AV Receiver has option for 4 or 6 ohm speakers. Mine are 8 ohm. Volume seems low

Aug 21, 2018
Hello Experts! Here's my current home theater gear. I'm wondering if the speakers don't match well.
I just switched my old AV receiver (Sony STR-V333 ES) for a 4K AV (Onkyo TX-NR575) to compliment a 4K TV. The room is 12x12, hardwood floors & tongue & groove wood ceiling, so not much sound deadening. I'd think that this would be an easy room for theater sound.
My 5.1 setup includes Front- Polk TSx 220B bookshelf, the rest, 20 yr old Cambridge SoundWorks- Center- CSW CenterStage, Rear- Ambience bookshelf, & sub-woofer- BassCube 10.
Onkyo's onboard setup asks, 4 or 6 ohm speakers. Like, pick one of the two. The manual is confusing.
I'd think that 8 ohms shouldn't hurt the receiver, but if I switched out the speakers for all 6 ohms, wouldn't I get more sound out of this set up? Currently, I have to take the volume up to level 70 for a decent theater type level. It seems under-powered, like I'm pushing it, & maybe I could do better.
One more question- I was searching for 6 ohm speakers, & found the ELAC Debut 6.2, which have a "nominal impedance" of 6 ohms. Most of other specs are similar to my 8 ohm Polks, but I wonder if these ELACs would be louder with their "nominal" impedance? Also, would it be best to match impedance with all 5 speakers? It be easiest to keep my Sony ES as the amp, which has 5.1 line level inputs, keep my speaker set up, & use the Onkyo as a pre-amp, but there aren't 5.1 Pre-Outs on this new unit.
I'd appreciate any advice! Thanks in advance, & sorry for writing a book!


Mar 16, 2017
I'd think that 8 ohms shouldn't hurt the receiver, but if I switched out the speakers for all 6 ohms, wouldn't I get more sound out of this set up?

A speaker with a higher impedance than the amp specifies generally won't hurt the amp and may be slightly quieter. 6 ohms may get you a little more.....or it may not.

The specification that I think is more important is speaker sensitivity. This is usually specified in dB/watt or something similar.

The higher this number is....the more sound you will get per watt.

as far as matching all the speakers.....ideally you want the speaker impedance matched to the amp. This would hold true for all 5 channels. However....if you run an 8 instead of a 6.....it's nor going to make a world of difference.

8 ohms speakers are perfectly safe on a receiver that is rated for 6 ohms. They rate the receiver into 6 ohms (1 channel driven to make it seem more powerful than it is. Your old receiver was more powerful than the new one but if the system is playing as loud as you can imagine using it don't worry about it. It is more important to get more natural sound and better clarity at all volumes.
Upgrading you speakers is the best thing to spend money on if you want better sound. It's important that the front three speakers be voiced to work together so either getting a Polk that matches your left and right boobkshlelfs or replacing all three with better speakers would be how I would spend my money.
The surround speakers are not nearly as critical so you would want to upgrade the subwoofer next.
Aug 21, 2018
Thank you all for responding & helping me! I was very tempted at the reviews of the ELAC speakers, but my 2 front Polks are my newest, & I hate wasting them to get 5 matching ELAC Debuts. Besides, speaker size really matters in my rear speaker set up, & the Debuts would eat up half of my end tables. I'm going to research Polk center & subwoofer options. I'm a bad judge concerning subwoofers, but from the last suggestion that the current subwoofer might use an upgrade, I'll follow that advice.
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