Need help with ceiling mounted speakers

miotkem

Prominent
Jul 7, 2017
2
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510
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My house has stereo speakers mounted in the ceilings of rooms throughout the house, these were installed by the builder and I'm not the original owner. Each room that has speakers has a wall mounted volume control knob in it.

In the living room is a wall plate near the entertainment center that has two speaker wires coming out of it. I had an old stereo receiver when we moved in and could connect these speaker wires to it and using my CD player or whatever I could play music throughout the house, so I know everything works.

I don't have a home theater, and these days with ipods and smartphones (I don't even have CD's any more) I haven't used my stereo receiver in years. It's up in my attic.

However, I want to be able to use these speakers that are wired into my house. None of the devices I currently have outputs that accept speaker wires. I don't really want to get that bulky two-decade old stereo receiver down from the attic.

Can I rig these speaker wires coming out of the wall in my living room to some sort of RCA jacks mounted on a wall plate or some other similarly useful output format that will allow me to connect an ipod or smartphone to the speakers around my house? We have a little ipod speaker that has RCA jack outputs, so that's why I was thinking RCA jacks for the wall plate as well.

I tried reading through the audio basics guide sticky, but I don't have time right now to learn all about audio. I don't know if I need in-line amplifiers or some other equipment, or anything like that. If you guys might have other recommendations about how you would handle the setup of something like this I would love to hear it.

Any advice at all is appreciated. Thanks!
 

kanewolf

Splendid
Moderator
No. You need to get the bulky receiver (or a newer one) to connect to the speaker wires. You need something with an amplifier. Ipods, etc can not drive speakers, you need an amp.

The typical setup for something like this is a multi-channel amplifier hidden out-of sight somewhere. Then RCA cables feed that amplifier. But, without knowing how this was installed, it is difficult to make recommendations.
 
As kanewolf says you need some kind of amplification to run the speakers.
Your old stereo receiver would need an impedance matching speaker selector to drive more than 2 or 3 pairs of speakers. You could use a Sono Connect or Heos Amp with that to control the system with your phone or tablet. You would have access to internet radio, streaming services, and any music files on your network. It would give you one zone for the whole house.
You could also use a Sonos ConnectAmp or Heos Amp with the same speaker selector. You could use also one for each room so you could play different music in each zone and control them individually.
A custom installer would be able to connect it for you and set up the whole thing.
Best Buy does this kind of work but a local company might be better if there is one in your area.
 

miotkem

Prominent
Jul 7, 2017
2
0
510
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I don't exactly know how it is all connected within the walls and attic, but all of the speakers throughout the house are ultimately connected in a way that I am left with a single pair of speaker wires coming out of the wall at my stereo receiver. There are no zones, everything plays the same sound. When I have them connected to my stereo receiver and play sound through it, all of the rooms play the same sound, and each room has its own volume control knob on the wall.

Thank you for the feedback, I'll keep looking into other options for amplifying the sound without having to keep this old stereo receiver around.

 

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