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How To Install Subwoofer In Car

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What Is A Subwoofer

How to install a powered subwoofer in your car | Crutchfield video

A subwoofer is a specialized type of speaker that is built to enhance the lower frequencies put out by your cars stereo.

Subwoofers are made with heavier materials than are usually present in the stock, full range speakers that come with your car.

Because of this, they can withstand a much higher level of movement in the cones and are able to produce a tighter, fuller bass response. This makes them perfect for pumping up the low end of the music without having to turn the volume up on the speakers.

This gives you a better sound as well as protects your cars stock full range speakers from potentially blowing by pumping too much bass through them.

Read More > > Top 5 Best 18-Inch Car Subwoofers

What Are The Benefits Of Connecting A Subwoofer To A Car

Most of the time, when we turn up the volume of the music in our car, its because we want to feel more of the bass.

When this happens, we are not only putting the speakers in danger of being damaged by the excess volume, we are also potentially putting our hearing at risk.

Any noise above 70db has the potential to damage the delicate inner workings of the human ear.

The volume of a loud car stereo can reach upwards of 110db. After prolonged periods of time, this can be incredibly dangerous.

Power On The System And Check For Problems

Install the power fuse and turn on the ignition and your stereo. You should hear sound and the amplifier power light should indicate that its on. If not, check the following items for problems.

If you dont have sound or power, its more than likely due to one of these common causes:

  • Poor car ground wire
  • Fuseholder problem or bad fuse
  • Remote wire voltage is too low or +12V isnt being supplied at all

Generally, there are only a few reasons why an amp cant turn on and produce sound, so its normally one of a few basic problems like Ive listed here causing the problem.

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Securing The Ground Wire To Exposed Metal

  • 1Locate an exposed metal screw or bolt on the cars frame. Try looking near the rear tires for a bolt near the sides. You may need to pull back the carpeting to get a view of it sticking up from the wheel well. The ground wire routes excess electricity away from your sound system. Take advantage of any accessible metal components to keep your system safe.XResearch source
  • If your vehicle doesnt have a contact point, you can install one. Use a masonry bit to drill through the metal, then insert a screw or bolt. Make sure you dont drill through anything other than the metal!
  • 2Scrape away any paint around the bolt. Sometimes, the bolt is located on a small platform that has been painted over. The paint prevents the ground wire from making a good connection to the wire. Use a paint scraper to gradually remove all of the paint surrounding the bolt.XResearch source
  • You dont have to eliminate all of the paint, only the material around the bolt. When you install the ground wire, you will be able to see where it rests on the panel. Remove any paint underneath the ring connector.
  • 3Strip 12 in off the ground wire before installing it. The ground wire is usually black and much shorter than the other connecting wires. Use wire strippers again to take the insulation off one end, then crimp the exposed threads together. Leave the uncut end of the wire inside the trunk for now.XResearch source
  • What To Know When Buying A Speaker

    Installing Subwoofers in a Car: 8 Steps

    There are a lot of different features that come with car speakers. Some of them include power, sensitivity, frequency range, and speaker size. Another thing to consider is the type of speaker: component speakers, coaxial speakers, or full-range speakers.

    The power refers to how loud the speaker will be at maximum volume on your stereo system. A higher wattage will mean louder sound while a lower wattage will mean less sound. Sensitivity is another important specification because it represents how much power you need to push through the speaker in order for it to produce sound. A higher sensitivity means a more efficient speaker as it requires less power for the same amount of sound production as a speaker with a lower sensitivity rating.

    Frequency range is also an important specification for car audio systems because depending on where you live, you may have different radio frequencies available to your system. For example, if you live in Europe, youll have 88-108 MHz available to you while people who live in America will only have 88-108 and 173-216 MHz available to them . The frequency range is what determines which types of radios can work with your system. Finally, theres the size of the speaker which refers to how many inches long and tall each individual speaker isa 6×9 speaker would be six inches wide by nine inches tall .

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    Create A Powerful Connection

    After finishing the crucial steps rightfully, you must raise the powered subwoofer and make a secure connection. The wires should not be bent and maximize the possibilities for making gentle curves on it. This process limits the chances of creating unwanted wear and tearing.

    Now, you must join the negative battery terminal that you disconnected before. Test it whether the subwoofer turns on or not while you start the car.

    How Can I Get Bass Without A Amp

    Bigger amplifiers can be costly to buy. You can check out our guide on how much it costs to get a subwoofer and an amplifier installed to learn more. Nevertheless, getting bass without an amplifier is still effortless. Here are some tricks that will help you harness bass from your subs even without an amp.

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    How To Connect A Subwoofer To A Car

    The addition of a subwoofer to your cars stereo can make a big difference when it comes to the quality of sound it produces.

    With the ability to boost the lower frequencies, a subwoofer can tighten up the bass of your music and give you a fuller sound without having the crank up the volume.

    However, you may not want to spend a big chunk of change getting a subwoofer professionally installed at a shop.

