How To Connect Polk Audio Subwoofer To Receiver?

My friend recently got a brand new Polk audio subwoofer for his home theater. But somehow, he was struggling to connect it to his receiver. Casually, he asked me for some help. I checked everything and connected this beauty to his receiver instantly. Which literally surprised him! 

Like my buddy, are you also struggling to connect the Polk audio subwoofer to your receiver? If so, then this article is all you need. I will talk about the different ways and techniques that you could follow and connect them easily. It is not a big deal, so try these easy steps below and connect them like a pro!

6 Reasons Polk Subwoofer Not Connecting

How To Connect Polk Audio Subwoofer To Receiver

You can blame several reasons why your Polk subwoofer fails to connect. Here are some below:

  1. Your subwoofer might be in the Power OFF mode.
  2. The A/V receiver might be in OFF mode as well.
  3. The rear speakers might remain plugged out.
  4. The connections could turn out to be loose. Please make sure they are snug and tight.
  5. The Settings on your A/V receiver got this Subwoofer option which could remain OFF. Go to the settings of the receiver and turn it ON. 
  6. The speaker wire connections might fail to operate. In that case, disconnecting and reconnecting again might help.

Quick Ways For Connecting Your Polk Audio Subwoofer

This is by far the easiest method that you could try instantly. And it is widely common because it is that simple. And it works out perfectly every time! So this easy-peasy technique includes using the subwoofer preamp outputs.

Some receivers have multiple preamp outputs, which means you can connect more than one subwoofer. You’d need speaker wires to use the speaker input and output connectors. Or you can take an RCA cable that is designed for subwoofers. I used the latter in my friend’s case.

  • Get to the back of the receiver and look for Subwoofer Number One output.
  • Put one end of the RCA cable to the receiver and the other end to the subwoofer.
  • Once you plug it in, it gets connected.

9 Ways That You Could Connect Your Polk Subwoofer To Receiver

Basically, 9 different ways/techniques help you connect the Polk audio subwoofer. If one of these fails to work out for you, rest assured and try the other ways. However, these 9 ways work in most cases.

Polk Subwoofer Not Connecting

1. Check The Settings On The Receiver

This is also a very basic method.

  • Check the Settings on the receiver. 
  • Make sure that the subwoofer is turned On on the receiver Menu Settings
  • In the meantime, set the crossover to a higher value- usually 80 Hertz.

2. Preamp Outputs

On the back of the receiver, look for preamp outputs. Basically, this option varies as per the brand or the model. Some have one or two-zone preamp outputs while others include preamp outputs for height channels, right, left and center speakers, surround channels, etc.

If you want to connect your subwoofer to any of these channels, you can simply connect it to one of these preamp outputs. Or you can try checking all the preamp outputs to make sure which one sounds louder. This is because a subwoofer is often confusing, so it is better to check every single output. 

3. Phase

On the back of the subwoofer, you will find a switch named Phase. Play some music and flip this switch to check how it blends well with the surroundings and sounds perfectly.

4. ‘Subwoofer Out’ Feature

This is important to mention that not all Polk audio subwoofers have LFE input. But if your TV and receiver have a Subwoofer Out option, then you can use either the R or L input. Or a Y splitter subwoofer cable that lets you connect both these inputs.

Then turn the Low pass filter clockwise to its highest. That will help to get the maximum frequency out of the filter. Thereby it lets you have the LFE input effect. While you try this step, set your Front, Center and Surround speakers to “small/low”.

5. Connect The Subwoofer With The Front Speakers

This is more like a trick that might work in your case. In case you don’t have the Subwoofer In or Out option, you can connect and hook the front speaker outs to your Sub. In this regard, I’d like to add to the point that by using a splitter you can hook multiple subs at the same time!

6. Speaker Wire Connections

Some Polk subwoofers come with speaker wire connections. It is easy to operate as you can connect them to your preamp or AV receiver. That too without any RCA connection so you could try this solution as well.

7. A/V Receiver and Preamplifiers

Whether it is an A/V receiver or preamplifier, you can easily connect your Polk subwoofer to any of these. If using a preamplifier, connect one end of the subwoofer cable to the preamplifier’s output and the other end to the subwoofer’s line input.

As for A/V receivers, the modern ones come with an EQ function that lets you adjust the settings manually. And that includes the crossover settings! 

8. Speaker Level Inputs

You can also hook your Polk subwoofer to your A/V receiver via speaker wires (as I mentioned earlier). For that, you need to connect using the speaker-level inputs.

The owner’s manual might have information on it or you could just contact the dealer. However, I would recommend using thicker wires. Particularly, a two-conductor 16 gauge would work better.

  • Place the two speaker wires on the main and front speaker connections accordingly. 
  • Connect the wires to the speaker level inputs while setting the sub-function to OFF. 

Now you might get confused with connecting the speaker wire terminals. You have to connect the red terminal wire (+) from your receiver to the speaker’s red terminal wire (+). The same way goes for the black terminal wire (-).

Sometimes your subwoofer fails to maintain consistency in polarity and thereby fails to produce enough bass. In this case, check whether any speaker wires are connected backward. Carefully inspect all the connections overall.

Tip: You can strip the insulation wire (around 12mm) from both ends of the conductors. That will expose the bare wire and prevent it from getting frayed strands.

9. RCA Connector

If the speaker wiring connections fail to connect with your sub, disconnect all these connections out of your subwoofer. Replace all these connections with a single RCA connector (L and R) and check if you can connect.

Then again, if your receiver has the same RCA plugs for connecting the subwoofer, you gotta connect the L and R accordingly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Time to cover some Frequently asked questions that revolve around Polk audio subwoofer connecting issues.

Can you connect subwoofer to speaker output?

If your subwoofer includes speaker-level inputs, you can connect them directly to the receiver’s speaker outputs. 

How do I connect my subwoofer to left and right input?

Use either an LFE input or RCA cable for left and right input. Now since Polk subwoofers lack an LFE input, RCA cables would work out in that case.

How do you hook up a subwoofer without LFE?

If your subwoofer doesn’t include an LFE input, there is a ‘Subwoofer Out’ option which you can connect to the subwoofer’s Line In/Sub.

How do I connect my subwoofer to my receiver?

You can connect your subwoofer to the receiver via the RCA cables. Simply connect one end of the RCA cable to the receiver’s subwoofer output and the other end to the subwoofer’s line input. And you are done!


Hope all your queries are resolved concerning connecting Polk audio subwoofer to your receiver. If none of these hacks work out in your case, consider calling the manufacturer for professional consultation. However, I believe that these tricks work out in most cases, so there’s no harm in trying! 

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