How to Connect a Subwoofer

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Updated October 17, 2022

If you are new to the wacky world of home audio, you may wonder how to connect a subwoofer. Many of the best speakers, after all, are subwoofers, and these speakers require a precise connection process to get the most out of them. So why spend time correctly connecting the best subwoofers, and what are some helpful tips? Keep reading to find out.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Connecting a subwoofer brings increased bass frequencies and more audio enjoyment, but only if you have the right speaker wire connections for subwoofer output.
  • Modern tower speakers and receivers typically feature a dedicated port for subwoofers, so start there with a subwoofer cable.
  • If you are using a wireless subwoofer, check the instructions to see how to bring it into the Bluetooth fold. This way, you will not even need a speaker cable, though you’ll require a power cord.

Why is Proper Subwoofer Connection Important?

If you have ever learned how to wire a subwoofer without an amp, you know that subwoofer connections can be precarious. They are also extremely important as they handle bass frequencies, which is crucial when wondering why a subwoofer makes noise when being turned on. The bass takes up a third or more of the entire audio output, so spend plenty of time learning how to wire a dual-voice coil sub, among other connection tasks.

Luckily, modern subwoofer designs make them much easier to connect, so you can stop wondering about the subwoofer phase setting.

Insider Tip

Make sure to have plenty of cables on hand, just in case one is a total dud.

How Do You Connect a Subwoofer?

All subwoofers are unique, and each stereo system setup is fully customizable. In other words, there is no universal “right” way to connect a subwoofer. There are, however, some good tips.

Start With the Subwoofer Port

Modern tower speakers, preamps, and receivers are built to integrate with subwoofers. To that end, you will typically find a dedicated subwoofer port in the rear of one or all of these units. This makes connection an absolute breeze. Simply go from your subwoofer right to that port. The connection type does vary, so make sure you bring along the proper cables.

STAT: Subwoofers are most commonly connected to an AV Receiver as part of a larger system. (source)

Follow Bluetooth Instructions

Wireless subwoofers are all the rage nowadays, though they require a unique connection setup. If your subwoofer is wireless and so are your receiver and associated speakers, you will have to properly bring your subwoofer into the fold. This typically requires downloading a specific app on your phone and fiddling with your Bluetooth settings a bit. However, some subwoofers require unique instructions, so read that manual.

Placement is Crucial

Beyond connecting the subwoofer to the rest of your system, pay close attention to speaker placement. Move the subwoofer around as you play music to find the optimum place for it to rest. In many cases, people opt for corner placement.

Subwoofer Placement FAQs

How do I adjust the subwoofer amp panel?

Some subwoofers have dedicated adjustment panels for taming the crossover frequency and for giving you more phase control, in addition to offering increased EQ and volume controls.

Why does my subwoofer have two line-level inputs?

This is for making stereo connections to certain theater receivers and the like. Use a regular speaker cable with this input, and make sure to plug in the subwoofer via the power cord.

How to connect two subwoofers to an AV receiver?

You may need a splitter here for the correct subwoofer output, though your receiver may have dual ports for speaker outputs. Check the speaker terminals for dedicated subwoofer ports and do the same on your AV stereo receiver.
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