    Because of this, we have put together this handy 5 step guide on how to connect a subwoofer to a car.

    Knowing how to connect your own subwoofer can give you a better understanding of your vehicles electrical system and the basic principles of audio wiring.

    In this guide, youll learn:

    • What is a subwoofer

    Is Bass Boost Bad For Subs

    How to Install a Car Subwoofer in a Box

    As a general rule, speakers and subwoofers should be able to withstand bass boost. The only time that there is a risk of damage is if the SPL is extremely high. At exceedingly high volumes, boosting the bass could cause damage. Bass boost shouldnt pose any issues if the volume is kept to a sensible level.

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    Connect The Amplifiers To The Remote Cable

    Use a remote cable to gather all the wiring for the amps. In this way, you can indicate to each amplifier when the radio is on and when it is off without the need for additional wiring or elements.

    Now looking at each component of the amplifier, we must ensure that it offers technical characteristics such as a high S / L ratio and low harmonic distortion and, above all, that its R.M.S. is enough to properly move the speakers.

    Installation: From Wiring To Audio Equipment Configuration

    Turning now to the installation part, it is important to note some important details regarding wiring. Speaker cables must have a minimum section of 1.0 mm2, RCAs must have anti-interference shielding and power cables must have a generous and sufficient section . In the same way, it is also important to make adequate soundproofing of the front doors, to reduce resonances and obtain a good bass.

    You can consider high-quality speaker cables from as they use purer, higher-grade copper which is more consistent in its electrical properties.

    Once the equipment has been installed, it is time to configure it. To do this, the first thing we must adjust is the gain of the amplifier, consisting of adjusting the voltage of the amplifier to that of the source output. If we do it correctly, we will be able to maximize the power that the amplifier transmits to the speakers and minimize the distortions caused by the signal-to-noise ratio.

    We then move on to filtering, which consists of preventing the front speakers from reproducing the lowest frequencies and only directing them to the car subwoofer. This operation can be performed from the or the amplifier. We must also carry out the important task of equalizing the equipment, consisting of adjusting the different frequencies one by one, until obtaining a clean, linear sound free of exaggerated peaks and resonances. For this, we can use our own hearing, if we trust it, or specific instruments designed for it.

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    Can I Connect A Subwoofer Directly To A Car Stereo

    Generally, some subwoofers require an amplifier to function properly. For example, a common setup is to connect a passive subwoofer to a 2 channel amplifier. This is because passive subwoofers do not have built-in amplifiers.

    You may want to connect a subwoofer directly to a stereo because you dont have the budget for an amplifier. However, check out our guide on how much to get subwoofers and amplifiers installed if you have an old am lying around before you decide on this.

    To avoid using an amplifier, you can instead connect the subwoofer to the car stereo using a powered subwoofer. A powered or active subwoofer already has a built-in amplifier. This saves space in your car and eliminates the need for an external amplifier. However, they wont be as powerful.

    If you have a powered subwoofer, just remove one of the speakers from the mounting dock, reroute the wires to the subwoofer and mount the sub. If your audio system has an outlet for your subwoofer, connect this as well.

    In addition, you can check out our guide on how to connect a subwoofer to a car stereo without an amp or how to connect a subwoofer to rear speakers in the car.

    Preparing The Parts And Tools

    (DIY) How To Install Car Subwoofer With Diagrams

    Take out the speakers and all the hardware that comes with it. If youre mounting full-range speakers, youll usually have a pair of speakers, mounting screws, speaker wire, speed clips, and the instructional manual. Some may also come with grilles.

    If youre installing component speakers, your set will likely include separate tweeters, crossovers, and hardware for mounting the tweeters.

    Tip: Having crazy vibrations inside your car can reduce the quality of your listening experience, so installing speaker baffles helps with that.

    To achieve a more robust sound for your in-car music, position your tweeters over the subwoofer, and point right around your ear area. However, the aesthetic and dimensions of your car door may not make this practicable. As much as possible, though, place the tweeter no further than a foot from your subwoofer to attain and maintain a more unified field of sound.

    Read Next: How Often Should You Replace Car Speakers?

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    Connect The Power Wire

    Once everything is hooked up, you are finally ready to connect the power to your amplifier from the battery.

    Unhook the positive terminal of the battery. This will be the one that is red and has the larger metal connector.

    Twist the power cable that you ran from the amplifier around the positive terminal and put the connector back on, securing the wire between the terminal and the connector.

    Now, you can turn the car on and make sure that everything is working. The amplifier should come on when you turn on the stereo and you should not get any interference from the engine. At this point, you should be getting big, booming bass from your newly installed subwoofer!

    I What Is An Amplifier And A Subwoofer

    If you happen to attend a car show, you will encounter modified cars blasting loud music. These cars dont just pull up in car shows with their cars factory speakers. They spend a lot of money, depending on the setup, so their cars audio system could stand out against the other.

