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Whole House Speaker Setup Guide

Setting up a whole-house speaker system can be complicated. It involves designing a plan for wiring, creating a diagram of the whole structure and determining the wiring configuration, among other things. Be sure that you have enough wire before you begin the project, figure out how many rooms will be connected, and whether each room will have its own keypads or volume controls.

You can employ either the Daisy Chain or the Home Run wiring configurations. Daisy Chain involves installers running one set of wires from the amp only to the first speaker. Other speakers are chained to the previous speaker. Home Run is a direct wire method in which volume controls can be placed in each room so listeners can adjust the volume level in each room independently.

For home installation, use CL rated speaker wire, available in either a two- or four-conductor variety. If you are using keypads throughout the home, it will be necessary to pull networking cable from your amp to each keypad location. Either CAT-5e or CAT6 wire is used for this.

You will need a drill, auger bit, fish tape, side-cutting pliers, a wire stripper and a punch-down tool to wire your home for whole-house sound. If you have chosen the Home Run wiring configuration, you may connect the speaker wire to the audio gear using an AV receiver, a speaker selector box or a multi-zone receiver, which require keypads in each zone to control the audio. If you are using a multi-zone system, figure out how many speakers each room will contain. A small room may only require a single speaker, but in larger spaces, you will want to opt for paired speakers. If your sound system will involve changing radio stations, you will need a numeric keypad as well as your standard source keypad.