Subwoofer wiring diagrams — how to hook up your subs (2024)

Subwoofer wiring diagrams — how to hook up your subs (1)

How to hook up your subs for powerful bass

Subwoofer wiring diagrams — how to hook up your subs (2)

by Crutchfield's Buck Pomerantz

Aug 31, 2023

In this article, we'll help you find the best way to connect your subs to your amp. We begin with some basic – and important – subwoofer and amplifier terms. But if you want, you can skip straight to the wiring diagrams.

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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.

Power with care

The diagrams show wiring configurations for amplifiers and subwoofers that have already been matched for power capabilities. You should never connect subs to an amp that could give them more power than their total watts RMS power ratings. Doing so could damage the subs or the amp. See How to match subs and amps for further guidance.

Here's an example diagram for connecting two 4-ohm DVC subs to a mono-channel amplifier:

Subwoofer wiring diagrams — how to hook up your subs (3)

Wiring terms you need to know

The diagrams are below, but first let's explain a few important terms.

SVC

A single voice coil sub with two wiring terminal posts, one marked positive and the other marked negative.

DVC

A dual voice coil sub with four wiring terminal posts, two positive terminals and two negative terminals. This gives you more options for wiring the sub in different situations.

Ohms

The impedance load, or resistance against the amplifier's output signal, of a subwoofer coil. 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 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, without using confusing technical terms.

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. In the example diagram above, the voice coils of each sub are wired together in series, while the two subs themselves are wired together in parallel.

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Amplifier output

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 (marked “low-imp” in the links below) 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.

Bridged mode

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. The proper way to bridge the amp is usually indicated at the amp's speaker wire terminals. For more information, read our How to bridge an amplifier article.

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Wire

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.

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Subwoofer wiring diagrams — how to hook up your subs (4)

Find the right wiring diagram

Now, let's get those subs hooked up! All of our wiring diagrams are listed below. Select the diagram for the number and type of subs you have. Depending on your gear, there might be more than one way to safely wire the subs.

A note about multi-channel amplifiers

5-channel amplifiers are a popular way to get "full system" power in one box — four channels to drive your four speakers, plus a fifth, higher-powered channel for your subwoofer. 6- and 8-channel amps are similar and offer even more flexibility. When it comes to connecting subwoofers to these amps, keep it simple:

  • If you're connecting your sub(s) to the subwoofer channel, treat it like a mono-channel amplifier.
  • If you're bridging two channels of your amp, simply treat it as a bridged 2-channel amp.

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.

Comments (1,239)

Please share your thoughts below.

  • Randy

    Posted on 5/31/2024

    Your diagram for wiring two 4-Ohm DVC woofers to a bridged 2-Channel amp is in error:[link to 2 DVC-4 subs to bridged 2-ch amp]The load at the amp, in this diagram, would be 2 Ohms. A bridged amp will operate at 1/2 the speaker load.

    Subwoofer wiring diagrams — how to hook up your subs (5)

    Subwoofer wiring diagrams — how to hook up your subs (6)

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 6/1/2024

    Randy, The diagram shows two DVC 4-ohm subs each wired, coils in series, as 8-ohm loads - and then wired together in parallel to result in a single 4-ohm load. The diagram is correct, your math is in error. A subwoofer system's impedance does not depend on what kind of amplifier it's wired to - only how many and what kind of coils and how they're wired together counts.

  • Andreas from Los Angeles

    Posted on 1/1/2024

    Hello and I have 2 dvc 4ohm kicker comp vx at 750 rms each hooked up in parallel to a kicker 1800.1 amp with a 2ohm minimum impedance. Each subwoofer has a 2 ohm load because they are wired in parallel so it's a 4ohm load that my amp is taking do you think this is the best set up for my subwoofers and amp? I know my amp has 300watts extra power but how many watts are my subwoofers really taking and will they get ruined? Thank you!

    Subwoofer wiring diagrams — how to hook up your subs (7)

    Subwoofer wiring diagrams — how to hook up your subs (8)

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 1/2/2024

    Andreas, Don't be confused by "parallel" and "series" wiring terminology, but two DVC 4-ohm subs can get wired together to form a one-ohm load, a 4-ohm load, or a 16-ohm load. The only safe way to wire those subs to that amp is using the 4-ohm wiring option.

  • MARK TREVINO

    Posted on 12/28/2023

    I HAVE TWO DUAL COIL 8 INCH 4OHM KICKER SUBWOOFERS WITH KICKER AMP CXA400.1. WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO GET THE MOST OUT OF THE AMP'S POWER INTO THE SUBS?

