How to Hook up a Car Subwoofer to Your Computer

by David Lipscomb Google

    Low frequency information, also known as bass, lays the foundation for music and movies played through your computer. Without this visceral content, much the excitement of your multimedia content is lost. Car subwoofers provide this in droves, often packaged within their own model-specific enclosure. By using an 8-ohm subwoofer, a decent-quality amplifier and following standard wiring protocols, the new speaker assists those traditionally small computer satellites, giving your content a new dimension.

    Step 1

    Examine the back of the PC. Plug the 3.5 mm end of the RCA adapter cable into the "LINE" output jack or the jack marked with a headphone icon.

    Step 2

    Plug the RCA end of the adapter cable into the matching RCA inputs on the amplifier.

    Step 3

    Cut a length of 12-gauge speaker wire long enough to reach from the amplifier to the subwoofer's intended location. Add roughly 20 percent to this cut to ensure the cable is not stressed during or after installation.

    Step 4

    Strip 1 inch of insulation from both conductors on the wire at each end. Separate the conductors roughly 2 inches apart by hand.

    Step 5

    Unscrew the bonding posts on the amplifier and subwoofer enclosure until the small holes on each post are exposed.

    Step 6

    Slide the wire conductor featuring a molded ridge or printing into the red or positive binding post terminal at both the amplifier and subwoofer enclosure. Repeat for the negative conductor.

    Step 7

    Tighten all four binding posts clockwise until each is firmly gripping the bare wires. Turn the amplifier all the way down and then turn on the amp and computer.

    Step 8

    Play a piece of music or a movie featuring solid bass. Bring the computer's volume to the point just above where you would normally listen, using the keyboard or other system volume control.

    Step 9

    Slowly increase the subwoofer amplifier's volume until you achieve a satisfactory blend between the satellite computer speakers and the subwoofer itself.


    • It is not necessary to wire a car audio amplifier with a car audio subwoofer. As long as the amplifier is within the recommended power and impedance handling range for the chosen subwoofer, any suitable home amplifier will suffice.


    • Do not make audio or other system connections while the components are powered up. Doing so may cause a short circuit.

    Required Items

    • 3.5 mm-to-RCA adapter cable
    • 4-ohm stable home audio amplifier
    • 12-gauge speaker wire
    • Wire snips
    • Wire strippers

    About the Author

    David Lipscomb is a professional writer and public relations practitioner. Lipscomb brings more than a decade of experience in the consumer electronics and advertising industries. Lipscomb holds a degree in public relations from Webster University.

    Photo Credits

    • Ethan Miller/Getty Images News/Getty Images