How To Connect Subwoofer To Car Stereo Without Amp?

Adding a subwoofer to your car audio system can level up your listening experience with more robust bass sounds. A woofer is often paired with an amplifier to boost the volume of the music. What would you do if an amplifier is unavailable on your car?  This post will discuss “how to connect subwoofer to car stereo without amp?” and give step-by-step instructions on this issue. You can pair the woofer with your automobile stereo based on the information provided.  Make sure that you follow each step carefully!

How Does A Car Subwoofer Work?

The main speakers on your automobile may not be able to generate low-frequency sounds (bass) clearly with no interruption.

A woofer is a special audio device that handles these bass sounds with a frequency between 20 Hz and 100 Hz. It produces more authentic and vibrating songs with the original bass sounds not distorted like a regular audio system.

The device receives the sound signals and filters them through a magnetic coil. Then it amplifies the current and converts it into low-frequency waves.

Overall, you will have a greater listening experience while driving when your car is equipped with a woofer. This device will enhance the clarity of the sound and generate deep, immersive bass that turns your vehicle into a real audio theater.

You can place this device in any place or corner of your automobile, usually the trunks or underneath the driving seat.

However, connecting a woofer to the stereo on your car is a bit more complicated. You cannot just plug in the cable like a regular amplifier and expect it to work.

Can You Connect The Subwoofer To Car Stereo Without An Amp?

It would be best to install an extra amplifier to increase the sound volume and avoid distortion. The amplifier helps increase the amplitude of the sound signals with a large magnet.

However, not every vehicle has enough space to place an amp, or you may not want to purchase another audio device. You can still pair the subwoofer with automobile audio without an amplifier.

In this case, you will need an active subwoofer with a built-in amplifier device, which is sufficient to produce distortion-free and louder sounds.

How to Connect Subwoofer to Car Stereo Without Amp- Car Stereo SystemCar Stereo System

How to Connect The Subwoofer To Car Stereo Without An Amp?

The method may change depending on your stereo devices’ configuration. Ensure that you don’t miss any minor steps to pair the subwoofer with your automobile stereo successfully.

Step 1: Check The Subwoofer

A subwoofer requires a lot of power to operate; that’s why you normally need to pair it with an extra amplifier. Some heavy woofers cannot operate when plugged into the stereo if your car battery size is too small.

The first step is to inspect the type of woofers you are planning to connect. Try to place it in your car to check if the device’s size fits your preferred space.

There are many types of subwoofers, such as standard woofer, sub, mid, and rotary woofer. They are designed to handle different sound frequencies, ranging from 20 Hz to 2000 Hz.

However, you should pay attention to whether your woofer is active or inactive. These two categories produce the same sound quality and frequency but possess different componen

  • Active Subwoofer

Most active woofers have a built-in amplifier that works perfectly with the device’s speaker to produce bass sounds. The amps and main speakers are integrated into a single frame or unit.

Due to this feature, active woofers are more compact and easier to place in your car than passive ones. You just need one cable plugging into the receiver output to pair an active subwoofer with other audio devices.

This is the recommended type of woofer to pair with your automobile stereo because you don’t need to install an extra amp.

How to Connect Subwoofer to Car Stereo Without Amp- Amplifier ModelAmplifier Model 

  • Passive Subwoofer

On the contrary, a passive woofer doesn’t include an integrated amplifier. You have to connect it to an outer amp to operate this device.

The amplifier must be powerful enough to supply your woofer as it consumes a lot of power and may drain your car battery.

On average, passive woofers are cheaper than active ones because they have fewer built-in components. You can place multiple passive woofers in the vehicle to increase the sound quality.

If you use a passive one, prepare some high-end cables to carry the power supply and audio signals. Too many cables may make your automobile’s interior look messy because they are not easy to hide.

Step 2: Find An Ideal Mounting Spot

Before setting up the connection, you need to choose a suitable spot to place the subwoofer on your automobile. As I have mentioned above, the best location is underneath the driving seat or behind the spare wheel.

You can put the woofer anywhere you want as long as the sound generated is direct and doesn’t get blocked. Try placing your device in multiple spots to choose the most suitable place.

