How to hook up outdoor speakers

Published: 10th March 2009
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You are reading this because you purchased some outdoor speakers and you need some guidance on hook up, right? Well then this is the article you have been looking for! In this session we will discuss the tips and techniques on hooking up your stereo/amplifier in your home to your outside sound systems. We will also give you some do's and don'ts along the way to make your install go that much easier.

Step one: place your stereo/amplifier in a convenient place. When I say convenient, I mean so that it can be accessed by you and your guests so that it can be easily operated. If you wish to control it with a remote then you will need to place it somewhere that it has direct line of sight to. If you don't want it messed with, then you will want to place it in a cabinet or on a shelf. Wherever you decide to place it, just make sure it has adequate space to dissipate heat. When they are in full operation they can create a lot of heat and heat build-up can destroy an amplifier in a short amount of time.

Step two: plan out your wire routing so that your wires from your outside speakers gets to your amplifier in the most direct way. What I mean by this, is that you want to keep your wire lengths as short as possible. This keeps the strain off your amplifier and prolongs its life. But I understand that if you have a big slab of concrete between your speakers and your amp, then you will be better off running the lines around rather than trying to punch a hole through the concrete. It is always best to make your wires hidden, no one wants to see stray wires just jetting out of the wall and draped across the floor. You will also need to make sure that you seal the holes you make to the exterior of your home or building with a high quality sealant. You can find these at your local home improvement center and you have many choices in grade and color, so you should be able to find what works for your application. This is a crucial step as moisture and pests can and will get into these holes no matter how small you think they are. Don't skip this step!

Step three: hook up the wires as described by your amplifiers manufacturer. Be sure to keep your polarity correct when hooking up to your outdoor speakers. Most speaker wire is marked with a stripe or color to help you keep this straight, so utilize it. You also will want to make sure that you are not putting too much load on the amplifier by putting too many sets of speakers on one line. For the most part you will be hooking up only one speaker per channel, but if you plan to do this, then you will need to read our article on hooking up multiple sets of speakers. But for now we will just concentrate on hooking up one pair. Check the ohm resistance on the speakers you have. 95% of them will be rated at 8ohms. The same applies to your amplifiers resistance capabilities, although some amps and speakers can have multiple resistance values for more flexible installations. Be sure you check your technical information that came with yours to be sure.

Step four: once you have placed your amplifier, run your wires, concealed them and sealed out the bugs and weather and after you have hooked everything up, make sure you have connected everything right. After you have done this you are ready to sit back, relax and turn up the volume of your favorite tunes relaxing out on your deck or patio!

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