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How to connect a subwoofer in the car

HomeCar Care TipsHow to connect a subwoofer in the car

Installation and connection of subwoofer

Automotive standard audio system rarely equipped with a subwoofer, at least until the sedan of D-class. Options for the subwoofer offered by manufacturers, often leave much to be desired and do not satisfy the demanding of sound quality of car owners. So the question is: how to connect a subwoofer in the car relevant to virtually everyone who wants to get a decent sound, regardless of the class and make of the car.

Сабвуфер важен для оптимального распределения звука

The subwoofer is important for optimal sound distribution

High quality audio system reproduces a wide frequency range perceived by the person. This cannot be achieved when using only one speaker. Quality audio system should combine different types of speaker systems, each of which reproduces a phonogram in a characteristic frequency range.

Playback of low frequencies produced by the subwoofer, speaker, with a large area of the diffuser.

Multimedia systems also need a subwoofer, as in its absence, some moments lose their appeal, the speaker simply does not play.

Road better subwoofer in the trunk

Car subwoofer is required to reproduce frequencies up to 100 Hz, which requires a bulk acoustic design. However, most often this value is somewhat lower and in most systems the subwoofer is limited by the frequency 60-85 Hz. In most systems it is installed in the trunk because of the ease of placement. The lower the reproducible frequency, the more weakened the localization of a sound source in space, and therefore, when installing a subwoofer in the trunk, it becomes possible to vary the place of installation of the tweeters and to achieve the required sound quality.

Sometimes you can find the installation when the subwoofer is built into the front panel. This solution is interesting from the point of view of music, but technically it is much more difficult. Besides, such arrangement is likely to be a lot of fans of sound and music, who are ready to sacrifice anything, just to improve the sound quality.

Types of car subwoofers

Commercially available models are divided into three groups:

  1. Bass speakers.
  2. Active subwoofers.
  3. Passive subwoofers.

The differences between them are clearly visible on the paths of the audio systems. Tract reproducing low frequencies has a head unit, amp, and WOOFER connecting cables. The choice of head unit aside, as well as connecting cables, and brands.

Type car subwoofer depends on the layout of the amplifier and bass-heads, and acoustic design.

Active subwoofer bass speaker is installed in the box, the amplifier is fixed outside or inside the box. It is almost ready to install the product, all the problems are limited to laying and connecting cables.

Активный сабвуфер сразу готов к подключению

Active subwoofer immediately ready to connect

This option is recommended for normal listeners that do not require exact reproduction of all tones of a musical work. However he has a big advantage: this subwoofer usually has small size and convenient to install.

A passive subwoofer is more interesting from the point of view of music option. The bass head is in the box, that is, on the face of the acoustic design. A complete system is created the proper selection and connection of the amplifier.

Пассивному сабвуферу нужно сделать ящик

The passive subwoofer you need to make a crate

Advantages: huge selection of models from simple installation, such as subwoofers uncomplicated case in the form of a rectangle or trapezoid. Disadvantage: a-line, though small in size greatly complicates the use of the trunk as it is located almost in the center. Also, in case of discrepancy between the body colours and upholstery, there may be some aesthetic discomfort. And yet this option is optimal in terms of the effort and the results obtained.

WOOFER is the most interesting and common category. Only buy the speaker and the box is made either alone or in the setup of the Studio.

Каждый динамик требует индивидуального размещения

Each speaker requires an individual host

Then there is the connection of speakers to the subwoofer and the system works. This group is the most numerous, manufacturers rarely put the model in a ready-made boxes. With rare exception the bass speakers have a size of 8, 10, 12 or 15 inches. The convenience of self-made subwoofer enclosure in its individuality and originality, compactness and easy to make a box under the selected installation site.

The above features of different types of subwoofers are exceptions, and often we cannot say that an active subwoofer so-and-so brand is worse than passive another brand. All you need to compare. Here are only General observations about the different types of subwoofers.

Types of enclosures subwoofers

Each head of the subwoofer requires an individual design. There are several types of such acoustic design:

  • sealed box (cloused box);
  • the box bass reflex (vented box);
  • endless front baffle (free air);
  • bandpass box (bandpass).

Sealed box

It is most simple to manufacture, and as the subwoofer in the car it’s much simpler because it has only one variable value is its volume. It is least susceptible to installation errors.

Стандартный закрытый ящик от производителя

Standard sealed box from the manufacturer

Subwoofer box should be as strong and tight.

Especially carefully it is necessary to do the surface, mating with the speaker, because the uneven surface will have cracks that will nullify all the efforts. Correctly diffuser pressing significantly resists, and when you return “reluctantly” takes the starting position.

Free air

This can be considered a closed box with an infinitely large volume. Actually it’s trunk volume, which, however, is sufficient and does not affect the WOOFER.

Для Free air ящик – весь багажник

For Free air box – rear

For this installation, you should carefully isolate the trunk. This is not always possible, for example, the wagon is completely unsuitable for this. Free air can be recommended for the sedan, eliminating it in the gap behind the rear seat backrest, requires also the installation of an acoustic shelf.