    Subwoofer wiring diagrams — how to hook up your subs (9)

    Subwoofer wiring diagrams — how to hook up your subs (10)

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 12/29/2023

    Mark, Without knowing precisely what the RMS power ratings of the subs you're referring to, we can't help you with wiring advice. If you want a question answered about a system, you must identify the gear by brand names and model numbers so we can get the right information to you.

  • Can you run 4 d2 and link 2 1 ohm amps, but the 4 subs run at 1ohm??

    Subwoofer wiring diagrams — how to hook up your subs (11)

    Subwoofer wiring diagrams — how to hook up your subs (12)

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 12/26/2023

    C, You should absolutely never link two amplifiers together, unless they were designed to do so. Without knowing precisely what amps and subs you're referring to, we can't help you with wiring advice. If you want a question answered about a system, you must identify the gear by brand names and model numbers so we can get the right information to you.

  • Cameron

    Posted on 11/20/2023

    Can you wire a DVC and a SVC into a mono amp? If so how would you do it?

    Subwoofer wiring diagrams — how to hook up your subs (13)

    Subwoofer wiring diagrams — how to hook up your subs (14)

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 11/21/2023

    Cameron, If the power ratings are compatible, you can wire the two voice coils of a DVC 2-ohm sub together in series to create a 4-ohm sub that can get wired with a SVC 4-oh sub. Likewise, a DVC 4-ohm sub with its coils wired in parallel to create a 2-ohm sub can get wired with a SVC 2-ohm sub. Without knowing the specific make and models of the subs, it would be irresponsible to show wiring schemes that could result in damage.

  • PAUL from Spring Hill, Fl

    Posted on 11/14/2023

    So if I have 3 10s at 250 watts max..125 minimum at 4 ohms..Is I series them over from - /+ 1 10 inch sub another 10 inch to -/+ to another 10 ich -/+.... useing the negative - of the first sub then to use the positive + of the last... what will be the ohm load and wattage need to supply the subs and what to use for a amp

    Subwoofer wiring diagrams — how to hook up your subs (15)

    Subwoofer wiring diagrams — how to hook up your subs (16)

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 11/15/2023

    Paul, Without knowing precisely what subs you're referring to, we can't help you with advice. Are they single or double voice coil? What's their RMS ratings? If you want a question answered about a system, you must identify the gear by brand names and model numbers so we can get the right information to you.

  • Collin Roan

    Posted on 11/10/2023

    My factory stereo I don't have a wiring diagram. How do I find our what colors I tap into.

    Subwoofer wiring diagrams — how to hook up your subs (17)

    Subwoofer wiring diagrams — how to hook up your subs (18)

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 11/11/2023

    Collin, Not knowing exactly what vehicle, or amplifier, or subwoofers you have make it impossible to give advice on how to wire them together. If you want a question answered about your system, you must identify your vehicle and your equipment by brand names and model numbers. Give us a call and talk to one of our Advisors. We can help you choose the right gear and give you the right advice on how to install it.

  • Crew

    Posted on 11/6/2023

    I already have a MOSCONI ONE 100.6 amplifier installed in to my car and was looking for a subwoofer to go with it, will my amplifier be to powerful for a Rockford Fosgate P2D4-12 subwoofer? And if not so what cable should I use?

    Subwoofer wiring diagrams — how to hook up your subs (19)

    Subwoofer wiring diagrams — how to hook up your subs (20)

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 11/8/2023

    Crew, That subwoofer should work well with that amplifier. If you're asking what speaker wire to use - use 16-, 14-, or 12-gauge speaker wire from the amp's bridged channels to the sub.

  • Dalton from Minneapolis

    Posted on 10/27/2023

    I am planning to install a JL Audio SB-GM-SLVCC4/12TW3 Stealthbox subwoofer. I bought an JL Audio XD1000/1v2 Amplifier for it. Would this be too powerful an amplifier to power this sub? Could I power this sub with this amplifier? Everything I'm seeing is pointing to it being too powerful, and it looks like I'll have to swap to the XD600/1v2 amp. Thank you

    Subwoofer wiring diagrams — how to hook up your subs (21)

    Subwoofer wiring diagrams — how to hook up your subs (22)

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 10/28/2023

    Dalton, Your XD1000 is a bit too strong and could damage that sub. The XD600 will be a safer application and should provide enough loud bass to make you happy.

  • Luciano from Orland

    Posted on 10/27/2023

    I connected a 2 ohm dvc sub parallel to get a 1 ohm load at the amp, i connected the + to + and the - to - but instead of connecting the amp to the + of one voice coil and the - of the other voice coil i connected the amp to the connectors of one voice coil - and + will that affect anything?

    Subwoofer wiring diagrams — how to hook up your subs (23)

    Subwoofer wiring diagrams — how to hook up your subs (24)

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 10/28/2023

    Luciano, That way of connecting ends up being electrically identical to the way pictured.

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