    This is where amplifiers and subwoofers are usually needed. As the name implies, an amplifier helps increase and amplify the power sent by the installed head unit or infotainment system. The sound quality tends to decrease as the volume is increased. So by adding an amplifier, the sound quality gets richer despite played at high volume.

    A good setup also improves aesthetics

    On the other hand, a subwoofer is a speaker designed primarily to produce low-end frequencies or bass. Most cars dont come with subwoofers as standard since they can affect the final pricing. Most standard speakers produce bass, but not as rich as a dedicated subwoofer.

    If subwoofers specialize in low-end frequencies, then tweeters specialize in high-end frequencies

    You can get an amplifier in the aftermarket for Php 800 to Php 4,000, depending on the quality. Usually, the more channels installed, the more expensive the amplifier gets. Meanwhile, you can get a subwoofer for Php 3,000 to Php 12,000 in the aftermarket. Installing one subwoofer is enough for a high-quality boomy listening experience. You can install more than one if you feel a need for more bass.

    Be sure to use the right tools to avoid unwanted damage

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    Can I Just Replace My Car Speakers

    Installing new speakers is the single most cost-effective improvement you can make to your vehicles audio system. Not only are aftermarket speakers relatively inexpensive, they usually arent terribly difficult to install. You can install most of the speakers we sell using tools that you probably already have.

    General Tips For Installing Car Speakers

    How to Install a Subwoofer and Amplifier in a car

    I’ve installed car audio gear in a pumpkin. True or false?

    I’ve driven all over — up, down, and coast to coast — and my best memories all have a soundtrack. Music is something I don’t leave home without, and after enduring my fair share of crummy systems, I know that quality gear makes a long drive a joy. On those golden days, when the windows just have to go down, I need power and speakers that can handle it.

    While I’ve clocked a lot of highway miles, I’ve also logged a lot of hours demoing car speakers from the best in the industry. And I’ve installed those speakers in a variety of vehicles, from sport coupes to minivans. Every listening environment is unique, every series of speakers has its own sonic stamp, and speakers perform differently depending how they’re used. And while it’s easy to get overwhelmed by specs, my best advice is to ask yourself. what’s gonna put the biggest grin on your face when you just gotta turn it up?

    More about Alexander

    • Started at Crutchfield in 2014
    • Completed our thorough in-house Advisor training, learning the details of every type of product we sell
    • Attends dozens of vendor training events each year
    • Has interviewed car speaker engineers and product designers at JL Audio and other premium audio companies
    • Is one of our car audio installation experts

    More from Alexander H.

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    Connecting The Subwoofers To The Stereo

  • 1Run the remote and RCA wires from the trunk to the stereo head. If you can, run these wires on the opposite side of the car from the power wire. Make use of any available space underneath the carpet or side panels. The remote wire is usually colored blue, while the RCA wire has of red and white plugs.XResearch source
  • The remote and RCA wires should always be far from the power wire, if possible. Otherwise, they may interfere with one another and have a negative effect on the sound quality.
  • 2Pull out the stereo head to access the wires behind it. In a lot of cars, the stereo stays attached to its enclosure through a series of plastic clips. You may need to pry off a few of the dashboard panels to be able to access them. Then, pry the clips up with a flathead screwdriver until you are able to slide the stereo toward you, exposing the wires connected to it.XResearch source
  • Some stereos have screws that require a Phillips screwdriver to remove.
  • The removal process varies between models, so refer to the owners manual for your car to get more specific details about how to access the stereos wiring.
  • 3Plug the RCA cable into the colored connectors on the stereo. Pull the RCA cable through the stereo enclosure. Next, look for a series of red and white outlets on its back end. Push the corresponding RCA cables into the colored outlets.XResearch source
  • The blue wire on the stereo may be labeled remote, antenna, or amplifier.
  • Put The Speaker In The Box

    If your speaker is already in a box, you can skip this step. Otherwise, this is necessary.

    Put the speaker in the box, making sure the flimsy thin gasket thing is on it.If the box has its own connectors on the outside, make sure they are wired to the speaker inside.Screw the speaker into the box, using the holes on the outside rim of the speaker.Set the subwoofer in the trunk of the car.

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    Adjust The Crossover And Gain

    At this point, you are almost done. All you have is to set the crossover and the gain. This is done by playing the stereo at a medium volume. Always remember to play some music you are familiar with. At the moderate volume, you should adjust the low pass crossover. This needs to be done until you can only feel the base.

    Once again, turn the amp to start from zero. Continue adjusting this until you get a sufficient bass that will suit you. By doing this, you will be able to get the best bass that will rock your music.

    Also Read: Best 8-inch subs For Deeper, Cleaner and More Pronounced Bass

    These are the simple steps that you will go through to successfully install the subwoofer in your car. The process should take about 30-45 minutes and you will enjoy the amazing sound system without spending some cash. The manual should always be used in every step to ensure a successful installation process.

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