How Do I Connect Dual Subwoofers in My System?

Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at

Q I have an old Yamaha RX-V1900 7.1 receiver that is still going strong. I know I should upgrade to a newer unit, but I spent around $2,000 on it back in 2008. Here’s my question. I have two powerful subwoofers and would like to connect both using a Y-adapter since the receiver only has a single subwoofer output. Will that function properly, or is it not even an option? —Jarrod Agesen

A Yes, if your receiver lacks dual subwoofer outputs, then using a Y-adapter to split the subwoofer output signal definitely is an option. Depending on your subwoofer’s inputs/outputs, another option would be to daisy-chain the two units by running an RCA output from the first sub to an RCA input on the second. In the latter case, you may also need to disable the high-pass filter on the first sub’s output (check the user manual for details).

Using multiple subs in your system will provide the benefit of boosting bass gain in your room. More important, it will help to smooth out bass response, as well as provide more consistent distribution of bass over a wider range of seating positions. Using two or more subs can be of particular benefit in larger rooms, especially ones with high or vaulted ceilings.

Instead of simply dropping both subs in the front left and right corners of your room, you should experiment with alternate placements such as diagonally opposite corners, or centered on the front and back walls. Different room layouts affect bass in different ways, so you’ll likely have to experiment to find out which configuration works best for your environment.

Gonzaga_1's picture

In addition to the question’s response, I highly recommend getting a MiniDSP 2x4, and a Dayton Audio USB mic. By using REW (Room EQ Wizard) and a computer, incorporate the $200 spent on this project with either one or up to four subwoofers and you will be exuberantly pleased as am I with the results. I came from knowing little to nothing on this topic to researching and learning all I can and I highly recommend the same for anyone who wants a drastic improvement. This $200 improvement is debatably worth $2,000-$4,000 to the uneducated audio consumer.

Puffer Belly's picture

by connecting one subwoofer to the left front channel and the other to the right front channel. You'll get better stereo imaging that way. Set your amplifier options to no subwoofer and large speakers for the front L/R; all other speakers would be set to small. Set the subwoofers' crossover to match the low-frequency response of the front speakers. It helps to have a real-time analyzer, such as the app available for iOS (and maybe there's one for Android). Set the crossover and subwoofer placement so that frequencies below 300 Hz are fairly flat at your listening position.