How to Wire a Dual-Voice Coil Sub

Updated: Oct 20, 2023 11:22 AM

If you are new to the world of unique stereo setups, you may wonder how to wire a dual-voice coil subwoofer. Many of the best speakers, after all, are subs, and it is the voice coil that makes these speakers work. So what is a dual voice coil, and how do you wire them so that the best subwoofers sound absolutely fantastic? Keep reading to find out.


  • Dual-coil subwoofer designs offer increased sound quality, with increased connection requirements over single-voice coil subwoofers.
  • Old-school dual voice subs required soldiering to make a correct wiring configuration and some serious electrical work, but the same is not true for modern releases.
  • In most cases, you should be able to connect with standard speaker wires, RCA cables, or optical cables, just like when connecting to a single voice coil sub.

What is a Dual Voice Coil Subwoofer?

Before you learn how to connect a subwoofer, you should learn the exact definition of a coil. A speaker’s voice coil is an electromagnet that assists in turning vibrations into sound waves, which is helpful when learning how to connect a subwoofer to a receiver without an output. So, if you are learning how to test a subwoofer, a dual voice coil subwoofer features two of these coils.

Insider Tip

Dual-voice coil subwoofers do not typically require special power accommodations, though you should check to be sure.

The benefits of a dual-coil design are varied, including ease of maintenance, a more natural sound, and more. They are also susceptible to installation issues, leading some to wonder why a subwoofer is making a noise when turned on.

How to Connect a Dual-Coil Subwoofer

Making a proper connection here relies entirely on the design of the speaker and the rest of your stereo setup. Wiring up a dual-coil subwoofer in the old days was incredibly complex, often requiring soldiering and some serious electrical know-how. Newer models include two coils inside but connect via traditional means. With that said, here are some options for making a successful connection.

Use Standard Speaker Wires

You can use standard speaker wires to connect a dual voice coil sub to the rest of the system without any need for soldiering or other electrical work. This assumes that your subwoofer handles the heavy lifting before the signal hits the output, so make sure to check on that via the instructions. Many newer subwoofer designs include this feature.

Connect Via RCA

The same goes for a traditional RCA connection. If your sub boasts two RCA outs and you find an appropriate input on your receiver, preamp, or tower speaker, go for it. Again, this assumes a newer model with an integrated dual voice circuit.

STAT: Johann Philipp Reis installed an electric loudspeaker in his telephone in 1861; it was capable of reproducing clear tones, but later revisions could also reproduce muffled speech. (source)

Hire a Pro

If you have an older sub that requires a manual connection, you may want to outsource this to a professional. You will likely have to do some soldiering and cutting into the speaker enclosure to make a proper connection.

Dual Voice Sub FAQs

Do dual voice speakers have performance differences?

There are some slight performance issues that allow dual-coil designs to offer improved audio, thanks to the Ohm load and related bits of equipment. They do, however, require a multi-channel amp to make use of both coils.

What is a subwoofer?

A subwoofer is a speaker that specializes in bass frequencies. Dual-voice subs feature a speaker cone with a pair of magnetic fields that connect via parallel wiring to the amplifier channel.

Do I have to use both coils on my car audio subwoofer?

You can break out wiring diagrams to exclude one of the coils, though this wiring option places a higher impedance load on the remaining coil.

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