How to Connect a Single RCA Plug Subwoofer to a Receiver

Written by ryan carter
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How to Connect a Single RCA Plug Subwoofer to a Receiver
Some receivers do not send a signal to the LFE output when in stereo mode. (Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Adding a subwoofer to your home theatre stereo system is one of the easiest ways to increase your listening pleasure. The low-frequency sounds that a subwoofer is able to produce can fill a large room with bass. Regardless of whether you are listening to music or watching a movie, smaller speakers simply cannot produce the lower frequencies that a subwoofer can. A subwoofer with a single RCA input is a characteristic of a powered subwoofer. A powerd subwoofer has a built-in amplifier. Because it is only a single cable connection, adding a powered subwoofer is a very simple procedure.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • RCA cable

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  1. 1

    Unplug the receiver and subwoofer from the electrical socket. Both the subwoofer and the stereo will have their own individual plug.

  2. 2

    Locate the Low Frequency Effects (LFE) output on the back of the receiver. The LFE output signal is non-amplified and utilises the receiver's crossover instead of the powered subwoofer's crossover. Generally speaking, most receivers featuring an LFE output also feature a built-in variable crossover that gives the user tuning options. In order to access your receiver's crossover, call up the speaker menu through the receiver's on-screen menu. Usually there will be a question regarding whether or not you have a subwoofer connected to the system and what crossover frequency you want to use.

  3. 3

    Run the RCA cable to the powered subwoofer. Plug the RCA cable into the RCA input on the subwoofer.

  4. 4

    Plug the receiver and subwoofer back into the wall outlet.

Tips and warnings

  • If your receiver does not have an LFE output, use a Y-connector and the line-level outputs on the receiver to connect the subwoofer. Doing so will utilise the subwoofer's built-in crossover.
  • To prevent electrical damage, be sure both the subwoofer and receiver are unplugged before connecting the subwoofer.

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