What do I Need to Put Subs in My Car?

There are various types of car enthusiasts out there. Some prefer collecting vehicles, while others go for performance improvement, cosmetic upgrades, or sound system enhancements. What is the reason behind this? The answer is simple: some people just don’t like ordinary things nor being ordinary. That’s why they indulge in the process of upgrading their vehicle features, and even personalizing them.

For the vast majority of people, listening to music while driving is one of the best things about the experience itself, especially if the road is empty. Listening to your favorite tunes in your car can really make your mood better. However, some cars simply don’t have a good surround system that would sound good when playing certain songs. This is why installing a subwoofer might be the best thing you can do. But not all the subwoofers are the same. Making an excellent choice for the subwoofer you plan to install in your car is only the first step. According to, you wouldn’t be able to enjoy this bass booster if you couldn’t maximize its power, and that’s exactly what we’re here to talk about. Let’s dive into it:

What Do You Need?

Although installing a subwoofer sounds pretty challenging, in reality, it’s not as complicated as it sounds. You have two options – you can either install it yourself, or with the help of a professional. That being said, it all goes down to your personal preferences, your skills, and the amount of time you can put in the process. Finally, let’s don’t forget about the budget. Some car owners prefer doing all the repairs and upgrades on their car – on their own, in order to lower the labor costs and personalize every component (or they simply don’t like other people messing with their car). If you are one of them, and if you’re a DIY guy who wants to have a subwoofer in their car, you’re going to need the following, in order to successfully install it:


Firstly, you need to determine where you want (and where it is possible) to install the subwoofer. Cars don’t have dedicated compartments for sound system upgrades or accessories. Hence, you might have to drill or punch a hole in your car’s interior. You’ll need the right tools for this task, so make sure to purchase them beforehand.

On the other hand, you will also need to try and look for possible locations inside the car where you think the subwoofer will fit. It could be under the driver’s seat or inside the trunk where there’s plenty of space. You can do a bit of research on what the most convenient places are, besides from the above mentioned. Finally, imagine the source of your sound in different places in your car, and pick the one that seems the most logical, but that’s also easy to install.


After confirming that your car has a possible location for the subwoofer, the next thing you need is an amplifier. Don’t ever make the mistake of installing or using a subwoofer without this component. One of the biggest mistakes people make is not doing thorough research, and forgetting that this upgrade consists of several elements. If you want fantastic music in your car, then an amplifier is a must. But what’s the technical reasons behind this?

Subwoofers require tremendous power, and without an amplifier, your speakers won’t receive the appropriate amount of energy they need to produce quality sounds. In other words, you won’t be able to maximize the potential of the subwoofer without an amplifier. The bass notes would sound distorted, and it might even end up sounding just like a regular speaker. Why would you install a subwoofer in the first place, if you’re not gonna enjoy all the benefits it brings, and you’re not gonna utilize its power?

Fortunately, most retailers often offer packages that include amplifiers when they sell subwoofers. As you can imagine, this will help guarantee that the two are compatible. Before you start the install, we advise you to double check everything and make sure it works perfectly.


Cables are something that you will most certainly need. Why is this important to mention? Chances are, that the subwoofer and amplifier you just bought didn’t come with wirings. It’s highly unlikely for retailers to include them. Don’t worry; you can purchase wiring or cables separately. Just don’t forget to do it!

To do this, you need to determine what cables you need to connect the subwoofer to the amplifier and the amplifier to the main stereo. You might need a bit of help with this, and you can always talk to professionals who work in retail shops.

After figuring that out, the next thing you have to do is to determine how much power your subwoofer needs. This is most likely the amount of power that will run through your cable wires. You might end up burning your cable wires and ruining your sound system if the wires are too thin or incapable of handling too much power. Picking the right cables, therefore, is essential for making everything work. Read the small letters!


All cars nowadays have a main stereo, so why did we include it on this list? Well, stock stereos or those that come fitted to the car are often incapable of handling or delivering adequate power to subwoofers. Additionally, they don’t usually have RCA outputs, which is what connects the stereo to the amplifier. So what is there to be done?

You have two possible solutions to this. Firstly, you can purchase an aftermarket stereo and get a major upgrade to your car’s sound system. On the other hand, you can use the stock stereo and install an output converter. This is another device you can use to convert the stereo’s wires into RCA. This might be the more affordable option, if you don’t want to invest that much money in your car sound system.

Can You Connect Your Sub Without a Separate Amp?

The short answer is yes. However, the sound quality and installation method will depend on the type of subwoofer you have. Generally, there are two major types of subwoofers: passive and active.


A passive subwoofer is where you use a separate amplifier to improve the sound’s bass notes. Nonetheless, you can also install it like a regular speaker. All you have to do is connect the wires from the head unit or main stereo to the subwoofer. Keep in mind that doing this without an amp will reduce the quality of the bass, which is not the best option if the bass is extremely important to you.


Active subs are subwoofers with built-in amplifiers. One major advantage of this type of subwoofer is not having to purchase a separate amp. Plus, most active subs come with wires upon purchase. This saves you both time and effort to make sure every component matches the other one.

While they might be more expensive than passive subwoofers, you get to enjoy the benefit of not having an amplifier installed or lying around somewhere in your car’s interior. However, one downside of active subwoofers is that they are challenging to install. That’s because they will require more power from the battery. But this is something that can be fixed as well, with a bit of help from a professional or with a couple of YouTube tutorials.

To More Fun Joyrides!

Improving your car’s sound system is one of the best ways to enjoy your rides with friends. Playing all your favorite songs as you drive around town will surely provide you with a lot of unforgettable moments.

No upgraded sound system is complete without a subwoofer. Aside from finding the best subwoofer you can have in your car, make sure that you also have everything you will need for smooth installation.

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