What Are the Best Tips for Subwoofer Wiring?

Andrew Kirmayer

A subwoofer sometimes accompanies speaker systems to produce low-frequency sounds. To get the system to sound right, it is often necessary to adjust various settings and put components in the right place. Organizing the wiring for the sound system is often another challenge. Subwoofer wiring can be organized in a number of ways, including by hiding it under the floor, in the ceiling, or inside a cable run. Speakers can also be placed in the wall, but sometimes there are options for equipment that doesn’t use wires at all.

Subwoofer wiring can be hidden inside drop ceilings.
Subwoofer wiring can be hidden inside drop ceilings.

There are often a choice of ways for subwoofer wiring. The left and right audio channels can be connected to the appropriate places on the back of the main speakers and the subwoofer. When this method is used, the wires need to be inserted into the correct input and output terminals on each device. Another subwoofer wiring tip is to connect it to the audio visual amplifiers of a home theater system. The amplifier can also be used to control the subwoofer since it usually has the appropriate audio filter systems.

Subwoofers are designed to reproduce bass sounds with more clarity than full range speakers.
Subwoofers are designed to reproduce bass sounds with more clarity than full range speakers.

The subwoofer can also be wired to stereo preamplifiers, from which a Y-cable is often connected to the output. Each output connector typically goes to both the power amplifier and the speaker. A sound system can often be set up by any method, but sometimes it takes experimentation to decide the best way to wire the system.

When components are added at home, then more wires are typically added to a home entertainment system. One tip for handling this can be to place the wire under the carpet around the edges of the room. If flat cables are used, then they can sometimes be run through the center of the carpet. Wires can also be run under baseboards, where they are generally invisible and nobody can inadvertently trip on them.

Subwoofer wiring can be hidden inside drop ceilings, or placed behind speakers that are in a wall alcove. Plastic tubes called cable runs can keep all of the wires on the same path, and placed in the ceiling before it is sealed up. There are also wireless speakers and subwoofers, generally more expensive than wired ones, but avoid the need for subwoofer wiring entirely. Wiring the sound system of a car is similar, but also can depend on whether a single or dual coil is being used, and how the correct connectors and cables are matched up.

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