Search thousands of topics on CostHelper.com

BROWSE ALL TOPICS >> appliances babies & children  cars  consumer electronics health & personal care home & garden personal finance  pets  schools small business weddings
CostHelper > Consumer Electronics  > TV, Home Theater & Audio > Surround Sound Setup

Surround Sound Setup Cost


How Much Does Surround Sound Setup Cost?

 
low costLow: DIY Wiring Kits Run $165-$400average costMedium: Hiring a Firm Can Run $315-$800+
post E-mail post Post  

Soundtracks of movies, video games and tunes of all type come alive with surround sound, which instead of the two speakers of a standard stereo system, literally surrounds you with what one expert calls a "balanced sonic stew." Creating that balance requires mounting 6-8 speakers in place and running wires along baseboards, under crown molding, or inside the walls.

Typical costs:

  • Most home theater or surround sound kits do not include the wiring needed for installation. Do-it-yourself costs for wire, wall box connectors, brackets, mesh tape and other supplies can run $100-$500 or more depending on distance covered and the type and quality of components chosen. Just the wire itself can be 50 cents to $5 or more a foot, depending on type and quality. Broadbandutopia.com sells complete wiring kits[1] for $165-$205; Flatwire.com sells a more comprehensive wiring kit[2] for $400.
  • Hiring someone to wire your surround sound system can run $150-$600 or more, depending on the whether the wires are run along the baseboards or through the walls, the distance covered by the wires; and the type and quality of wiring used. (Some of the less-expensive installation packages may not include the cost of the wire itself.) ZipInstallation.com offers 5-speaker set-up at $199-$439 for labor only (materials such as wire, cable or speaker mounts are not included), while Best Buy offers similar installation service for $150-$525; with the lower cost not including any wall or ceiling mounting and the higher-price package including some materials..
  • Another option is to buy wireless speakers[3] starting around $80-$300 and going up depending on type and quality. Although many experts say the quality of wireless speakers[4] has improved considerably, the sound may not be as clear as hard-wired speakers and Wired Magazine[5] says wireless is not yet good enough.
Related articles: Home Theater, Speakers, Stereo Receiver, TV Installation

What should be included:
  • A 5.1-channel surround system has five speakers -- two front, a center and two rear -- plus one subwoofer, which handles low frequency sounds; a 7.1-channel system has seven speakers, plus the subwoofer. HGTV.com describes how to[6] mount the speakers and hide the wire; ConsumerElectronicsNet.com gives placement planning tips[7] ; and for those deeply into electronics, Kantack.com explains in detail how to create the best circuit for maximum benefit[8] from your surround sound system.
  • Quality wire is important. The longer the distance from the speaker to the amplifier, the better the quality of wire needed (a lower-number gauge of wire is higher quality). A general rule of thumb is at least 16-gauge wire if the distance from speaker to receiver is less than 80 feet; 14-gauge for 80-200 feet; and at least 12-gauge or better for anything longer than 200 feet. And if you're running the wires through the walls, you need speaker wire that meets building codes. Crutchfield.com provides an overview[9] for choosing speaker wire.
Additional costs:
  • If you want the wires concealed in the wall and the room has no attic or crawlspace access, costs may go up considerably; exact prices will depend on the extent of work needed to run wires through the walls studs or the floor/ceiling joists.
Shopping for surround sound setup:
  • Most retailers such as Best Buy[10] sell installation services with their products; and there are also specialized installation companies such as ZipInstallation. A handyman may be able to do a simple installation, but be sure the handyman is skilled at electrical/speaker wiring. You may also require the services of an electrician if a new outlet or extensive rewiring is needed.
  • For a complete home theater installation which includes surround sound, search for a member of the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association[11] .
post E-mail post Post  
CostHelper News


3 Ways to Have the Government Pay You Back for Your Energy Efficient Upgrades
Any renovations or upgrades made to your home this year that included energy-efficient appliances could be eligible for some federal energy tax credits. But it's not just appliances. || Posted December 9 2013


