Connect Passive Subwoofers to Stereo Amplifiers

How to Connect Passive Subwoofers to Stereo Amplifiers – Step by Step

Are you looking to connect Passive Subwoofers to your existing setup? If yes, then read our article to know more.

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If you are an audiophile, using an excellent home theatre along with the subwoofer should be the best choice. The subwoofer is an excellent option to provide you with a designed opportunity for reproducing the highly low frequencies. However, you need to integrate your subwoofer with the rest of the system would be one of the most important tasks you would need to undertake. Let us check out how to do it.

For the sake of this post, we will check out how to connect the passive subwoofer to the Stereo AMP.

What is the difference between a Passive Subwoofer and a Powered subwoofer?

A subwoofer can either be passive or powered. The actual integration of your subwoofer with the rest of your system would be dependent upon which type of subwoofer you have opted for.

The significant difference between a passive and powered subwoofer depends on how they are powered. A passive subwoofer needs to be powered by an external amplifier, while a powered subwoofer is self-contained. That would mean it does have a built-in amp.

Related: Best Passive Sub-Woofer

A subwoofer needs to have more power for reproducing the low-frequency sound. This would mean the amplifier should be powerful enough to output the low frequencies without draining its power supply. The amount of power needed here would be dependent upon the size of the room and subwoofer speaker capacity.

Connecting the passive subwoofer to the amplifier would need you to join the speaker wire from the amp to the subwoofer. You would also need to connect the subwoofer line of the receiver to the external amplifier.

There may be issues like an inadequate power supply from the amplifier or receiver. This can effectively be avoided by opting for powered subwoofers. The powered subwoofers do come with their own dedicated amps.

These are also referred to as active subwoofers. These would need only a single connection between the subwoofer and the home theatre receiver.

Which Subwoofer is the best – Passive or Powered?

Well, the fact is, whether a subwoofer is powered or active will not determine the actual performance levels of your subwoofer. However, the powered subwoofers would be a preferred option because of the built-in amplification that they come with. Any sort of amplifier limitation will not limit these as no external amplifiers are used in this case.

That is precisely what makes the powered amplifiers a better option when compared to their passive counterparts. The passive subwoofer option may turn out to be expensive as you would need to invest in an external amplifier.

How to Connect Passive Subwoofers to Stereo Amp?

The Passive Subwoofer does not have any internal amplifiers as we have already explained. That would mean you would need to connect the external amps. Subwoofers are used for improving the low-frequency performance and the bass quality of your speakers. The exact size of the subwoofers will be dependent upon your room size.

Here are the steps you would need to go through if you want to connect your subwoofer to the Stereo Amplifier. Follow the steps carefully to achieve the best connectivity option –

STEP 1 – Connect the Proper RCA Cables

You will be using the cables to connect the subwoofer to the amplifier. Most common types of connectivity cables used are RCA. The exact connection would be dependent upon whether the subwoofer transmits mono or stereo signals.  In the case of the mono output, you will be using one cable, while two wires will be needed for stereo output. Check out the color of the cables to ensure a proper connection.

STEP 2 – Check your Subwoofer

You will now need to understand your subwoofer properly. It may have a single voice call or dual voice call woofer system. A double voice call subwoofer will come with multiple wiring options. You may need to go through the instruction manual of your subwoofer.

STEP 3 – Connect your Amplifier

The passive subwoofers come with an added advantage. You should be able to use it with any of your preferred amplifiers. You would be able to experiment with different amps. Active subwoofers come with a self-contained amplifier, and you do not have the liberty to experiment.

  • Make sure that the amplifier is switched off.
  • Connect the RCA cables between the amplifier and subwoofer. The jack on the amplifier may be labeled Low-Frequency Effects, LFE or Subwoofer output.
  • You should plug in the RCA cables into these sockets.
  • The connection from these sockets should go to the input jacks on the subwoofer.

You should also be able to connect multiple subwoofers with ease.

STEP 4 – Connect the Amplifiers to the Speakers

The last step would be to connect the amplifier to your speakers. The rear of your amp should have the output jacks labeled either Main or Front. Connect the speaker wires to these outputs. The bare ends of these connections should go into the speakers. Make sure that the left and right speakers are connected to the appropriate ends. In some cases, polarity may be mentioned. In those scenarios, ensure that the positive terminal from the speaker goes into the positive terminal on the amplifier, while the negative terminal should go into the negative terminal on the amp.

That should complete the connectivity. Once you have connected the speaker, subwoofer, and amplifiers, fine-tune the sound performance using the bass management on your receiver. Do make sure that all the connections are correctly constructed, and switch on the power supply to the amplifier.

In Conclusion

That is precisely how you would need to connect your passive subwoofer to your stereo amplifier system. Please note that it would be easily understandable in many of the cases. Moreover, the tutorial as featured here is based on a generic discussion and steps for connecting your subwoofer to an external amplifier. The exact steps involved in the connection may be slightly different depending upon the type, connectivity option on your subwoofer and those on your amp.

We assume the steps as in the above discussion should help you check out the best connectivity options to connect your passive subwoofer to the amplifiers. We hope you get the best possible low-frequency performance with your setup.

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