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How to Install a Subwoofer In a Car and At Home

Subwoofers at Home and On the Go

Whether you're gaming with a soundbar, watching your favorite films with a home theater system, or driving across the country with your radio on, you'll want a subwoofer. You might not even know you need one yet. When it comes to quality, modern sound systems tend to be either "incredible" or "need a lot of help". Give your sound system what you need with boosted bass from a subwoofer. Below, we'll show you how to install a subwoofer in a car or inside the home.
If you're still learning the basics, check out our buying guide on subwoofers.
Home Speakers

How to Install a Subwoofer In A Car

Whether you‘re a rap lover or a rock'n'roll maniac, you'll want to feel your music when you're on the road. Up your music's quality with a subwoofer, and check out our car subwoofer buying guide to find the best one for your vehicle. Choose from powered and unpowered woofers, or pick one that's designed just for your vehicle's make and model.
Once you've picked it out, it's time to learn how to install a subwoofer. Make sure you've got a fully-equipped toolbox at the ready, too. For basic installation of an unpowered sub, mount your component subwoofer to an enclosure by connecting the leads to the terminal cup. Then, use mounting screws to keep it in place. Finally, run the wiring to a nearby amplifier.
If you're using one designed by the car's manufacturer, you'll have a slightly easier time. Your manufacturer has already created the box and installed the speaker, so all you have to do is install and connect. Plus, some devices have as many as three subs contained all within one structure. In sedans, these ready-made subs often go in the trunk--run the speaker wires from the amp before securing with a bracket. If your sub comes with a built-in amp, you won't have to run as many wires. Instead, install a patch cord for the input signal. To do this, you'll need an amplifier wiring kit for power, ground, and turn-on leads, and you'll have to run wires under your seats.
Sounds a little tough for your technological skills? Bring your vehicle in, and we'll help install your audio tech in the car for you.

How To Install A Subwoofer In Your Home

It's much easier to set up one of these sonic devices in the home than in your car, but equally rewarding. It's almost as easy as setting up a wireless speaker. Subwoofers and wireless speakers are very different, even if they look a little similar. With speakers, there's a "set it anywhere" frame of mind, but subwoofers need to be installed with precision. That's because instead of hearing the bass, subs allow you to "feel" these 20 and 30 Hz tones in your space, and they're very reactive to the environment they're in. And that means you have to be in just the right spot to feel it correctly. Improper installation can lead to poor sound quality (and even ear pain).
So, where do you put it? The answer to that question involves a lot of trial and error, as well as crawling around on the floor to see how things sound in different spots. A good rule of thumb is to start with spots near the corner or walls for more bass. However, more bass doesn't always mean better bass. Other factors matter as well, with some barriers and walls creating standing waves (a "booming" effect) and bass nulls (sound waves canceling each other out).
Using your sub with a soundbar or speaker system near the TV? A good spot to start with is behind the couch or wherever you usually sit- ideally, close to the wall but not against it. Try placing it here, then play some music, walk around the room, and listen. Where is the sound quality best, and where is there no bass at all? Mark the spots where you can feel the best texture and tonal quality--not necessarily where it is "loudest".
If you still find yourself asking how to install a subwoofer, go back to square one and start with the rule of thirds. Try setting the device a third of the way into the room from the nearest wall, and follow the same procedure. Still not having any luck? Try the classic corner placement, and work your way out from there.
Once you've found the best spot, you'll want to adjust the "gain", otherwise known as the volume. Put on a movie or play your favorite song, then adjust the volume so that you can't even hear the bass, then back up until you can just make it out. When the sound is minimal but filling the bass, you've reached the right level of gain.

AV Expertise and Subwoofer Service

If you're still not sure how to install a subwoofer, give our AV specialists a ring at 800-860-3577. We've got the knowledge and skills to help you get the best beats and deep bass your sound system deserves. Plus, you don't have to get your toolbox out or crawl around the living room floor. Still on the hunt for the right sub for you? Check out our stock online, or head into the store to find the one that's best for you. We want to make sure you find the best audio equipment for your needs.

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