Can I Use A Computer Subwoofer In My Car? (Explained)

While you may assume that all subwoofers are the same and connect to audio head units the same way, this isn’t true.

Certain subwoofers are designed to be hooked up to specific systems and most of them cannot be used for others.

When it comes to using a computer subwoofer in a car, it would be extremely difficult to connect it and the sound quality would not be good.

There are too many differences between car audio and computer audio systems.

There are however plenty of different vehicle subwoofers on the market that can easily be installed in your car.

Can I Use A Computer Subwoofer In My Car?

Computer subwoofers cannot be used in cars. Neither the subwoofer nor the audio system will be able to handle all the power output flowing through the system, so no good sound will be produced. Compared to a car subwoofer, a computer subwoofer has many technical differences such as they work on different current and voltage specifications.

computer speaker desk ipad mac

A speaker’s impedance rating is what distinguishes it from different speaker systems.

A speaker’s impedance describes the electrical load placed on an amplifier by the speaker.

A speaker’s resistance against the current from an amplifier is what determines its quality.

For example, it is common to compare impedance to running water when measuring resistance or impedance. Water, or electrical current, will be able to pass through less resistance – or higher ohms. An overly high resistance will cause the amplifier to fry if there is too much current.

Your car speakers probably have an impedance of 4 ohms, while your computer speakers likely have an impedance of 8 ohms.

A car subwoofer impedance is usually matched to the speaker and subwoofer impedance, computer subwoofers impedance won’t match that of the car amplifier.

This is due to a couple of factors:

  • There is a difference between the voltage produced by a car battery (12v volts DC – Direct Current) and that produced by a home outlet, which is usually around 110 volts AC – Alternate Current.
  • In your car, you are usually going to get a high-amperage, low-voltage (12v DC) amplifier. Computer amplifiers are likely to have low power and high voltage (110v AC), just as you might expect.

The speakers will require less resistance to get the necessary power since your car has a lower voltage.

The current is less restricted in an amplifier that can supply 50 watts to 8 ohms. However, an amplifier that can deliver 75 watts to 4 ohms can supply 75 or 100 watts to 4 ohms. It is for this reason that most car amplifiers are designed exclusively for 4-ohm speakers.

Computer and home speakers, on the other hand, follow the opposite logic. Due to the higher voltage offered by your home outlets, the speaker needs to receive a smaller percentage of that voltage, and its impedance is likely to be higher.

The impedance of car speakers is usually less than 4 ohms, but there are also 4-ohm computer or home theater speakers available.


How Do I Wire The Computer Subwoofer To Work In A Car?

computer subwoofer and MacBook

Ensure that the computer subwoofer is properly connected to the audio sources. Subwoofer cables or subwoofer amplifiers can be used for this.  Connecting a subwoofer to a computer is most commonly done with a subwoofer cable.

In most cases, the subwoofer is attached by a long, thin cable.

A credit card-sized cable, usually black or green, is used. It is necessary to use this cable in order to connect the subwoofer to the computer.

The signal must be amplified after the subwoofer is connected using the subwoofer amplifier. Louder subwoofers can be achieved by doing this.

On the side of a subwoofer, you will usually find a small, white box that houses the amplifier. Connecting the subwoofer to the computer follows the amplification of the signal.

Can I Use A Computer Subwoofer With Or Without An Amp?

People often ask if a subwoofer needs an amplifier when they are setting up their car audio system.

The answer is “no”. However, it isn’t as straightforward as that. There are many different things to consider when you play music through a subwoofer without an amplifier, and try to determine whether an amplifier is needed.

Additionally, you’ll learn how to choose the right amp to get the most power.

An amplifier is not necessary for a subwoofer to work, although a subwoofer sounds better with an amplifier.

In order to make the subwoofer sound louder and clearer, amplifiers can boost the signal.  Subwoofers can also be helped to reproduce lower frequencies with the help of an amplifier.  Subwoofers are best heard when connected to amplifiers to maximize their effects.

Subwoofers shouldn’t be connected to amplifiers or receivers on a line-level output; instead, they should be connected to a speaker-level output.

Because most subwoofers have a built-in high-pass filter, all low frequencies are filtered out unless they are turned all the way up.

It is done in order to prevent your system from being overloaded by the subwoofer.

With a line-level input, you’ll hear every bass note on your other speakers as “thump thump thump,” and the low frequencies won’t be filtered out. Having to deal with this can really annoy you.

What Is The Difference Between A Computer Subwoofer And A Car Subwoofer?


Despite the fact that car and home speaker setups use similar equipment, such as amplifiers, subwoofers, tweeters, and other components, their components are very different.

Speakers for cars and homes differ primarily in their impedances, designs, and aesthetics.

There are also some key differences between car speakers and home speakers:

  • There are going to be harsh environmental factors that will affect the system in your car.
  • Car power sources differ greatly from home power sources.
  • There is a significant difference in the size of speakers in your car and those in your home.

Final Thoughts

While you may think that all subwoofers are the same, they are actually very different. Subwoofers that are designed for home computers are not suitable for use in a vehicle.

Not only do they connect differently, but they also don’t deliver sound in the same way.

If you want to connect a subwoofer in your car, you will need to choose one that is designed for vehicles.


Do you need an amp for a subwoofer? (

Do I Need A Subwoofer in my Car (Is It Necessary & Why?) (

How to Connect a Subwoofer to a Computer? – BoomSpeaker