How to install car amplifier and subwoofer

Updated Dec 11, 2020 | Same topic: Tuning & Mods

Experience a louder and boomier listening experience in your car.

I. What is an amplifier and a subwoofer?

If you happen to attend a car show, you will encounter modified cars blasting loud music. These cars don’t just pull up in car shows with their car’s factory speakers. They spend a lot of money, depending on the setup, so their car’s audio system could stand out against the other.

This is where amplifiers and subwoofers are usually needed. As the name implies, an amplifier helps increase and amplify the power sent by the installed head unit or infotainment system. The sound quality tends to decrease as the volume is increased. So by adding an amplifier, the sound quality gets richer despite played at high volume.

Speaker and subwoofers of a car

A good setup also improves aesthetics

On the other hand, a subwoofer is a speaker designed primarily to produce low-end frequencies or bass. Most cars don’t come with subwoofers as standard since they can affect the final pricing. Most standard speakers produce bass, but not as rich as a dedicated subwoofer.

A tweeter on a car's door

If subwoofers specialize in low-end frequencies, then tweeters specialize in high-end frequencies

You can get an amplifier in the aftermarket for Php 800 to Php 4,000, depending on the quality. Usually, the more channels installed, the more expensive the amplifier gets. Meanwhile, you can get a subwoofer for Php 3,000 to Php 12,000 in the aftermarket. Installing one subwoofer is enough for a high-quality boomy listening experience. You can install more than one if you feel a need for more bass.

A car stereo from the behind

Be sure to use the right tools to avoid unwanted damage

If you have your amplifier and subwoofer with you now or planning to get them soon, here are the steps on how to install car amplifier and subwoofer in your car.

II. How to install car amplifier and subwoofer: 8 steps to follow

Fortunately, the installation process of amplifier and subwoofer is pretty much the same in most cars. As long as you still have your car’s factory head unit, then you are good to go. If you own a car that is listed for Php 5 million or more, we recommend you contact your car dealer as panels and wirings could be damaged.

Step 1: The first step is to disconnect the positive terminal of your car battery. Working with live power could turn out badly.

Step 2: Find a perfect spot to place your amplifier. It should be away from your subwoofer by at least three feet to avoid static noise or distortion. On the other hand, subwoofers are huge speakers so they are highly recommended to be placed in the trunk or cargo space.

Step 3: You need two wires for your amplifiers, namely the power wire and ground wire. The power wire should be connected directly to the car battery. Meanwhile, the ground wire can be connected to any bare metal of your car. If the chosen grounding point has rust or paint, remove it first to avoid static noise or distortion.

Step 4: Install an inline fuse in your power wire. The inline fuse should be positioned near the battery for optimum operation. The recommended distance is five inches. To do this, just cut your power line then install both ends on your inline fuse.

Step 5: We recommend you add a wire cover to your power wire to avoid damage from engine heat.

Step 6: Remove the panel on your head unit to gain access to its wiring. Find the speaker wires and tap those using posi-taps for easier connection. The tapped wires will then be connected to the amplifier using a converter to an RCA connection.

Step 7: Connect the subwoofer to the amplifier. Before placing the panels back in place, adjust the gain setting in the amplifier in your desired configuration. If you are unsure of the proper settings, you can call your friend or someone who knows about mixing sound so you can have an optimum listening experience. Be sure that there must be no static noise or distortion.

Step 8: If the sound is already good and rich, you can now place back the removed panels inside your car. Connect the positive ring from the power wire of your amplifier to the positive battery lead of your car and secure it with the disconnected positive terminal.

>>> Related: Car stereo Philippines: Do I need to upgrade and what to buy?

III. What are the benefits of installing an amplifier and subwoofer?

Driving shouldn’t be just getting from point A to point B. You should enjoy the overall journey, especially when you’re going on a road trip with your friends or family. With the addition of an amplifier and subwoofer, you can have a more enriched entertainment system in your car.  

An amplifier on a car

Call someone if you don't how to mix amplifiers for a better listening experience

If you think that installing an amplifier and subwoofer will affect the fuel consumption of your car, then you are wrong. This sound equipment doesn’t need as much power as your air conditioning unit. The only time your fuel consumption rating will be affected is when you install multiple large speakers in your car that will increase your car’s overall weight.

A car's infotainment screen

Improving your car's stereo doesn't have to be expensive

With all that being said, a good amplifier and subwoofer don’t have to be that expensive. The installation process is also not that difficult so installing this sound equipment is something you should try in your car.

>>> Related: How to install a car stereo – properly and safely

IV. How to install car amplifier and subwoofer: FAQs

Q: How much is an amplifier in the Philippines?

On average, the amplifier in the Philippines is Php 1,500. The price varies depending on the quality. You can get a more affordable amplifier at around Php 900 only in the aftermarket.

Q: What is an amplifier?

An amplifier is an electronic device used to increase the power of the signal. In the auto scene, an amplifier is usually complemented with a subwoofer.

Q: How much is a subwoofer in the Philippines?

The price of subwoofers in the Philippines ranges from Php 3000 to Php 10,000. There are even more expensive options but comes with better quality. Usually, one subwoofer is already sufficient in providing good boomy sounds.

Q: Do I need to install an amplifier and subwoofer in my car?

Not necessarily. The factory speakers for today’s cars are usually enough for a regular listening experience. These two sound equipment can be installed if you wish for a fuller-sounding experience.

Q: What is a subwoofer?

A subwoofer is a type of speaker that is primarily designed to produce low-end frequencies.

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Rex Sanchez

Rex Sanchez

Author

Rex started off his career in the aviation industry before entering Philkotse as a staff writer. Two things excite him the most: first is staying up to speed with the latest news in the industry that uses engines as their heart and soul. The second is imparting them in a well-detailed manner. His passion for anything with wheels started when he was young – from Tamiyas to family-friendly sedans, and anything in between.

Someday, Rex only wishes to drive on random highways with friends in a third-gen Mitsubishi Delica with aftermarket sunroofs, if he couldn’t get the Starwagon Super Exceed edition.

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