Subwoofer wiring diagrams
Which wiring option will work best for you?
There are many ways to wire subwoofers and amplifiers together. The ideal setup is when subs and amps match their impedance and power capabilities to optimize performance. In this article, we'll help you find the best subwoofer wiring diagram for hooking up your system.
Just click on the "AMP" or "SUB" box below, answer a few questions, and you'll be presented with the wiring diagrams relevant to your search. You can find a glossary of terms below the interactive module.
Glossary of subwoofer terms
A Single Voice Coil subwoofer (or svc sub) has two wiring terminal posts, one marked positive and the other marked negative.
A Dual Voice Coil subwoofer (or dvc sub) has four wiring terminal posts, two positve terminals and two negative terminals. The extra terminals give you more options for wiring the speaker.
The impedance of a subwoofer coil is expressed in ohms. Impedance is the amount of electrical resistance, or load, a sub puts up against an amplifier's output. Subwoofer voice coils usually come in 2-ohm, 4-ohm, or 8-ohm impedances. The value is often found printed on the magnet, if you're unsure of what you have.
Series wiring and parallel wiring
These terms refer to two ways of routing the speaker wires to your subs to properly manage the overall impedance load. Whether you need to use a series wiring configuration, parallel wiring, or a mix of both, our diagrams will show you exactly the best way to wire your speakers.
Note: When you wire dual voice coils and multiple subs together, the resulting total impedance is not always simple to figure out or practical to use.
An amplifier will put out more power through a low-impedance sub than it will through a high-impedance sub. But a lower impedance also means more stress on the amp. Some amplifiers can even drive a 1-ohm load safely, and achieve maximum output. Refer to your amp manufacturer or owner's manual to determine whether or not yours can handle a low-impedance load.
Bridging an amp combines two amplifier channels into one, to get more power. The disadvantage of bridging is that bridged channels can't drive impedance loads as low as they can when unbridged. How to bridge the amp is usually indicated at the amp's speaker wire terminals.
All the wires depicted in the Subwoofer Wiring Diagrams are speaker wires. For wiring subwoofers, we recommend using wires of 12- to 16-gauge in size.
Start building your bass system today
Now that you've seen how to wire subwoofers and amplifiers together, you can knowledgeably shop Crutchfield's extensive selection of subwoofers and amplifiers. We also carry amp wiring kits, speaker wire, RCA cables, capacitors, and much more.
Contact us by phone, chat, or email and an Advisor will help you get what you need. If you want to learn more about amplifier systems, check out our Amplifier Installation Guide.