The Definitive Guide on How to Install a Subwoofer with Built-in Amp for Supreme Sound Qualityby Jule PamplinUpdated October 06, 2023
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:
- Battery Disconnection: Start by disconnecting the negative battery terminal (- terminal) from the battery to prevent any electrical mishaps.
- 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.
- 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:
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?
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
Would tapping into the rear speakers reduce bass signal in certain vehicles? my local shop recommended against it
Things You'll Need
- Pliers or adjustable wrench
- Wiring harness adapter
- Amplifier wiring kit
- Trim panel removal tool
- Phillips-head screwdriver
Jule Pamplin has been a copywriter for more than seven years. As a financial sales consultant, Pamplin produced sales copy for two of the largest banks in the United States. He attended Carnegie-Mellon University, winning a meritorious scholarship for the Careers in Applied Science and Technology program, and later served in the 1st Tank Battalion of the U.S. Marine Corps.