Where to run wires for living room audio?
June 29, 2011 3:03 PM   Subscribe

Audiophiles, please help. Any recommendations for wiring a living room for decent audio (from TV, radio, other devices)? We're renovating the living room and now's my chance to run wires wherever I want them - in the walls, under the floor, wherever.

The TV, radio, and other boxes will be on one side of the room. I'm assuming it would be nice to have audio speakers on the other side of the room, 10 or 15 feet away. The problem is, I'm not much of an audiophile so I don't know what the best solution is. Should I...

- run speaker wires through the ceiling and terminate (with "pig tails") near the top of the wall, so as to accommodate little Bose-type jobbies to hang there later? (Yes, I know Bose isn't the recommended brand - but you know the type of ceiling-mounted cubes.)

- run speaker wires through the floor or low on the walls and terminate (perhaps through a electrical-panel-type panel) near the bottom of the wall, so as to accommodate speakers that sit on the floor?

- or just forget wires and just use wireless speakers? (as in this askMeFi question from June 2010)

- or just put a speaker or two just under the TV, at the front of the room, and not have any speakers at all in the back?

I'm just looking to build in the right infrastructure to allow a good audio solution down the road.. not theater-quality, not super-perfect, just that I'm thinking like "if you want speakers in the back of the room, you'd better run the wires now."

P.S. If it helps, related questions - tho not exactly this question - were about general home audio setup, choosing a receiver, and the aforementioned wireless speaker question.
posted by mark7570 to Home & Garden (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
We left spacing between the hardwood floors and the wood trim to run our audio wires. The wires run between the hardwood floors and the wall. The wood trim was nailed right above to cover this spacing. It was cheaper and easier than the techniques you mentioned. Removing trim to repair wires or other work is easier than fixing issues in the wall.

Wireless is an option - yes. It is a route my audiophile husband did not want to go down.
posted by BuffaloChickenWing at 3:53 PM on June 29, 2011

Is there a reason you need to run wires as opposed to building channels into the walls/floor/whatever so you can run arbitrary types of wire in the future?
posted by Tomorrowful at 3:53 PM on June 29, 2011 [2 favorites]

Run conduit now and you can run whatever wires you want later.
posted by Brian Puccio at 7:16 PM on June 29, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks, all. Any suggestions for the best way to run conduit (or otherwise make arrangements now to run, remove, or otherwise change up wiring later on down the road)? i.e.,.. is there a certain sheath that should be running inside the baseboard, or some other common solution? Sorry, I'm just not well-versed in this area.
posted by mark7570 at 7:58 AM on June 30, 2011

Best answer: Most people I know just use PVC pipe. You don't need to do anything special, just run something through it now. If you need a wire, run a wire, if you need to run a second, you can use the first wire to pull a string and then use the string to pull both wires. If you have nothing to put into it now, put a string in it so you can pull a wire in five seconds when you need to.
posted by Brian Puccio at 7:20 PM on June 30, 2011

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