How to Wire in a Sony Surround Sound

by David Lipscomb
Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images

Sony is one of the oldest and best-known names in consumer electronics. In addition to their award-winning televisions, the company also makes a wide array of surround sound receivers and speakers. To enjoy these sound systems to best effect, you need to complete the wiring of your home theater system by properly connecting the speakers and subwoofer.

Step 1

Access the rear panel of the Sony surround sound receiver. Look for the series of red and black binding posts marked with indicators such as "LEFT FRONT," "CENTER" and "SURROUND BACK."

Step 2

Loosen each binding post with your fingers until you expose the small hole on the gold-plated portion.

Step 3

Measure the distance from the back of the receiver to each speaker location using your measuring tape. For distances under 50 feet per run, 16 gauge speaker wire is sufficient. Use 14 or 12 gauge speaker wire for distances beyond this. Cut each run to length.

Step 4

Strip a half-inch of insulation from both ends of each speaker wire run. Twist the bare wire to prevent loose strands.

Step 5

Slide the side of the wire featuring writing or a molded ridge into the red or positive binding post opening for each speaker output on the receiver. Repeat for the other wire into the black or negative terminal. Tighten each binding post clockwise until each wire is secure.

Step 6

Plug the subwoofer RCA plug into the "SUB" output on the back of the receiver. Plug the other end into the "LFE" input on the rear of the subwoofer. Plug the subwoofer amplifier into a nearby AC outlet.

Step 7

Verify that all speakers are connected to their proper outputs by pressing the "Menu" button on the Sony receiver's remote control.

Navigate to the "Test Tone" menu option. Select either the "Manual" or "Auto" test tone sweep mode. Listen to each speaker while observing the indicator on the receiver's display, ensuring that the tones and indicated speaker label match.


  • Never make any receiver connections with the unit turned on. A short-circuit could damage the receiver or speakers.


  • Move the subwoofer into a corner if you find your bass is shy. Corner placement keeps subwoofers away from traffic patterns while automatically applying a few decibels of boost.
  • Ensure your center channel is at ear level when seated. This helps maintain clear dialogue and on-screen effects.
  • Placing dipole and bipole surround speakers roughly 18 inches above ear level when seated helps to create the impression of a larger, more spacious environment.
  • Use crimp-on banana plugs or spades on the ends of your bare speaker wire. This prevents oxidation while making wire insertion and removal easier.


Photo Credits

  • Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images

About the Author

David Lipscomb is a professional writer and public relations practitioner. Lipscomb brings more than a decade of experience in the consumer electronics and advertising industries. Lipscomb holds a degree in public relations from Webster University.

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