Vented box

Essentially it is a box with a port of a certain length and area. Its main advantage in comparison with a closed box it is possible to develop a large sound pressure.

Фазоинверторный корпус можно сделать нужного размера

A vented box you can make the right size

The installation of this shell requires a lot of knowledge and experience. Under the existing WOOFER have to choose three parameters: the volume of a box, its length and cross section of the port. Miscalculation even in one of them leads to disruption of the subwoofer. Therefore, to apply this type of housing is only recommended to experts.


The most complex structure, to realize it is only by a professional. Structurally it is a box having one or more ports, internal partitions that divide the chamber into parts for each WOOFER, which in bandpasses installed on the partition inside the box.

Бандпасс делят на отсеки под каждый динамик

Bandpass divided into compartments for each speaker

Properly designed and installed bandpass will award a significant increase in sound pressure and playing the lowest frequencies.

Regardless of the type of installation, the rear speakers on the rear shelf must be isolated from the influence of the subwoofer.

If you do not follow this strict rule, then connecting the subwoofer to the factory radio, will inevitably lead to a distortion in the sound.

The select connection type subwoofer

Choose one of the car types of acoustic design must be based on the vehicle and its type. All cars can be divided into 3 classes:

  • with the trunk, isolated from the saloon (sedan);
  • combined lounge and Luggage compartment (hatchback and wagon);
  • open body (convertible).

Each of them requires its own individual approach. Combining the features of machines of different types and different ways of producing sound, you can achieve good results.


With a body type of a sedan to Tinker, to install a subwoofer in it pretty hard. The most convenient to install bass head car type sedan is rear shelf. It, however, you can install the subwoofer in any way acoustic design.

В седане сабвуфер чаще на задней полке

In the sedan subwoofer more often on the rear shelf

Rear shelf is the most common place, but sometimes there are recommendations to install a subwoofer in the rear seat armrests. Thus it is necessary to carefully consider the size of the holes and make them large enough that wouldn’t close cone WOOFER. If you do not, you can forget about good sound quality.


The car with the hatchback the most convenient to install of the tweeters. It is most convenient to use here the “free air”, but can be any other type of design and installation.

Сабвуфер в хетчбэке

The subwoofer in the hatchback

Choosing a subwoofer, you should consider that the most melodic, beautiful and accurate sound from bass-heads the size of 10 inches.


Cars with body type convertible are very difficult to install the woofers, as they have insufficient space. However, the best in sound pressure is the result obtained by using FC enclosures vented, or the acoustics of the bandpass type.

Кабриолет наиболее сложен для установки сабвуфера

The convertible is the most complicated to install subwoofer

If the volume, which is being introduced in acoustics, has great limitations, it is better to use closed-type acoustics. It is recommended to use two woofers, and to enhance the benefits for some distance in front of them to put a hard plate.

Regardless of the method of installation and design, in fact the connection is of the same type, the options may be when wiring cables.

Connecting the subwoofer

Under the hood of the car need to immediately disconnect the cable from the negative battery terminal. This is necessary to avoid short circuits during the installation of the amplifier.

Under the hood you need to determine where it will be mounted the fuse. The fuse must be protected from short circuits, and this is possible only if he will be outside the circuit. Finding a suitable location, you need to attach the fuse with a screw. Pre-need to make a drill hole.

Place for cable management

Inside the car it is necessary to find the place where will be the wire to connect the subwoofer to the power source of the vehicle. Preferably, that would have a protective rubber sleeve to provide easy access under the hood. After you strip the power wires through the bushing, you need to find under the hood of the cord and tighten it, make an adequate supply, that would be easier to connect the wire of the fuse.

Тщательно выбирайте место для проводки

Carefully choose the place for the transaction

Most often, the best place to strip the power wires located at the edge of the cabin. If you remove the rear seats, too, can gain easy access. Typically, the rear seat is secured by two bolts that are located under each seat.

Connecting cables

Connect the cables to the RCA output on the SUB OUT to the subwoofer, and remote turn-on wiring to the output of the RMT main unit CD, most often this wire is blue. To sum up these wires back to the amplifier, as well as the power wires. To prevent trouble, you need to run speaker wire and signal down along the passenger side of the car. The path of the strip must be done separately from the power wires.

Next you need to connect the power wire to the terminal on the amplifier marked “PWR” or “+12 V”, connect the wire to enable “remote” terminal on the amplifier or “RMT”. Now, attach the ground wire to the “GND” terminal of the amplifier.

To connect a subwoofer using the wire system of acoustics to the amplifier. Then connect the negative battery terminal.

Make sure the positive and negative terminals of the subwoofer connected to the corresponding terminals of the amplifier.

Next, be sure to check that the amplifier is switched on and the subwoofer is working properly and it is well heard. In the process of laying cables and connecting the respective terminals, it is necessary to monitor compliance with all of the connectors and not to confuse them. Then everything will function normally.

Любая дорога приятнее с хорошей музыкой

Either way more enjoyable with good music

Video flat subwoofer

Video — how to connect your sound equipment in the car


Having dealt with how to connect a subwoofer in the car and by installing it, you need to make sure that everything is properly connected, enjoy received powerful sound of good music.