Easy Guide to the “Wireless Subwoofer” system

A wireless subwoofer system offers some flexibility options that can help your home theater system. One of the most glaring problems with subwoofers is the common ‘ground loop issue’ or hum.

ELA-4 home sub woofer system

Ground loop can be eliminated in large part by using a wireless sub because the sub is not technically hard wired to the rest of the system.

The signal is sent digitally by a transmitter to the receiver which is plugged into the sub. The subwoofer is only plugged into the wall outlet to provide power for the amp section.

It works well in most cases and systems…

But there are a few issues with wireless subs that you should be aware of (so you know how to overcome their shortfalls)

Lets just dispel of the most glaring problems or arguments surrounding a wireless subwoofer and speakers;

1. The best speakers are not usually wireless.

There are too many advantages to hard wiring an audio system.

2. The majority of wireless speakers and even wireless computer speakers that are dubbed ‘wireless’ do not operate with zero wires.

Most of the time, even ‘wireless’ speakers have to be plugged into a wall outlet to provide power to the amplifiers.

Be glad for this; what you do not want, are truly wireless speakers that operate on battery power. (completely wireless speakers can work fine for temporary computer speakers)

Speakers are too inefficient to be run without an AC powered amplifier. Go for the kind that plug into the wall or need power from an outside source.

Need a good set of Surround Sound Speakers to go with your wireless subwoofer?

3. The few speakers that are truly wireless are low quality, low power offerings that can be handily beaten by a wired counterpart of much lower cost.

With these common misunderstandings out of the way; we can get down to “the right way to do a wireless subwoofer system”,

in your room.

The subwoofer is a great candidate for using wireless technology.

Sometimes it is necessary to position the sub away from the main equipment.

Because of this often homeowners do not want to run 50’ of cable from their AV receiver or preamp out to the sub woofer.


Use a wireless adapter with your powered subwoofer. This kind of technology has only become affordable in the last few years.

Here is how it works;

You plug a sending unit into the subwoofer output on the back of the AV receiver. This sending unit will ‘send’ the signal generated by the AV receiver and relay over the air to the receiving unit.

Next plug the receiving unit into the back of your basic powered subwoofer. The receiver will pick up the signal and your subwoofer will be able to play the signal just as if it were connected with a standard RCA or XLR cable.

But you might cry -FOWL! This is not wireless:

The subwoofer is still plugged into the wall, right? Yes it is. Welcome to the world of marketing folks!

But honestly, you would not want a truly wireless subwoofer –here is why;

Subwoofer drivers are very inefficient. (this is the cone and motor system that actually moves the air)

They suck up a tremendous amount of power for very little output when compared to other speaker drivers like the tweeter for example.

They also have to fight with high pressures inside the cabinet as well as pushing the air that is outside the cabinet. Subwoofer box designs are important as well in getting maximum performance in the bass region.

By constantly moving back and forth large distances they also have to be very strong.

The motors must be able to start and stop the speaker cone quickly in order for the music or movie track to sound accurate. All of this takes a tremendous amount of power.

Creating this power is what the subwoofer amplifier must do. It takes current from your wall outlet and uses this power to move the speaker cone.

If you are relying on batteries to get this job done, don’t expect the batteries to last very long. Subwoofer speakers need a lot of power.

Some subwoofer kits make hooking up the wireless equipment easier than others with a ‘summing’ switch. Otherwise, use a Y adapter to sum your left and right output channels.

Also, the batteries will not have the ability to deliver large amounts of current to the amplifier in a fashion that will get the job done well.

What will I need and what devices can transmit a signal to my subwoofer wireless?

You can use any audio component to send a signal to the wireless AV transmitter.

The items you will need are;

1. AV signal sender and receiver unit. Want to see Sub Wireless Transmitter? Follow the link.

2. Subwoofer RCA to RCA cable

3. RCA adapter

Want to see a Wireless Sub.

Return to Home Speaker from: Best Wireless Subwoofer

Return to Subwoofer Installation from: Best Wireless Subwoofer This article also helps with Sub woofer placement.


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