How to Connect a Subwoofer to a Car Stereo Without an Amp?

Installing a subwoofer is the best way to get your sound system to produce beautiful sounds. Subwoofers are usually designed to improve the bass frequencies which results in a thumping, deep sound.

How to Connect a Subwoofer to a Car Stereo Without an Amp?
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It is against this backdrop that most people don’t mind spending a fortune to get a good and durable audio system for their car. If you love music a lot then installing a subwoofer in the double din head unit car stereo will be your best bet.

Now, to answer the question on how to Connect a Subwoofer to a Car Stereo Without an Amp?

When a subwoofer is installed, it ensures the provision of power and balance to the car stereo system. The loudspeakers in the back deck and the door panels will only provide so much bass.

Getting to make the lowest tunes in music come out is another important aspect of the installation of a subwoofer. It is recommended that you use the powered subwoofer to eliminate any need for an aftermarket amplifier to power the big speaker attached to the subwoofer.

Buy this Polk Audio PSW10 10" Powered Subwoofer on Amazon

Types of Subwoofers

Presently, there are different types of subwoofers in the market and if you don’t have a definite one in mind it might be difficult to make a choice that fits your car perfectly.

You need to understand that a subwoofer is a box that provides the car with all low-end bass notes in the audio system. The power of the bass, car type, budget and size determine the type of subwoofer you will purchase for your car stereo. What you are likely to get from any subwoofer you choose includes.

Powered Subwoofers

This refers to subwoofers with built-in amplifiers that allow users to save space thereby making it unnecessary to purchase an amp. The downside of this kind of subwoofers is the power which is usually not as strong as those in external amplifiers.

However, the major advantage of these subwoofers is their ability to produce good sounds for midrange frequencies.

Subwoofers for Drivers

This is the most basic subwoofer in the subwoofer category and this explains why it is called a passive subwoofer sometimes. It comes with a basic enclosure and once it produces bass each time you place it in any enclosure.

This subwoofer needs to be powered by a good external amplifier so they can function properly and they come in various size and capacities.

Vehicle Subwoofers

This is usually the best subwoofer recommended for compact cars. It is manufactured for some kind of cars with the design made specifically for each model of car. Since the subwoofers are small, the bass is not too powerful.

Selecting the Right Subwoofer

To derive maximum satisfaction from the subwoofer, we recommend that you go for the best that will ensure a significant improvement and performance in your car audio system. It is worthy to note that the main audio power in your car stereo runs from the low end which is the bass.

When the music touches your heart when it is being played, then you should know that the bass is doing a wonderful job. Below are some of the features you need to consider before you purchase a car subwoofer.

  •  Check the enclosures as there are different types with varying performances. Square enclosures are also considered by experts to be the best when compared to other round counterparts.
  •  Check that the single and dual voice coils are available. The dual voice coils give more flexibility as regards wiring to your car sound system.
  •  The subwoofer should possess a high sensitivity rating thereby requiring lower power to produce a better sound.

Video: How to Connect a Subwoofer to a Car Stereo Without an Amp?

This video explains how you can install a subwoofer to a car stereo.

Connecting a Subwoofer without Using an Amplifier

There are numerous ways to connect a subwoofer to a car stereo without using an amp. You need to know that a subwoofer comes with 2 codes. The first code is for audio output while the other is for power. The main point is some subwoofers differ from others.

There are several ways which you can use to connect a subwoofer minus an amp. Remember, subwoofer comes with two codes, one for audio output and one for power. But the thing is, some subwoofers are more complex, depending on the model that you have chosen.

You can use the following:

Connection with the LFE Subwoofer Output

If you check the Subwoofer box, you will see a place labeled “SUB OUT” or “SUBWOOFER” which allows you to connect the car stereo using the LFE (Low-frequency effects) found in most of them.

This LFE port is specially made for subwoofers only. For this, what you need to do is to connect the LFE jack in the receiver to the Line in or In Jack available in the box of the subwoofer. With this, you will easily find the location as it is usually one RCA connector in both ends.

Connection with Speaker Level or Stereo RCA Output

If the car stereo does not have an LFE subwoofer output or you notice that your subwoofer doesn’t have the LFE input, you need to check if it has the Right and Left stereo connectors.

Optionally, it could have clips that are made of springs that will be at the other end of available speakers. Observe closely if the Line In uses cables for RCA and the subwoofer is using the same. If both are using the same RCA then you will need to plug-in R or L in the box of the subwoofer.

If the cable has an end which is split with both the L and R, then you will have to use the car stereo output to hook it up. When you are doing this, ensure that both are plugged in.

If the subwoofer makes use of spring clips in the connection of the speaker wire, then there’s a need to use the car stereo output to hook it up. Mind the channels when you are doing this.

If the subwoofer has two spring clips used for In and Out, then you will have to connect either of the speakers to the subwoofer which passes audio signals to the car stereo when connected.

However, if there is just one set of spring clips in the subwoofer box, you will have to share the same receiver connection with the speaker.


Endeavor to purchase a car stereo that is easily connected without an amplifier. Get the best subwoofer for your car stereo that will be easy to connect without an amp.

If you read the article carefully, you will be able to decipher how you can connect the subwoofer to a car stereo with ease.

You can also check out how to set crossover frequency for the car audio system here.