How to Connect Subwoofer to Receiver Without Subwoofer Output?

The Ultimate Guide on How to Connect Subwoofer to Receiver With No Subwoofer Output

In today’s technological age, it’s easier than ever to indulge in a shared passion—music—thanks to portable, user-friendly devices like radios and home stereos. But what about when things get technical and you need to hook up a subwoofer to a receiver that doesn’t have a subwoofer output? Here is a manual that I’ve put together for you.


If you want to hear your subwoofer playing at its best, then it is important to connect it to a receiver. You will have better bass sound and less distortion using speaker wires or an RCA jack.

So, if you have just purchased a new sound system with a receiver, but it does not have built-in subwoofer output, then this guide will help you out. Just follow the steps below to learn how to connect your subwoofer without an output jack on the receiver!

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First of All – Get to Know the Two Types of Subwoofers The

Before you get started, make sure you know the type of subwoofer you have. This is important because it will determine the type of connection you use to connect them together. Subwoofers are of two main types: Passive and Powered.

Passive Subwoofer

Passive subwoofers are speakers that need to be connected to a stereo system that has an external amplifier.

They are similar to traditional speakers except they are designed specifically to reproduce lower-frequency sounds.

Passive subwoofers offer you more control over the sound quality of your home theater and offer a better price point than active subwoofers. Besides, they are light in weight and compact as it does not have a built-in amplifier.

When it comes to a passive subwoofer, the key to choosing the right one is finding one that suits your application perfectly.

Visiting an audio specialist or performing your own research online will help you choose a non-powered subwoofer that is compatible with your system and meets your needs.

Active/Powered Subwoofer

When you buy an active subwoofer, you’ll get the best of both worlds. Active subwoofers are powered, so they don’t need a separate amp to power them. This means that they are ready to go right out of the box, which saves time during installation.

Active subwoofers require less work when connecting to other speakers. They also allow you to control their volume levels via your receiver or speaker system.

Active subs are typically more expensive than passive ones and bigger in size, but they also have advantages. Active subs are much more powerful than passive ones and typically have more features like remote control and EQ (low pass, crossover filters).

So, active or passive? If you want the convenience of an easy connection and don’t want to deal with the hassle of customizing the system from the ground up, then go for the active options. However, if you want the freedom of choosing your own amplifier and customization abilities, I suggest that you go with a passive system.

Can I Connect a Subwoofer to a Receiver With No Subwoofer Output?

Whether or not your new receiver or subwoofer has a subwoofer output will not affect its ability to work with your existing speakers. However, it may require a different connection method when used.

So, even if you choose a wireless connection or opt for an RCA audio cable, I can help find the right component to make your system function again.

Use RCA Cables

If you do not have the subwoofer output jack, then it may be possible to connect the subwoofer to the receiver using an RCA cable.

If your receiver lacks a subwoofer output, try using the preamp output. The pre-amp output is most commonly located on the back of your stereo receiver. It will have left and right speaker terminals. What you can do is put in the male ends in your subwoofer, and the female ends connect with the receiver.

You’ll need the RCA Y adapter if you only have one RCA input on your receiver instead of two RCA inputs. The Y adapter transforms the single input into two stereo connectors, offering you a passage to connect two subwoofers.

But it requires that the stereo RCA connectors be compatible with the RCA jack on your subwoofer and receiver. If not, then you may need to use another type of cabling.

Connect With Speaker Level Outputs

You can connect your subwoofer to your existing receiver with no dedicated subwoofer output via the spring clips on the back. These are known as speaker-level inputs and speaker-level outputs.

The subwoofer has a speaker-level input, which makes it easy to connect to other speakers. If your subwoofer has one spring clip, then your speakers and subwoofer will have a common connection to the receiver’s speaker outputs.

If your sub has two spring clips, then you can connect the speakers and sub separately to your receiver.

Hook up Passive Subs With Another Amplifier

If you already have a passive subwoofer, connecting it to an amplifier will not only give it more power but also enable it to deliver better bass. However, you need to connect them properly and get the right amp, otherwise, your system or stereo speakers won’t function as intended.

What Is the Best Way to Connect a Subwoofer to a Receiver?

A home theater receiver or preamp makes it easy to connect a powered subwoofer to create a simple, powerful audio system.

Connect the subwoofer in one of two ways: use either the RCA (Phono) “sub” or “woofer” line present on the majority of the pre-amps and receivers of home theater. Otherwise, you can use the high-level input on powered models that offer this option.

Should I Use Dual Subwoofers?

The best way to decide if you need dual subwoofers is to listen. Dual subs can help fill in the low end of your audio, giving it more detail and punch than a single sub will. If you have space and budget for two subs, they’ll definitely improve your listening experience.

Besides, you can use the methods explained above to connect a second subwoofer to your receiver without receiver outputs.

Wrap Up!

If you want to connect a subwoofer to an amplifier without a built-in sub-output, there are several ways you can do it. The easiest method is to use a Y adapter. It lets you split the signal from the amplifier into two subwoofer outputs: one for the speakers in your system, and one for your subwoofer.

Last Updated on February 4, 2023 by Danny Reid

Written by Danny Reid

Hey, I'm Danny, and I know how hard it can be to find the perfect audio gear. Need a new stereo, amp, speakers, or subs? Don't worry – my blog is here to help you cut through the noise! My mission is to give you the best reviews, so you can make the right decision for your audio needs. And if you ever get stuck thinking, "Where does this blue wire go?" don't worry – I've got tons of cool tips to help you out of any jam. So come along with me on this fun, sound-filled adventure, and let's find the perfect audio setup to make your tunes really sing!