How to: Bi-Amping a Speaker

Bi-amplification, or bi-amping, is a technique which uses one amplifier for the low frequencies and a second amplifier for middle and high frequencies. This technique can allow users to take advantage of the strengths of each amplifier in its interaction with the speakers (i.e. use a 150 watt amp for the woofers and a 50 watt amp for the tweeter).

How to: Bi-amping a Speaker - The Klipsch Joint

The above figure highlights the mid and high frequencies being fed by a separate amp than the lower frequencies.

To properly bi-amp a system, the amplifiers’ power must be balanced and the speakers must be well within their frequency and power limits. This process should not be confused with bi-wiring, which uses a single amplification output source, but connects separately to the low frequency driver and to the midrange/tweeter.

True bi-amping involves hooking each amplifier to an electronic crossover that serves to supplant the passive crossover network built into the speaker (the passive crossover must be eliminated in order to achieve the advantages of bi-amping). This “active crossover” then connects to the appropriate speaker terminals; one for the woofer and another for the combined mid and high ranges.

How to: Bi-Amping a Speaker - The Klipsch Joint

The highlighted wires deliver the low frequencies from a second amplifier.

Some 7.1 and 9.1 system receivers give users the option to assign the unused surround channels amps to the front left and right channel speakers for bi-amping. Be sure to check your receivers capabilities before attempting.

If you do not want to bi-amp or bi-wire your speakers, you can simply connect your amplifier to one set of binding posts, then use jumpers (as shown below) to connect the low frequencies to the mid and high frequencies.

How To: Bi-Amping a Speaker - The Klipsch Joint

The copper jumper connects the woofers with the tweeters above so all speakers are powered by a single amp as opposed to bi-amping.


Note: Bi-amping is not a requirement for Klipsch speakers. Whether you believe it delivers an audible improvement is up to your ears.

How do you have your system configured? Let us know in the comments section below and feel free to ask questions!

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60 thoughts on “How to: Bi-Amping a Speaker”

  1. Where are the details? Like what type of amplifier might be best? Also, can you be more specific on why bi-amping would be used? The first paragraph seems very vague. Thanks

  2. The bi-amping was a Klipsch trademark on his speakers. In the 1970’s the biamping became a big hit but only audio engineers and musicians knew how to do it. Thats why Klipsch had the sale to those people while Altec Lansing sold to the single ampers.

  3. The biggest hurdle I see is where to find an appropriate electronic crossover. Although I am a Klipsch fan, I don’t own any Klipsch products. In fact, I have a bi-amped setup with my ESS AMT Monitors (1970s, with the Oskar Heil-designed Air Motion Transformer Bi-Radiating ribbon “tweeter”). I use my Marantz 2230 to power the low frequencies and a Dynaco ST-70 tube/valve amp to power the AMT ribbon mid/high frequencies. As to my stated hurdle above, I use a new/old stock ESS-branded electronic crossover (fixed to 800hz).

    You can see a lousy YouTube video I created of the setup here:

    How does it sound? For a budget’ish/vintage setup, it’s extremely dynamic. There is a very distinct separation/split and a certain depth to the soundstage, such that going back to a passive crossover setup (using only the passive crossover connected to your speaker terminals and only one amplifier) sounded flat, dull, and singular. THIS, from the AMT ribbon which is anything but dull (and perhaps too harsh, according to critics).

    So, why am I commenting on a Klipsch forum? My good friend had a pair of RF-7 ii’s that he brought over one day. We placed them next to my ESS AMT Monitors, unplugged mine, then plugged in his Kipsch’s. At the time, I was using an Adcom GFA-555 for the lows and the same Marantz for the highs. The immediate difference was stark and dull, but it took the RF-7’s a good 10 minutes or more to warm up. The longer we listened, the more enjoyable they became. Slightly less dynamic than my ESS’, but that may just be the difference between the horn and ribbon. Source material was strictly vinyl on a Technics SL-1200. From that point on, I became a fan (though I still own my ESS’ and am not yet in a financial position to buy some RF-7’s).

    I don’t know where Klipsch recommends the crossover point on these speakers in a bi-amp configuration, but the ESS electronic crossover is fixed to 800hz and the RF-7’s sounded fantastic. That was a one night experience and it changed my friend’s life experience with audio.

    Here’s another two links to the current setup, which I’m soon disbanding for more power:

    Money for Nothing:

    Who Do You Love?

