1. Introduction

I love music. I usually go to concerts, listen to music everywhere I can, and participate in my friends’ parties. Because I love music so much, I installed a subwoofer in my car, and connect it with my home stereo, laptop, and television.

Therefore, I can wallow in music whenever I want. I also have many friends sharing the same hobby, but most of them don’t have a subwoofer like me. I usually wondered why? Then one day, I found out the reason was that they have not found a proper subwoofer yet, or more common, they have not known how to install a subwoofer in their car.

When I found out about this, I also figured it out that a lot of others having the same problem. Therefore, I’m writing this HOW TO article, to guide you How to install a car subwoofer in a very short time. In addition, I also would like to show you:

  • How to connect car subwoofer to home stereo ?
  • How to connect car subwoofer to pc/laptop ?
  • How to connect car subwoofer to tv (television) ?

It is very easy and quick. Shall we start?


2. What You Will Need To Follow This Tutorial?

A good preparation is the key to success. If you prepare well, it will get even quicker to finish. These are the instruments that you will need to follow:

Instruments to install a subwoofer in your car:

  • Subwoofer box
  • Subwoofer speaker
  • Amplifier
  • Wiring kit
  • 10 Gauge or thicker, 20 foot insulated wire
  • 10 Gauge or thicker, 3 foot insulated wire
  • 18 or 16 Gauge, 15 foot wire
  • RCA cables, 15 feet or longer (you need 2 or one with both red and white)
  • In-line fuse, 50 amps or higher
  • Some speaker wire
  • 4 small wood screws
  • Basic tools

If you already have a subwoofer in your car, and want to connect it to home stereo like me, these are the things you will need:

  • Subwoofer
  • Paperclip
  • Speaker wire
  • Screwdriver
  • Wire stripper
  • RCA red and white cable
  • Electrical tape
  • 12 volt battery or computer power supply

These are instruments for those who want to connect a subwoofer to your laptop:

  • Stereo mini-jack-to-dual-female RCA adapter
  • Dual-male-RCA-to-single-female RCA adapter
  • Subwoofer cable

The last is for those who want to connect a subwoofer to a TV:

  • A car subwoofer
  • Stereo cable
  • RCA audio cables
  • 12 or 16 gauge speaker wires
  • Wire strippers
  • Surround sound system
  • 12-volt power inverter

3. Step by step instructions How to install a subwoofer in your car?

This is the most complicated part, so I will explain it, with pictures, clearly and slowly.

Step 1: Choosing an amplifier and a speaker

This can be a little difficult, because you need to choose a speaker and an amp that work with their best power, without blowing each other. So I would like to share some of my experiences.

What we need to do here is to put the RMS of both the subwoofer speaker and the amplifier to be as close as possible. The RMS is the amount of power a speaker can continuously have sent to it without going bad. The RMS is also the amount of power the amplifier can continuously put out without overheating. When looking at speakers and amplifiers, do not look at the peak power.

A speaker or amp can only be run on the peak power for about a minute before it goes bad or overheats. You want to be running your subwoofers on its RMS rating rather than the peak rating. Choosing a size for a speaker is also important. Smaller speakers like the 8 and 10 inch ones, and they are very quick to respond and punch better than bigger ones, but are not very loud.

Bigger ones like 15+ inch ones, are very loud compared to smaller ones at the same wattage, but have slow response, and make the sound more mushy. The bigger ones also handle lower frequencies better too. 12 inch speakers are a good compromise for a basic system. Make sure you buy a subwoofer box that has a hole the same size as your speaker.

Step 2: Run wires

This is the part that you can use your wiring kit, like this one:

We will start with wiring the power from the battery, not the fuse box. Because power from the fuse box often is too strong, you may hear your engine noise amplified through your speakers. You could also easily blow a fuse by using the little ones the fuse box has.

We’ll start by finding an opening in the car's firewall. This is the metal wall under the hood of the car, closest to the windshield. The other side of the firewall should be the inside of the car. I found a hole that was behind my glove box, as you can see the in the left picture, and was quite easy to get to from the engine compartment.

