How to Connect a Powered Subwoofer to Passive Speakers- Tricks and Tips

No matter the features of the speaker, they fall into two different sets i.e., passive and active. The difference comes in when they are separately connected to the amplifier. However, the market is full of passive speakers that require typical speaker wires to be attached to your Amplifier.

For many compatible sound systems, subwoofers tend to be the common active speakers. So, the challenge comes in when you know nothing about connecting it to passive speakers. Stay tuned and go through this report to assist you connect your powered subwoofer to a passive speaker.

Tricks and tips to connect a powered subwoofer to a passive speakerconnect a powered subwoofer to passive speakers

Before you do anything for your electronics, it’s always advisable to power them off. Additionally, you need to understand the type of subwoofer you own because we have two categories, i.e., active, or passive subwoofers. It’s worthy to have this information before you kick off the connection process.

      Passive subwoofers are those speakers that are equipped with bass attachment, directly joined to the passive bass or console crossover of the speaker. Sometimes it’s not easy to recognize these models.

      On the other hand, active or powered subwoofers are famous for utilizing low-pitched signals to enhance the sounds. They incredibly achieve this by using the inbuilt speaker amp, crossover, and power supply. These models are popular and can be connected via the RCA input jack to the receiver for sound production.

Again, active models are mostly associated with various channels and inputs. However, this is basically based on the model and specific product you are using. Well, some of the channels you may find include;

  • Subwoofer crossover adjustment
  • RCA input jack
  • Power input (AC outlet power)
  • On/off switch
  •  Amplifier signal booster level

In situations where your powered subwoofer features internal speaker level inputs, believe me, this process is going to be very easy and straightforward. You only need to connect them straight to the outputs of your speaker, even to the inactive speaker console.

I understand that sometimes it’s annoying to work on electronics, mostly when you don’t have much knowledge. Normally, you can end up seeking the help from an expert to fix simple things for you. I thought you should know that these are things we can try out ourselves.

Therefore, if you’re trying to connect your powered subwoofer to a passive speaker and you’re not sure, don’t worry. Below are the easiest two ways to help you accomplish the job hassle-free

LFE Speaker Output connectionLFE Speaker Output connection

One approach to connect your powered subwoofer to passive speakers is by the aid of LFE speaker output. It turns out to be the best and reliable approach to integrate your subwoofer for low-frequency effects, through the speaker output of the subwoofer as ‘Sub Out or Subwoofer’.

Such a subwoofer output is generated from some stereo speakers and different types of audio system receivers. For any subwoofer, the LFE channel stands as an independent output; it’s displayed as ‘Subwoofer’ rather than LFE. The 5.1 audio channels utilized on cable TV or DVDs feature a designated bass-only audio output that’s better duplicated by a subwoofer. Developing this up will allow the Subwoofer output or LFE connector on the amplifier to pair with the ‘LFE In’ or ‘Line In’ port of the subwoofer. There’s nothing discouraging here since it is just a piece of wire with typical RCA connectors on either side.

Using stereo RCA to connect powered subwooferUsing stereo RCA to connect powered subwoofer

Suppose you find the subwoofer’s signal isn’t useful on an adapter or an amplifier. Or sometimes there could be no LFE feedback on your subwoofer. Rather, your subwoofer might feature paired RCA connectors on both the left and right (L and R). Sometimes these subwoofers may be equipped with spring clips to accommodate some standard speakers on their back.

To use the RCA cable, you need to make sure that your subwoofer is equipped with ‘Line In’ RCA cables and the receiver is compatible with the ‘Out’ RCA console. If the cable of the subwoofer features is y-type or split for left and right stations, attach both the L and R ports. In occasions where the amplifier or the receiver also has both RCA ports for subwoofer output, ensure you plug in the RCA console of the receiver.

On the other hand, if the subwoofer has spring clips at the back, just use speaker wires to attach the speaker output of the receiver. This technique is similar to when connecting a standard stereo speaker.

Additionally, in case your subwoofer features a set of spring clips, what you need to do is to connect the network of the receiver to the subwoofer; the woofer will operate as the speaker. Remember, it’s advisable to utilize the banana clips rather than using partly covered wires and plug in each system’s backs.

Frequently asked questions:

  • Is it advisable to connect active subwoofers to passive speakers?

Absolutely yes, you are allowed to enhance your powered subwoofer with passive speakers using a separate amplifier. The music experience you will get here is magnificent and impressive.  

  • Can I use my speakers with a subwoofer?

Yes, and you can arrive at this by using speaker level inputs. If you own a non-powered subwoofer, you are supposed to use any low-pass crossover speaker; distance yourself from speaker connection. This type of connection implies that you’re joining the available receiver to a sound device that can accommodate low-sound frequencies.

  • Can I connect my powered subwoofer to the speaker wire output?

Yes, as long as you have a subwoofer that features speaker level inputs. The connection process becomes easy and direct to the speaker outputs of the receiver.

Final words

To wrap up, you need to know that not all subwoofers are straightforward and basic. We have some different ways that one can employ to pair a powered subwoofer to a receiver, Home Theater, or an amplifier. However, the most common and easiest way to perform this action is by joining your subwoofer to USB/receiver amplifier’s LFE or OUT output. The only consideration is to ensure you have a subwoofer that supports stereo RCA connections; rely on this article.

Watch this video below to know how to connect a powered or active subwoofer to a passive speaker in your sound system.

If you have passive speakers in your sound system, you will need an amplifier. An audio power amplifier is an electronic amplifier required to amplify the power of an input signal to a high enough level to drive the speakers in your sound system. You’ll need to make sure you have an audio power amplifier (with sufficient wattage) and a mixer or a mixer amplifier combo.

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