    Apologies for the lousy mic and iPhone audio, but a more properly calibrated setup will blow you away. Want an overly-technical explanation of why active crossovers are awesome and passive (built within the speaker) crossovers suck? Check out this excellent and engrossing and lengthy info from Rod Elliot:


  4. I thought this was a good introduction for something I’ve heard about but didn’t realize how it could be done. I run a 5.2 system. Front/rear/center & 2 subwoofers. If I understand this correctly that leaves 2 channels of my 7.2 receiver unused and available to bi-amp the front speakers.

    The issue I have is presently use Bose Series 5 speakerswhich are not traditional 3-way speakers. I would think these speakers would not be biamp compatible. I’d appreciate any comments about this.

    Another thought would be – could I double wire the front speakers to use the unused 2 channels? Any thoughts?

    Thanks – I have owned Klipsch speakers in the past and now own K headphones and buds.


    1. Phil, thanks for reaching out. While the Bose Acoustimass 5 System is a closed system and will not allow biamp capability. We would also not recommend sending two different outputs to the same speaker input – this will create a short circuit, likely destroying the amplifier in your receiver and creating a fire hazard.

  5. I have Klipsch Reference 62 speakes Bi-Amped to a Denon 2809 AVR.

    The Denon amp has a bi-amping mode that adjusts the power between the highs and mids.
    It’s hard to know if it’s made a noticeable difference or if I’m just trying to think there’s one.
    I set up a 5.1 system with multiple listening positions and was more than impressed with the result.
    If anything I believe an improvement has been made when listening to music.

  6. AV-receiver: Pioneer Elite SC-65, 5.1 surround sound set-up w/Klipsch RF-3s Bi-amped. Honestly, I cannot tell if the speakers sound better bi-amped or not. But I’ve got 9 channels, and this is one way to utilize them. The other two channels are feeding ceiling speakers in a 2nd zone.

    I agree that this wasn’t really a “how-to”, but a “what is”.

  7. I have Synergy 3s, in a 5.1 system. I have a 7.1 Onkyo 809 AVR that supports Bi-amping so I use the otherwise unused surround channels to Bi-Amp the 809s.

    All I know is it sounds great! It can’t be a bad thing using additional power amps means more headroom for each bi-amped channel. I don’t usually get to those volume levels where this might be needed, but on occassion I do get up into extremely high volume levels, certainly pushing the amps, and I would guess this helps prevent clipping.

    Can I prove it? No.

  8. I have a pair of KLF-30’s and two Yamaha M-85 amplifiers. My McIntosh 117 pre-amp has two pair of output jacks. So in my system I connect one output to each amp. Then I run speaker wires from one amp to the high end of the speakers and from the other amp to the low end. Not sure if this is the “optimum” configuration but is seems to sound fine. The M-85’s are rated at 260 watts per channel so I guess I have 520 per channel in my system. Comments?

  9. I am bi-amping my RF-3’s with a Denon AVR X-2000. I wired the main amp to the top speaker terminals and the Zone 2 amp to the bottom terminals. I have set the speaker setting for both amps to “Large” and to the same crossover frequency.

    The article above states “…bi-amping…uses one amplifier for the low frequencies and a second amplifier for middle and high frequencies.”, but Klipsch does not specify which speakers work off of the top and bottom terminals nor do they specify the crossover frequencies for each, only an overall frequency range for the entire speaker. They also say to use the bigger amp for the woofers and the smaller amp for the tweeter ( all channels have the same power on the AVR-X2000), so I am assuming that the two woofers are wired together to the bottom post and the tweeter to the top post. I would like to know what the crossover frequencies are so I can set the correct crossover for each.

  10. Why? The advantage of bi-amping is that it is generally regarded as improving performance. In a purely mathematical calculation, you can potentially get the acoustic output of a 200W amplifier with two 50W amplifiers. (In practice the crossover frequencies rarely line up that well.) It also reduces power losses (by removing the passive crossover), but then you substitute power losses of adding another amplifier. The disadvantage is that you will need an amplifier for each driver. Some esoteric views include being able to choose and amplifiers that sound better with bass/treble for the different frequency bands, or mixing solid-state and tube amps. In a practical sense, bi- and tri-amping is best left for closed systems or installed systems. However, if you are a tweak by nature then setting up a bi-amped system can provide endless hours of enjoyment.
    How? Usually this is done with an electronic crossover or DSP between the mixer/preamp and the power amplifiers. If you can exactly match the response (including the phase response) of the passive crossover with the electronic crossover, then the system will end up sounding (essentially) the same. In practice, if you don’t have a way to get good before/after measurements, then it’s almost impossible to duplicate the sound from the factory. Stock crossover networks are rarely “textbook” or “cookbook” filters.
    Professional Installation speakers that are intended to be bi- and tri-amped (quad- etc.) will usually have a recommendation for the crossover filter settings. With home speakers, that will rarely if ever be available from the manufacturer.

