How to Wire a Subwoofer

Lawrence Bonk Profile image

Written by:

Updated October 17, 2022

If you are new to the world of stereo system enhancements, you may wonder how to wire a subwoofer. Many of the best speakers, after all, are subwoofers, and these speakers require adequate connections for optimal performance. So what are the various methods for wiring the best subwoofers to other components of your stereo system? Keep reading to find out.


  • Wiring a subwoofer is deceptively complicated, thanks to confusing wiring diagrams and multiple wiring configurations, and incorrect wiring leads to all kinds of issues down the road.
  • Eliminate hum and unwanted noise by attaching a ground wire running from the subwoofer to your receiver or preamp.
  • Other options include standard stereo wires, component cables, and a wireless Bluetooth connection. Pay attention to the positive terminal and negative terminal when making speaker wire connections.

How to Properly Wire a Subwoofer

There is no “right” way to wire a subwoofer if you are learning how to wire a subwoofer to a home stereo. There are many different subwoofers out there with unique connection types, which you learn when comparing active vs passive speakers. Making the proper connections is a crucial aspect of learning how to set up a subwoofer. This likely includes speaker wires but could feature optical cables, RCA cables, a wireless Bluetooth connection, and more.

Insider Tip

Affixing speaker wires necessitates a different process depending on the input type, so read the instructions thoroughly.

Here are some common methods for wiring a bass speaker so you can move on to learning how to tune a subwoofer.

Use Stereo Wires

If your subwoofers connect via standard stereo wires, run the stereo wire from your subwoofer to your preamp, receiver, or standalone speakers. There are some things to look out for. Have plenty of wiring on hand in case you mess up or if the wires are faulty. Also, remember the gauge rule. The higher wattage of your speaker translates to a thinner speaker wire, so purchase and affix accordingly. On another note, the vast majority of subwoofers are mono, so this process should require just a single mono speaker wire and not a stereo pair.

Use a Ground Wire

Integrating a grounding wire eliminates annoying hum or crackling noises during use when you connect a subwoofer to the rest of your system. Your receiver likely includes a ground input, simplifying the process, but this is rarely true of subwoofers. To attach the ground wire to the subwoofer, ensure the end of the wire is affixed to any exposed metal on the speaker’s exterior.

Use an Alternative Connection Method

Many modern subwoofers and related stereo system components do not even require old-school speaker cables, as they connect in other ways. These connection options include optical cables, line-in cables, and RCA cables. Of course, another option is to ditch wires completely, as many Bluetooth subwoofers are available.

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

Wiring Subwoofers FAQs

How do I install a subwoofer?

Installing a subwoofer involves making proper connections via positive wires and factory wires, keeping an eye on impedance load, researching proper placement, and more.

How do I splice into existing wiring?

Splicing into the factory wire or positive wire is not exactly an easy process, so read up on tutorials and watch videos. It requires dedicated tools to allow for this type of subwoofer output.

How do I connect a wireless subwoofer?

If you have a wireless subwoofer with dual voice coils, make a connection via any affiliated app on your phone, turn on Bluetooth, and follow the prompts. Bluetooth does slightly decrease sound quality, but this is slowly going away.
Lawrence Bonk Profile image