How to Connect Remote Speakers

By Joshua Smyth

Remote speakers are key parts of surround-sound systems.
i multimedia acoustic system image by dim@dim from

One of the most frustrating parts of setting up any stereo system is wiring. This is especially true when the speakers you would like to connect are remote ones, placed away from your stereo unit. There are many reasons why remote speakers are useful. You may want to have surround sound in a room, to be able to play music from one source into multiple rooms, or just place your speakers away from the music source. There are many products that offer wired or wireless solutions for this, and setup is simple.

Wired Connections for Remote Speakers

Purchase enough speaker wire to cover the distance to the remote location.

Connect the speaker wires to terminals on your stereo, A/V receiver, television or other audio source. For most good speakers, you will need an A/V receiver, as TVs and DVD players do not have terminals for bare speaker wire.

Connect the other ends of the speaker wires to the terminals on the speakers.

Hide the speaker wires. They can sometimes be tucked under baseboards or stapled down, especially if the room is carpeted. Alternatively, they can be run through the walls.

Dedicated Wireless Speakers

Buy a wireless speaker set. There are many models to choose from. Dedicated wireless speakers usually have amplifiers and power sources built-in, and may have a place to put batteries to avoid the need for power cords.

Place the speakers at the remote location. Some wireless speakers use infra-red, which can only be used in the same room as the stereo system. Others use FM signals and can be placed around in the house.

Connect the infrared or FM transmitter to your stereo system with the included cables.

Power on all the speakers and the transmitter. You should now be able to hear sound from your stereo at the remote location.

Wireless Kits

Buy a wireless transmitter/amplifier kit. These are useful if you already have speakers you would like to use in the remote location.

Connect the transmitter to your stereo using the included cables.

Place your speakers in the remote location

Connect the receiver to the speakers, and plug in its power supply.

Turn on the transmitter and receiver and test them.

Remote Speakers on a WiFi Network

Buy a wireless Internet hub with an audio output.

Connect the audio output to a set of speakers. You will typically need powered computer speakers that have a headphone jack, as most WiFi hubs have only a headphone jack output.

Set up the hub. You will need to create a network if you do not already have one. Click on "Control Panel"--or "System Preferences" on a Mac--and then click on "Create Network". You may need to install any software that came with the hub to configure it and add a password.

Play music on your computer. You will be able to choose the speakers on the network as the output from your music program if your computer has a WiFi antenna and you have connected to the wireless network that has the speakers on it.