Connection & Setup Considerations
Wiring and Connecting
Every home theater receiver or processor has one or more subwoofer output jacks on the rear panel. You want to use an RCA cable to run from the subwoofer out on your receiver to your subwoofer. If you have two subwoofers, it is great if your receiver has two subwoofer outputs, but you can still get the benefit of two subs with just one sub out on your receiver. Simply use a high-quality “Y” connector to split the signal and run two cables from there. Most subwoofers also have left and right input. For home theater, you do not have to worry about this and can just connect to either one. The only exception would be if your sub has one of them labeled “LFE”, in which case you would use that connection.
A few subwoofers have both input and output connections. Please confirm you are connecting to the ones labeled input.
While you are behind your subwoofer, you will probably see it has a knob for level control. For most subs, just set this at about 12 o'clock. Also if your subwoofer has a phase switch or dial, set it to zero.
Avoid Double Crossovers
Another thing that is critical is to make sure you are not using two crossovers. The crossover is the electronic circuit that sends the low bass tones to the subwoofer and the rest of the sounds to your other speakers.
Almost all home theater receivers have subwoofer crossovers built-in and also most subwoofers have a crossover on the back of the subwoofer. These allow you to set the crossover frequency where the division between the subwoofer and your other speakers takes place. You do not want to accidentally cross things over twice.
We find it best to use the crossover in your home theater receiver and bypass the crossover at the subwoofer. Make sure you connect to the bypass input on your subwoofer. Some subwoofers will have two sets of inputs with one labeled bypass and the other labeled crossover. Others will have just one set of inputs with a small toggle switch where you select bypass or crossover.