How to Connect Subwoofer

After you’ve found the best subwoofer under $500 or more, you should know where to install it and how to connect it. When you find out where to place a subwoofer properly, how do you deal with the second task? Especially considering the fact that there are several ways to connect the subwoofer to your home theater or audio system. The answer varies depending on the number of subwoofers you want to add and the type of connection you want to use.

The subwoofers of all elements of the stereo system are the hardest in connection since they sound extremely different at every place. They can be connected to speakers, AV receivers, etc. In this post, we’ll go through different methods on how to connect a subwoofer.

Mono Subwoofer

If you have only one subwoofer, you won’t have to worry about connection: just hook it up via subwoofer output or LFE output on your receiver or preamplifier. However, if your receiver lacks a subwoofer output, you will have to hook it up via speaker cables. The user’s manual that comes with a sub typically includes a diagram showing how to perform connection using speaker cables.

You can easily connect a subwoofer to your computer speaker setup via a subwoofer output or line outputs of other speakers. If these outputs are absent, a Y adaptor consisting of 2 outputs must be purchased. It plugs into the PC’s audio output. Connect the first output to your computer speakers via a standard 3.5mm cord and the second output to the sub’s line input via a 3.5-mm–to–RCA cable.

Stereo Subwoofers

Learning how to wire a subwoofer is not that tough, but connecting a pair or more subwoofers will be more difficult. Hooking up your subwoofers to a receiver would be the easiest way possible. Unfortunately, almost every receiver has a mono LFE output, so it is not suitable for a multi-subwoofer setup (unless you have more than one receiver). You can connect to the stereo preamp outputs of the receiver or to the main amplifier inputs if they are available.

The easiest way to connect your stereo subwoofers to the home theater setup is to hook up one receiver to the sub, and then connect the second subwoofer to the first one. The alternative way to transmit two parallel signals is by using the RCA Y-adapter. However, these ways will work only if you have no more than two subs.

In the case you have more than a pair of subwoofers with RCA or LFE line-out connections, you won’t have any trouble with the hook-ups. In this case, you can just daisy chain them with the help of subwoofer cables. You will also need a receiver that can feed up to 4 subs, with at least 2 subwoofer outputs.

As you can guess, it’s very easy to learn how to hook up a subwoofer if you own a wireless model. However, if you are not planning to buy one, you can use a wireless subwoofer adapter that will allow you to turn any wired subwoofer into a wireless one.

How to Choose a Crossover Frequency

Most receivers are set up at 80Hz crossover frequency by default. However, in order to get deeper and stronger bass, you should employ a few techniques. For example, set the sub at a lower frequency (at least 50Hz) and increase the volume level. If you hear unclear and overly boomy bass, set the subwoofer at its lowest crossover settings. And, again, increase the volume level. This way, you can get a tight and purer bass.

You also can try changing the crossover frequency on the main speakers. However, it will require performing a lot of tweaking before you find the perfect settings. Just remember doing the adjustments separately from the subwoofer or you won’t hear any changes.