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How to Connect A Subwoofer to A Soundbar?

Are you looking to take your sound system to the next level by adding a subwoofer? When it comes to soundbars, some are sold by themselves, and some are sold along with a subwoofer. But if you’ve bought a soundbar that didn’t come with one, you may be wondering how to add a subwoofer to it.

Adding a standalone subwoofer to most soundbars is not feasible unless they are designed to connect natively. Using a receiver and a stereo mini mixer is an alternative, but it may reduce sound quality. The best solution is often to purchase a soundbar package that includes a subwoofer.

In this article, we explore the complexities and solutions for enhancing your home theater experience by adding a subwoofer to a soundbar. Discover the compatibility challenges and the best approaches to achieve superior sound quality.

Is There Any Way You Can Add a Subwoofer to a Soundbar

When it comes to connecting subwoofers and soundbars to one another, it can be tricky. Many times, you purchase a soundbar by itself or with some speakers, but it doesn’t include a subwoofer. Then you consider adding a subwoofer for better sound. Unfortunately, like with adding surround sound speakers, it’s not that simple.

Most Subwoofers Connect with Native, Manufacturer-Paired Soundbars

Numerous soundbars allow connections with subwoofers that are part of their branded lineup, featuring Bluetooth and other technology.

For example, if you buy a Samsung soundbar, you can purchase a Samsung-compatible subwoofer to connect to it, such as a Samsung SWA-W500 subwoofer (on Amazon) or the Samsung SWA-W510 sub (on Amazon). The same goes for Yamaha soundbars, which can connect to the Yamaha MusicCast sub (on Amazon). Outside of these soundbars, you usually won’t be able to add on a subwoofer.

How To Connect Subwoofer To Its Native Soundbar

There are two ways you can connect a subwoofer to its native soundbar, depending on whether it is a wired or a wireless one.

Wired Connection

  • If your subwoofer and soundbar support wired connections, use the appropriate cable (often an RCA cable or a 3.5mm audio cable).
  • Connect one end of the cable to the output port on the soundbar and plug the other end to the input port on the subwoofer.

Wireless Connection

  1. Automatic Pairing:
    • Turn on both the soundbar and the subwoofer.
    • Many modern soundbars and subwoofers pair automatically when switched on and are within range of each other.
    • Look for a confirmation that they are connected, often indicated by an LED light or a sound signal.
  2. Manual Pairing:
    • If the devices don’t automatically connect, you may need to manually initiate pairing.
    • This usually involves pressing a pairing button on the subwoofer.
    • Some soundbars also require you to activate pairing mode, which is typically done through a button on the soundbar or via a menu accessed through the soundbar’s controls.

Soundbars Packaged with Subwoofers

The other main option for connecting a soundbar to a subwoofer is by purchasing them together. Many soundbars are now packaged with a subwoofer and/or extra speakers to create a better surround sound experience. This is because a big critique of soundbars is that they have front-heavy sound and lack bass.

Since the multiple-speaker packages have become more popular, there are now a ton of soundbars on the market that include a subwoofer and external speakers in the package. Almost all of them are even wireless.

If you’re interested in purchasing a soundbar that includes a subwoofer, then check out our list of recommended soundbars! Many of them include wireless subwoofers.

If you currently have a soundbar but don’t have the option to add on a subwoofer, purchasing a soundbar package is a great option. There are a wide range of options at all price ranges, which means you can definitely find a great one that fits your budget and produces high-quality sound.

The Jerry-Rigged Method for Adding a Subwoofer to a Soundbar

There is one method for adding a subwoofer to a soundbar that is not traditional by any means, but it is possible to do, as long as you have the equipment to do it. For this method, all you need is a receiver and a stereo mini mixer, along with your soundbar and subwoofer.

First, you connect your soundbar to a receiver (which we have more instructions on in a separate article). Then, you can go from the front left, front right, and center channel pre-outs to a stereo mixer, like this Rolls MX42 Stereo Mini Mixer (on Amazon). From the stereo mini mixer, you can then connect to the soundbar, and then connect any subwoofer you want to the receiver.

This method is not recommended as a good idea, since it may reduce sound quality due to multiple cable connections. If you don’t already have these items, buying a new soundbar with a subwoofer might be a better choice.

Why Would You Want to Add a Subwoofer to a Soundbar?

The 8 Best Powered Subwoofers for Home Use

You’ll find that there are a wide variety of soundbar packages, including those with external speakers, those with only built-in speakers (including some with built-in subwoofers), and those that include an external subwoofer.

Some soundbars can produce great sound without any external speakers, and other soundbars are pretty basic. It all depends on your needs, but many argue that a subwoofer is essential to experiencing a soundbar’s full sound experience. This also depends on its placement. And note that you can even connect two subwoofers to a soundbar!

If you’re weighing the pros and cons of adding a subwoofer, which may mean purchasing a new soundbar package, you might be wondering if a soundbar needs a subwoofer at all. We have a whole article addressing this, but here’s a quick summary:

The Gap a Subwoofer Fills

When deciding whether or not a subwoofer is necessary, it’s important to understand the role of a subwoofer. A subwoofer is a loudspeaker whose role is to produce low-pitched audio frequencies, which other speakers cannot.

When enjoying sound of any kind, your low-pitched audio frequencies won’t be reproduced properly without a subwoofer. People who have or have had subwoofers in a sound system of any kind know that there is a big difference in sound with them, and once they know, they are hooked.

Soundbars were once a simple upgrade to flat-screen TV sound, but now offer high-quality sound as an alternative to traditional surround sound.

For an immersive sound experience in movies and bass-heavy music, a subwoofer is essential. Modern subwoofers are wireless and compact, offering powerful sound without the bulk.

Subwoofers are Important for Soundbars

As far as soundbars go, most soundbars provide front-heavy sound, which makes sense because they are in the front of the room, and unless you have external speakers, that is where your sound is coming from. In addition, most soundbars don’t come equipped with very powerful bass.

To achieve a fuller, more robust sound with a soundbar, a subwoofer is an important asset. When you know where to place a subwoofer with a soundbar, you can bring a more immersive surround sound experience to your home theater, living room, or media room.

Placement varies from room to room, but subwoofers are usually best in the front of the room and in a corner. However, you should not be afraid to test out different locations for the best sound for your room, and you can reference our guide on subwoofer placement for some pointers here.