  11. Bi amping optimizes amplifier power for the best sonic response of the drivers. 18″ top out about 500 hz, 15″ about 1200 hz crossover points. Best not to run horns to low due to excursion of the voice coil and the loading of the horn throat. I like 10″ cone midrange berrilium tweeters

  12. I have a question. I’m installing a sound system in the lounge of the home and I plan to use just two bookshelf sized speakers which are wall mounted, and a 12″ passive sub. I have an amp running the main speakers but I’m indecisive about what to buy as the second amp for driving the sub. Should the sub amp be more powerful than the main amp, or should it be equal power as the main amp? I read somewhere that subs require more powerful amps, something to do with more air needing to be moved at lower frequencies in order for it to be as audible as the higher frequencies. Thanks! 🙂

  13. Hi there,

    I have just purchased an old Technics Amp, 5 disc cd changer and tuner.

    I need help in how to wire up the speakers?

    Basically the amp is set up for bi wireable connection, so it has high and low frequency connections.

    My question is how do I do the opposite to which is mentioned above?

    In other words, how do I connect the bi wireable amp to SINGLE input speakers (2 speaker ports in total) please?

    Would really appreciate a speedy response?

    Kindest regards,


    1. Glenn Vialli Lovatt, thanks for reaching out. Unfortunately, in order to utilize your amp’s bi-wiring capability, you would need speakers that are bi-wire capable. This means the speaker would need a dual input (four terminal posts total). It is likely that the amplifier will allow you to set it up for single terminal speakers. If you can let me know the model of the amplifier you purchased, I’m happy to investigate this further.

  14. I’m currently running a 5.1 setup with Paradigm speakers (Studio 40s and CC in front, Studio 20s as surrounds, and their 100 Watt box sub). I’m driving them with an ancient Yamaha RX-V457 and thinking of replacing it with a newer RX-A1030, which has the ability to use it’s 6th and 7th speakers to bi-amp the mains, which appeals to me, since the Paradigms do have dual terminals with removable straps.

    The 1030’s manual (I’ve downloaded it) shows how to hook up the wiring for bi-amping and how to switch that mode on, but nothing about setting (or even seeing) the crossover point and relative volumes for each pair. Would I just have to use their YPAO active eq system and take the results on faith? I’m not much of a believer in such systems!

  15. I need help cf 70 in front but its not loud enough what is the best amp its single on left side in back 6&7 can b biamped I have a rx-a840 and center r25

    1. Charlie, your RX-A840 does support bi-amping. Please refer to your Yamaha manual for how to enable this function on your receiver. Now this may not help still. Your receiver only does 100 watt 2 channel driven, so you may need a bit more power for the CF-70 to really come alive. The Specs read 20-300 watts. So you are only putting about a 1/3 of its possible power. Its like driving a Ferrari at 40 miles a hour and saying it goes to slow. When applied the correct power those speakers will really rock. Your receiver supports Pre-Outs for your front speakers. You might want to look at a 150 – 250 watt power amp just to power your CF-70’s from someone like Outlaw Audio, or Emotiva. Then just use your receiver to run the rest of your speakers off of your Yamaha. This will give you the sound you are looking for.

  16. Just bought the RP-280f towers and the 450c center. My receiver is about 8 years old…time to upgrade I guess. Will bi-amping make a difference with these? Also, any receiver (bi-amp capable) w/bluetooth that you would recommend. What type of power should I give these…dont want to underpower them. thanks

    1. Robert Z, congratulations on your purchase! You are going to love those speakers. Bi-amping is fairly controversial…Personally, I wouldn’t bother without testing out your receiver as it first. The RP-280Fs have a power rating of 150W which makes your $500-$600 price range difficult. With that price tag, you won’t be able to get one with Dolby Atmos compatibility. That being said, something like the Onkyo TX-NR838 from Accessories4Less would do the trick.

