How to Connect a Subwoofer to Amp

A 10-inch subwoofer can produce powerful and punchy bass, but imagine what it will be capable of when connected to a high-quality amplifier. As usual, the subs are easy to connect because there are only two wires to deal with: power and audio in. However, those who have an amplifier without a specialized subwoofer output may have difficulties (especially if you have more than one sub).

So, depending on the connectors, available in your amp, there are a few ways to hook up your sub. The most important thing is to use the proper wires. We will explain how to connect a subwoofer to an amp using various outputs accessible on your amplifier.

Detailed Guide

The best and the simplest way to connect a subwoofer to an amp is via a separate connector that is labeled as “subwoofer output” (“sub out”, “LFE”, or “subwoofer”). For this, you will need an LFE cable.

However, how to connect a subwoofer to an amp without a sub out? In fact, the stereo RCA connectors can replace it. You can use an RCA or a Y-cable in this situation.

If your subwoofer has spring clips, you may hook it up to the amp’s speaker output. It’s possible that your sub has two sets of spring clips. In this scenario, banana clips will be required.

How to Connect a Subwoofer to an Old Amplifier

Most modern amps make it easy to connect subwoofers to them, but how to connect a subwoofer to an old amplifier? They don’t have a dedicated output for subwoofer connection. Fortunately, there are several ways to connect a modern subwoofer to a vintage amp. And we’ve selected the most budget-friendly of them all.

  1. If your sub has an RCA input, it’s possible to use a line level converter. It connects to an old amp via speaker outputs, and then to the RCA jacks of your subwoofer. It’s an inexpensive unit that costs around $20.
  2. If you are wondering how to connect a subwoofer to an amplifier in the easiest method possible, speaker level inputs are the way to go. They’re not common in subs, so if yours has them, consider yourself fortunate. Just hook your sub up to the amp’s speaker outputs. Such type of connection will also provide excellent sound quality.
  3. If you have a passive subwoofer, it won’t be so easy to connect it to an old amp. For this, you will have to get a low pass crossover that will be connected between an amp and a sub. The finest part is that by filtering away noises, it will create high-quality bass. However, note that it should match the subwoofer’s impedance, or the sound filtering will work the other way around.

The number of crossovers will depend on the type of voice coil (single or dual) used by your sub since you will need one for each of them. Note that this type of connection can’t be used with other speakers hooked up to the amp simultaneously.