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How to Connect a Subwoofer to a Receiver, Processor or Amplifier

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Depending on the model, there are two ways to connect a subwoofer to an amplifier, receiver or processor. The best way is to connect the subwoofer to the SUB OUT or LFE output of a receiver, but some subwoofers can be connected to the speaker level outputs of the receiver or amplifier.

1. How to Connect a Subwoofer to the Subwoofer Output

Gary Altunian

The preferred method of connecting a subwoofer is through the LFE or Subwoofer output (SUB OUT) of a receiver. Almost all home theater receivers (or processors) and some stereo receivers have a subwoofer output. The LFE (Low Frequency Effects) is a special output for subwoofers and is often labeled 'SUBWOOFER' not LFE. 5.1 channel programs on DVD discs have a dedicated .1 channel output with bass-only content that is best reproduced by a subwoofer. Connect the output of the LFE or Subwoofer jack to the Line In jacks of the subwoofer using a single RCA cable (the two jacks on the left in the photo). A 'Y-Cable' may be necessary to connect the LFE output to both the left and right channels of the subwoofer.

2. How to Connect a Subwoofer to Speaker Level Outputs

Some receivers and amplifiers do not have an LFE or Subwoofer output. In this case you can use the speaker outputs of the receiver to connect the subwoofer. Using speaker wire, connect the left and right channel speaker outputs of the receiver to the left and right channel speaker level inputs on the subwoofer (the speaker inputs on the right side of the photo). Using speaker wire, connect the left and right channel speaker outputs on the back of the subwoofer to the left and right channel front speakers.

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