      1. If you are still looking in the market , I just purchased the Denon AVR-2200W supports Atmos speaker for around $600 . I recently purchased the 2200W along with the Klipsch RF-280FA Atmos.

        The sound is great. However, the Atmos capability is achieved by using the SR L and B.

          1. Alex – Above you replied to Gary that using the Denon AVR-2200W (95w/ch) for RP-280FAs is really underpowering them. I was under the impression that the high sensitivity of 98dB would allow that, since they’re rated for 150W/600W. Is that incorrect? I picked up an RP-450C on sale, and I’m looking at which main speakers I might eventually add, RP-250F, RP-260F, or RP-280F. I’m using a Yamaha RX-V575 which has roughly the same power (2ch @ 20-20k). Is this not enough power? I was also going to bi-amp the mains since I’m only running 5.1. Are there more in-depth recommendations for amp power?

          2. Steven Bowers, they would work with that receiver but you would not be maximizing the ability of the speakers. It’s the equivalent of putting regular gas into a Ferrari. We would recommend 120WPC for the RP-280FA. Essentially, you should use a receiver with 80%+ WPC of the power handling rating. I cannot recommend that you use the Yamaha RX-V575 with the RP-280FA no matter what way you set it up.

  17. I’m thinking about bi-amping my Heresey IIIs, using a marantz 8b for the highs and mids, with a Krell KSA-100s for the lows. L/H signal separation will be via MiniDSP 2×4 unit.

    I’m curious to understand more about the following statement: “(the passive crossover must be eliminated in order to achieve the advantages of bi-amping).” – I plan to utilise the existing Klipsch crossover for the mids/highs, but I understand that I’ll need to isolate the woofer from the crossover, then reconnect it to the speaker terminals. How is this best done? Does anyone have a wiring diagram, or photos?

    1. Nick, this is a modification of how the speaker was designed and we do not endorse it. The speaker is designed to work bi-amped just the way it is wired. If you are wanting to use a device that is a crossover then you would have to bypass our crossover. Which again is a modification of how the product is designed and we cannot support you with that. I recommend talking with some of the hobbyist on our forums: They might be able to assist you with what you are trying to do.

  18. I currently own Marantz SR5007. I am using 5.1 with bi-amping on the Jamo s526. I am intending to upgrade to a Klipsch brand but just doesn’t know which ones to consider in terms of best acoustics for my large room. In essence I am looking for a suggestion that will take into account the power of my AVR considering my room size (which is large). I have been looking at the RF 62II and the R-28F (not much price difference – in South Africa). So I was wondering what would be the possible advantages of the 8″ R-28F over the RF 62II bearing in mind the quality I can get from my AVR. I would also like to get some thoughts on the pricier RP-260. Thanks.

    1. Rendani, personally, I would go with the RF-62 II or RP-260 with your AVR. Better match and they are better speakers than the R-28F. The RP-260 is more refined than the RF-62 II but both are terrific.

    2. Hey, it’s really hard to find info on the jamo 526. I have them and are generally happy with them..what do you think about them?

  19. Hello. I have a question. I have the RP 450c and I’m looking into the surrounds. I’ve seen that many recommend that I pair the 450c with the 250s instead of the 240s. Money is a factor so I’ve been really inclined towards the 240s. Will the performance really be noticeable to where I should really wait on the 250s. I will be adding the floor standing down the road(280’s).

  20. I have a question I own a pair of La Sala’s along with a pair of La Scala bottoms the bottoms have no crossover. I want Biamp them so what I would like to know is how to do this Thanks

  21. After three years of use, I just bi-amped my onkyo tx-nr626 and rb-81ii speakers after a buddy said my speakers didn’t sound like they were putting out what they should. Night and day difference!!! It’s like a new system! the RB-81ii’s are now putting out bass comparable to what my sub was doing previously. Flamenco guitars sounded great before but now its as if you are sitting in front of the real guitar. I read alot of comments on the internet saying bi-amping really doesn’t do much but on my small system the difference is unbelievable!

  22. I recently got r-28f along with a Denon 2200w receiver. I would like to bi amp these front speakers. Does it matter which input from the receiver goes to which posts on the speaker? So should the front output on the receiver go to the top posts on the speakers, then the surround back output go the to bottom posts or the other way around?

