Installing In-Wall Speaker for Your Home Theater

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 25,972
    Home theater expert Keith Harmon discusses how to choose and install in-wall speakers for your home theater.

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    0o`(PoHi, it is Keith Harmon with Smart Wired Home and we are back with how to select and install a high definition home theatre. Next, we are going to be talking about in-wall speakers. So, when we first we look at anything, we are talking about in the wall or on the wall, we are worried about construction of what's inside that wall, just like we were worried when we were talking about mounting the plasma screen on the wall. We need to make sure we know where the studs are, same thing is with the in-wall speakers. We would really know where the studs are. So, when you look at this picture here, this is an actual picture of this wall, before the dry wall was placed on it. So, if we look here each one of these 2X4 studs, they are 16 inches on center apart so that means the center of this stud to the center of this stud is 16 inches. That is, the U.

    S. Building Code Standard which means they sometimes maybe closer than that but most of the time, that's what you will find.

    So, when we look at that we want to put a speaker here or here, not here because it won't work or we will have to actually take out that stud and if it is a load-bearing wall like this one is, this entire ceiling is held up by this wall, you really want to be careful about that, taking out those studs because you don't want your house to fall down.

    So, we stay within those studs so that also brings to light some pre-planning on where you are going to be placing these things. Pre-construction, for instance, if you are going to do an on-wall large screen like this with the in-wall speakers in the middle here, you want to make sure that you are not, the middle is not right here. If it is, then you will have to do something by taking out the stud, putting in a support just like you would put above it, you would make it just like you would a doorway or a window to put supports above it so you could put that stud there or reposition it so that you are on one side or the other of that stud. So, what does that look like? Here's an example of an in-wall speaker. In-wall speakers are typically rectangular as you see here and here. This is larger, it's a bit wider. It has an eight inch woofer; it gives it a little more bass. When we look at it from the other side, again this is 16 inches on standard, what you would typically see of what would be inside the wall. Of course, while the speaker is in the wall, it still has to get a signal from the receiver. So, running a wire from wherever your surround sound receiver is to the destination on the wall where the speaker is going to be is a key prerequisite that you have to plan out in advance before you can do this. Once that speaker wire is in the wall, it is actually, there are different styles of mounting. This is one that a lot of speakers use with the pushpin, putting in the positive in one side and the negative in the other side. Make sure you use a speaker wire that tells you, keeps track of which one is which, that it is not identical so you can tell which one is positive or negative on both sides. We see a little feet, they come out so that when they are screwed in the speaker can mount itself to the dry wall, so that, when you are done you just get a nice speaker in the wall like this. The speaker is only a few inches deep. It can not be more than three and a half inches. That's again the depth of a 2X4 stud, so when we look at that, that's a typical construction. Although, if you have 2X3 construction, as some town houses and condos have to just save that extra inch of space inside the wall, then you will have to get some special in-wall speakers that are not quite as deep. So, here we have the front of an eight inch ceiling speaker. When we look at the back, we see some of the details here, within the close-up here we can see that this side is higher and this side is lower. That's the directionality of this particular speaker to point into a particular direction of the ceiling, presumably, towards the viewing area. We see a different style of connector here for the speaker wire. This one, you push in and it slides in from the side, let us say, we get some twisted, slides in the hole and up, down in the hole and spring load brings it back up. So, that gives us a way to hook up an in-ceiling speaker. Another big consideration when you are looking at in-wall speakers is what's on the other side of the wall. This is a lesson that a few people learn the hard way when they put a movie theatre next to their master bedroom and they put the speakers in the wall which means that master bedroom can hear everything that is going on in the home theatre that is on the other side of the wall because you are already halfway through the wall where the sound is. Sound comes out of the back of the speaker as well as the front of the speaker. So, when you are looking at putting that, you really need to pay attention to what's on the other side of that wall and there are things you can do to reduce that. Now, Polk makes something as well as many other speaker manufactures, they call it a performance enclosure. It also is a sound reducer because you don't hear this much because now the sound that is on the backside of the speaker is kept within this box. It is just like having a speaker box that you are used to seeing but that box happens to be inside the wall. So, we see this box which fits, it is just wide enough to fit in between the 16 inch on center stud. So, this box would just go right in between there. The reason it is so tall like this is because it is so thin. It has to be able to fit in between that three and half-inch wall that there is a 2X4 stud. So, we put this inside the wall. We then put dry wall. The dry wall would then go in front of that and then the speaker would mount in there and all the sound from the back of the speaker stays in the enclosure and at least most of it and then the rest of the sound comes out of the front. So, this does two things. One, it provides the speaker with better performance and it also provides you with better sound deadening on the other side of the wall. Well, that about wraps it up for how to select and install a high definition home theatre. I am Keith Harmon with Smart Wide Home 'Adapting technology to fit your life.

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