Setting up your new home theater surround sound system can come with all types of questions. As you connect your wired or wireless surround sound speakers, you might be wondering how they will power on in the first place.
Surround sound speakers require a power source to be functional. Wired speakers use a long cable to connect to the receiver/amplifier (power source). Wireless speakers use a shorter AC power cable (mirroring that of a small appliance), and batteries, or are charged before use.
Of course, you might be wondering why wireless surround sound speakers would use wires after all, but you are not alone in this search.
Fortunately, wireless surround sound speakers still do not require lengthy cables to be able to connect to a power source but use individual connections instead. Let’s take a closer look to see how to properly provide power for your surround sound speakers.
Also read: Do Surround Sound Speakers Need to Match?
Do Wireless Surround Sound Speakers Need Power?
As you sift through the many different surround sound speaker options, you might be drawn to one type more than another. This can have to do with the aesthetic, your budget, quality of the speaker, type of connection, or all of the above.
If you are considering going the wireless route, you might be curious about how these speakers are capable of functioning.
Wireless speakers require power just like wired speakers would. However, the connection to power can look much different. Where wired speakers use a long cable to connect to their source of power, wireless speakers can use a small AC power cable, batteries, or can be charged before use.
So, does this mean that your wireless speakers are not wireless after all? This is one way to look at it. If you are using wireless speakers that still have to be connected to power with an AC power cable, then yes, you are still using a wired connection.
However, this wire is going to be much shorter than easier to work with than a standard wired connection between surround sound speakers.
In addition to this, you might find that the wireless surround sound speakers you are planning on bringing into your home theater actually use batteries or can hold a charge to be used while you stream your favorite movies.
Whichever piece of sound equipment that you decide to use, you can rest assured that it will require some source of power.
Simply put, you get to decide which source of power you would like to work with in deciding on which surround sound speakers to use in your home theater.
How are Surround Sound Speakers Powered?
While there are many different options available for your surround sound speakers- whether you buy them in a package or individually- they all require some source of power to be able to achieve any sound.
Specifically, unless you want to use them as a drum or allow your child to play with them creatively, you will need to supply a power source for your speaker to be used as they were designed to be used.
Surround sound speakers are powered differently depending on the type of speaker and the manufacturer. However, all surround sound speakers require power. You may find the power source to be a long cable, shorter AC power cable plug, replaceable batteries, or rechargeable batteries.
Whatever the case may be, your speakers are going to require some type of power. In addition to this, you will need to find the appropriate amplifier to supply your speakers with enough (but not too much) power to play at the loudness level that you would like to achieve in your home theater.
But, this will require paying special attention to the specifications of your sound equipment including the wattage ratings.
Before you get to that step though, you will want to know how to connect power to your speakers. After all, they become decorative accents otherwise, so providing any functionality is essential to your use.
So, let’s take a look at how to power various types of surround sound speakers knowing that each speaker is unique and will follow the requirements that have been instilled by the manufacturer.
Not all surround sound speakers are the same, but they tend to hold onto some steadfast rules in terms of typical power sourcing.
Powering Wired Surround Sound Speakers
Providing power to wired speakers is not something that most people have a difficult time wrapping their minds around.
While you still might struggle to know the power ratings (watts) that should be used when connecting your surround sound speakers to an amplifier, it is not too terribly difficult to figure out how to provide them with a power source in the first place.
Specifically, powering wires surround sound speakers is done with a long cable that is connected to the receiver/amplifier- the source of power for your speaker.
With this, you will have to figure out the placement of your surround sound speaker to ensure that there is a long enough cable to reach the location that you need to place your speaker.
For this reason, many people are choosing to go wireless. However, if you prefer to stick with the standard wired surround sound speaker system, know that you can make this work to achieve a high-quality audio experience in your home theater.
Powering Wireless Surround Sound Speakers
If you opt for using wireless surround sound speakers, you will still need to power them just like you would your wired surround sound speaker counterpart.
However, the connection can look a bit different. In using wireless speakers, you might run into a bit of a paradox as you may end up using a wired connection for your power source only.
However, wireless speakers that use a wired power source are going to require a much shorter AC power cable- more closely resembling that of a small appliance- compared to the wired speakers that can leave you with a jumbled mess of disorganization.
Fortunately, the wired connection to a power source for your wireless surround sound speakers is typically per device meaning you do not have to connect the speakers together- they just have to plug into a source of power.
Alternatively, you may find that the manufacturer of your wireless surround sound speakers opted to make the speakers truly wireless by creating a power source via disposable or rechargeable batteries.
With this option, you will always want to make sure that you have sufficient batteries on-hand in case your speakers are close to losing power.
If you are using a charging option, then you will obviously need to make sure that the wireless surround sound speakers are adequately charged as you begin using them.
It would be rather unfortunate to make your way into your favorite movie only to see a “low battery” notification halfway through. Instead, just make sure that you are adequately prepared so that your speakers can maintain a connection to power.
How Much Power Do Surround Sound Speakers Need?
After you sort through your home theater preferences and determine if you will use wired or wireless surround sound speakers, there is still going to be quite a few more details to work out.
For example, you will need to pay attention to the speaker setup to ensure that you have optimal speaker placement for a high-quality audio experience. Additionally, you will need to make sure that your speakers are appropriately powered.
Surround sound speakers need various amounts of power depending on the specific power ratings for each device. This will be found in watts. To know how much power to supply your surround sound speakers, be sure to check the specifications on the speakers, your receiver, and your amplifier.
It can feel a bit overwhelming if you are new to the world of sound equipment. However, after you begin taking a look at your options for surround sound equipment, you will begin to notice several of the same specifications popping up and being compared between devices.
While one device might be right for someone else’s home theater setup, be sure to consider the logistics of your space to decide what is right for you.
As you connect your surround sound speakers to an amplifier, be sure to follow the appropriate ratings. You will need to pay attention to the number of speakers that you plan to connect to determine the maximum capacity that can be connected to your amplifier.
Since many amplifiers have more than one channel, you should be able to make this work, but you will just need to make sure that you do not exceed the maximum capacity on either end.
Check out: 8 Best Wireless Speaker Kits (Plus a Buying Guide)
Jason is a home theater expert with over 10 years of experience in setting up home cinema rooms and systems. What started out as a hobby soon transformed him into an authority in the audio-visual field. He is passionate about providing readers with accurate and up-to-date information on the latest audiovisual technologies and their applications for home theaters. Read more about Jason.