Speaker Hookup


, Blogger: Orry's Orations
Every now and then when I dream about being able to upgrade, I think about getting a home theater system, but there is a huge thing stopping me from even thinking about it. How do you get those speakers in the right places? I'm thinking of the leads that hook from the speakers to the receiver. If you've got a carpet in place, how the heck do you do that without wire running across the floor?


Sandwiching speaker cables between the carpet and base pad would create humps that present a tripping hazard and wear out the carpet in a hurry. There are four workarounds, depending on home construction and personal preference:

• Baseboard method -- You may be able to hide the cables behind baseboards. Many homes built with gypsum wallboard have enough room back there for the cables. It's best to remove the baseboards, tuck the cables in, and then replace the baseboards. (Older homes with plaster-and-lath walls are a bit more likely to lack sufficient space behind the bases.)

• Conduit method -- Hardware stores and the big home centers sell self-sticking, vinyl cable conduit kits in a range of lengths, shapes, sizes and colors. Vinyl conduit can be trimmed to length with common scissors. Once the conduit base is affixed, the cables are tucked inside and the conduit cover is snapped in place.

• The "go fish" method -- Install a wall plate for speaker terminals behind the entertainment center, then use a steel fish tape to route cables underneath the subfloor or above the ceiling, depending on house construction, to each satellite speaker location. Most people are best off hiring an electrician for this job for their extensive experience in fishing cable.

• Wireless speakers -- Search this term online for plenty of examples. Most are sold as a stereo pair mated to a transmitter. The transmitter obtains audio from the speaker outputs, converting each channel into radio signals. Receivers built in to each speaker capture the signals and convert them back into analog sound that is amplified by built-in circuits. The amplifiers are powered by either batteries or wall outlets.


, Blogger: Orry's Orations
I had no idea they made wireless speakers now for a home system, which makes it much more attractive to me. For years, I've worried about all that wire. Obviously, I've never researched it, but now that we are in a new, better era, it's on my list. Thanks.