How to Connect Only Two Speakers to a 5.1 Amplifier

by Stephen Lilley

Just because your stereo receiver and home theater amplifier supports 5.1 channels of discrete audio doesn't actually mean you have to use all five channels. If you have only two speakers in your setup you can still hook them up to your system and watch movies and listen to music. You just won't be taking advantage of all of the audio quality that these media formats support.

Connect your home theater receiver to your 5.1 amplifier (if applicable). The majority of home theater receivers purchased today have the amplifier built-in, so you won't actually need to do any connecting. However, if you have an older model, connect your receiver to your amplifier using the audio cables that came with the amp. One end of the cables goes into the "IN" input on the amp, while the other end will go into the "OUT" outputs on the receiver.

Plug one of your two speakers into the input on the receiver labeled "Front Left." Plug the speaker wire that runs off of the speaker into the speaker wire input on the receiver.

Plug the other of your two speakers into the input on the receiver labeled "Front Right." Plug the speaker wire that runs off of the speaker into the speaker wire input on the receiver.

Select "2 Channel Stereo" audio tracks while watching DVD movies (if applicable). Though your home theater setup will work just fine with only two speakers hooked up to your 5.1 setup, most DVDs are mixed in multichannel surround sound. However, if the DVD has a "2 Channel Stereo" option in the "Setup" menu, it will play a specialized track that is designed to take advantage of setups with only two speakers.

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About the Author

Stephen Lilley is a freelance writer who hopes to one day make a career writing for film and television. His articles have appeared on a variety of websites. Lilley holds a Bachelor of Arts in film and video production from the University of Toledo in Ohio.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera home movie theater components image by Nikolay Okhitin from Fotolia.com