Wireless inwall speakers don’t exist quite yet but they will someday. The problem is that they need power. When we talk about wireless speakers, they either have batteries or they plug into a power outlet. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to install wireless inwall speakers the best way possible.
For wireless inwall speakers, batteries are out. Unless you’re ok with buying 1,000 at a time, then we can import some for you. However, there is an interesting development in the area of inductive power transfer as mentioned in this fascinating TED Talk by Eric Giler, A Demo of Wireless Electricity.
Although there is some promise of it happening, were not quite there yet. Unfortunately, Back to the Future Part II got a little ahead of themselves. So for now, let’s stick with what we know: getting that remote room setup with speakers connected by a wire for power and by signal with Bluetooth or Apple Airplay. Let’s get started.
WHAT YOU NEED
First, you’ll need a nice set of inwall or ceiling speakers that can be turned into wireless inwall speakers. But not too nice as we’ll be running into the ‘weakest link’ principle of outspending an amp’s performance. Stick with something around $200/pr. or less. For this tutorial, we’re going with InwallTech’s middle of the road TM6C.
Next, you need a type of controller or an integrated amp that can fit in places. You’ll see two ways to get this done and one future technology that’s right around the corner with a more integrated solution. Here, we picked a Bluetooth controller from Pyle with a no built-in amp.
Now, you need to install an amp with this speaker setup (and a way to hide it in the house): a Class T type amp. It’s an implementation of class-D amplifiers but uses proprietary techniques to control the pulse width modulation to produce what is claimed to be better performance (e.g., lower noise, lower distortion, etc.) than other Class D amplifier designs.
And then, you need an upgraded power supply. The power supply that’s delivered with this can be improved to give more power from the amp. The efficiency of the amp is the highlight. Meaning, it takes the power given to it and transfers almost all of it into sound output. You can take a look at some of the comments on Amazon to get a feel for why an improved power supply is important. You can use this source as a replacement to a BENQ monitor at 5 amps.
THE INSTALLATION PROCESS
There are dozens of hidden advantages to any house, and leveraging these advantages is important. This way, we can select the best options to get power to the controller and amp. The power supply converts AC to DC so it’s safe to run inside the walls without building code hassles. Our basic concept is to find a 120v AC outlet and then get the DC wire in the wall.
Speaker wiring options and strategies are key components to installing wireless inwall speakers. You’ll find about this in the video below. Now, if this gets to be too much to stomach for installation, your best bet is to pass it along to an installer. For them, this is the fun stuff of wiring speakers for homes. They’ll love it and you’ll get your remote areas ‘wirelessed’ up!
3 EASY WAY TO HIDE WIRES
1. Use inside and outside wiring with minimal reveal
Here, you can take the stud bays on either side of the wall and connect them with an out of wall wire with wall plates along the baseboard or trim or under the moulding carpet edge. Low on the wall, you’ll have the wall plate opening and up the stud bay, you’ll install the inwall speaker.
You’ll want to get accustomed to using a stud finder to make sure a fire blocking stud isn’t horizontal across the bay somewhere up the stud cavity. Although that doesn’t make this an impossibility, it’s just another hole that needs to get drilled and potentially a longer flexibit. Exterior walls will have insulation in them and take a little longer to fish your wire down the wall, but not too much of an impediment to getting it done. Insulation won’t affect the sound of the speakers.
2. Use rear space to route the wire externally
For a space like a garage backing onto a room, you can take the wire out the back of the opening for one of the wall plates and run it on the garage side then back inside the wall cavity where the speakers will be. Either all the way up the wall or dropping the wire from the speaker opening on the front down to the wall plate opening on the garage side. Again, check for a fire block before cutting anything. The idea is to think 3D-like to find these places in your home to save on drywall repair for super tidy installations. A little wire showing costs way less than hidden.
3. Use under or over space to route wires
This is the most advanced of the three and often requires access to the attic, a crawl space or the garage ceilings to accomplish. You’ll have to know the lay of the land before you get started here. Unless you use the flexibit to drill up or down, you’ll need to know the exact location of the stud bay you’ll be accessing via the top plate or toe plate. Big clues to top plates to places you’ll install the controller will be the electrical wires that indicate the stud bay for the light switch in that room. You don’t want to use the same holes, but you’ll know where the location is.
Another clue are the nails in the top plate, those will be the vertical stud nailing locations. If you find your electrical wires and the nails are on either side, you’ve found your location to drill down to the other side of the electrical holes.
Finally, here’s a video created to show how to install wireless inwall speakers as outlined in this article: