Following proper subwoofer wiring matters as they enhance the overall sound quality of your speakers and systems. It improves the shielding added to the cables, improving the analog signal sent through the wires, reducing distortion, and providing the best output possible. In this guide, we’ll help you determine the best choice from the following diagrams for your unique system.
Getting Started with a Subwoofer Wiring Diagram
A subwoofer wiring diagram can either include diagrams for single voice coil or dual voice coil speakers. A single voice coil speaker has one coil and a set of terminals. Meanwhile, a dual voice coil sub has four wiring terminal posts, possessing two positive and negative terminals. The impedance of subwoofer coils is expressed in ohms. It’s the amount of electrical resistance or impedance load a subwoofer puts up against an amp’s output.
However, keep in mind that most wiring options aren’t always compatible with your amps, so ensure to check the company or manufacturer’s manual to determine what’s compatible with your device. Either way, you can follow a series wiring or parallel wiring diagram.
How a Subwoofer Wiring Diagram is Different from a Typical Speaker Wiring Diagram
Subwoofer wiring diagrams are no different from an average speaker wiring diagram. After all, using standard speaker wires to connect subwoofers to a receiver allows it to function correctly. The only problem is that the cables may pick up stray radio signals and output them through the subwoofer’s amplifier if not adequately shielded.
Subwoofer cables are usually shielded, preventing any interference from affecting the sound output. On the other hand, speaker cables are usually unshielded since they’re designed to carry amplified signals, making them prone to interference. Overall, even though subwoofers have several configurations different from your typical speakers, you can still use speaker wiring diagrams to power up your subwoofers — prepare for the slight sound distortion.
Additionally, one of the main factors that’ll affect a subwoofer’s compatibility with speaker wires is whether they’re active or passive devices. If a subwoofer is active, it should have amplifiers, but if it’s passive, it usually doesn’t have an amplifier, operating the same way as a regular speaker.
Following A Dual 2 Ohm Subwoofer Wiring
Subwoofer voice coils typically come in the following impedances: 2 ohms, 4 ohms, or 8 ohms. Each one has its unique wiring option or diagram, and the dual 2-ohm subwoofer wiring diagram is the most common one. For dual 2-ohm subwoofer wiring diagrams, here are the following impedances:
- In series wiring, connecting the two voice coils of 2-ohm subwoofers and the drivers in parallel would result in 2 ohms.
- In parallel wiring, connecting the dual voice coil subwoofers and the drivers in parallel would result in dual 2-ohm subwoofers: 0.5 ohms.
Keeping to a 4 Ohm Dual Voice Coil Wiring Diagram
Multi-driver subwoofer systems usually feature dual voice coils (DVC) on their drivers. The level of wiring complexity is enough to confuse even the most talented car audiophiles — and that can be even more challenging when keeping to a 4-ohm dual voice coil wiring diagram. However, it is doable.
When wiring dual subwoofers following wiring diagrams, you need to connect two voice coils of each sub in series. The subwoofers in parallel will then result in the following impedances: dual 4-ohm Subwoofers to 4 ohms. On the other hand, in parallel wiring, where the two voice coils of each subwoofer in parallel and the woofers themselves will result in dual 4-ohm Subwoofers: 1 ohm.
Additionally, it’s best to avoid series connections between each driver when wiring multiple drivers and keep them parallel for the best sound output possible.
Keeping the Voice Coils Powered
Voice coils consist of coiled wires connected to the speaker driver terminals, receiving electric current from a source and converting it into linear motion. Overall, it functions as an electromagnet, reversing the flow of electric current repeatedly and moving the speaker cone back and forth. Then, as the coil moves back and forth, it creates a vibration while driving the air in front of it, ultimately making sound waves — meaning you need to keep the voice coils powered.
However, whether you’re following series or parallel wiring, voice coils will burn out. Luckily, you can change that by using an amplifier with the correct power rating, helping power your woofers.
There are multiple ways to wire subwoofers and amplifiers together, with all wiring diagrams possessing unique configurations independently. Remember, to make an ideal and overall helpful setup, ensure your subwoofers and amps match their impedance and power load. Doing this helps optimize their impedances, drivers, and the speakers’ overall performance. Use this guide to help you determine what’s the best subwoofer wiring diagram for your system.
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