How to Boost A Car Audio Subwoofer without an Amp

Lead Image
What You'll Need
Car audio subwoofer
Car speakers
Music for testing

So you finally managed to get your hands on a sweet car audio subwoofer, and you’re ready to pump up your tunes only to find that, once you get cruising, you can hardly hear a difference in your favorite hip hop music. The fact of the matter is that subwoofers are typically intended to be paired with amplifiers in order to produce that deep, thumping bass that you yearn for, and if you don’t have the bucks to spring for an amp yet, then you’ll have to find some other ways to boost your car’s subwoofer. Keep reading for some useful tips on rocking out to your car’s audio subwoofer, even without an amp.

Step 1 - Consider Subwoofer Placement

Just because your car is a smaller and more rigidly designed space than your apartment doesn’t mean that you can just throw the subwoofer in the trunk or behind the back seat and start rocking out. Think about how you had to carefully consider the placement of the subwoofer in your apartment with your home audio system. You may have found, for instance, that putting the subwoofer in a corner or a little bit closer to a certain wall produced much better acoustic effects. The same holds true for your car. Experiment with where your subwoofer is installed in order to discover the best placement for your car’s acoustics.

Step 2 - Check Your Phase Switch

Getting the most out of your bass can be a pretty precise science. If you feel you aren’t feeling the bass notes enough, or if they sound distorted to you, then you may need to play around with your subwoofer’s phase switch until you find the setting that goes best with the rest of your car’s audio system. Pop in a CD or stream through your car’s audio system and play with the phase switch (moving it up or down) until the bass line sounds just right.

Step 3 - Play with the Crossover

In addition to ensuring that the phase switch is set at precisely the right level, you need to make sure that your subwoofer is in harmony with the rest of the car’s audio system in terms of the crossover. If your crossover controls aren’t set correctly, then your audio system can get confused because it doesn’t know if the bass should be played out of the subwoofer or out of the regular speakers—meaning that in the end, you don’t get a bass line at all. In fact, if your crossover is still set at the factory settings, this is probably at the heart of your problem. Make sure that the crossover controls are properly adjusted for your particular car audio system and subwoofer.