Run most of the power cable through the hole in the firewall, making sure to leave enough wire to get to the battery. Strip the insulation off of the wire at the end where the battery is. Wire the in-line fuse to this end. What we are trying to do is to lay the fuse as close to the battery as possible.

Do not connect the wire to the battery yet. Make sure you tape the place where you wired the fuse to the wire, so you don't get a short. Run the remaining wire under the cars carpeting or through a wire channel, if there is one. The purpose is to get this wire to the trunk of the car.

While you have the carpeting loose, run the 16 - 18 gauge wire and the RCA cables from the trunk to as close to the back of the stereo head unit as possible, leave a little slack at both ends.

Step 3: Wiring the audio

You now need to take the stereo head unit out. Almost every car manufacturer does it different and usually requires you either take off the front of the center console, or you use a tool to slide the stereo out of special clips. After you have the stereo out, look at the back of it.

There should be 2 RCA connections. Run the RCA cables through the back of the center console and plug them into the 2 connections on the back of the stereo. If your stereo does not have these connections, you will have to splice the wires into the rear speaker wires. Better yet, go out and buy a new stereo that has RCA. They aren't very expensive any more.

Step 4: Wiring the remote

Via www.vwt4forum.co.uk

You will need to run the 16 - 18 gauge wire through the back of the center console too. This wire tells the amp that the stereo has turned on, and that the amp should too. If you look at all the wires coming out of the back of the head unit, there should be 1 or 2 blue ones.

These are called the remote wires. If there are 2 wires, there should be one labeled Amp. If there is just one blue wire, you can use that. If you have a power antenna, you will have to splice into the blue wire for use with the amp too. What you need to do is connect the 16 - 18 gauge wire to the correct blue wire. When the stereo comes on, so will the amp.

If it is a stock stereo on a car without a power antenna and no blue wire, then run the 16 - 18 gauge wire to the fuse box, and connect it to a fuse that turns on when the accessories are on. Your amp will always be on when your car is on, but it shouldn't make noise, so it’s OK. If it does make noise (like from the engine), add a switch so you can turn it on or off.

Step 5: 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.

Step 6: Wiring up the amp

  • Almost done, now we have most of the wires in place, we can wire up the amp.
  • Connect the power cable from the battery into the spot on the amp that has the marking B+ (or any of these: Batt.; Pos.; +12v; 12v; Pwr; Power). Remember not to connect it to the speaker positive.
  • Then, connect the 16 to 18 gauge wire into the spot that says: Rem.(or Remote; Ant.)
  • Connect the 3 foot, 10 gauge wire to the marking B- (or any of these: Neg; -12v; Gnd; Ground ). And again, remember not to connect it to the speaker negative.
  • Connect the other end of the ground wire to a nearby bolt that connects to the body of the car.
  • Connect the speaker wire to the + and - marked for speakers on the amp. There may be 2 channels. If there are 2 channels and you can bridge your amp, do it.
  • Connect the other end of the speaker wire to the + and - on the speaker box. Try to make sure that the + from the amp is connected to the + on the speaker, and the same with the -.

Step 7: Adding power

The final step is to go and connect the power cable to the battery. I just shove my wire between the battery clip and the post on the battery. Make sure a large fuse is in the fuse holder. And we’re done.

If you need more instructions, see this link:


4. How To Connect Car Subwoofer To Home Stereo

Step 1: You need either a 12 volt battery or a computer power supply. The latter will be much cheaper

Step 2: Find the max wattage of your amp

  • This can usually be found on a sticker on the side of the amp. Divide the max wattage for 12 volts by 12.
  • This will allow you to assess how much power the amp will need to reach full power.

Step 3: Look at the wire at the back of your power supply

  • If you are using a computer power supply, you will need to use a paperclip to trick the power source into believing that it is attached to a computer.
  • Simply bend the paper clip into a ”U” shape and stick one end in the green wire hole and the other into the black wire hole. Use tape to secure it.

