JBL SSW-2 High-Performance Dual 12” Passive SubwooferJBL-SSW-2-High-Performance-Dual-12”-Passive-Subwoofer-product

For more than 70 years, JBL has been involved in every aspect of music and film recording and reproduction, from live performances to monitoring the recordings you play in your home, car or office.
We are confident that the JBL Synthesis loudspeaker you have chosen will provide every note of enjoyment that you expect – and that when you think about purchasing additional audio equipment for your home, car or office, you will once again choose JBL.
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  1. Subwoofer
  2. Grille
  3. Owner’s Manual


When using subwoofers within the limited confines of a typical home theater room, the reflections, standing waves, and resonant absorbers within the room will create peaks and dips in the bass response that can vary greatly depending on where the listeners are located in the room – a listener seated in one location may hear an overabundance of bass created by a response peak at the location, while another listener only a few feet away may hear far less bass due to a response dip at that location.
The locations of subwoofers within the room (along with the room’s dimensions) also have a profound effect on the creation of these bass response peaks and dips. Careful subwoofer placement alone cannot compensate for all bass response peaks and dips throughout a room, but careful subwoofer placement can eliminate or significantly reduce the largest response dips.

It is important to reduce response dips throughout the room as much as possible via proper subwoofer placement because equalization cannot be used to compensate for large response dips. For example, using equalization in an attempt to restore a 13dB response dip requires that the subwoofer amplifier deliver 20 times the power at that frequency. This can quickly overdrive the subwoofer amplifier into clipping, which will significantly degrade audio quality.
In almost any room, placing the subwoofers in corners will produce the fewest large bass response dips and will also produce the largest bass response peaks.
We strongly recommend that you install multiple subwoofers regardless of the room size. A single subwoofer will result in the least consistent bass performance throughout the room. Using multiple subwoofers can cancel some room modes at the various listening locations, resulting in much more consistent low-frequency sound quality throughout the listening area. It is often impossible to locate a single subwoofer such that large response dips, which cannot be corrected via equalization, are not present. The use of two or more properly placed subwoofers almost always eliminates such response dips.

Since wall construction is almost never perfectly identical on opposite walls, common formulas such as placing the subwoofers at ¼ points rarely work in practice. The best solution is to make high-resolution measurements from the primary listening area while experimenting with speaker placement.
Placing a subwoofer at the listening position and measuring it from the potential installation positions around the room – using acoustic reciprocity – can help speed finding the best position(s). Measurement at the best positions in this manner will produce the measurements with the fewest and smallest peaks and dips in the response.




Placement of two subwoofers will be determined by your room’s seating arrangement.

  1. Rooms with a single row of seating
  2. Rooms with multiple seating rows



Speakers and electronics have corresponding (+) and (–) terminals. Most manufacturers of speakers and electronics, including JBL, use red to denote the (+) terminal and black for the (–) terminal. It is important to connect both terminals identically: (+) on the speaker to (+) on the amplifier, and (–) on the speaker to (–) on the amplifier. Wiring “out of phase” results in thin sound, weak bass, and a poor stereo image. With the advent of multichannel surround sound systems, connecting all of the speakers in your system with the correct polarity remains equally important in order to preserve the proper ambiance and directionality of the program material.
If two SSW-2 subwoofers are used, the wires for both speakers should be the same length. If the bass response seems low, there may be a phase problem, with the sound waves from the two subwoofers canceling each other out. If the bass response seems low, try inverting the polarity on one subwoofer – i.e., connect the (+) terminal on the amplifier to the (–) terminal on the speaker, and the (–) terminal on the amplifier to the (+) terminal on the speaker.
To use the binding-post speaker terminals on the terminal cup located behind the SSW-2 subwoofer, unscrew the colored knob until the pass-through hole in the center post is visible under the knob. Insert the bare end of the wire through this hole, then screw the knob down until the connection is tight. Spade connectors can be slid around the post before tightening the knob if those are used. The hole in the center of each knob is intended for use with banana-type connectors. Making sure to observe the correct polarity. The wire from the amplifier’s negative (-) terminal is to be connected to the negative (-) or black terminal on the terminal cup, and the amplifier’s positive (+) terminal is to be connected the positive (+) or red terminal on the terminal cup.

Since the SSW-2 is a passive loudspeaker, only speaker-level connections are available. The SSW-2 subwoofer is specifically designed for use in conjunction with the JBL® Synthesis SDA amplifiers. It is optimized to offer the best dynamics and frequency response with the use of the JBL SDA-4600 amplifier, which is specially designed to drive the signature reactive load impedance of the SSW-2. The SSW-2 is capable of running off of two SDA-4600 channels in bridged mode.

Connect your main receiver or processor’s line-level subwoofer output to the line-level input on your subwoofer amplifier.
When using two or more subwoofers, use the correct number of amplifier channels (these can be mono-block or multi-channel amplifiers) each connected to the appropriate output on your processor or receiver. Then connect the positive and negative terminals for each amplifier channel to a single SSW-2 subwoofer system.








Please visit JBL.COM / JBLSYNTHESIS.COM for additional language support on the user manual.

Documents / Resources

JBL SSW-2 High-Performance Dual 12” Passive Subwoofer [pdf] Owner’s Manual
SSW-2, High-Performance Dual 12 Passive Subwoofer

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