How to Install a Car Subwoofer to a Home Theater

By Chris Moore

A subwoofer meant for a car stereo can often give you better sound quality on your home theater system. The problem is that this subwoofer requires an amplifier that runs on 12-volt power, like from a car battery. The subwoofer and amplifier would fry if either was plugged into a home power socket. So you need to plug in the subwoofer's amplifier separately with a power inverter and then hook up that amplifier to the main amplifier on your surround system.

Get a power inverter that converts the power from your home outlet to 12 volts. Plug the car amplifier into this inverter; it will have a three-pronged socket for you to plug into. Plug the inverter into a wall socket after everything else is connected.

Connect the subwoofer to the car amplifier. This requires a 12 or 16-gauge speaker wire; consult the amplifier and subwoofer's manuals to see which type you need. Connect the wires to the terminals by inserting the bare, U-shaped brackets under the terminals and twist-tighten the terminals; connect the red wire to the red terminal and black to black.

Link the subwoofer's amplifier to the main amplifier for your home theater surround sound system. Connect the main amplifier's subwoofer output ports to the extra amplifier's input ports using RCA audio cables (these have only the white and red plugs).

Hook up the other speakers for the surround sound system to the main amplifier, not the one the subwoofer is directly connected to. This includes a maximum of two left speakers, two right speakers and a central speaker. Connect them all with RCA cables.