7 Lesser-Known Discounts for the 50+ Crowd
As they age, members of the Baby Boomer generation don't like to admit that they're senior citizens, but they love getting discounts. It's kind of a quandary, because some of the best deals available are reduced prices for older folks. || Posted October 21 2013

‣ All CostHelper Blog Posts


What People Are Paying - Recent Comments


 

Comment On Your Experience With Surround Sound Setup
 
Subject:  *
Amount Spent:  *
Where Wires Are Run: Installer: 
Comments: 
Purchased:  Year: 
City:  * State:  *
 
Information about you:
Email:  * Email addresses are not displayed.
Name:  This is the name we'll display with your post.
me on this computer
*=required field.
 



External Resources:
  1.  www.broadbandutopia.com/61hometheater.html
  2.  www.flatwirestore.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=FW&Product_Code=56203801&...
  3.  www.nextag.com/wireless-speaker/stores-html
  4.  www.practical-home-theater-guide.com/wireless-speakers-systems.html
  5.  www.wired.com/culture/culturereviews/magazine/16-02/su_wireless_speakers
  6.  www.hgtv.com/homekeeping/how-to-mount-rear-speakers-and-hide-wire/index.html
  7.  www.consumerelectronicsnet.com/hometheater/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=37458
  8.  kantack.com/surround/surround2.html
  9.  www.crutchfield.com/S-WviCZj243OS/learn/learningcenter/home/speakers_wire.html
  10.  www.bestbuy.com/site/Geek-Squad%26%23174%3B---Add-On%3A-Up-to-5-Speaker-Installation/89...
  11.  www.cedia.org/find-a-cedia-professional
More Consumer Electronics Topics
Check Out All Costs for Consumer Electronics Apple MacBook Pro 13 with Retina Display Prices Microsoft Surface Pro Prices Canon EOS Rebel T3i Prices

Search Thousands of Topics on CostHelper.com



Today's Featured Cost Articles

About CostHelper
CostHelper is based in Silicon Valley and provides consumers with unbiased price information about thousands of goods and services. Our writers are experienced journalists who adhere to our strict editorial ethics policy.

CostHelper Community
COST OF EXAM, EUTHANASIA & GROUP CREMATION
Paid: 160.00
Exam $48, Euthanasia of our Cat Grasshopper $84, Aftercare group cremation $28, total of $160. Location Southern California / San Diego County on 8/28/2014. Tried to take her to our Vet of 15 years and they could not see her for a week... [more]
-Crisy
Pet Euthanasia Cost
Yearly trust payment
Paid: 12000.00
I pay about $12,000 a year to my trustee's New Mexico office, However I've often wondered if I was being excessively charged... [more]
-paying more then earning
Trust Cost
ER w/belly ache
Paid: 9988.00
Went in & 2 other cases came in later but had 2 be served 1st. Gave me a pain killer & never saw a doctor. Each thing they did was hurry up & wait... [more]
-charles pace
Emergency Room Visit Cost
Bone graft injection
Paid: 7700.00
The dentist said I needed 7cc's of bone @ $1100 per cc. Is this a reasonable amount? This was to secure an implant the was infected... [more]
-Gala Dali
Dental Bone Graft Cost
wheel balance (front tires)
Paid: 38.00
They busted 1 of my wheel studs, didn't tell me, and replaced it with a really crappy looking lugnut. Oh, and the ride quality is worse. I paid them to do this... [more]
-Hue Janus
Wheel Balancing Cost
Deep cleaning and extractions
Paid: 90.00
When we got our 4-year baby from someone she had horrible breath and our vet recommended a deep cleaning for $175. I checked around and the SOHFGA did the same procedure for $80. So I had them do it at the same time we had her spayed... [more]
-Cocoa's Mom - Phyllis Rios
Dog Teeth Cleaning Cost