Modern devices like TVs, computers, smartphones and tablets typically contain speakers which produce various sound frequencies. A subwoofer is an essential piece of equipment in home cinema receivers or surround sound systems since it produces low frequencies that cannot be produced by regular speakers.
Can Speakers Work Without Subwoofer? The short answer to the question “can speakers work without subwoofer” is yes, depending on how you connect them. There are two methods available – line level RCA converter or speaker level inputs.
Line level RCA adapters offer low input impedance and are capable of transmitting audio signals at lower levels than typical speaker wires, without increasing overall Ohms load on receiver or amplifier. They may feature a 180deg phase switch to help ensure subwoofer and speakers remain in-phase; however, this feature may not always be necessary.
Speaker level inputs provide another method for connecting subwoofers to receivers, but these must feature built-in amplifiers. With such speakers already providing approximately 6 Ohm load impedance compared with minimum requirements of power amps, however this may not provide optimal sound quality results.
Passive speakers feature an input socket that can be connected to an external amplifier via speaker wires, increasing their loudness and improving bass response. If desired, an added subwoofer may also be added without needing an amplifier – however this would reduce overall system performance.
Many receivers feature a subwoofer output jack designed specifically to connect with subwoofers. This can either be found on the front panel of your receiver, or one of its back panels; typically this jack passes bass exclusively from either stereo music production channels or “.1” channels in surround sound systems.
Subwoofers that produce clean-sounding bass require large drivers with long cone excursions. Unfortunately, this increases distortion and caps maximum output levels – thus the need for matching main speakers using low-pass crossovers.
A powered subwoofer features its own internal amplifier electronics and will not need the same amount of power as two speakers, leading to significant cost savings. Unfortunately, many power amplifiers produce higher output than their maximum rated power, so in order to match them you should employ a high-pass crossover between them and avoid overloading or creating unbalanced sounds from either one of them. It is important that when matching them that specifications of subwoofer are checked carefully to confirm this before matching with amplifier output; otherwise consult user manual or manufacturer for assistance if unsure.