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  • 10/09/2015
    How to Install In-Ceiling Speakers

    If you're looking to clean up the design of your living space or you simply want to do away with the ugly and troublesome speaker wires running around the perimeter of your living room, in-ceiling speakers may be the solution. By choosing the right type of speakers, and by installing them properly, you can add room-filling sound that's as inconspicuous as it is lush and vibrant. Here's how to install in-ceiling speakers.

    1.Before you install the in-ceiling speakers you should first consider how they are going to be used so you can best determine where in the room they should be located. For instance, if you are installing them in a dining room where they will be used as background music for parties, it may be better to install them around the perimeter of the room so no one will be sitting directly under a speaker while trying to have a conversation. If your in-ceiling speakers are going to replace your existing surround sound system, then proper placement will also benefit your soundscape here as well.

    2.Once you determine your use requirements, it's time to get to work. Use the measuring tape to make sure your speakers are evenly situated around the room. Mark each location with a pencil.

    3.Before you start cutting away the ceiling, use the stud finder to make sure you're not going to be hitting any joists or other obstructions. If any of the speaker locations has to be moved, make the correct adjustments on the remaining speaker locations so the sound can be as evenly dispersed as possible. To make installation as easy as possible, try to install the in-ceiling speakers directly between joists so there are no problems with the speaker being too close to one.

    4.Your in-ceiling speakers should come packaged with a cutting template. Center the template at each speaker location and trace it with your pencil. In the center of the outline, drill a small hole. If you feel any resistance or meet any obstructions, stop immediately.

    5.Disassemble the coat hanger. Bend it at a 90-degree angle about 6 inches from the end. Insert the tip into the hole you drilled until you reach the 90-degree bend, then turn the wire around to determine if there any obstructions within the area of your outline. If there are no obstructions, remove the hanger and cut away the outline with the drywall saw. (Be sure to wear eye protection!).

    6.Come up with a plan for running your speaker wire. Depending on your home, this can be accomplished through the ceiling or from your basement. Links are available in Resources below to help you with either scenario.

    7.Another option is to remove the baseboard, run the speaker wire along the base of the wall in the gap below the drywall and then fish the wire up along the inside of the wall to where your speaker will be located. Once finished, simply replace the baseboard to hide the wires.

    8.When running the wire, use your fish tape to pull the wire from the hole for your speaker to the access hole where the receiver will be located. Leave about 2 feet of speaker wire hanging out of the hole.

    9.When making your wire connections, be sure to match the polarity of the wiring with that on the speakers and receiver. It also helps to label each set of wires at the receiver end so you know exactly which wire is the left rear and which one is for the right front and so on.

    10.Finish installing your in-ceiling speaker as recommended by the instructions that came with the speaker.