Can You Add A Subwoofer To A Soundbar?

Written by Jonah Matthes
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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.

You can't add a standalone subwoofer to most soundbars. It's typically only possible when both the soundbar and the subwoofer are sold together and designed to natively connect to one another.

You can try to do some jerry-rigging to connect a standalone subwoofer to your soundbar, but unless your subwoofer and soundbar are natively capable of connecting to one another, your best bet is probably to purchase a new soundbar package that includes a subwoofer like, for instance, the Sony HT-S350 (on Amazon).

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 think about adding a subwoofer to create a better sound. Unfortunately, it's not that simple.

Most Soundbars Connect with Native, Manufacturer-Paired Speakers

Many soundbars can connect with subwoofers that are within their branded line. Many manufacturers give you the option of upgrading your soundbar with additional speakers and/or subwoofer, as long as you use the recommended products.

For example, if you buy a Bose soundbar, you can purchase a Bose-compatible subwoofer to connect to it, such as a Bose Bass Module 500 subwoofer (on Amazon) or the Bose Bass Module 700 sub (on Amazon). The same goes for Sonos soundbars, which can connect to the Sonos Sub (on Amazon). Outside of these soundbars, you usually won't be able to add on a subwoofer.

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 now 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, you'll need 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 then 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, then connect any subwoofer you want to the receiver.

This is not the most recommended way to do it, because you'll be sacrificing some sound quality with all of these connections. And if you don't have all of these items already, it probably makes more sense to buy a new soundbar package with a subwoofer.

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 crucial to experiencing a soundbar's full sound experience.

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 that's role is to produce low-pitched audio frequencies, of 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 used to just be an easy upgrade to basic flat-screen TV sound, but now, they produce high-quality sound that provides a great alternative to traditional surround sound setups.

Music and movie buffs know that to get a full sound experience when enjoying cinema or bass-heavy music, a subwoofer is crucial. And no longer are subwoofers these big, bulky towers, they are now wireless and compact, without sacrificing power.

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. Although, you shouldn't be afraid to test out different locations for the best sound for your room, and you can reference our guide on subwoofer placement to some pointers here.

Conclusion

Soundbars that are available on the market have a wide range of sound quality. Manufacturers have been working hard over the years to perfect the ideal soundbar for consumers, so the options available have improved greatly as soundbars have increased in popularity, and this progress has shown that many consider a subwoofer pairing to their soundbar important.

Whether you're ready to add your subwoofer now, you're thinking about upgrading to a better soundbar/subwoofer package, or you're still deciding whether or not a subwoofer is right for you, hopefully, this article helped you see different setups you could have.

Regardless of your choice, it's a good thing to know the ins and outs of subwoofers and how they are beneficial to a sound system of any kind.

Even if you're not ready to upgrade your soundbar to a soundbar/subwoofer package, most people will say that you will not regret it if you do decide to make the jump, especially if you love the full sound experience in movies and music.

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About Me

Hi! I’m Jonah. I grew up addicted to different electronics. I began working for an Audio/Video installation company years ago and realized my passion for Home Theaters! The Home Theater DIY is a place for me to share my different findings and experiences about home theaters and home electronics. For more information, check out my about me page!

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