Step 4: Find the four pin molex connector

  • Make sure the power supply is not connected to you amp.
  • Cut all the four wires off the back of the connector

Step 5: Strip the yellow wire and the black wire

  • Wrap the red wire in electrical tape to prevent it from shorting.
  • You will not need the red wire.
  • Cut about two inches off the black wire and strip the ends of it.
  • Cover the end of the black wire with electrical tape

How To Set Up/Install Car Stereo/Subwoofer In Home


Step 6: Next, use a screwdriver to loosen the three power screws at the back of the amp.

  • Screw the yellow wire onto the screw marked positive or 12V+.
  • Screw the black wire into the GND screw.

Step 7: Use the piece of spare wire from cutting the black wire and stretch it between the positive screw and the REM screw

Step 8: Then, use some speaker cable to attach the amp and the subwoofer

  • You can do this by stripping the wire and attaching one end to the terminals on the back of the subwoofer and another to the back of the amp.
  • Make sure the positive terminals are connected to the other positive terminals and the negative to the negative.

Step 9: Use a red and white RCA input cable and attach it from your amp to your home stereo.


5. How To Connect Car Subwoofer To PC/Laptop

This is quite simple.

  • Step 1: Plug the mini-jack end of the mini-jack-to-dual-female RCA adapter into the headphones output of the laptop.
  • Step 2: Plug the male plugs of the dual-male-RCA-to-single-female-RCA adapter into the female jacks of the first cable.
  • Step 3: Plug the end of your subwoofer cable into the single-female RCA adapter. Plug the other end of the subwoofer cable into the subwoofer's input jack.
  • Step 4: Set the subwoofer's low-pass filter knob to 100 Hz. Plug the subwoofer into a wall outlet or power strip and turn the power on.
  • Step 5: Set your laptop's audio controls to allow the speakers and headphone jack to operate simultaneously.

How to connect a car sub/amp to your computer


6. How To Connect Car Subwoofer To TV

Step 1 – Control the Power

  • As stated above, your main worry with this project is blowing your subwoofer by plugging it into 110 volts of electricity, when it’s only designed to handle the 12 volts that your car battery generates.
  • So your first step towards using your car’s subwoofer in your home system is purchasing a power inverter.
  • You need one that can convert 12 volts, with two different plugs: one for the subwoofer, and one for the wall outlet.
  • Remember, though, that even though purchasing the inverter is your first step, actually plugging it in will be the last!

Step 2 – Connect to the Car Amp

  • Next, take a 12 or 16 gauge speaker wire (the number gauge depends on your model subwoofer, check the manufacturer’s specifications if you’re not sure which one to use).
  • Connect the wires to your subwoofer and the care amplifier. You can connect them to the brackets underneath the terminals on each appliance.
  • Remember to twist red wires with red wires, and black wires with black wires. You may need to strip the wires first.

How to connect a car subwoofer to a home theater system.


Step 3 – Connect to the Home Amp

  • Connect the cables to the input terminal of your car audio subwoofer, and then to the output of your home surround system amplifier.
  • In this case, you will connect white to white, and red to red.

Step 4 – Connect your Other Speakers

  • Finally, you need to connect the rest of the speakers in your home system.
  • For a truly intense surround sound experience, you need 2 speakers on the left, 2 speakers on the right and 1 in the middle.
  • Use RCA cables to connect these to the home theater main amplifier (not that this is not the amplifier the subwoofer is connected to, however!)

Step 5 – Plug in the Inverter

  • The very last step is to plug the subwoofer into the inverter and then connect the power inverter to the wall outlet.
  • Then start playing some tunes and be prepared to have all the neighbors knocking at your door, whether to complain about the noise or join the party!

7. Conclusion

Have you been enjoying my tutorial so far? I hope you have, and nothing was too hard for you. If you have any ideas, or suggestions you want to make for me or other people, please leave a comment. And share this tutorial if you like. Thank you for reading. Goodbye.

About the Author Leroy Simmons

My name is Leroy L.Simmons. I create this blog as the way to find out my excitement and also a way to remember my father. I always love writing, I embarked on this adventure of the blog, to tell you all that I want to share about my hobby, my dream of auto, truck and journey. At MRVEHICLE.NET, I hope to tell you great stories and especially to answer some questions you might ask. And there are also many interesting and up-to-date stories of drivers on their journey everywhere in the world.

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