Connecting an active subwoofer to the radio: operating characteristics, settings

In the article we will talk about connecting an active subwoofer to the car radio. Some owners are not very happy with the way regular speakers sound. Therefore, they conclude that you need to put a passive or active subwoofer. You can install it yourself in any car, but you need to know a little theory, as well as stock up on tools and materials.

It is also recommended to study the connection diagram, it is best to print and keep it with you. Agree, the printed version of such a "cheat sheet" is much more convenient when carrying out repairs and installation. First of all, let's figure out what active and passive subwoofers are. Consider all their disadvantages and advantages, key features.

Passive subwoofer

First, let's talk about what a passive subwoofer is. Connecting to the Pioneer radio tape recorder will not cause difficulties if you have all the necessary tools and materials. A passive subwoofer is a design that consists of one or more subwoofers. They are enclosed in one case made of plywood or chipboard. Sometimes, of course, there are boxes made of natural wood.

Radio Pioneer subwoofer connection

In order for the subwoofer to play any sounds, you need to connect it to the audio amplifier through a low-pass filter. This is such a device that is able to filter out a specific spectrum of frequencies. Now we can conclude - such a subwoofer will not be able to work independently. You can connect it directly to the radio, but it will not make a sound either, amplification and filtering of frequencies is necessary.

Active subwoofer

Now let's talk about what an active subwoofer is. This is a single acoustic unit, in one box there is not only a speaker, but also an amplifier, a low-pass filter, and sometimes even a voltage converter. Connecting such equipment is much simpler than in the case of passive. Some music lovers argue that the sound quality of such devices is better than passive. But is it worth it to listen to such specialists - you decide.

Actually, the sound quality depends on how correctly the settings of the entire equipment are made. Even the cheapest and oldest equipment can sound better than any modern if properly configured. But the most important thing is that connecting an active subwoofer to a Pioneer or any other radio is very simple and you do not need to be an auto electrician.

Differences Between Subwoofers

In order to determine which design is better, you need to consider all the points that you want to pay attention to:

  1. Active subs are higher than passive ones. This is due to the fact that they also have an amplifier, a low-pass filter. In the passive from the speaker, there is a wire to the connector and that's all.
  2. Passive subwoofer is more difficult to mount, since you need to install additional components. And for them you need to find another place, and this is sometimes very difficult to do.
  3. The quality of music playback. Some argue that active systems work better, but, as we said earlier, it all depends on the configuration.
  4. Ease of installation and configuration is an advantage of an active system.

By the way, you can replace the amplifier board in an active subwoofer and put a better filter. And he will be able to work much better and more beautiful than before. To increase power, you can even install more efficient transistors (if they are used in output stages).

The disadvantages and advantages of both systems

Connecting a subwoofer to a radio with amplifier

Positive aspects of passive devices:

  1. Very low cost due to the fact that the design has only a woofer and the housing itself. But in fairness it is worth noting that sometimes the box has a fairly high cost.
  2. Using a passive system, you can assemble acoustics that will satisfy all your requirements. This is a kind of designer for music lovers.
  3. These types of boxes can be used - bass reflexes, bandpass, standard. You can immediately highlight the lack of active subs - the use of different types of boxes is difficult, since you still have to look for a place to install several boards in it.

The main advantage of an active subwoofer is that you do not need to buy a low-pass filter and an amplifier to connect it. But this also implies the most important drawback - the power of the finished device is extremely low. The reason is that there is not enough space for mounting all the devices.

What will be needed for installation

When connecting the subwoofer to the radio with or without an amplifier, you need to get this set of materials and tools:

  1. Power and sound wires with β€œtulips”.
  2. Fuse.
  3. Nippers and pliers.
  4. Insulation tape.
  5. Capacitor.
  6. Screeds.
  7. Knife, a set of keys.

Choosing a place to install

Quite often, when installing a subwoofer box, car owners are faced with a problem - there is no place. Moreover, it does not depend on which model of the machine. It is even more difficult when a set of gas equipment is placed in the trunk - the space becomes even less.

Connecting an active subwoofer to a Pioneer radio

But the owners of SUVs, hatchbacks, station wagons, of course, were more fortunate in this matter - there is enough space in them. It is recommended to put the sub in the trunk, in this case, the sound quality due to the large volume will be very good.

Walkthrough: Installation Connecting a Passive Sub

Connecting an active subwoofer to the radio

And now let's look at how to connect a subwoofer to the linear output of the radio:

  1. Look for technological holes for laying wires. It should be noted that they are not available on all vehicles, so you will have to refer to the instruction manual.
  2. Make wiring under the hood of the car. Try to avoid pinching and kinks. All cladding that will be removed during the work is installed upon completion.
  3. Lay wires to the luggage compartment.
  4. Observe the polarity when connecting the power wires to the amplifier.
  5. Connect the amplifier to the radio. You will need wires with tips "tulip". You will also have to lay a wire to control the operation of the amplifier.
  6. Install the "tulips" in the connectors by color.
  7. Now you can connect the amplifier and subwoofer. There are no difficulties here, just plug the plug into the appropriate connector.

The use of a capacitor is recommended, but it is not necessary. It is needed only if the total acoustics power is more than 0.4 kW. You can put it both in the luggage compartment and in the engine compartment.

And without an amplifier?

Some may wonder, is it possible to connect a subwoofer to the radio without an amplifier? It is possible, but there will be no sense in it. The sound will begin to distort, as the entire frequency band, rather than a narrow range, will be reproduced.

Connecting a subwoofer to the line output of the radio

In addition, the amplifier of the tape recorder may fail, since the head has a very low resistance - 1-2 Ohms. For comparison: a conventional speaker has 4 or 8 ohms. Therefore, for the output chip, this will be equivalent to a short circuit.

How to connect an active sub?

Connecting a subwoofer to a radio without an amplifier

It turns out to be much simpler to connect an active subwoofer to the radio:

  1. You will need sound and power wires. The positive must be connected to the corresponding battery terminal. The cross section of the wire should be large.
  2. Install a fuse for protection. It is best placed in the engine compartment.
  3. The negative output of the sub must be reliably connected to the body.
  4. If the connectors are separate on the radio, then the task is simplified. Connecting an active subwoofer to the radio is reduced to laying a shielded cable. It is inserted into the output on the SubOut radio and the input on the LineIn subwoofer.

The work is over, you can enjoy the sound quality.


All Articles