How to Hook Up a Subwoofer to a Home Stereo

By Joe Fletcher

A subwoofer can really enhance the sound of any stereo system. Even if you have high-end speakers and amplification, a subwoofer can add the deep bass that you may be missing.

Connect using a line-out connection. This type of connection will send a nonamplified, low-frequency signal to your subwoofer. This is for powered subwoofers only (subwoofers with built-in amplification that you plug into the power outlet). Use RCA cable or subwoofer cable to connect from the "Sub Out" or "LFE Out" on your receiver, preamplifier or amplifier to the subwoofer input jack.

Turn the subwoofer "On" on your receiver or preamplifer menu.

Connect using speaker-level connections. Some receivers do not have a Sub Out jack, and passive subwoofers require external amplification and, therefore, a speaker level connection.

Connect speaker cable from the main speaker outputs on your receiver/amplifier to the input terminals on the subwoofer. Correctly match corresponding speakers (left, right) and polarities (positive, negative).

Connect speaker cable from the speaker outputs on your subwoofer to the corresponding left and right speakers. Again, be careful to match the polarities. Turn the subwoofer "Off" and set speakers to "Large" on your menu.