Your home stereo is not complete if you haven’t added a subwoofer to it yet. You might already know that if you have listened to a sound system with a subwoofer even once, it takes the listening experience to the next level, delivering perfect bass. If you have already got a subwoofer and it doesn’t have a built-in amplifier, you are going to miss a lot if you don’t connect it to an amplifier, also here are some of the top-rated subwoofers for cars, in case you’re looking to get new ones.
How to Connect a Subwoofer to an Amplifier
If you care about the sound quality, you definitely want to connect your sub to an amplifier. It will enhance the sound performance and quality, and listening experience. This article elaborates on the ways to connect a sub to an amplifier, either using ‘SUB OUT’ or ‘LFE’ output on an amplifier or using the RCA connection on the subwoofer. Choose which one is suitable for you and your units.
Another important step explained in this article is the placement of your subwoofer for optimal sound quality. Since, if the position ain’t right, you are not experiencing the sound quality of your subwoofer the way you should.
Through LFE Subwoofer Output
One of the methods you can opt for to connect a subwoofer to an amplifier is through using the LFE subwoofer output; also, this is the most preferred one. What you need to do first is, check the backside of both the subwoofer and amplifier and have a look at the plugs and outputs.
Before connecting the subwoofer to the amplifier, make sure both are powered off. Find the subwoofer output on the amplifier that will be labeled as ‘SUB OUT’ or ‘SUBWOOFER.’ On the subwoofer, find the ‘Line In’ or ‘LFE In’ jack. Connect the subwoofer output, LFE jack, on the amplifier to the ‘LFE In’ jack on the subwoofer using an LFE cable.
The LFE-Low Frequency Effects cable has one RCA connector on both ends. It is made to connect a subwoofer to its receiver. Almost all the receivers and amplifiers have an LFE port, which is a particular output to connect with a subwoofer; it may even be labeled as ‘SUBWOOFER’ and not ‘LFE’ for clarity and convenience.
Through Stereo RCA
Another method to connect the subwoofer and amplifier is by using stereo RCA outputs. There is also a chance that your subwoofer doesn’t have the LFE jack (LFE input) or your amplifier doesn’t have the subwoofer output, LFE output. In that case, you need to utilize the right and left (R and L) stereo RCA connectors that might be there on the subwoofer.
If the subwoofer output on the amplifier is RCA jack and the ‘Line In’ jack in the subwoofer uses RCA cables as well, then connect the two units simply through an RCA cable. If only your subwoofer has right and left plugs as input jacks, then you can use a y-cable (a cable split from one end) and plug it into both the R and L jacks on the sub. If the amplifier has right and left RCA jacks as subwoofer output, then you need to connect both of them as well.
Connecting the Amplifier With a Speaker
The next step after connecting the subwoofer to the amplifier is to connect the amplifier with the speaker. Look at the back of the amplifier and fine the speaker outputs, plug the speaker wires into those output jacks. There should be two speaker wires, with bare wire ends, connect with each output in the amplifier.
Make sure that you connect the right and left speaker wires into the right corresponding outputs. The speaker wires come marked to clarify their right audio signal polarity; some amplifiers also have the polarities mentioned on them. So you have to make sure the terminals from the speakers are plugged in with the right polarities on the amplifier.
Positioning of the Subwoofer
For a Single Listener
The placement of your subwoofer is extremely important if you are to get the most out of the listening experience. There are some misconceptions about not placing the subwoofers on certain spots, one of them being not placing the subs in the corners. While there is no rule regarding where to place the subs but, position them where you get the sound right.
One easy way to find out what’s the perfect spot to position your subwoofer is to place it on the spot you will be seated on, turn on some audio with bass notes, and then go around the room, analyzing different spots to find the right one to locate your sub, from where you will get the optimal sound. For that, you need to put your ear close to the ground on those different spots to hear accurately how the notes sound.
So yes, you may have to compromise a tiny fraction of your dignity by practically crawling around the room, a worthy small price to pay for the best sound experience, if you ask me. Moving on, you will experience the bass fluctuating on the different spots of the room, find the one where the bass sounds strong and even, and you have got the right place for your sub.
For More than One Listener
The job is much quicker and easier if there is only one person listening, which is you, but if you got the company of a couple more listeners, the work isn’t done yet, but I’m sure you got the drill right. Just place the sub now on the spot the other listener would sit and first check the spot you found optimal for yourself; if that still sounds fine from there, great, you are done! If it doesn’t, check the other spots and find the best compromise.
There is one alternative you can go for if you are a serious listener, and especially if there are multiple listeners in one room, that is buying two subs rather than one. That is a costly option, yes, but two subs can give a more consistent bass sound to different spots of a room, and it will save you the time and effort if your company wants the perfect bass as much as you.
The placement of a subwoofer is definitely crucial for an audio system. However, if you don’t think of yourself as an audiophile or a perfect bass junkie and rather place the sub where the overall appearance looks appealing or where it’s convenient, you are good to go with that, also. Make sure that the adjustments are right, and it should still sound great.
Connecting a subwoofer to an amplifier is not a complicated task but an extremely important one, nonetheless, in setting up your home sound system. This article elaborates on the alternative ways you can connect your subs to an amplifier, so you can choose one that is suitable, according to the options available to you.
Another query about a necessary step in your sound system setup that this article addresses is the positioning of your subwoofers in the room. Helping you find the right location to place your subs to get the superior bassline and incredible listening experience, to satisfy the audiophile in you.