can you use any subwoofer with bose soundbar

Can you use any subwoofer with Bose soundbar?

That is a common question many customers ask since they buy a Bose soundbar when they already have a different subwoofer.

You can use many subwoofers in connection to a Bose soundbar if you find a way to plug them together.

There is more than one way to send sound data from your Bose soundbar to your non-Bose subwoofer.

We will explore all of them in the guide below.

Can You Use Any Subwoofer With Bose Soundbar? – Guide

use subwoofer with bose soundbar

In most cases, a subwoofer is not included when you buy a soundbar on its own or with a few speakers. 

The next logical step is to consider installing a subwoofer to improve the audio quality. It’s not always clear if that is feasible, however.

Many soundbars can pair with subwoofers that are part of the same product family.

In addition, many companies will let you add more speakers and a subwoofer to your soundbar, but only if you buy their approved accessories.

Quick Answer

But you might be wondering: can I add a subwoofer of a different brand to my Bose soundbar? 

The answer is: yes, you can. Although Bose does not want you to do it and depending on your subwoofer, the results may vary, it is very feasible.

Step #1: Choose Between Active And Passive Subwoofers

choose  between subwoofer with bose soundbar

When using an external subwoofer to power your sound system, two options are available in the market.

Active Subwoofers

Subwoofers with a built-in amplifier or other power source are active or powered subs.

Installing an active subwoofer is a breeze, and they sound best when utilized in a stereo pair. Therefore, positioning is even more crucial with active subwoofers.

Active subwoofers are typically set up to make the most of all of their internal parts.

However, due to their built-in amplifiers, many home theater owners and designers choose active subwoofers as a one-and-done solution.

When connecting an active subwoofer to your Bose soundbar, all you need is a cable to deliver the sound from your soundbar to the subwoofer.

Passive Subwoofers

the passive subwoofer

For usage, an amplifier or receiver is needed to power a passive subwoofer.

Many home theater designers choose passive subwoofers because they work well in big spaces where many subs may be required.

If you use a passive subwoofer, you’ll need an amplifier or receiver with sufficient power output to effectively sustain the low tones generated by your device. 

If you plan on utilizing your speakers with the rest of your home theater sound system, you should also consider how much power they will use.

Advantages of Passive Subwoofers

Although that will make things more troublesome to set up, you must keep in mind that you can build a customized experience.

After all, you need an extra amplifier/receiver, and you can choose whatever you like.

Note: Sound quality is not guaranteed when you use a subwoofer that Bose does not officially support. The best you can do is tweak configurations to get the best result.

Step #2: Determine The Cable Needed

The type of cable will depend on your subwoofer’s technology. For example, if your subwoofer has a simple P2 input, all you will need is a cable just like this:

the cable needed

Connecting With A P2 Cable

Once you have your hands on such a cable, do the following:

  1. Turn both devices off
  2. Connect the P2 cable to the soundbar’s output
  3. Connect the other end to the subwoofer’s input

Turn it down if your subwoofer has that rotating button to adjust the volume. If the volume can only be adjusted once it is on, turn it on and lower the volume to 0.


  1. Turn the soundbar on
  2. Choose a song to play
  3. Slowly adjust the volume on the subwoofer
  4. Adjust other settings until you find the perfect sound

Connecting With An Adapter

Perhaps you have an old subwoofer lying around in your house and want to connect it to your smart Bose Soundbar.

In that case, you might need an adapter such as this one:

connect the adapter

What this adapter does is turn digital optical input into analogical output. It needs its power source too.

The above is an example, but many more are in the market. You can certainly find one that better suits your specific subwoofer and your room specs.

Once you have the adapter in your hands, do the following:

  1. Turn both devices off
  2. Connect the adapter to the soundbar’s optical output
  3. Connect the adapter to the subwoofer’s analogical input

Be Careful With the Volume

be careful with the volume

Depending on your subwoofer, you can ensure its volume is low before or after turning it on.

In any circumstances, you don’t want a reverberating magnetic sound when you power the system.


  1. Turn the soundbar on
  2. Turn the subwoofer on
  3. Choose a song to play
  4. Slowly adjust the volume on the subwoofer
  5. Adjust other settings until you find the perfect sound
Note: There is no correct "recipe" for volume, frequency, etc., since each subwoofer differs, and also, your room's acoustics play an important role. Testing is the only way.

Method #3: Connect Your Subwoofer Via Bluetooth

connect with the bluetooth

Connecting via cables is very simple since they just send data in a way you can control entirely. Bluetooth, on the other hand, is not so clear.

If you have a Bose Soundbar and a Bose Bass Module, Bluetooth connection is easy.

Now, if you have a different subwoofer, things get more obscure.

That is because Bose is unclear whether Bose Soundbar’s Bluetooth can recognize other brands.

Because of that particularity, we don’t recommend you buy a Bluetooth subwoofer specifically to connect to your Bose soundbar.

Using Your Bluetooth Subwoofer

use bluetooth soundwoofer

On the other hand, if you already have a Bluetooth subwoofer lying around, it is worth the try.

To connect it to your Bose soundbar, do the following:

  1. Use the buttons on the soundbar to turn Bluetooth on
  2. Make sure your subwoofer has Bluetooth on
  3. Pair both devices

Alternatively, you can connect via the Bose app:

  1. Open the Bose Music app
  2. Tap Source
  3. Select Bluetooth
  4. Add New
Alert: It is not clear if the soundbar will recognize a Bluetooth subwoofer as an output. 

Bose’s official guide for Bluetooth connection only includes devices used as sound input.

Is A Subwoofer Needed?

the subwoofer needed

Do you need a subwoofer with Bose soundbar? The answer is: it depends.

If you are not picky with sound quality, your Bose soundbar probably already delivers all you need.

However, suppose you want to improve the overall sound experience with a bass boost.

In that case, a subwoofer will add one more layer of depth.

What We Learned

Can You Use Any Subwoofer With Bose Soundbar? Perhaps it is incorrect to say that you can use absolutely any subwoofer with a Bose soundbar.

However, most subwoofers have a type of connection that you can exploit to connect to your soundbar.

The easiest way to connect is via a P2 cable or digital-to-analog adapter.

Bluetooth might work too, but we don’t advise you to buy a Bluetooth subwoofer if you are not sure it will work.

Nicole B