How To Hook Up/Install a Powered Subwoofer In Car 2022

Last updated on February 15th, 2022 at 03:40 pm

In cars, we use passive or non-powered subwoofers while at home theater powered subwoofers are used. To get an excellent audio experience there must be a subwoofer installed in your car. With simple modifications, you can install a powered subwoofer in your car and vise versa.

When it comes to having a subwoofer connected with your car audio, you will certainly need a good amount to buy it. However, if you have a powered subwoofer at your home, you can also install it in your car.


A subwoofer covers low frequencies that cannot be covered by a speaker. That is why the quality of sound is much better and clarity is sky high with heart-thumping and desired bass.

There are only a few steps you can take to install your powered subwoofer in the car.

Related: How To Connect Phone To Car Bluetooth

Amplifier and Subwoofer Choice

The subwoofer installed in your home audio system is a powered subwoofer which means that it has a built-in amplifier that delivers power for it to work. In these subwoofers, you don’t need an external amplifier as in passive subwoofers. Everything including all the controls is closed inside a box.

Powered subwoofer home theater

But the powered subwoofer in your home has 120 volts while your car battery can produce only 12 volts. For this, you can also buy a power inverter that is expensive and not a perfect solution.

To avoid such problems, it is better not to use the built-in amplifier and use an external one even cheap to perform the task. Cheap external amplifiers are even better than good built-in amplifiers.

As subwoofer is focused on producing the bass so a high power amplifier will provide a lot of power and ultimately more bass that will overpower the sound. It is better to get an amplifier with half the power of already installed main amplifier.

Also Read: Best 10 Inch Subwoofer Home Theater

Modifying Powered Subwoofer

Powered subwoofer converted to car subwoofer

Before you modify your powered subwoofer, verify its size. If the size of the subwoofer driver meets the requirements of your car, then it’s a good job.

Remove the plug adapter assembly screws and try to remove the assembly. If the assembly cannot be removed, you will need to cut an opening in the box of your subwoofer.

Free the driver from all the wires connected to it. Only leave the wires directing towards the speaker. You should remove all the electronics because you are going to use an external amplifier and it will be of no use then.


To wire properly know whether the subwoofer has 1 coil or 2. The number of terminals of speaker are double than the coils. One coil has two and two coils have 4 terminals.

You can attach the amplifier on the top of subwoofer to make it a single unit. However, it is not important.

If your speaker has 2 terminals, connect the positive terminal of speaker to the positive terminal on one channel of amplifier and connect the negative terminal of the speaker to the negative terminal of other channel on amplifier. In this way negative terminal of first channel and positive terminal of second channel will be left blank.

When speaker has 4 terminals connect them in the same way. Make sure to connect the wires from amplifier to the two outermost terminals of the speaker. Make a jumper wire to run it between the middle terminals.

Related: Cheapest 15-Inch Subwoofers/Woofers

Everything Installed, Enjoy Bass

Once you have done all these steps. you have installed powered subwoofer in the car. The last thing is to play music from your car’s stereo and enjoy listening to better sound quality than before.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are some questions that may come to your mind if you are first time making changes like this in your audio systems. Our already answered questions can help you make the idea more clear.

What is the difference between car subwoofer and powered subwoofer?

In our homes, we use powered or active subwoofers which means that these subwoofers have a built-in amplifier to deliver power to the speaker. These subwoofers require 110 to 240 volts of external current. The electronic circuit convert these AC volts in DC volts before delivering to the speaker.

On the other hand, car subwoofers are only subwoofers without any amplifier. An external amplifier is required to run these subwoofers. As the external amplifer is installed in car so takes DC voltages for operation.

Also Read: Most Expensive Subwoofers For Car Audio

Is it a good practice to hook up home subwoofer to car audio?

Of course, there is no problem in doing so as long as you know what you are doing. If you don’t have knowledge about it just go to a repairing shop and tell them you want to connect your powered subwoofer in car with DC current and they will make suitable changes. However, it is not very complex to try it yourself.

Why subwoofer is important for excellent sound quality?

A subwoofer can only give you the desired sound and deep bass by covering low-frequency sounds. Nowadays, subwoofer is a must-have item for every audio system. While watching movies, subwoofers play an important role in providing you the desired sounds.

Also Read: How to connect subwoofer to receiver without subwoofer output

Can I also connect my car subwoofer to my home theater?

Yes, you can. All you need to do is to power your car subwoofer with an external amplifier if connecting to home audio. You don’t need to spend any extra money if you have a subwoofer you can connect it to either car or home theater.

Final Thoughts

This was all you need to know to install powered subwoofer in your car. Following these instructions, it will be much easy for you to convert home subwoofer into a car subwoofer.

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