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How to Connect a Subwoofer to a Receiver?

AV receivers and subwoofers are created for one another, so connecting them shouldn’t be much of a problem. Most commonly, it is, but sometimes problems do occur, especially for those new to AV receivers and subwoofers. So, to make you feel more confident, I will consider all possible ways of connecting the subwoofer to the receiver in this article. Well, let’s go!

Using the LFE subwoofer output

using the LFE subwoofer output

Standard LFE connector is the most popular way. You can find it on your receiver, called SUBWOOFER or SUB OUT. Every modern home cinema receiver has this port, which works with a dedicated bass channel. It is a single cable you need to connect to the Line Out port on your AV receiver and then to the Line In of your subwoofer. The cable uses standard RCA connectors

Using stereo RCA or speaker level outputs

using stereo RCA or speaker level outputs

Although LFE output is a popular solution, some AV receivers don’t come with it. Instead, you may find standard spring clips dedicated to the subwoofer. In this case, you will need the Y-split cable. Simply connect the corresponding channels (L and R) to the matching spring clips and plug the RCA connector into your subwoofer.

In some cases, subwoofers may also come with spring clips. In this case, use Y-splitter on both ends of the cable. Ensure to keep the Right and Left channels the same. The process is similar to connecting a standard speaker to your receiver. This subwoofer hookup method may take more time and effort, but it works as well as the previous one.

Using an additional amplifier

This method is the finest when you need to connect a passive subwoofer. This setup requires a standard RCA cable that you may already have and an additional AC-DC power supply for the other amplifier. You connect the additional amplifier to your receiver and then connect it to the subwoofer. Such amplifiers come in small sizes so that they won’t mess up the looks of your home cinema much. But it may be rather costly.

Connecting dual subwoofers

connecting dual subwoofers

In most cases, the task is simple – you will need to run separate RCA or Y-splitter cables of the sub to the AV receiver. Yet, the receiver may not have two RCA ports. For example, in the case of Y-splitter spring clips, you connect two wires to the Right and Left AV receiver outputs. But with a single RCA, you will need a special cable that turns a single subwoofer output into two separate ones.

Using low-level output

That’s probably the most optimal option. Here, you connect the first subwoofer to the receiver via one of the subwoofer connection types mentioned in the article. Then use Low-Level Output (LLO) on this subwoofer to connect the second one. It results in the creation of chains of subwoofers. Such a setup allows connecting as many subwoofers as you want. Thus, you can create complete subwoofer setups filling any size room with juicy bass.

Final words

Although connecting the subwoofer to the AV receiver looks simple, problems sometimes arise. However, modern receivers and subwoofers are advanced pieces of tech offering multiple ways of connecting to help users quickly and conveniently set up their home cinemas. Every setup mentioned in the article works excellently and doesn’t affect sound quality. It is up to you to choose one that suits you.

If you suddenly notice that your receiver turns off by itself, you will find it helpful to read these tips on fixing it.
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