No matter what the speakers’ features are, they come into two categories, active or passive. They are separated through their connection with the amplifier. The majority of the market speakers are passive, which requires to be connected to an amplifier through standard speaker wire. For most compatible sound systems, the subwoofer is commonly active speakers. Thus the problem happens if you don’t know how to connect a powered subwoofer to passive speakers. To help you connect your subwoofer, I will share simple tips and tricks on how to do it.
Before we dive in, keep in mind to unplug your sound systems from the power outlet.
Two Kinds of Subwoofers
Subwoofers come in two kinds, and these are powered or active and passive or non-powered subwoofers. It is important to know this firsthand before learning how to connect a powered subwoofer to passive speakers.
- Active subwoofers utilize a low-pitched signal to improve sounds using the built-in speaker amplifier, power supply, and crossover. These subwoofers are one of the most collective and connecting through RCA type input jack to link to the receiver for sound.
- Passive subwoofers are a subwoofer speaker included with the bass as an attachment, which is directly held together to the speaker’s console or a passive bass crossover. These models are less known.
If your subwoofer has built-in speaker level inputs, the process is going to be easy peasy! Just join them straight to your speaker’s outputs, either to the idle speaker console or together with speakers attached to the amplifier.
How To Connect A Powered Subwoofer to Passive Speakers
Sometimes it is intimidating working on electronics, especially if we don’t know much about it. Usually, you may end up asking a professional’s help just to do a simple thing. If you are trying to connect a powered subwoofer to passive speakers and unsure how to do it, worry no more! Here are the two easiest ways on how to connect a powered subwoofer to passive speakers.
Connecting Powered Subwoofer Using Stereo RCA
Suppose you see that an LFE subwoofer signal is not usable on an amplifier or adapter. Or it may be that there is no LFE feedback on the subwoofer. Rather the subwoofer could have paired RCA connectors on the right and left (R and L). Or they might have spring clips that some normal speakers have on the back.
Check if the receiver uses the ‘Out’ RCA console, and the subwoofer has ‘Line In’ comes with RCA cables so that you can connect the RCA cable.
If the subwoofer’s cable has split or a y-type cable for right and left stations, hook up both the R and L ports. If the receiver/amplifier also displays both RCA sockets for subwoofer output, make sure to plug in the receiver’s RCA console.
If the subwoofer’s structure has spring clips to use speaker wire, you can connect the receiver’s speaker output. This method is identical to connecting a basic stereo speaker.
If the subwoofer comes with one set of spring clips, then join the receiver’s network to the subwoofer as the speaker. You can use the banana clips instead of partly covered wire to plug into the backs of each system.
Connecting Using LFE Speaker Output
The best approach of integrating a subwoofer is to use an LFE, term for Low-Frequency Effects, via the speaker’s subwoofer output as ‘Sub Out or Subwoofer. This kind of subwoofer output comes from all audio system receivers and some stereo speakers. For subwoofers only, the LFE channel is a separate output; you can see it as ‘Subwoofer’ and not as LFE.
5.1 The channel audio media used on DVDs or cable TV has a designated bass-only audio output that is better replicated by a subwoofer. Establishing this up allows the LFE or subwoofer output connector on the receiver/amplifier to be connected to the subwoofer’s ‘Line In or ‘LFE In’ port. It’s just a wire on both sides with standard RCA connectors.
Difference Between Active and Passive Subwoofer
A subwoofer is dedicated to reproducing low tone audio frequencies that are commonly known as bass. Learning the difference between active and passive subwoofer will help you understand how to connect a powered subwoofer to passive speakers.
Passive subs are passive because an existing amplifier or Audio/Video (A/V) receiver must power them. It is comparable to traditional speakers. The crucial thing to note about a passive sub is that the amplifier or A/V receiver must be ready to transfer enough capacity to support the sub. It requires more energy to replicate low-frequency effects. The sub’s replicated bass signals without consuming the A/V receiver or amplifier power source.
This kind of sub is an amplifier and speaker that is the norm. For optimum efficiency, the speaker and amplifier are modified, and both are enclosed in the same structure. It takes a great deal of the power demand back from the A/V receiver and requires the mid-range and tweeter sound systems to only power the transmitter or power amplifier.
Active subwoofers have a couple of separate inputs and channels. It all depends on the specific product and model you purchase.
You will find these channels:
- Power input (AC outlet power)
- On/off switch
- RCA input jack
- Subwoofer crossover adjustment
- Amplifier signal booster level
If you have one on a speaker, a subwoofer audio jack is a “mono” response, meaning two stereo channels merged into one that you pass to a standard RCA wire.
Not every subwoofer is so basic and straightforward. There are several ways that you can find a subwoofer to be connected to an amplifier, receiver, or a home theater. Linking the subwoofer to a receiver/SUB amplifier’s OUT or LFE output is the most common approach. But you have to obtain a subwoofer that utilizes stereo RCA or attachments to the speaker cable. This article has given you enough information on how to connect a powered subwoofer to passive speakers. Learn more about subwoofer here!