The mounting spot also depends on your woofer’s type, size, and your car’s interior structure. Please don’t put it too far from the head unit or stereo system on the front as you have to wire the connecting cables.

If you place it inside the trunk, ensure that the woofer faces towards the back, not the front, to achieve the highest audio quality. Remember to remove all the objects inside the trunk because they can damage your woofer when driving.

You need at least two subwoofers to put underneath the front seats, which are the car’s center. Check if your device fits the space; usually, a size around 8 inches is ideal.

Step 3: Install Your Subwoofer

Installing a subwoofer is a bit complicated as it requires general knowledge about wiring and electrical audio systems. You should inspect your devices’ configurations and read the manual carefully before installing them.

The steps to connect a passive and powered woofer to a car audio are not the same. After identifying which category your device belongs to, follow these instructions carefully.

  • With Passive Subwoofers

A passive woofer doesn’t have an integrated amplifier, and you can connect it directly to the stereo as a regular audio device.

The first step is to put your device into a suitable place, such as the car trunk or below the two front seats.

Now take a connecting cable and plug its two ends into the input on your car head unit harness and woofer. If you can find a built-in wire stretched from the automobile speakers, just plug it into the port of your subwoofer.

When dealing with the electric wires, turn off your car battery by disconnecting the ground power cable to ensure your safety.

  • With Active Subwoofers

Most active subwoofers come with wires and connecting accessories. If you have lost them, purchase the cables from nearby electronic gadgets stores.

Connecting an active woofer with the built-in amp in the basket is similar to pairing an amplifier with your car stereo. Remember to disconnect the ground power cable before you start.

Check your car battery, and you will see a power cable plugged in. Run this wire to the position of your subwoofer on the automobile and plug the other end into your device.

It would be best if you put the power cable beneath the carpet or hide it along the rear to avoid damaging the wire. Place the power fuse next to your vehicle battery.

The hardest step is to get the stereo out of its mounting position on your car. You should do it carefully, or your vehicle’s interior can get scratched.

Now check your stereo’s rear panel for the outlets and cable inputs. Use RCA cables to connect your stereo with the subwoofer.

Ensure that you choose the right input, or the connection won’t be established. Don’t let the RCA wire contact the power wire, or the signals may get distorted.

Carefully put the active subwoofer in the position you prefer.

For further instructions, consider watching the video below.

Step 4: Modify EQ Settings

Check the audio quality after you have successfully connected the subwoofer to the car stereo. In the beginning, there may be sound distortion or crackling, and you need to modify the EQ settings on your head unit.

Use a Real-time analyzer tool to assess the audio quality accurately. Adjusting the bands can change the frequency of the sounds.

Slowly modify each band until you get a smooth and authentic sound quality.

For more information:

Which Subwoofer Can I Attach To a Car Audio Without an Amplifier?

Here are some subwoofer models applicable for your car stereo system.

Under-seat Subwoofers

Many compact car models don’t have a large trunk to place your subwoofers. The best option is the under-seat woofer which is very light and portable.

This device is also compact and takes very little space. You can put it in any place on your car beside the underneath of the seats.

However, this woofer model is more prone to damage and vibration when driving. It comes at more affordable prices than the other categories.

Wheel Subwoofers

This product is designed to fit in the tires of your car. It is the most optimal way to enhance the listening experience while not sacrificing the inner space of the automobile.

How to Connect Subwoofer to Car Stereo Without Amp- Spare Wheel SubwooferSpare Wheel Subwoofer 

Bass Tubes

A Bass tube is an audio device used for enhancing the bass sounds. It has a shape of a tube and comes in generally larger sizes compared to a regular subwoofer.

Due to their shapes, bass tubes can fit in your car easily. This device can be equipped with a built-in amplifier or not, depending on the product model.

A bass tube is an optimal option if you have a large cabin or want to exchange the space for sound quality.

Final Thoughts

A subwoofer can be paired with your car stereo and enhance the audio quality. We hope that the information provided in this post can give you a better understanding of this issue. Thank you for reading!

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