How to Tune Amplifier for Subwoofer (Fully Explained)

A subwoofer is a wonderful addition to your car’s music system that helps improve the overall quality of sound. Subwoofers add deep notes and give fullness to music that any music enthusiast would love to have. However, to get the right sound quality, you have to fine-tune the amplifier.

When you match these components, it makes a great difference to the quality of sound. Additionally, it ensures that your car audio system performs at its best for many years to come. So, how to tune the amplifier for the subwoofer? After the successful installation of your car audio system, consider the below-mentioned tips for optimal sound.

How to Tune Amplifier for Subwoofer

Common Terms That You Should Know

Before knowing how to tune the amp for a sub, it is important to understand a few amplification terms.

  • Gain – Typically, the gain is used to adjust amp sensitivity. It helps to find out the extent of distortions. Also, it tells you how much power your speakers would consume. When you lower the setting from the maximum level, gain reduces the distracting noise. That way, you can have amazing sound clarity along with maximum power.
  • Frequency – It is known as the speaker’s musical pitch. You can set the frequency level on the speaker’s casing with ease. It is important to know the frequency of the speakers so that you can tune the amp seamlessly.
  • Low And High-Pass Filters – With these settings, you can have full control over the frequencies that will reach the output jacks. As such, it enables customized soundscapes according to your choice.
  • Bass Boost – It is a feature that gives a boost to the lower frequencies. So, it is used for subwoofers. Because the settings could be dangerous and touchy, it is recommended not to use them unless there is a need.
  • Rms Power And Peak Power – RMS power is the measure of the amp’s continuous power. It’s the amount of power that your car amp has. Whereas, peak power is the power that your amp can handle or generate within a short timeframe. However, it is the RMS power that you should keep in mind when pairing the right speaker with the right amp.

How to Tune Your Car Amp for the Subwoofer

Do you want to add more thump to your music? Here is how to tune the amplifier for subs to achieve rich and deep bass sound.

1. Try Removing Any Kind of Distortion

Set the amp gain to low and play some music. Turn up the volume until you hear distortion. Slowly turn down the volume to find a point where the distortion stops. This is the setting where you can play music without distortion.

Next, turn up the amp’s gain until you hear the distorted sound once again. You can set your amp’s gain. Lower the volume to a desirable level. Even when your car music system doesn’t have an amplifier, you need to find the maximum volume point on the receiver by turning it up below the distortion level.

2. Open the Low-Pass Filter While Flattening the Signal

Follow the steps below:

  • To experience rich sound quality from the sub’s amplifier, start by keeping the low-pass filter high and gain settings low.
  • After that, adjust the bass boost to an optimum level or keep it off completely. As a result, it helps you to cut down on bass frequencies that you don’t need.
  • If you seek an unmatched listening experience, you have to set the receiver’s bass tone to zero or flat. Just focus on minimal filtering by turning the low-pass filter off. It’s a great way to refine the low notes.

It is always wise to go with the best setting according to your needs. If you try to layer different combinations of bass boosts, low-pass filters, and crossovers simultaneously on the head unit and amp, it results in distorted sound.

3. Proper Adjustment Of The Low-Pass Filter Along With Subwoofer Gain

To get started, play music using your receiver while keeping the volume at a one-quarter level. Turn up the subwoofer amp’s gain until the subwoofer’s sound control other speakers without any sort of distortion. When listening to music from your sub, turn down the low-pass filter of the sub’s amp slowly until you don’t hear the mid and high-frequency notes.

Hence, the low-pass filter will remove the music notes that you don’t want your sub to play. Besides, it acts like a controller to capture the edges of a drum’s sound. Leave the low drums and bass while leaving out the guitars, vocals, strings, and cymbals.

4. Getting Along with The Bass Boost and Subsonic Filter

Another important aspect of how to tune amp for sub is that you have to use bass boost carefully. Hence, turn the setting up and hear what the sounds of the bass drum feel like. Remember that applying a little bass boost can bring a lot of kicks. Take extra caution if you want to use the bass boost setting because this is where distortion begins.

If you feel distorted sound, lower the gain of the amp’s sub until you find it no more. If you have ported subs, you can use a subsonic filter on the amp so that you can overlay the low note effectively. As such, it helps reduce the levels of sound notes that encourage the enclosure to resonate.

Therefore, fine-tune the filters so that the bass drum becomes reverberant and loose or dry and tight according to your choice. For example, if you like reggae and soul, you may like to have a pretty loud bass.

The idea is to keep adjusting your system until you find something that soothes your ears. When you like your system’s kick and bass, you can adjust the sub’s volume by either using the remote bass knob or the adjustment menu in the receiver’s sound.

5. Match the Subwoofer And Receiver Volume Level

Start by turning up the volume of the receiver to a position where it is distortion-free and maximum. Slowly turn up the volume of the sub until the bass sounds fall in line with other sounds. Also, you can run the level control down and up or use remote bass boost a little so that you can hear how it feels.

Because of the space in your car, sometimes subwoofers find it hard to combine their sound with the rest of the unit’s sound waves. If the bass has lots of volume yet lacks the punch you want, reversing the sub’s speakers can help sometimes.

As such, it reverses the sub’s cone backward and forward. It would put the sound waves hold together better than the other. The bottom line is that whatever makes the sound best should be the right way.


There is no harm to experiment with new things, especially when it comes to listening best sounds. As you have understood by now, there are plenty of variables at play. Hence, nothing could substitute for what you intend to hear. When it comes to knowing how to tune amplifiers for subs, the process is quite easy.

All the steps are discussed in the post and you can follow them accordingly. Get started by tweaking certain settings to create an incredible sound. That way, you can have a great listening experience. All you have to do is boost frequencies and adjust channels while allowing a thumping sound with intense bass.