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The Right Cabling For Your Car Hi-fi (Radio, Subwoofer Etc.) Reviewed


Connecting remote cables, installing power cables correctly, connecting RCA cables to the power amplifier without interference – these are all topics that the right cabling is all about. Because even the best components cannot deliver a great performance if they receive too little power or the signals are distorted by possible sources of interference. To help you get the best out of your subwoofer we have put together this tutorial for you! At the end there is a video, because pictures say more than 1.000 words.

What tools do you need?

Before we get to connecting and wiring, you need the right tool:

  • Phillips, slotted and Torx screwdrivers
  • Ring or open-ended spanner (with 10 or 13 mm jaws)
  • Wire stripper* or combination pliers
  • One side cutter
  • possibly drilling machine (if you cannot get into the engine compartment)
  • Crimpzange*

  • Power cable
  • Cinchkabel
  • Remotecable
  • Speaker cables
  • eyelets
  • Insulating tape or cable ties
  • Backup
  • Silicone* (only if you need to drill a hole in the engine compartment)
  • Terminal clamp for the battery

You can either order all cables, fuses and eyelets separately or order the whole package as a cable set. Usually it is cheaper to buy the set right away. We have already had very good experiences with the cable set from Hama*. It is made of 100% copper, has very good properties for connecting and laying and is much thinner than an aluminium cable.

The basics of cabling

In the picture you can see the cabling plan. The power cable from car battery to car radio and the speaker cable from car radio to speaker should already be in place. Now it’s just a matter of adding a powercap (from 500 Wrms), a power amplifier and a subwoofer to the existing system. With an active subwoofer only the subwoofer.

RCA and remote cables should not be laid next to the power cable. Because the power cable delivers a high current, it can disturb the fine signals of the RCA cable and the sound quality can suffer greatly. The most common way to do this is to lay the power cable on the passenger side and the RCA and remote cables on the driver’s side, or vice versa. Where you can best lay and hide the cables is shown in the next points.

Possible cable routes

From the engine compartment into the car

You only have to get into the car with the power cable from the engine compartment. There are two ways to do this:

  • You use existing openings
  • You drill a new hole

If you know where the current cables come into the cockpit, you can use them. Most of the time there are additional openings which are only closed by a rubber stopper. This only serves as a seal so that no water or moisture can get into the cockpit. With a screwdriver or your finger you can easily press them out. After you have pulled the cable through, you can either close it with silicone or pierce a hole in the stopper, pull the cable through and then push it back into the opening.

The second option is a bit more complex, but has the same result. You have a hole through which the cable has to be pulled and then sealed again. If you drill a hole you have to be extremely careful! Always pay attention to what is behind the casing, because you can easily drill too deep and break things!

The way through the car

There is a cavity behind the car radio and the glove compartment. You can use this space for the power cable coming from the engine compartment. For the cables that go from the car radio to the power amplifier, you use the same cavities.

Depending on where you want to install your subwoofer, you may have to pull the cables to a different location. The most common way is under the panels under the doors. There is a small cavity through which the cables can easily be pulled. Normally the paneling is only held in place by a connector and you can release it with a strong jerk. But every car is different and if you are on number si […]

Connect the cables correctly

The key to good cabling are the connections, because this is where the most damage occurs and they wear out the fasreview. For the power cable you need crimping pliers, which press the ring eyelets optimally onto the cable. First strip the insulation, hold the ring eyelets on them and press the crimping pliers together from several positions. The result should look like that the strands of the power cable (small cables inside the insulation) are already bending outwards. If you now pull firmly on it, the eyelet must not come loose!

The remote cable is laid with the RCA cable and already has a connection at the ends. Therefore it is not necessary to attach it separately. With the RCA and remote cables, it is not possible to connect them incorrectly, because the car radio and the power amplifier have a foolproof connection — only the plugs of the two cables fit into the inputs and outputs!

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