Different Ways To Wire Subwoofers

There are at least a couple of different ways to wire subwoofers. The way you wire your subwoofer will depend on the options you have on your receiver. Most modern home theater receivers have an output for a subwoofer, but an older model may not. There is a workaround for that which is covered here.

How To Wire Subwoofers From A Receiver's Subwoofer Output

One of the ways to wire subwoofers is from the subwoofer output on the back of your receiver. This is the easiest because it's just a matter of connecting both ends of the speaker wire to the appropriate connections.

You need a speaker wire with an RCA connector on each end. Make sure it is long enough to reach the subwoofer without being stretched.

  1. Turn the volume of the receiver completely down, turn off the receiver and unplug it. This prevents any possibility of electrical shock and loud noise blasts which could harm the speakers.
  2. Locate the output for the subwoofer on the back of the receiver. It may say “Subwoofer Out” or “Sub Out’ or “LFE”.
  3. Plug one end of the wire into that output.
  4. Locate the input on the subwoofer. It may read “Input” or “Line In”.
  5. Plug in the other end of the speaker wire.
    Note: If you have right and left channel inputs on the subwoofer, you may need to get a Y-adapter for the speaker wire. This has a female jack on one end and two male jacks on the other end. One male jack goes into the left input and one goes into the right input on the subwoofer.
  6. Turn on the power to the receiver and make any adjustments need to the volume and amount of bass coming out of the subwoofer. If the subwoofer is powered, be sure you have the power turned on for it.

How To Wire Subwoofers With No Receiver Subwoofer Output 

This is another one of the ways to wire subwoofers. This is works well for receivers which do not have a subwoofer output. You will need four speaker wires to accomplish this connection. Depending on the connectors on your subwoofer, you may need for some or all of these wires to have bare ends so that they can connect to the speaker posts on the back of the speakers. 

  1. Same as step one above.
  2. Use one of the speaker wires to connect the main left speaker output on the back of the receiver to the left channel speaker input on the subwoofer.
  3. Use another to connect the right speaker channel output on the back of the receiver to the right speaker channel input on the subwoofer.
  4. Take the additional speaker wires and run one from the left channel output on the back of the subwoofer to the input on the back of your left main speaker and connect it.
  5. Run the other wire from the subwoofer’s right channel output to the main right speaker and connect it.
  6. Power up and make any needed adjustments to sound and volume.
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