How to Wire a Car Audio Subwoofer How to Wire a Car Audio Subwoofer

What You'll Need
Screwdriver (flathead and Philips)
Wire cutters/stripper
Socket set
Electrical tape

The key to being able to properly wire your car audio subwoofer is in knowing the specifications of your equipment. The different types of subwoofers require a variety of different configurations and setups to work properly. The car stereo’s ohm settings and impedance are important to know as well to be able to best configure the subwoofer settings. This guide will help you determine the best method to wire your car audio subwoofer as well as walk you through the process step by step.

Step 1 – Examine Your Equipment

The first thing you need to do before you begin is to gather the details of the equipment you are installing. The most common type of subwoofer found in vehicles is a component sub hooked to an amplifier. This is the type of subwoofer this guide will cover as well. It is important to determine if the subwoofer is a SVC (single voice coil) or a DVC (double voice coil.) This will play a part in how you must connect the wires from your amp.

Step 2 – Determine the Ohm Impedance

The impedance of your subwoofer must be compatible with the amp that you are hooking it to. Most car stereos will handle 4-ohm impedance by default. The impedance, also known as load or resistance, regulates how much power the amplifier can receive. The lower the impedance, the more loudly the music can be played. Most amps are stable down to a minimum of 2 ohms in stereo mode but not bridged mode. For this reason, parallel wiring is preferred over bridged connections.

Step 3 – Connect the Wires

The most important part of setting up your subwoofer is to be sure the wires are correctly connected. Hooking the wires up to the wrong terminals is an easy way to damage your valuable equipment. The most common method to get a 2 ohm amp to sound the best is to wire it in ‘parallel’ mode. This mode does not require a bridge to connect the two speakers; it runs parallel wires from the amp to each speaker. The subwoofer’s positive leads must be connected to the amp’s positive terminal. The negative wires are then connected the same way, from the negative sub wires to the negative terminal on the amp. if you want even more power from your car system, it is possible to hook up two subwoofers in parallel to both of the amp’s channels.

Step 4 – Break in the Subwoofer

The last thing to do once you have your subwoofer wired completely is to break it in. This is done by allowing the subwoofer to play at a low volume for around 20 straight hours. This will condition the subwoofer completely before you begin playing it at a louder volume. Doing so is a great way to increase both the subwoofer’s overall performance as well as its overall lifespan.

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