To have a theater-like experience at home without compromising the sound quality may get you thinking about powering up your subwoofers with an amplifier. If you are wondering whether your subwoofer requires an amp or not? Then we got you covered. The need to install an amp depends on the subwoofer. The job of a subwoofer is to maximize deep bass sound. To boost up the sound, even more, you need an amplifier.
The use of an amplifier with a subwoofer is not limited to a house theater setup, but you can have it in your cars. If your subwoofer has a built-in amp, then you do not need to pair an external amplifier. A subwoofer works perfectly fine without an amp, but if you love to experience acoustic, resounding thumping, loud movie or game effects, it is simply the job of an amplifier.
Does a Subwoofer need an Amp?
Subwoofers add up to the speaker by producing a lower frequency of about 20Hz to 200Hz. A subwoofer requires a lot of power. However, if the necessary amount of power is not provided to a subwoofer, in that case, it will result in distorted sounds, primarily when a subwoofer acts as the main component of the sound system.
If a sound system acquires too much power, it will affect the entire sound system, and the sound produced by a subwoofer will not have deep and clear bass but rather heavy and labored. Such an issue occurs in the case of a standalone subwoofer. The need for an amp for a subwoofer depends on which type of subwoofer you purchased or already have. There are types of subwoofers, one is passive, and the other is the active subwoofer.
Passive subwoofers are those that cannot work independently. They need to have an external amplifier to power up a subwoofer. Like loudspeakers or speakers, they require to draw out power from the external source the same way passive subwoofer functions. Passive speakers are often preferred for home theaters.
You need to be careful while deciding to get a suitable amplifier that will provide enough power to a subwoofer. Otherwise, the sound will be affected and will not have clear and deep bass and acoustic sound in musical instruments. So getting a matching amplifier for a subwoofer is essential.
Nonetheless, consider the power requirement that your subwoofer needs to draw out from an amplifier or a receiver. If you get the wrong type of amplifier, that may result in messing up your power supply like the dimming of lights or, in worst cases, the fuse might go out. Considering the room’s size should also be given heed because getting an amplifier bigger than the subwoofer and room requirement might disturb your neighbors.
Installing A Passive Subwoofer
To install an amp to a passive subwoofer, connect the RCA cable into subwoofer jacks. There are two outputs for the jack one is monaural, and the other is stereo visible at the rear side of the subwoofer. For monaural output, only a single cable is required, while for stereo’s output, two cables are needed. Make sure you connect the right cables to the correct outputs.
There are two types of subwoofers; one is the single voice coil and the other with a dual voice coil. You should know which type your subwoofer belongs to because both have different wiring systems, just as dual voice coils have parallel, independent, and series wiring systems and have two sets of terminals, positive in red color and negative in black color each. Subwoofers with a single voice coil have positive colors in red a one set of the terminal, a positive one, and a negative one.
Once you have connected RCA cables to the subwoofers, the next step is to connect the same RCA cables input jack into the amplifier. The output of the amplifier may be named subwoofer output or low-frequency effects (LFE). Plugin the input jacks into the output of the amplifier. The last step is to connect the amplifier to the speakers after connecting the cables to the speaker’s correct output and then check the power supply before turning on the amplifier.
Active Subwoofer And Installation
Active subwoofers are also named powered subwoofers are those that have a built-in amplifier. The active subwoofer does not need an external amplifier. They are handy with easy setup. Powered subwoofers feature the configuration of both the speaker and of an amplifier, due to which the power requirement is matched with that of the amplifier.
Setting up an active subwoofer only requires one cable to be connected to the low-frequency effects or subwoofer output which will then be connected to the active or powered subwoofer. However, for these subwoofers to work, they need more power than passive subwoofers.
Passive Subwoofer Vs Active Subwoofer
Active subwoofers are more costly than passive subwoofers. In the case of passive subwoofers, it allows you to customize and control various options, not the case in powered subwoofers. A single speaker provides optimal bass frequencies due to the built-in LFE channel. Passive subwoofers cannot work without an amplifier, and it needs an external amplifier, while an active amplifier works independently due to the speaker and amplifier’s units’ enclosure.
Due to the compact nature, the active subwoofers can be placed anywhere with no extensive cabling, which is not the case in passive subwoofers. Passive subwoofers require less power to work that will have less impact on the utility bill than active subwoofers. Passive subwoofers do not feature wireless connections, but the newer models of active subwoofers have this feature nowadays.
With all features discussed, the compatibility between a subwoofer and an amplifier is essential. If you have the passive subwoofer, you need to pair up an amp as it lacks an amplifier. However, in the active or powered subwoofer, you do not need to have an amp as it features a built-in amp. If you want to boost the sound system even more, then you should get an external amplifier.