The Definitive Guide on How to Install a Subwoofer with Built-in Amp for Supreme Sound Quality

by Jule PamplinUpdated October 06, 2023
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Boosting the bass in your car’s audio system is a journey that begins with installing a powered subwoofer. With its built-in amplifier, this type of subwoofer simplifies the installation process, eliminating the need for a separate amplifier. Here’s a step-by-step guide to get those deep bass tones resonating through your car:

Prepping for Installation

Tools and Materials:

  • Amplifier Wiring Kit‌: This kit usually includes power wire, ground wire, remote wire, and a fuse holder among others.
  • Wire Kit‌: Consists of additional wires you may need, like speaker wire, signal wire, and wire strands for different connections.
  • Wire Stripper, Wire Cutters, and Crimp Connectors‌: For preparing your wiring connections.
  • Screwdriver‌: Flathead and Phillips (- screwdriver) for various screws during the process.

Pre-Steps for Installation:

  1. Battery Disconnection‌‌:‌ Start by disconnecting the negative battery terminal (- terminal) from the battery to prevent any electrical mishaps.
  2. Subwoofer Selection:‌ Select a powered subwoofer that matches the power ratings of your factory stereo or aftermarket stereo. The built-in amp should provide adequate power to drive the subwoofer speakers effectively.

The Installation Process

Step 1: Accessing the Factory Stereo

  • Remove the factory stereo or factory head unit from the dashboard to access the speaker wires and power source.

Step 2: Wiring Setup

  • Power Wire Connection‌: Connect the red power wire from the amplifier wiring kit to the positive terminal of your battery, passing through a firewall hole into the engine bay.
  • Ground Wire Connection‌: Identify a solid metal ground close to where your powered subwoofer will be located and connect the black ground wire using self-tapping screw.
  • Remote Wire Setup‌: Connect the blue remote wire to the remote turn-on wire output on the back of the stereo.
  • Speaker Wire Connection‌: If your factory stereo lacks RCA outputs, use an output converter to tap into the rear speaker wires for audio signals.
  • Signal Transmission‌: Utilize RCA cables or separate speaker wire for transmitting audio signals from the stereo to your subwoofer.

Step 3: Subwoofer Connections

  • Positioning and Ventilation‌: Choose a subwoofer enclosure or a subwoofer box that fits your vehicle and mount the powered subwoofer ensuring adequate ventilation.
  • Connecting to Speaker Terminals‌: Connect the speaker wires to the correct slots on the subwoofer, ensuring the positive and negative terminals match.

Step 4: Powering Up and Testing

  • Fuse Assembly‌: Insert a suitable fuse into the fuse holder of your amp wiring kit to protect your system.
  • Final Connections‌: Reconnect the negative battery terminal and ensure all wiring connections are solid before powering up the system.
  • Testing‌: Power up your system, play your favorite songs, and adjust the gain settings on your subwoofer for optimal bass response.

Step 5: Fine-Tuning

  • Crossover Settings‌: Adjust the low-pass crossover to ensure your subwoofer is only playing the low frequencies.
  • Bass Boost‌: If your powered subwoofer has a bass boost feature, tweak it to your liking to achieve the desired bass output.

Additional Tips

  • Voice Coil Considerations‌: If your subwoofer has multiple voice coils, wiring in parallel or series will affect the impedance and overall performance.
  • Full-Range Speakers‌: For a well-rounded audio experience, complement your subwoofer with full-range speakers to cover the entire spectrum of sound.
  • Continuous Power‌: Ensure your subwoofer and amplifier can handle the continuous power to prevent any damage.


The journey to sublime audio quality and a thrilling audio experience begins with the installation of a powered subwoofer. Following this comprehensive guide will not only ensure a successful installation but also a remarkable improvement in your car’s sound system. Whether you're cruising through the city or embarking on a boating experience with a marine subwoofer setup, the right bass unit will significantly enhance your listening experience.

Some helpful content from the video:

  • @PotatoeChipz

Great video! I recently installed an Alpine amp with a Crutchfield purchased LCi2 Pro and R2-W12 and it went really well. First time using the posi-connectors by your site's recommendation...very cool. After building a box over the weekend and running some tests, I'm baffled at JBL's decision to crossover the sub signal at 60hz in the '23 Camry XSE. Is there a product you could recommend that could "detune" that signal so I can run an 80hz cross via my installed amp? Hours of reading forums has me at only two options -- tap into a front door speaker wire (at the stock amp), or purchase a DSP. There's very little literature on JBL's "premium" Toyota systems, that I'm left wondering if there's a legitimate way to access the tuning settings on either the amp or HU through a backdoor with a 3rd party device. Wishful thinking?

  • @jmoonies_racing2642

I have a sub in the back of my suv …. Instead of attaching the Velcro to the sub itself … use L brackets and attach the Velcro to the brackets and your floor …. Makes it removable… I sleep/camp in the back of my vehicle so this mod was much needed

  • @JA-wp6cj

Would tapping into the rear speakers reduce bass signal in certain vehicles? my local shop recommended against it

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