In-wall speakers are normally designed for easy installation for both new construction as well as an added feature for an already existing structure. It can be handled quite easily even by an average do-it-yourselfer. The challenge lies not on the fitting of the speakers, however, but the required preparation before mounting them.
As with a new construction, you can pre-wire the speaker cables onto the walls. This saves a lot of time compared with having to add-in the wirings when the structure is already finished.
In this case, pre-wiring usually starts after framing is completed. Speaker wires are then run through 1/2“ holes drilled in the center of the framing structures, from the audio equipment location and up to the stud base where the speakers will be fitted. Remember not to run the cable wirings to a 60-hz power wires or you may end up having interference problems later on.
In cases where in-wall speakers need to be mounted on an already existing structure, one of the greatest challenge, especially for do-it-yourselfers, would be the proper placement of the wirings or “snaking” as it is colloquially termed that describes getting the wirings from one point to another through an existing building or structure. Home construction and repair professionals are experts in this kind of job, and you can consider having the work done by an expert installer instead (not only to save time and energy, but to be certain that the cables would be placed perfectly where they should be. If you insist of having it done yourself, you would really need a lot of patience to accomplish it. But it certainly is doable.
For option number two, following are the steps in installing in-wall speakers for your home theatre:
- Decide where you’d want the speakers to be installed. Mark the exact positions.
- Locate the wall studs as you would need to have the speakers fitted in between them. Make sure that there are no obstructions behind the wall, such as pipes or other wirings that may cause other problems with the installation.
- Cut the speaker mounting hole using the paper template supplied with your in-wall speaker package. Make sure to double check that the dimensions in the pattern as well as on the wall where the speaker will be fixed are exactly the same. You can do this by taping the template onto the wall and tracing its’ outlines with a pencil. If everything is perfect, start drilling a 1/2” hole in the four corners of the template tracing. Then slowly cut from corner to corner using a keyhole saw. When done, remove the cut out wall.
- Drill a ½” hole up into the stud bay (area between any two 2×4 wall studs).
- Insert the end of the installation wire through the hole that you have just drilled. Consider your options (running the wires overhead in the attic space, or beneath the floor, or along the floor, behind the baseboards, through the wall and up to the speakers) by considering the accessibility where the wires will be installed.
- Connect the wires to the speaker. Pull up the wires to the cut out and then tape them securely using an electrical tape.
- Fit in the speaker to the wall cut out (if you want to paint and the grills to match the color of your walls, you need to do it before mounting the speaker into the wall; a spray paint will be perfect for this job). You can simply follow the manufacturer’s directions for this step.
- For additional speakers, repeat steps 1 to 7.
- Test the installation. Before testing the installation, make sure that everything—from the wiring to the mounted speaker—is properly fixed. Turn on the speaker to test for sound output.
Congratulations! You have just installed your in-wall speaker for your home theatre.