What Gauge Speaker Wire for Subwoofer?

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Updated October 17, 2022

If you are new to the wacky world of home audio, you may wonder what gauge speaker wire is for a subwoofer. Many of the best speakers, after all, are subwoofers, and these speakers require often require very specific speaker wires to function. So why spend time correctly connecting the best subwoofers, and what is the correct speaker wire gauge? Keep reading to find out.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Choosing the correct gauge for the speaker wire or speaker cable connecting a subwoofer to a preamp depends entirely on the specifications of the power amp.
  • Generally speaking, the lower the wattage of the amp, the thicker the size wire needed for a proper audio signal and decent sound quality.
  • In other words, a 50-watt amp does well with 16-gauge subwoofer wires, while a 600-watt amp does well with 12-gauge subwoofer wires, though not a larger wire.

Why Worry About Wire Gauge?

Beyond learning where to place a subwoofer, you need to learn how to connect one properly. This connection does not always necessitate a speaker wire if you are comparing coaxial speakers vs component speakers. Some subwoofers use line-in cables, optical cables, RCA cables, and other connection methods. However, using the incorrect connector will make you wonder why your subwoofer is making noise when turned on.

Insider Tip

Make sure you have plenty of wire on hand, just in case the length of the wire is faulty or damaged in some way.

If your subwoofer does take speaker wires, however, then the gauge is extremely important, as you need the correct gauge to make a proper connection. Here is more information on the topic so you can figure out subwoofer phase 0 or 180, among other things.

What Gauge Wire for Subwoofer?

It depends on the power rating of your amplifier, so let’s break it down. Basically, the lower the power rating of your amp, the thicker the gauge wire for making a connection. In other words, if the amp has a low power rating of around 40 to 50 watts, go with a thick gauge wire of 14 or 16. If your amplifier is extremely powerful, somewhere in the realm of 100 to 600 watts, go with a thinner gauge wire of around 12. Of course, this is all subject to change depending on the design of your subwoofer and your receiver or preamp.

Tips for Choosing the Right Speaker Wire

Here are some simple tips to consider when choosing a speaker wire to connect a subwoofer to the other components in your stereo system.

  • Don’t be afraid to experiment – Speaker wire is not exactly expensive, so start with a few different gauges, though still keep in mind your power amp rating. If you have a low-powered amp, 12-gauge wire is the norm, but 14-gauge or 10-gauge could also work.
  • Check other connection types – Subwoofers often connect via optical cable, line-in, aux, RCA cables, and more, so check on those options.
  • Go wireless – If you want to completely eliminate subwoofer speaker wires, go with a wireless Bluetooth model.

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Speaker Wire Gauge FAQs

How big of a subwoofer system will you need?

This depends on your personal preferences. Remember, however, if your system is large, you will need more power cables to avoid power loss and to achieve maximum power.

How much wire do you need?

You just need enough subwoofer wire to connect it to the rest of the system. Don't go overboard, or there could be latency. The same goes for the power wire, the power cable, and any other connections. Use the correct length of the power wire and power cable to avoid power loss.

Are high-end speaker cables worth it?

Generally speaking, high-end speaker cables are worth it, no matter the size wire. This type of wire runs from your subwoofer to the amp and allows for a more robust audio signal. The same goes for high-quality power wires.
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