, then get them to send more info, such as wiring diagrams, over by email or any other form of communications.

The following at your own risk:

Option 1: Parallel the inputs:

You can connect both inputs in parallel (red-to-red, black-to-black). It is highly likely that the overal impedance will lower to 4 Ohm, or near to 4 Ohm. Obviously without more details on the (summing-)filter we cannot say for sure.

The Wattage of the speaker would be reated 80 Watts at 8 Ohm, while it is likely that we have now lowered the impedance of the speaker to 4 Ohm, I would advise you not to drive it with more than 80 Watts on 4 Ohm. This as there is no further details on the website. (again this is where JBL support comes in!)

You need to be careful with the amplifier you use, many amplifiers will deliver one Wattage at 8 Ohm, and a higher Wattage at 4 Ohm. This could mean that you overload the speaker. Most amplifiers now-a-days are capable of handling 4 Ohm, the risk of "burning-out" the amplifier is less. However it is good to check the manual of your amplifier.

Option 2: Wire only one side:

Only connecting one side is indeed only using one of the tweeters (as far as I understand the function of this speaker), however you do not have any of the risks of any other option. By doing this, it is simply an 8 Ohm / 80 Watts speaker.

The position of the tweeter may disperse the sound in one particular direction or area, this you will need to experiment with. E.g. connect one side, test, then connect the other side, and test again. The dispersion of high-frequencies may determine the mounting-position in the room and which side-connection of the speaker .

If JBL-support does not help you any further, this would be my preferred option, as it does not introduce any risk.

Option 3: connect in series:

I am only listing this option for completeness of the answer

In series you connect red-to-black, then feed red-one-side, black-the-other-side.

This is the most risky option, while you might think that this is possible to raise the impedance to 16 Ohm. Which would be a logical conclusion, it may or may not be the case. This depends on the (summing-)filter circuitry, which we do not know. As the filter is a "summing-filter" which summs the low-end from both ends to a single woofer, connecting in series may introduce a short !!! This will damage your amplifier, and possible the speaker.

I would NOT do option 3

Summary, what I would do:

  1. Call JBL support to get more info and/or their preferred wiring diagram, then stick with this
  2. If 1. doesn't yield any results, go with option 2, and only connect one side. I would experiment with which side to connect, and experimentally determine the optimum mounting location in the room.

HTH, Edwin.

Edwin van Mierlo

Posted 2016-09-15T04:08:32.427

Reputation: 722

Thanks a lot! I decided to not risk and connect just one side. The speaker sounds ok – Alexandr Makhovikov – 2016-09-22T06:45:41.063


There's an error with the images used on this page.

The Arena 6ICDT is stereo, hence the two tweeter drivers. The sub-description is 'Stereo In-Ceiling Loudspeaker with 6-1/2" Woofer'.

The Arena 6IC is the mono unit.

The JBL website seems to show the 6IC as some of the images on its 6ICDT page.

'DT' likely stands for Dual-Tweeter.

I suggest you return it and swap it for the 6IC. Alternatively, you can just hook up one connection, as others have suggested, but this will leave you with an unused tweeter.


Posted 2016-09-15T04:08:32.427

Reputation: 1 316