How to Get Whole House Audio from Your Existing Stereo System

Many people don’t realize that adding sound in other rooms can be a very simple process. Creating a whole house audio system using your existing audio system is easier than you thought. Follow these simple steps to have multi room audio running throughout your home.

Determine if speaker wire can easily be run to other areas of your house
One essential element to adding additional speakers throughout your home will be the ability to run speaker wires to the areas you are wanting the sound. Being able to get the speaker wires from the main system to each specific area will ultimately be the determining factor in adding a whole house audio system to your home.

Now that you have determined that you can get speaker wires to each room, you need to look at your equipment to see exactly how you are going to get a whole house sound system. Depending on what type of audio receiver you have will determine what additional equipment, if any, must be added to the system to get this to work properly.

Add 1 additional room of sound using just your audio receiver (Easiest)
The first step is to check to see if your audio receiver has both speakers A and B and if they can be ran at the same time. If this is possible, then you can hook up one additional pair of speakers to the B channel and you are done. This is by far the easiest. However, you will be limited to adding only one additional room.

Add multi room audio using a speaker selector (Good)
If you determined that your receiver will not run both speakers A and B concurrently, then you will need to install a Niles SS-4 four way speaker selector box or a Niles SS-6 six way speaker box (depending on how many rooms of sound you are adding) to your existing audio receiver. The speaker selector box will be hooked-up as follows:

  • The output of speakers A on the receiver will be connected to the input on the speaker selector box.
  • The speakers in the main room will be hooked up to the first output on the selector box.
  • Each additional room will be hooked up to the remaining speaker outputs on the selector box – each output can be labeled to minimize confusion.

When hooking up more than 2 pairs of speakers you will need to make sure that the protection circuit built into the speaker selector is on. The owner’s manual will outline the proper protection needed for the number of speakers you are hooking up.

Add a whole house audio system using a speaker selector with volume control (Better)
This solution is very similar to the last one, but will give you a little more control over the speakers in the other rooms. By using a Niles SSVC-4 or Niles SSVC-6, which are four or six way speaker selector boxes with built in volume control, you can regulate the volume of rooms independently from the rest of your whole house audio system. This system will hook-up exactly the same way as the system above. The volume controls for each room will be located in the main room in speaker selector box.

Add multiple rooms of sound using a speaker selector and individual volume controls in each room (Best)
The best way create a multi room audio system using your existing equipment would be to use a speaker selector box at the main unit along with a table top or in-wall volume control in every room where speakers are installed. This will give you independent control of volume levels in those rooms.

  • The most popular volume control would be the Niles VCS 100R.
  • You must be able to get speaker wire into your walls where you are planning on mounting the in-wall volume control. If speaker wire can not be installed in the walls, then you can use the Niles TV-1, which is a table/counter top volume control.
  • In an outdoor speaker application, you would need to use a weather proof WVC-100E volume control to control the outdoor speaker volume.

60 comments on “How to Get Whole House Audio from Your Existing Stereo System

  1. Jerry on said:

    I have a pre-wired home with speakers in each area of the house. 2 outside/2 in the work out room/ 2 in the formal living room and 5 in the great room. The 2 speakers out side/the 2 in the work out room and the 2 in the formal living room all have volume control on the wall. The work out room has a (1) set of RCA Jacks (Black and Red) high on the wall and the great room has 7 sets of RCA Jacks on a wall plate and one single jack separate from the others (not sure which one this is for). We bought a 7.1 channel Yamaha (not sure exactly which model). I hooked all the wires to the receiver. However only the 5 speakers in the great room worked when I turned the receiver on.

    Am I missing something? I turned the wall volume controls all the way up through out the house and heard nothing. I am sure it is something simple. When I purchased the equipment at Best Buy they told me that I would only need the receiver, the speaker wire, and the banana clips to plug into the wall jacks.

  2. I currently have a Sony HT-5950DP Home Theatre System and am setting up a whole house audio system. I would like to run surround sound in the main room, with stereo sound in 3 additional rooms. All rooms are already pre-wired with in-ceiling Speakercraft CRS-2 speakers and the additional rooms have their own impedance matching volume controls. The receiver does not have capability for A/B speakers, so I am using a 4-way speaker selector box that is running from just the left and right front speaker terminals on the Sony surround sound receiver. I am getting sound in each of the rooms, but I’m not sure how to hook up the rest of the surround sound speakers. Can I simply use the remaining surround sound speaker terminals on the back of the receiver? Is it even possible to get surround sound with this configuration? Does anyone have a better suggestion? Thanks, in advance.

  3. Electronics Guru on said:

    Tom (52):

    Please call in and talk to one of our custom install guys. 1-866-224-6171. The call is free and they can help sort out your problem and get you any missing components. We also have a nationwide network of installers, so we can send somebody out to do the work for you!

    Calling in gives you the best level of service since there are many Q&A’s to get a multi-room setup working properly.

  4. I have a pioneer 1020-k reciever. I currently am using it to run my 5.1 surround. My house is wired with four additional speaker pairs that I would like to be able to send music too. What is my best option without replacing the receiver?

    Thanks

  5. Eelctronics Guru on said:

    Al,

    With this receiver you can use the Zone 2 audio output to a separate amp to power the rest of the house. You will need an amp like a Niles SI-245 or SI-275 amp.

  6. Viet Nguyen on said:

    I just brought a new house. Each room have couple speakers (even on outside), and each room come with the volume controller. I need to know what kind equipment(s) and connection that can handle all these speakers in different zone. On my media room, I saw it two different kind of speakers wire that bundle together. One is sure for the media room (this one I already done). The other have so many wire (look like catch 5 wire) and a cable TV wire.

    Thank you for your help,

    Viet Nguyen

  7. Eelctronics Guru on said:

    Viet Nguyen,

    Please give our design team a call at 1-866-224-6171. There are a bunch of different ways of getting this to work. We can get all your information and then submit you a bid on the equipment you will need.

  8. Jack Stephen on said:

    The simplest answer to this question is to buy a new audio system and throw away the older stereo system. By the way, the article is good and it seems a lot of hard work has been involved in it.

    Thanks,
    Jack Stephen

  9. Tayna on said:

    I’m sending my husband to this site! I’ve been longing for a set up like this for ages. I’m tired of cranking up the stereo volume so I can hear it in other rooms. Thanks for explaining this so thoroughly.

  10. Jen Hopkins on said:

    I am planning to place a stereo system around the house but I do not have the needed speakers that can provide the sound that I wanted. Your post is informative and interesting. I’ll surely take note of this so that I can make a great stereo system for the house.

    Jen Hopkins

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