Get the Full Audio Experience: How to Add a Subwoofer to Your Soundbar
If you own a soundbar, you may have noticed it lacks truly deep, rich bass. The compact size limits how low its drivers can reproduce sounds. A dedicated subwoofer fills in the missing low frequencies to complete your home audio system. Here’s how to integrate a thunderous sub to make your soundbar really shake the room.
Choose a Subwoofer Suited to Your Soundbar
When selecting a sub, you’ll want to match its capabilities to your existing soundbar. Key factors to consider include:
- Size – Compact 8” or 10” subs are inconspicuous while 12”+ subs provide chest-thumping bass. Measure space to ensure a proper fit.
- Power – Look for a continuous wattage that matches or exceeds your soundbar’s to blend properly.
- Frequency response – A range of 20-120Hz suits most soundbars. Go lower if you really want earth-shaking bass.
- Inputs – Match connection types offered on your soundbar like RCA, speaker wire, etc. Wireless Bluetooth subs add flexibility.
- Budget – Prices range from $100 to $1000+. Get the best sub you can afford for noticeably better bass.
Position the Subwoofer for Optimal Performance
Placing your subwoofer correctly ensures you get the most out of it:
- Corner loading – Placing a sub diagonally in a room corner reinforces bass due to boundary effects.
- Near front wall – Provides bass lift compared to the middle of a wall.
- Near soundbar – Keep the sub close to your soundbar unless corner loading.
- Raise off floor – Elevate with foam pads to reduce floor coupling that can muddy bass.
Take time to find the sub position that gives the loudest, clearest bass response in your room. Adjust phase and distance settings if available.
Connect Subwoofer to Soundbar via Wired or Wireless
Run a wire from your soundbar’s sub/LFE output jack to the subwoofer input for a direct wired connection. Alternately, use speaker wire connected from the soundbar’s extra speaker terminals.
For a completely wireless setup, use a sub with Bluetooth connectivity and pair it to your soundbar according to the instructions. This allows flexible placement.
Dial in Your Subwoofer for Seamless Audio Integration
Once connected, fine tune the subwoofer for best sound:
- Set the soundbar’s crossover frequency so bass is directed to the sub, not the soundbar speakers.
- Balance sub volume level – loud enough to hear but not overpowering other frequencies.
- Adjust the sub EQ if available to blend with the soundbar’s tonal characteristics.
Proper gain staging results in smooth bass that fills in the low end without negatively impacting dialog, mids, or highs.
Enjoy the Home Theater Experience a Subwoofer Provides
Adding a sub to your soundbar pays off with:
- More impactful home theater for TV, movies and gaming thanks to dramatic effects and LFE.
- Deeper, more resonant music listening experience. Added bass you can feel.
- Expanded frequency range beyond what small soundbar speakers can reproduce.
- Ability to play at higher overall volumes without strain or distortion.
Troubleshooting Common Subwoofer Problems
If issues arise, try these fixes:
- No sound – Check connections, turn on subwoofer auto activation, raise volume knob.
- Distorted sound – Lower gain if overdriven. Adjust crossover frequency.
- Too boomy – Move sub or reduce bass EQ to tame muddiness.
Enhance your audio environment with the addition of a thundering subwoofer to your trusty soundbar. Follow this guide for setting up an earth-shaking bass experience.