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How To Prewire Distributed Home Audio

The prewiring process is often a challenging one for those who are new to the world of home audio installation. It’s easy to get lost and end up with wires everywhere, which can be frustrating. This guide will help you make smart decisions along your journey by outlining some tips on how to prepare before starting any project.

The “pre-wire for surround sound in new construction” is a step that many homeowners should take when they want to get the best possible sound. The process involves wiring all of your speakers and subwoofers together before you build the walls of your home.

The process of audio distribution (Link to Audio Distribution Page) is rather simple. Music is sent from a central device to speakers around the house. Prewiring your audio is typically straightforward, but there are a few decisions to make beforehand.

Do you plan to use an intercom as well as audio, or only audio?

  1. Do you want an intercom in all of the rooms with audio, or only part of the rooms, if you’re installing one?
  2. Do you want wall-mounted volume controls or will you rely on your smartphone?

Let’s start with the most basic audio system and work our way up.

One-Room Audio Pre-wiring

You’ll need (2) 16/2 wires to prewire the audio for one room (speaker wire). Each speaker is connected by a single cable.

If you want to be safe, use a 16/4 cable, which has both speaker wires in one. You connect the 16/4 to the first speaker in the room, then connect the first speaker to the second speaker using (1) 16/2. This keeps the Media Rack a bit cleaner, and you’ll have one fewer cable to haul around the home.

Some folks observe houses with just one speaker in each room and believe they only require one wire (called a Dual Voice speaker). That’s a specific form of speaker that uses just one speaker to generate a stereo effect. (2) 16/2 is still required.


Prewire blueprints created by a professional for your desired smart house.

Installing A Volume Control

On the wall, usually adjacent to the light switch, are volume controls. To regulate the volume, you may use a spinning knob or a slider. Most systems now enable you to adjust the volume from your smartphone, but if you want to mount a volume control on the wall, here’s how.

From your Media Rack, run one 16/4 (speaker wire) to the position of your Volume Control. Allow for approximately 18″ of slack that may be hung from the wall. Then you’ll run (2) 16/2 to the speaker positions for that room.

A Keypad Should Be Prewired

A volume control and a keypad aren’t always the same thing. A keypad is a kind of digital controller that lets you choose music for the space. (1) Cat5e is required. When I set up a room with a keypad, I always set it up for volume control as well. So I connect one Cat5e and one 16/4 cable to the Keypad. Then (2) 16/2 to the placement of the speakers.

Intercom pre-wiring

You should verify your intercom’s specifications, however most intercoms need one Cat5e cable for each station in the house. If you’re just using the intercom in that room, the (1) Cat5e is all you’ll need. If you’re performing both audio and intercom, though, you’ll need to use the Volume Control and/or keypad. Let’s pretend we’re doing all three for the sake of this conversation.

Pull two Cat5e cables (one for the intercom and one for the keypad) and one 16/4 cable to the desired place on the wall for the keypad and intercom. Then, to the speaker positions, run (2) 16/2.


Have your electricians install the doorbell the same manner they typically do. From the doorbell to the Media Rack, you run a Cat5e cable. This offers you the option of eventually connecting the doorbell to the audio system if desired.

A home pre wired for surround sound is a great investment. It will allow the homeowner to enjoy their favorite music without any issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you Prewire a home theater?

A: To prewire a home theater, you need to make sure that all the wires are disconnected from their respective locations. You then hold them in one hand and use your other hand to do something with each wire. For example, if you have black and red wires on the same side of a wall, it would be best for someone else to disconnect those two colors because you could potentially get shocked by touching either one of these wires while handling them both at once. After this completes successfully, connect up any remaining cables in whichever order is easier for yourself or whoever will help you out in completing the job more easily.

How do you Prewire speakers?

A: Most devices come prewired with a 3.5mm audio jack, so they can be connected to your stereo system or headphones and turned on easily without the need for any complicated setup procedures.

Should I Prewire for surround sound?

A: You can set up surround sound on your PS4 by using the standard audio cables and you should have enough power to get a good 3D effect.

Related Tags

  • whole home audio diagram
  • setting up a sound system at home
  • how to pre wire home theater system
  • pre wire new construction 2021
  • how to install speakers in pre wired house

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