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How To Add Subwoofer To Bookshelf Speakers?

If you’re looking to enhance the bass in your music and movie playback, adding a subwoofer to your bookshelf speakers can be a great solution. However, you might be wondering, “how to add subwoofer to bookshelf speakers?” 

Adding a subwoofer to bookshelf speakers needs a few simple steps. Place your subwoofer and speakers first. The ideal listening position is a triangle with the listener at the apex. 

Next, connect the subwoofer to your amplifier or receiver using speaker wire or a subwoofer output. Finally, tune your subwoofer to match your room’s acoustics and tastes.

In this article, we’ll dive into the details of how to add a subwoofer to your bookshelf speakers and provide some tips for optimizing your setup for the best possible sound. 

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Understanding What is Subwoofers

As someone who has added a subwoofer to my bookshelf speakers, I can confidently say that it has significantly enhanced my audio experience. Before I added a subwoofer, I found that my bookshelf speakers lacked the deep, powerful bass that I desired. But, by adding a subwoofer to my setup, I was able to achieve a more complete and immersive audio experience.

What is a Subwoofer?

If you’re not familiar with subwoofers, they are a type of speaker that is designed to reproduce low-frequency sounds, specifically bass. Subwoofers are capable of producing much deeper and more powerful bass than typical bookshelf or floor-standing speakers

By adding a subwoofer to your bookshelf speakers, you can greatly enhance the low-end of your audio, resulting in a more dynamic and full-bodied sound.

Benefits of Using a Subwoofer with Bookshelf Speakers:

There are several benefits to using a subwoofer with bookshelf speakers. First and foremost, a subwoofer will enhance the overall audio experience by reproducing the low-end frequencies that bookshelf speakers are not capable of producing. 

This will result in a more balanced and complete audio experience, with a fuller and richer sound. Additionally, by using a subwoofer, you can reduce the strain on your bookshelf speakers, which can lead to improved performance and longevity.

Choosing a Subwoofer

As someone who has added a subwoofer to my bookshelf speakers, I can attest to the significant improvement it made to my audio system. 

When it comes to choosing a subwoofer, there are several factors to consider, and it can be overwhelming. In this section, I will share my experience and insights on how to choose the right subwoofer.

Types of Subwoofers

There are two types of subwoofers: powered and passive. A powered subwoofer has a built-in amplifier, while a passive subwoofer requires an external amplifier. I opted for a powered subwoofer since it was easier to set up and had more control over the sound.

Size and Power

The size and power of the subwoofer are crucial factors to consider. A larger subwoofer typically produces more bass, but it also takes up more space. 

On the other hand, a smaller subwoofer can be more versatile and easier to place. I went with a 10-inch subwoofer, which struck the right balance between size and power for my needs.

Frequency Response

The frequency response of a subwoofer refers to the range of frequencies it can reproduce. It’s important to choose a subwoofer with a frequency response that complements your bookshelf speakers. 

I made sure to choose a subwoofer that had a frequency response that matched my bookshelf speakers’ frequency range.

Brand and Price

There are many brands and price points for subwoofers, so it’s important to do your research. I opted for a well-known brand with a reputation for producing high-quality audio equipment. 

While it was more expensive than other options, I felt it was worth the investment for the improved sound quality.

Setting Up the Subwoofer

When it comes to setting up a subwoofer with bookshelf speakers, proper placement and settings are key to achieving the best audio experience. In this section, I will share my personal experience and tips on setting up a subwoofer for the first time.


The placement of the subwoofer can greatly affect the audio experience. Ideally, the subwoofer should be placed on the floor near the bookshelf speakers. The subwoofer should also be facing towards the listening area to ensure the best audio quality. 

When placing the subwoofer, it’s important to avoid corners or walls that can cause audio distortion.


Most subwoofers come with settings that allow you to adjust the audio output to your preferences. These settings include volume, crossover frequency, and phase adjustment. To set up my subwoofer, I first adjusted the volume to a comfortable level. 

Then, I adjusted the crossover frequency to match the frequency range of my bookshelf speakers. This helped ensure a seamless transition between the speakers and subwoofer. Finally, I adjusted the phase to further improve the audio quality.


Once the subwoofer is set up, it’s important to test the audio system. I played music with a lot of bass and adjusted the subwoofer settings until I was satisfied with the sound. I also made sure that the subwoofer was not overpowering the bookshelf speakers.

Connecting the Subwoofer to Bookshelf Speakers

When it comes to connecting a subwoofer to bookshelf speakers, there are a few different methods to consider. In my experience, I found that using a subwoofer cable is the most effective method, but there are other options as well.

