how to use a vizio subwoofer without a soundbar

How to use a Vizio subwoofer without a soundbar? Such a question is very common, and many users are unsure whether it is possible to do that.

We are here to tell you that such a thing is possible, but it involves some requirements.

You can only use a Vizio subwoofer without a soundbar if you replace it with an amplifier. That is because the amplifier must bridge the sound source through Bluetooth, HDMI, RCA, or AUX connection.

Below we will talk in detail about all the requirements you must fulfill to use your subwoofer successfully. Not all subwoofers will work, so you must check if your subwoofer is made for standalone use.

How To Use Vizio Subwoofer Without Soundbar – Is It Possible?

how use the vizio subwoofer without soundbar

Perhaps you have a single Vizio subwoofer lying around, and you wonder whether you need a soundbar to blast some tunes.

The answer is that it depends on the model of your subwoofer. If you want to pair the Vizio subwoofer without a soundbar, it must be a model sold on its own.

That is because, most recently, Vizio only manufactures subwoofers meant to be sold along with soundbars.

They come paired from the factory, and the subwoofer can’t be paired with other devices.

1. Choose The Devices

So you will have to find one of the older Vizio subwoofers models with a wired connection. Those can be linked to an amplifier.

Sometimes they are Bluetooth models, but they likely need an amplifier. Summing up, you will need the following:

  • A subwoofer that is made to work without a soundbar;
  • Amplifier with subwoofer output;
  • Cables to connect both devices.
Note: You might wonder: why isn’t it possible to use the subwoofer on its own? That is because the subwoofer is designed to amplify low tones. So you don’t want to hear only the low tones of songs or movies. 

2. Choose The Connectivity Solution

choose the connectivity solution

Suppose you have a subwoofer that accepts multiple connectivity solutions or are still looking for a subwoofer.

In that case, paying attention to the audio quality is important. Each different connection is capable of certain frequency ranges and has limitations or benefits. 


Some subwoofers only have Bluetooth available. This option is very convenient since you avoid a lot of cable hassle.

It also allows you to place the subwoofer and amplifier/speaker more freely.

However, you are probably aware that Bluetooth sometimes glitches without apparent reason. Moreover, Bluetooth is not the best connectivity sound-wise. So if you are an audiophile, you don’t want Bluetooth.


RCA is still used in many audio devices since it has been widespread connectivity for decades.

That means it is also available on some older subwoofers, which can be used without a soundbar.

use the rca

RCA delivers decent audio quality, but the cables used for RCA are somewhat susceptible to getting damaged easily. 


The AUX cable is also very common. It is the same cable you use to connect wired headphones to your phone.

Its quality is standard, not awesome, but good enough if you are looking for a reliable connection.

However, AUX can catch some interference if you have too many devices in the same room. 


Nowadays, HDMI is the best way of connecting audio on most sound devices. That is because HDMI has evolved in the past years and nowadays can support many digital sound formats.

Are you looking to entertain high-quality, lossless audio formats? HDMI can transmit Dolby Digital Plus, DTS-HD Master Audio, and Dolby Atmos.

3. Connect The Devices

connect your devices

After checking that you have a Vizio subwoofer fit for use without a Vizio soundbar, you must place it somewhere its sound will be well heard. The same goes for the amplifier or speaker. 

Moreover, don’t place them too far but also not too close. If they are too far, you will need a longer cable, or the Bluetooth connection will be flimsy. If they are too close, sound waves will crash into each other.

Option #1: Connect Via Bluetooth

Can you connect a Vizio wireless subwoofer without a soundbar? Sometimes you can. You have to find a wireless subwoofer that is sold separately.

Then, all you have to do is find a speaker or amplifier with Bluetooth output for the subwoofer.

After that, do the following:

  1. Turn both devices on;
  2. Put the amplifier/speaker into pairing mode;
  3. Put the subwoofer into pairing mode;
  4. Wait for the lights on both devices to stay still;
  5. Once they are connected, try listening to music or playing shows on the connected TV.
Note: You can also connect the subwoofer directly to the TV. However, be advised that the sound experience will not be as great.

Option #2: Hook Up Through RCA

hook up using the rca

The most common option among standalone subwoofers and amplifiers is RCA. It is very hard to go wrong when you choose RCA as your connectivity solution.

Although it is not as amazing as HDMI, it is reliable and omnipresent.

So here is how you will connect:

  1. Connect one end of the RCA left the cable on the subwoofer port;
  2. Connect the other end of the amplifier port;
  3. Do the same for the RCA right cable;
  4. Turn the devices on;
  5. Select the correct output on the amplifier (if necessary).
Note: If you have old RCA cables, they might need adjustments, such as twisting until the audio is correct. You will have to do that while playing music.

Option #3: Use HDMI

If both devices support HDMI, there is no reason not to use it. But first, you must check that the amplifier has HDMI in and out.

use the hdmi

That means it can connect to the TV and subwoofer through HDMI, delivering the best sound quality. 

  1. Connect one end of the HDMI cable on the amplifier port;
  2. Connect the other end of the subwoofer port;
  3. Turn the devices on;
  4. Select the correct output on the amplifier (if necessary).

Tip: You might want to check if your TV has HDMI-CEC, Bravia, or any other name that means full control over HDMI. That way, you can control the amplifier and subwoofer from the TV’s remote.

Option #4: Connect Through AUX

Is AUX the only option available for you? In that case, you will still have a good enough audio delivery, but not as good as the other options.

Connecting AUX is very simple:

  1. Connect one end of the AUX cable on the amplifier port;
  2. Connect the other end of the subwoofer port;
  3. Turn the devices on;
  4. Select the correct output on the amplifier.
Tip: You must ensure that the AUX cable is well-positioned. If not, that can generate unpleasant sounds when playing music or watching movies.

Optional Step: Connect To The TV

connect to the tv

Depending on your aim with the subwoofer, you might want to connect it to the TV.

In that case, the amplifier must be connected to the TV. The amplifier you choose must have input and output of the same type. 

So, for example, if you connect the amplifier to the subwoofer via RCA, the same connectivity must be used with the TV. 

How To Connect

The connecting steps between the amplifier and TV are the same as in Step #3.

However, you might need to deal with these settings:

how connect to tv
  1. Go to the TV’s audio settings;
  2. Select the audio output;
  3. Choose the correct port used by the amplifier;
  4. If the amplifier has a “Source” button, you must use it to choose the correct source.
Note: If you use HDMI on the TV and other connectivity on the subwoofer, you will lose quality when the sound data is sent to the subwoofer.

What We Learned

How to use a Vizio subwoofer without a soundbar? Unfortunately, most recent subwoofers sold along with soundbars can’t be used separately.

However, if you have an old model that doesn’t have a soundbar attached, you can use it. You will then need an amplifier.

Read Next: Vizio Subwoofer Not Found?

Nicole B