Can I Connect a Subwoofer To My Factory Radio?
Throughout this article, we are going to explain some of the steps you will need to follow to get the most out of an aftermarket subwoofer when paired with your factory car stereo.
To answer this question in the simplest form, the answer is yes, but it will require a couple of additional steps. Throughout this article, we are going to explain some of the steps you will need to follow to get the most out of an aftermarket subwoofer when paired with your factory car stereo.
If you already have a great infotainment system from the factory but are looking to further enhance your car audio experience, adding a subwoofer might be the perfect option. A subwoofer will add some much-needed bass to your sound system.
Powering the Subwoofer
The first thing you will need to purchase in addition to your new subwoofer is either a monoblock or a 5-channel amplifier. This is what you will need to actually amplify your subwoofer. A subwoofer is useless without an amplifier to go along with it. On our website, we have a number of subwoofers that have built-in amplifiers for those looking to simplify this process.
In addition, you will also need an amp kit to run power from your car battery to your amplifier itself. That amp kit also includes everything else you will need including wires and cables such as RCAs, speaker wire, and remote wire.
What Is Bass Roll-off and How do I Prevent It?
Now, if you were to install an aftermarket amplifier and subwoofer, the bass would sound good to a point, plateau, then fall flat on its face. This is also referred to as bass roll-off. In a circumstance where you are exclusively using factory components, bass roll-off actually protects your factory system. The factory head unit knows the limitations of the factory speakers and if you keep increasing the volume, the bass eventually rolls off to prevent you from blowing any speakers or subwoofers.
To prevent bass roll-off with your aftermarket subwoofer you will also need a line output converter (also known as a LOC) like the NVX XLCA2. Line output converters have built-in technology that was designed to overcome that bass roll-off caused by your factory stereo. As shown in the diagram below, to receive an input signal from your factory car stereo you would just need to tap into your rear speaker wires. Then, you would run RCAs from your LOC to your amplifier. Finally, connect your subwoofer to the amplifier using speaker wire as you would normally.
Although installing an aftermarket subwoofer to a factory car stereo may require a couple of additional steps, it makes it worthwhile for many customers who like the look of their existing car stereo.