The Best Way To Mount Rear Surround Sound Speakers

The Best Way To Mount Rear Surround Sound Speakers

You’ve spent thousands on your incredible James Cameron-certified home theatre. Movies look beautiful; the sound is amazing. But every time you step out to refill the popcorn bucket, you risk knocking over those damn stands jammed in the back of the room, holding your rear-channel speakers.

Time to get those suckers off the floor and onto the wall where they belong.

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You Should Do This If:

You have a home theatre, period. You’ve already optimised the rear speakers’ positions for the sweetest sound quality. At this point, the way you support or mount your speakers shouldn’t affect how they sound. It will just improve the system’s appearance and the room’s function.

Moment of Satisfaction:

Walking behind the couch and not stumbling over a stand.

Biggest Pain in the Arse:

Positioning the speakers at the ideal location for both sound and aesthetics.

Materials and Tools Required

  • Surround sound speakers with rear-facing or bottom-facing 1/4″-20 or #10-32 threaded mounting points

  • Speaker cable

  • Speaker mounts (we opted for the PanaVise 105108B)

  • Mounting hardware (often included with mounts)
  • Stud finder
Cordless drill
 with a 6mm or 8mm drill bit

  • Phillips #2 screwdriver or power bit

  • Combination wire stripper and cutter (if installing with new cables)

Difficulty and Cost

Difficulty: About a 2 out of 10. If you have ever mounted shelves to a wall, you should be able to tackle this project with ease.
Cost: Brackets run about $US12 apiece.

Building It

1. Choose your mounts.

This may sound obvious, but you should also make sure that your speakers can be wall-mounted. Cheap satellite speakers often have keyhole mounting slots, which are not compatible with mounting brackets. (You can just drive a screw into the wall and mount your speaker on that — but it’s not ideal.) Some have no mounting points at all. The following instructions are for speakers that feature threaded mounting points. If you’re shopping for rear-channel speakers, you might want to pick a set that has a threaded mount. It will make your life better.

The mounts shown in this project are PanaVise stud-mount brackets, model 105108B, which offer tilt, turn and rotation adjustability. [imgclear]

2. Plan the location.

Front speakers should be at the same height as each other, and the same goes for the rear speakers. Keep speakers at least a metre or two away from corners.

Make sure your speaker cables can comfortably reach your speakers at their new locations. A good rule of thumb for sizing your cables is to measure the length of the planned path and add 15 per cent for wiggle room. It is usually easier to wire your speakers before mounting them to the wall.

3. Mount the brackets.
The following steps should be used as a rough guideline. Always follow the instructions that come with your speaker mounting kits.

If mounting speakers to drywall or other hollow wall panels, use a stud finder to ensure there are no electrical conduits, pipes or other hazards back there.

Use a speaker mount as a template to mark mounting hole locations. If you’re mounting more than two speakers, it will be easier to make a template out of cardboard.

Drill an 8mm hole in drywall, or 6mm x 50mm hole into a solid wood stud. If drilling into brick or masonry, you’ll need a hammer drill and 6mm masonry drill bit. Clean out the holes and then insert the appropriate wall anchors.

Use Toggler AF6 anchors (included in the PanaVise hardware kit) when mounting the speaker bracket to solid materials such as wood or masonry. These anchors require 6mm holes. You may need to gently tap the anchors in with a light hammer.

When mounting the speaker bracket to drywall or panelling, use Toggler TB hollow-wall anchors (also included in the PanaVise hardware kit). These anchors require 8mm holes. To install these anchors, fold them closed and then push them into the hole. Once the anchors are flush with the wall, use the included key to pop the anchors open.

4. Hang the speakers.

5. Conceal your cables.
You generally have to make the choice whether to route speaker cables inside of or along the wall before starting the wall-mounting procedure, but you can always change your mind later. Many mounting brackets have a hole through which you can feed cable into the wall. Even if the wire enters the wall at the mount and exits a metre or two below, make sure you use cables rated for in-wall use. Blue Jean Cable’s 12-gauge Belden 5000-series speaker wire is a good option

The simplest and quickest method is to route your speaker cables straight down to the floor, and then around the room along the baseboard or edge. [imgclear]

6. Check the connections.

Everything still in order? Congratulations, you are done! [imgclear]

Image: Shutterstock/Rashavskyi