Your Questions: Where Does A Sub Plug In To My Controller?

Phil Morse | Read time: 2 mins
Last updated 5 April, 2018


The rear panel of the M-Audio SBX10 powered sub-woofer shows how powered sub-woofers integrate with your existing powered speakers.

Digital DJ Tips reader Ian asks a question that comes up surprisingly often: “The question I have is how do you hook up a sub to a controller? I see my controller has both speaker outputs, but nowhere to plug in a sub.

“Please forgive me if this seems a little bit of a dumbass question. I’m now making the move from the house DJ (quite literally) to playing to crowds locally in which I’ll be using a controller. Any information on this would be great.”

Digital DJ Tips says:

No question is dumbass (well, most aren’t anyway!) and this one has a very simple answer, but the reason it gets asked a lot is that unless you actually have a sub (and for those who don’t know what we’re talking about, we mean a third speaker, designed exclusively for adding bass to your system), how it works isn’t clear at all.

So here’s how it works: You plug your usual left and right outputs from your DJ controller directly into the sub (assuming you’re using a powered sub-woofer, ie one with its own amp built in). The sub itself then has outputs for you to plug your original powered speakers into. So really, the sub is wired “between” your existing two speakers and your controller. That’s how you manage to plug three speakers into just two outputs (left and right) on your controller.

Incidentally, the reason why people tend to have one sub and two “normal” speakers, rather than two subs (one per speaker, left and right) is that the human ear can’t tell where bass is coming from with any accuracy, so as long as the sub is somewhere nearby, the bass will sound like it’s where it should be from just the one speaker.

Have you added a sub to your system or is this something you’d like to do? Share your bass-related thoughts in the comments!

Now go to:
Review & Video: Pasce Minirig Portable Subwoofer
How To Choose A Small DJ PA System
Review & Video: Reloop Wave 5 Active Monitor Speakers


Click here for your free DJ Gear and software guide