Don’t you miss the high-quality, thumping bass of your car subwoofer when you are at home? You may have a better audio system installed in your car than the one you have in the house, especially if you listen to most of your music from the car.
As crazy as it might sound, the prospect of hooking your car subwoofer to your home theater system can be pretty enticing when you find yourself home alone and bored!
It can be a good time to get experimental and improve your DIY skills. So, can you use your home audio subwoofer in a home theater setup?
Yes! You can integrate your car speaker into your home’s audio system. However, you should note that a car subwoofer runs on lower impedance compared to home theater speakers. This implies that you should get a receiver that can drive the subwoofer to use in the new setup.
Connecting Your Car Audio Subwoofer in a Home Theater Setup
The most important thing to remember before connecting the car audio subwoofer is its electrical requirements since car speakers are designed to operate on a lower current. Having said that, the following is a guide to connecting a car underseat subwoofer to a home theater system:
Step 1 – Control the Power
Your main aim for this project should be not to blow up your subwoofer by plugging it into 110 volts of electricity when the device is engineered to run on only the 12 volts your car battery generates. As such, your first order of business should be to get a power inverter that allows you to manage the power.
Get a power inverter that can convert 12 volts with the help of 2 plugs. One plug goes to the sub while the other is connected to the wall socket.
Step 2 – Connect the Subwoofer to Your Car’s Amplifier
The next step is to find a 12 or 16-gauge speaker wire. This will depend on the subwoofer model, so you want to consult the manufacturer’s specifications if you’re unsure which one to use.
Connect the amplifier and the subwoofer to the wires. You can connect the wires to the brackets under the terminals on either appliance. Be sure to twist the red wires with red wires and do the same with the dark wires.
So, this means you might have to strip the wires to reveal their colors.
Step 3 – Connect Your Car Subwoofer to the Home Amplifier
Connect the wires to your car’s audio subwoofer input terminals, then connect these to the output terminals on your home’s amplifier. You want to pair the red wires with the red and the white with white.
Step 4 – Connect to the other Home Speakers
It’s now time to connect the rest of the speakers in your home theater system to complete the setup. If you want a powerful surround sound system, arrange the speakers so that two are on the left and two on the right with one in the middle.
Use RCA cables to connect the speakers to the main amp on the home theater system. Note that this isn’t the amplifier you connect your subwoofer to!
Step 5 – Plug in the Power Inverter
The last step in this process is to plug in the subwoofer into the power inverter before plugging the inverter into the wall outlet. At this point, you’ll be good to go. You can play the songs on your favorite playlist and start enjoying the thundering bass from the best underseat subwoofer in your upgraded home theater system.
What is Impedance?
As earlier mentioned, car speakers are designed to run on lower impedance compared to home speakers. Typically, car speakers run at 4 ohms, whereas home speakers are rated at 8 ohms. But what exactly is a speaker’s impedance rating?
In simple terms, the impedance rating refers to the level of resistance that a speaker gives to the current and voltage running through it. Impedance is essentially the lowest frequency that a speaker will drop to relative to the current passing through it.
Why Should You Match Speaker Impedance?
Matching the load of your car sub to that of a home stereo allows you to match it with the optimal Ohm load to deliver the power and volume it is built to produce. If your speaker is over the rated Ohm specification, it will work okay but compromise the power and volume you get.
Using the specified Ohm load ensures that you enjoy the rated power and maximum volume the speaker can produce. Meanwhile, using a speaker below the rated Ohm load is not only dangerous, but it just won’t work.
What are the Disadvantages of Using a Car Subwoofer in a Home Audio System?
Although the idea of connecting your car subwoofer in the home theater system can be tempting to many high-powered music lovers, it, unfortunately, comes with its disadvantages that you should be aware of before starting this DIY project!
Firstly, using your car subwoofer in the house exposes it to the danger of being blown up entirely. This might be the case if the connection is made wrong or if something goes wrong. There is no 100% guarantee that everything will go as planned, so prepare yourself for any outcome.
Furthermore, there are so many things to buy when trying to complete this project, including a power inverter. These can set you back as much as $40, which can prove expensive in the long run. It is especially true when you consider that a used but functional home subwoofer is only $50!
It may just not make sense for some people. Lastly, you need to remember that the newly acquired subwoofer’s sound quality depends on the quality of materials used, meaning it can go both ways.
So, if you have an underwhelming home theater system that takes the fun out of listening to music inside the house, maybe it’s time to give it an upgrade. As long as you are not using your car speakers, you can borrow a car subwoofer and use this article to connect it to your home theater system!
However, if you are looking for an alternative, Bose Companion 3 Series II speakers might be a quick solution for your home theater system.