How to Install a Powered Subwoofer to a Factory Stereo [Edition 2022] |

How to Install a Powered Subwoofer to a Factory Stereo

Good music has the ability to make any journey memorable. Listening to your favorite jams while going on a long drive is a delight. A quality sound system plays an important role here.

A powered subwoofer constitutes the subwoofer, amplifier, and enclosure. These three make up a system that enhances your music experience. Such subwoofers usually come with a built-in amplifier which makes them easy to set.

Subwoofers allow you to listen to music in premium quality without sound breaking because they can support loud music efficiently. They have solid bass support unlike your regular speakers and are also competent with any brand’s speakers.

A powered subwoofer helps the small speakers to reach their best playing potential. Hence, they also help you to listen to the music of any kind to the fullest. Ensure to match the size of the subwoofer with the space in your vehicle before making a purchase.

The gist is that powered subwoofers serve multiple benefits to your vehicle’s speakers that include-

  • All the connections are placed in one area, does not require much effort to assemble.
  • There is no need to search for a suitable amplifier since powered subwoofers have amplifiers built in them. Thus, it cuts the hassle as well as the cost for you.
  • It reduces the heavy frequency burden on your speakers and serve the purpose of playing loud music according to their highest capability. This helps the system to run without any load.

Installation steps for a powered subwoofer

Now, the importance of a good quality subwoofer is known. Here is a complete guide for installing a powered subwoofer

  1. The first and quite crucial step is to consider to keep the subwoofer at a place where it receives proper ventilation as the amplifier generates a lot of heat. So, place it where its heat can be emitted properly and the subwoofer becomes easy to access.
  2. Battery attached in the subwoofer can create a harmful incident. Ensure to disconnect the battery’s negative end to prevent risks.
  3. You may not have the required wiring with the subwoofer so make sure to purchase the amp wire kit.

After you have assembled everything and taken the necessary precautions, it’s time to follow the process.

1. In most cases, the power cable can be sent through the firewall which acts as a partition between the main cabin and engine compartment. Use the entry point present there. As you get in the cabin, let the wire go through only one side of the carpet in your vehicle to the subwoofer.

What if the fuse is not assembled in the kit?

Don’t worry, just cut out a length of power cable that is enough to reach the fuse holder from the battery. Remove the insulation strips and attach one side to the fuse holder and the other to the terminal rings. Ensure to put the wire tight inside to reduce the risk of short circuits.

2. The next thing that should be on your list is the connection of turn-on wire and RCA cable. They should not be turned on near the power wire instead use the opposite side for this.

In this way, electric noises will be prevented from entering the system and produce good quality sound. The RCA cable goes in the RCA output and the turn-on wire in the stereo’s wiring harness. The step mentioned above is applicable only to stereos that contain preamp outputs.

What should be done if preamp output is not present?

In this case, you will need a line output converter that will convert the amplified signals to pre-amp level.

3. It’s time for the ground wire to connect with the chassis of the vehicle with the help of a bolt. Make sure to connect the ground wire terminal with the vehicle’s metal. You can also remove the excess paint with sandpaper to remove any hindrances.

4. Now, you are just a step away from playing your favorite music. Re-connect the negative side of the battery which was disconnected in the beginning. Also, turn the amplifier’s gain down prior to testing. Do not forget to turn on the subwoofer when the car starts. And here comes the moment to enjoy the amazing musical experience.

Points to Remember

These are some points to remember while you are installing a subwoofer to protect yourself from any damage.

  • Electricity with even a little amount of moisture can prove to be fatal for you. While there are a lot of wires around you, stay away from any kind of liquid or moisture containing substances to prevent short circuits during the installation process.
  • Make it sure no cuts are present in the wires. Handle them delicately and cautiously.
  • You must use gloves that protect your hands from conducting electricity.
  • A capacitor will provide a support if the voltage gets down during deep bass hits. Keep it close and at the same level as that of  the amplifier.
  • To prevent any harm to the subwoofer, turn the gain down while you start playing music and bring it back when you want to hear the music on loud volume.

If you are not familiar with “gain”, it is a knob present on the amplifier. When you turn it down, no signal is received by the amplifier. At the start, keep it low till the music becomes clear and control it accordingly later. This will not cause any damage to the powered subwoofer’s quality. Remember, this term is different from “volume”.

Final Thoughts

You can surely ask for help from a friend or someone who has prior experience in installing a powered subwoofer. There are several things that need to be done correctly and certain precautions to take while carrying the process. In addition to that, cleanliness is essential, so clean the subwoofers with the appropriate cleaner at regular intervals to ensure long life.

It might be a little hectic but don’t forget all these efforts will pay you back when you can finally enjoy the superior quality music while driving your car. After all, you do not want to spoil the good vibes due to the poor sound system.


Hi, I'm the initiator and writer of this blog. Cars were and will be my first love, and my favorite hobby, that's why I decided to start this blog and write about my discoveries and techniques to improve my cars or repair them.