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How To Install In-Wall Speakers

How To Install In-Wall Speakers

Tools Needed:

  • Pencil
  • Keyhole or Drywall saw
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Small level
  • Coat hanger
  • Wire strippers
  • Gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Drill
  • 1" Flat bit (if driving through studs ½" or ½" bit for test hole)

Step 1: Decide where you want to place your speakers, for best performance, it is important to select the location for installation carefully. Your in-wall speakers should be installed 5 to 8 feet apart to ensure proper stereo imaging. If possible, mount each speaker the same distance from the corners on a common wall. Keep the speakers at least 2 feet away from the corners of the room to avoid overemphasized bass reproduction. The speakers should be located so that the tweeter height is at the same level, or slightly above the listener’s ear. You must now decide whether the primary listening will be done standing or in a seated position. Remember, for the best stereo imaging; the listening position should be directly in between the speakers with the tweeters at ear level.

For best performance, the center of the In-Wall speakers should be placed around ear level. This would be approximately 40" for a seated listener and 62" for a standing listener.

The distance for the listener to the speakers and the distance between the speakers should be the same. For instance, in the diagram below, A, B, and C should be the same.

In-Wall placement for Home Theater:

Locate the left and right speakers at the same level as the screen. Depending on the height of the television, the center channel can go above or below. Try to keep the center channel as close to the height of the left and right speakers as possible.

Note: The In-Wall speakers are not video shielded. Do not locate the speakers closer than 20" to your television, or damage to your picture tube may occur.

Step 2: Center the speaker between the wall studs. Tap the wall for a "hollow" sound or use a stud finder to locate studs.

Step 3: Trace around the cardboard template with a pencil for your speaker placement. Make sure the speakers are even and level.

Step 4: Drill a small hole in the center outline you just traced.

Step 5: Bend a piece of coat hanger wire. Insert the wire into the hole, then slowly rotate to check for any obstructions. If there are any obstructions, patch the hole and relocate the speaker.

Step 6: Carefully cut away the outline you traced using a keyhole or drywall saw. Then remove the cutout.

Step 7: Run the cable from the speaker outputs of your receiver or amplifier to your speakers. Use high-quality cable at least 16 gauge speaker cable. Allow a few extra feet of cable. You may also splice together lengths of cable if you have a long-distance to cover. Leave enough cable slack to strip the conductors and work on the connections

Note: If the cable is to be run through walls or ceilings, the cable must be UL, and CL rated for your safety and building code compliance.

Step 8: (Optional): Speaker performance can be enhanced by insulating the cavity with fiberglass insulation. When installing speakers in a ceiling, it is best to install a sheet of unfaced fiberglass insulation behind and around the back of the speaker.

Step 9: Pull the cable slack through the hole in the ceiling and strip off the outer jacket. Strip about ½" of insulation off the ends of the wires. Connect the positive wire from the amplifier to the red terminal on the speaker. Connect the negative wire to the black terminal on the speaker.

Note: Make sure the power is turned off on your amplifier or receiver before connecting the speakers.

Step 10: Remove the speaker grille by pushing one of the Flexbar screws towards the front of the speaker. Place the speaker into the cutout in the ceiling.

Step 11: Tighten the screws evenly until the speaker is flat against the ceiling.

Note: If you are using a drill to tighten the screws, be sure to set the drill to its lowest torque setting.

Step 12: Reinsert the grille into the speaker's baffle.

Installation Tip #1: Use a drywall saw to cut the hole. A utility knife will make the cleanest cuts in drywall, but a utility knife can be difficult to control by a non-expert. Electric rotary saws make cutting drywall physically easy, but they too can be difficult to control. A simple, inexpensive drywall saw is the best bet for beginners. The speaker's frame will cover up any rough edges. 

Installation Tip #2: Check for obstructions before you cut the hole. Drill a small hole in the center of the area you plan to mount the speaker. Cut a piece of coathanger wire and bend it with a 90-degree angle. Insert the wire into the small hole and fish around to make sure that no pipes, studs, or other objects will get in the way. If you do find something, you can easily patch the small hole you drilled. Otherwise, cut the big hole with confidence!

Installation Tip #3: If you are painting the frame and grille, the best results are achieved by spraying on the paint. Rolling or brushing paint onto the grille often fills in the holes negatively impacting performance. A neat little spray gun can be purchased at your local paint store. Guidelines for thinning the paint are included with the spray gun.

Installation Tip #4: Concerned about installing your speakers? Practice with your first speaker using a thick piece of cardboard to simulate the wall or ceiling. Clear installation instructions, along with cardboard templates, are provided with all of our in-ceiling and in-wall speakers.