A lot of people think a surround sound has to be in their ‘Home Theater.’  Obviously it has to have a surround sound, but there’s lots of places that can benefit from a surround sound.

And there’s no reason you can’t have multiple surround sounds in the home.  Especially with TV’s getting thinner everyday, it’s worth having some good external sound.

Surround Sound Can Go Anywhere

You can do a surround sound setup at the pool, in the garage, the Master Bedroom, the Master Bath, the Hot Tub.  One of my favorite installs was a Surround Sound on a client’s Back Patio.  We even put the subwoofers in his ceiling.  He LOVES it, and the sound rocks! So get creative here and have some fun with it.

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Here’s a couple things to know about surround sound.  

  1. Speakers can be in wall, in ceiling, or a combination of both.
  2. Subwoofers can be in wall, or in ceiling.  They don’t have to be floor standing
  3. Speakers can be invisible.  Yes you read that right. If you want the sound, but hate what it will do to the esthetic of the room, you can buy invisible speakers.  Not cheap, but they sound great and look, well you can’t see them, but they look cool before the sheetrock goes up.


Each speaker get (1) 16/2 (speaker wire). It doesn’t matter if the speaker is in ceiling, or in wall, you pull the same wire.  Now some people like to pull a wire that’s capable of delivering more power.  If you’re one of those people you can pull a 14/2, or even a 12/2 for your speaker.  We see this a lot in dedicated Home Theaters, but it’s probably overkill for your secondary surround sound systems throughout the house.


  1. Floorstanding Subwoofers take a RG6 (Coax).  You should place the Coax next to the outlet, so that when the sub is resting on the floor it covers both the Coax, and the outlet from site.
  2. In wall and In Ceiling Subwoofers – These take a regular speaker wire.  So whatever speaker wire you’re pulling to the other speakers in the surround setup, pull the same thing to the subwoofer.

*If you’re thinking about doing an in-ceiling sub, you need to select a subwoofer before the prewire, and check the manufacturer notes.  Paradigm for example requires two subwoofers anytime you install subwoofers into the ceiling.

We talk more about 5.1 vs 7.1 and Dolby Atmos in the Prewiring the Home Theater post, but I think at a minimum any room is a good candidate for a 5.1.

Matt Montgomery, TYM, Salt Lake City, Ut

Named one of Technology Integrator’s Top Talent Under 40, Matt has designed systems for 20 national award-winning projects, including  "Home Theater of the Year", and "Custom Smart Home of the Year" from CTA™ (Consumer Technology Association). His ebook “How To Wire Your Smart Home” is a best seller among professionals and DIY-ers alike.  He has taken classes with Home Acoustics Alliance (HAA). You can watch Matt share the secrets of his craft on YouTube!

Matt is a Golden State fan.




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