How to Connect a Subwoofer to a Car Stereo Without an Amp

Going on long drives through the countryside can get boring and exhausting if music is not there to accompany you. That’s why a lot of people get a subwoofer to get the most out of their car audio system. Another equipment that goes hand in hand to boost car audio is an amp.

However, not all subwoofers are blessed with a built-in amp. So, are you stuck with a subwoofer that’ll always be semi- neutered? The answer is- NO. You can work around this problem by manually connecting the woofer to the system.

This article will serve as a blueprint when you’re trying to hook up a subwoofer on your own. Without further ado, let’s jump in.

Powered Subwoofer Vs. Passive Subwoofer: Why No Amp

If you don’t have a built-in subwoofer, it doesn’t mean you are hit with bad luck.

There are different types of subwoofer available in the market, and two of the most common subwoofers are Powered Subwoofer and Passive Subwoofer.

The key difference between these two types is- Powered Subwoofer comes with a built-in amplifier, whereas the Passive Subwoofer does not have any amp.

Here you have it. If you have bought one without an amp, that means it is a Passive Subwoofer. However, that’s not the end of the road by any stretch of the imagination. All you need is some DIY-magic, and the problem will go bye-bye.

How to Connect a Subwoofer to a Car Stereo Without an Amp

Connecting A Subwoofer To A Car Stereo Without Amp

So, let’s see how to connect a subwoofer to a car stereo when you don’t have an amp.

·      Disconnect the Car Battery or Electric System

Begin with disconnecting the negative battery cable from the negative terminal to avoid a shortage of the vehicle’s electrical system. The subwoofer is an electric component, and if you leave the cable attached to the battery while connecting the subwoofer, it will gradually absorb extra juice from the battery.

Therefore, make sure you disconnect the cable components very carefully.

·      Shut Off the Infotainment Components

While disconnecting the battery, you also have to turn off all the lines connecting to the broadcasting system. It is crucial to avoid unwanted shocks while getting access to the rear panel.

·      Remove the Fuse

You need to apply some mechanisms in the fuse box before starting the subwoofer installation process. You have to remove the fuse to make a connection with the subwoofer and the main power supply.

·      Detach the Stereo from the Dashboard

Next, disconnect the speaker by mounting the dock. You can use a flathead screwdriver for this task. Removing the speaker will allow you to get access to the wiring underneath the rear panel.

It is a mandatory step in installing a subwoofer because you will need to locate the stereo wiring.

·      Attaching an Adapter with the Stereo Wires

At this point, you need a stereo adapter to get a power outlet for your subwoofer. The adapter should be combined with the stereo wiring. It will be the final source of power, providing the connection through a single cable.

Connect the jack to the output port of your subwoofer.

·      Placing the Subwoofer

Placement is one of the significant steps in terms of connecting a subwoofer in your car. While setting up, you create a crossover connection between your sub and car stereo, so poor placement might end up doing more harm than good.

So, look for a right rear panel in your car. There should be one behind the car seat or in the back compartment.

·      Check the Connection

The hard part is over. Now it’s time you check whether your subwoofer is pleasing your ear or not. Turn on the music from the stereo dock and focus on the sound quality.

If the base is added automatically and the sound is uniform, consider yourself a successful DIY subwoofer connector.

Moreover, you can conceal all the wires by carpet for added safety or to avoid any unintentional physical contact.

Other Ways to Connect Subwoofer Without an Amp

Until now, we have discussed the fundamental methods of connecting subwoofers to a car stereo. However, there are other ways to get this done.

These are also simple and straightforward. However, if your car stereo doesn’t have the proper assortment of tools, this step can be a little inconvenient for you.

So, if your car stereo comes with either LFE (low-frequency effect) or R & L (right and left) connectors, then you are good to go with the following procedures.

·      LFE Subwoofer Output to Connect the Subwoofer

There is a special kind of port as output in stereo and as input in subwoofer called LFE (low-frequency effect). It is mainly made for connecting subwoofers with stereos.

You will find a place in your subwoofer labeled with ‘SUBWOOFER’ or ‘SUB OUT’ where the LFE port will connect.

Put the LFE jack coming from your car stereo inside the receiver line of the subwoofer.

Congrats!! If you have successfully connected your subwoofer.

You can easily identify the LFE because it is similar to the RCA port with a connector at both ends.

·      Connect Using Stereo RCA Output

Some car stereos do not come with an LFE port, and even some of the subwoofers miss LFE input. You have to check out for R and L (right & left) connectors to install your subwoofer in such cases.

You can easily plug L or R jack on the subwoofer box if you find the stereo output and the subwoofer input using RCA cables.

Moreover, sometimes the car stereo might have both R and L RCA ports, so you have to plug them together for this type of connection.

·      Connect Using Spring Clips

You may find that your subwoofer uses a set of spring clips to connect the speaker wire. You have to utilize your car stereo’s output jack to hook up with the subwoofer in this situation.

Check out the box of your subwoofer. If there are two sets of spring clips, make sure you connect one of the speakers to the subwoofer that again joins with the car stereo. It is essential for passing the audio signal.

Besides, if there is only one set of spring clips, then you need to have a similar recipient for the speaker connection.

Final Words

Connecting the subwoofer to your stereo system makes a massive difference to the sound quality. It enables you to feel the music instead of just listening to it.

Now that you know how to install a subwoofer even without an amp, why not give it a try and see how it goes with your car stereo? If everything goes down smoothly, you’ll get to enjoy your ride with soothing music by your side.