    1. Landon McDill, you are about 55 watts under powered. Receiver is rated for 95 watts. Now if it had the right power or if you went with the R-26-f which is the right size for his receiver, then you would connect the bottom posts to the “Front” and the top posts to the “Surround Back”.

  23. I am a bit confused about bi-wiring or using the Jumpers that came with my Klipsch RA-280FA speakers. Should I be considering bi -wiring at all. My receiver is Denon AVR-2200W and with the Atmos speakers all the inputs channels are fully taken.

    Secondly , should I be choosing the Bass setting of LFE or LFE+Main? Along with my above speakers I have an RA 12w sub and Bose for my surround. I observed that LFE+Main is more useful when watching DTV programming.

    1. Gary, bi-amping would take “some” stress of that receiver and help, but, honestly, you are risking your speakers by underpowering them that much. That receiver has way less power than we would recommend for the RP-280FAs. Bi-wiring wont make any difference, so just run them normal with jumpers.

      LEF only. and I would set the crossovers for the RP-280FA to 80 hz to help take the stress off the under powered amp. If he wants to take advantage of LFE+Main then he needs to get a receiver powerful enough to run the towers in full frequency.

      1. Hi Alex,

        Thanks for your inputs. What would you recommend for a sized receiver ? The AV -2200 was recently bought Receiver – in Nov. I wonder if bestbuy would do an exchange.

  24. Can somebody shed some light on this for me. Should I use the Bi-Amp feature of my Denon AVR-X3000 with my two front Energy CF-70’s, thus losing output to my surround back speakers? Will there be much of an improvement in the sound to the CF-70’s in this configuration?

    1. Shane, this will improve clarity and cause less stress on your receiver by splitting the work load up, but it will sound subtle. The main difference with be in amp performance and less heat. By the way, you are somewhat underpowering your speakers, limiting the level of performance you can get out of them.

  25. i recently bought 2 klipsch r28f floor standing speakers to go with my two 12 inch klipsch r12sw subwoofers. i done went through 3 receivers trying to get the best boom and sound out of my speakers. now i have a denon avr x3200w and its the best one so far but still not good enough. im wanting to bi amp them to but dont know if the receiver is good enough for it. it is bi amp compatible. im taking the receiver back today to get something better. best buy prolly hates me bc i have returned an onkyo txnr545, yamaha rxv679, and a yamaha rxv379. can anyone help me on what total wattage i need or watts per channel and what would be the best receiver i need for my speakers. im also getting a klipsch rp440c center soon. please let me know soon bc im tired of returning receivers.

    1. Joseph Collins, each of those receivers you selected is not really powerful enough to get the most out of your R-28Fs. You should look at something that’s 125 WPC. The Denon X4200W would be a fantastic choice.

      1. I have a pair of RF7s that are Passive Vertically Bi-Amped with two Emotiva’s XPA-2 Gen2 with 300 watts per channel along with two R115-SW with signals coming from a Yamaha Aventage A3030
        Super loud and clear!!

        ? Will upgrading my crossovers within the RF7s make any difference in sound when vertically bi-amped and is it worth doing?

        My Emotiva’s can be switch to bridge mode making them Mono-Blocks at 1000 watts per channel and I am going to test that as compared to the vertically Bi-amped setup.

        ? I know the RF7s are rated at 250w per channel – but how much wattage can I truly put through them?

        The reason I ask is that I have a pair of Heresy’s (100 watts per channel) from 1985 – bought them new then and have had them bolted up to a 220per channel Nikko Alpha 450 and have redlined / clipped that amp consistently over the years and never blew the Heresey’s – They sound loud and clear.

        1. Mark, we would not recommend changing the internal crossovers in any way. Power wise the RF-7 can easily take up to 500 watts with out any issue. They do have a 1000 watt peek, but that is for only temporary power. Like a bass hit, where is pushes the wattage up for a sec. So I would not recommend running the Emotiva bridged. The Heresy speakers are a 100 watts per channel, but have a peek of 400 watts so they could handle the 220 comfortably.

  26. Hi,
    Just setting up a set of RP atmos speakers. I’m using a Yamaha RX-A2050 to power and am not bi-amping. I’m using the bottom most posts to connect the RP280FAs to the AV receiver. Is that correct? I’m assuming it doesn’t matter.

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