Using a Subwoofer Cable

The first step is to locate the subwoofer output on your audio receiver or amplifier. This output is typically labeled as “subwoofer out” or “LFE out.” 

Once you have located this output, connect one end of the subwoofer cable to the output and the other end to the input on your subwoofer. Make sure that the cable is securely connected on both ends.

Next, locate the speaker outputs on your audio receiver or amplifier. Depending on your setup, you may have individual outputs for each speaker, or you may have a single output that connects to both speakers. Connect the bookshelf speakers to these outputs using speaker wire.

Adjusting the Audio Settings

After you have connected the subwoofer and bookshelf speakers, it’s important to adjust the audio settings to optimize the audio experience. Start by setting the crossover frequency on the subwoofer to around 80Hz. 

This will ensure that the subwoofer is handling the lower frequencies while the bookshelf speakers handle the mid and high frequencies.

Next, adjust the volume levels on the subwoofer and bookshelf speakers to ensure that the sound is balanced. You may also want to adjust the phase on the subwoofer to ensure that it is in sync with the speakers.

Testing the Audio System

Once you have made all of the necessary adjustments, it’s time to test the audio system. Play a variety of music and movies to get a sense of how the system sounds. If necessary, make additional adjustments to the settings until you are satisfied with the overall audio experience.

Testing and Adjusting the System

Once you have set up the subwoofer and connected it to the bookshelf speakers, it’s time to test and adjust the system. This step is crucial because it ensures that the audio system is working as it should and that you are getting the best audio experience possible.

Testing the Audio System:

To test the audio system, start by playing a song or movie that has a lot of bass. Listen carefully to the sound coming from the speakers and the subwoofer. If you can’t hear the bass or if the sound is distorted, you may need to adjust the settings.

Adjusting the Audio Settings:

To optimize the audio experience, you will need to adjust the settings on both the subwoofer and the bookshelf speakers. Start by adjusting the volume on the subwoofer until the bass sounds balanced with the rest of the audio. 

Then, adjust the crossover frequency to ensure that the subwoofer is handling the low-frequency sounds.

Next, adjust the phase and polarity settings on the subwoofer to ensure that it is in sync with the bookshelf speakers. You can do this by playing a test tone and adjusting the phase and polarity until the bass sounds tight and focused.

Finally, adjust the EQ settings on the bookshelf speakers to ensure that they are balanced with the subwoofer. You may need to experiment with different EQ settings until you find the perfect balance.

Frequently Asked Questions About Adding a Subwoofer to Bookshelf Speakers

Here are some frequently asked questions about adding a subwoofer to speakers:

Do I need a powered or passive subwoofer?

This depends on your personal preference and setup. A powered subwoofer has a built-in amplifier and is easier to set up, but a passive subwoofer requires an external amplifier and may provide more flexibility in terms of customization.

How do I connect the subwoofer to my bookshelf speakers?

This can be done by connecting the subwoofer’s RCA or speaker wire outputs to the bookshelf speakers’ inputs. You may also need to adjust the crossover settings to ensure the subwoofer is playing at the correct frequency range.

Where should I place the subwoofer in relation to my bookshelf speakers?

Ideally, the subwoofer should be placed in the front of the room, either between the speakers or off to the side. Experiment with different placements to find the position that provides the best balance and clarity of sound.

How do I adjust the settings on my subwoofer and bookshelf speakers?

Most subwoofers have adjustable settings for volume, crossover frequency, phase, and other parameters. Consult your user manual for instructions on how to adjust these settings. For speakers, you may need to adjust the treble and bass settings to balance the sound with the subwoofer.

Do I need to purchase any additional equipment to add a subwoofer to my bookshelf speakers?

You may need to purchase additional cables or adapters, depending on the type of subwoofer and bookshelf speakers you have. Consult your user manuals or an audio specialist for advice on which cables or adapters to use.


As someone who has added a subwoofer to my speakers, I can attest to the significant improvement in sound quality and overall audio experience. 

The addition of a subwoofer adds depth and richness to music, movies, and other audio content that simply cannot be achieved with speakers alone.

When choosing a subwoofer, it’s important to consider factors such as room size, budget, and personal preferences for sound quality. Proper placement and adjustment of the subwoofer settings are also crucial to achieving optimal sound quality.

Connecting the subwoofer to the speakers can be done in a variety of ways, such as using a receiver or amplifier, and it’s important to ensure that the connections are made correctly for optimal sound quality.

After setting up the system, it’s important to test and adjust the audio settings to optimize the sound quality for your specific preferences and room setup. This may involve adjusting the subwoofer level, crossover frequency, and other settings.

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