The 4 Best 16 Ohm Speakers – Reviews 2023

best 16 ohm speaker

Photo by Mats Edenius / CC BY

So why get a 16 ohm speaker? Simple: getting a new speaker is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to upgrade or change the sound of your cabinet—and there are a ton of compelling options out there, so many it can be overwhelming trying to figure out where to start when you’ve decided it’s time to get a new speaker.

From a practical standpoint, the first thing you should consider to narrow down your search is the impedance of your amp or cabinet. There’s no difference in sound or performance between a 16 ohm speaker and those rated at lower impedances, but if you don’t match the speaker to your equipment you could fry one or both. The options below are some of our favorite speakers rated at 16 ohms, in a variety of sizes to suit any set-up.

These are our recommendations for the 4 best 16 ohm speakers on the market:

Celestion G10 Greenback 16 Ohm Guitar Speaker

Let’s start off with a classic—the Celestion Greenback, a 10-inch speaker that has loads of depth and power, especially considering its size. It has a relatively low output, operating at only 30 watts, but still gives you the low-end weight that you’d expect from a larger speaker, making it an easy way to get more oomph out of your 10-inch cabinet.

The sound from this speaker (see full specs) is vintage inspired and has a great balance across the range. It’s smooth through both the high and mid-ranges, a sound that’s particularly well-suited to small-group jazz ensembles. As powerful as it is on its own, too, it’s extra impressive when installed in a 2X10” or 4X10” cabinet, the multiple speakers compounding to give it a raunchy, full sound that will blow your old speakers completely out of the water.

Celestion speakers have long been the speaker major British manufacturers like Vox and Marshall install in their high-end cabinets. With this Greenback speaker, you can bring this same sound and power to your own cabinet, whatever its make and model. Hands down, this is one of the best 16 ohm speakers around.

Fender cts 10 inch versus celestion g10 greenback

Eminence Texas Heat 12” 16 Ohm Guitar Speaker

If you’re looking more for an American amp sound, Eminence is one of the first brands that will pop up on your search for a replacement speaker—and the Texas Heat is a great options to go with, especially if you’re a blues, country, or Southern rock player. It’ll give you the combination of warmth and twang you want, in a 12-inch size that will fit into many of the most popular amps and cabinets.

The high end is where the sound of this speaker really shines. It’s clear with a good amount of bite, a sound that will cut through the mix with ease. It’s no slouch in the mid and low range, either, where you’ll get a lot of warmth and depth. Throughout the range, it responds well to subtle changes in dynamics, making your cabinet even more responsive to your touch.

The Texas Heat is one of the higher-output speakers on the list, too. It’s rated for 150 watts of power and it puts all of that power to good use. It’s fat, loud, and plays great when you crank it, whether it’s the only speaker in your cabinet or part of a 2X12” or 4X12” set-up.

The Eminence Texas Heat Guitar Speaker Demo

Celestion Eight 15 16 ohm 15-watt 8-inch Guitar Speaker

If you really want that classic British Celestion sound but you’re not looking to spend too much, check out the Celestion Eight. At only 8 inches and 15 watts, it’s the smallest and lowest-output model on the list—the main reasons it’s quite cheap (cheap in price only, not quality).

In terms of the sound, you’ll get a balanced tone throughout the range. Smaller speakers tend to struggle with the low range but the bass end on this speaker is full and punchy. While it’s not as loud as bigger speakers, the sound is bigger than you’d expect for the size, and it performs equally well played clean or at high gain.

Most 8” amps are mainly designed for practice, and they come with a speaker installed that reflects that intention. Some players, though, find an 8” cabinet gives them exactly the right output for smaller venues and softer genres. The Celestion Eight is the perfect speaker to give a smaller cabinet this expanded range of potential uses. This is easily one of the best 16 ohm speakers for the money.

Blackstar HT-1 SE w/ Celestion Eight 15

Jensen MOD12-50 50W 12” 16 Ohm Replacement Speaker

The MOD series from Jensen is designed to bring players a modern tone, and while that can mean different things to different people, it has a versatile tone that can cover pretty much all of them. It’s available in 16-ohm versions at both the 12” size linked to above and a 10” version (see the 10-incher here). At both sizes, it’ll give you a massive output and rich, full tone to really make your amp sing.

The first thing you’ll notice comparing this speaker’s sound to others on the list is that the bass end is a bit tighter and more focused. It’s still warm and well-balanced, though, not just down low but throughout the range. Where the MOD really excels is when you push it to overdrive. The varieties of crunch you can get out of this speaker can range from a rich, raunchy blues to a brighter punk-style fuzz.

In terms of sound and feel, this speaker is definitely at the top of our list. They’re some of the most affordable 10” to 12” speakers that you’ll find, too. The power output overall is a bit lower, at only 50 watts, but while they won’t get quite as loud as some of the other speakers reviewed above, they’ll put out plenty of sound for most players.

So Which Is the Best 16 Ohm Speaker?

After the impedance, the first obvious thing you need to think about is making sure the speaker will fit into your amp or cabinet. Many of the speakers above come in other sizes, as well, though the impedance may change along with the diameter, so you’ll want to double-check that.

Once you’ve dealt with these practical concerns, it all comes down to what they sound like. Give the different speakers a good listen (at a music store) and see which one matches best with your ideal sound. Any of the four speakers above can be the right fit for a particular style of player—it’s just about finding the one that’s a right fit for you. Good luck!

  • Micah Johnson started playing music in high school, when he taught himself the bass to join his friend’s band. He added guitar and drums during his twenties playing in local clubs, and along the way, he picked up unique, hands-on experience from hand drums to studio mixers. On Song Simian, he aims to share this knowledge from 20+ years playing and recording music. When not in gearhead mode, he enjoys photography and travel.

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