Plug the optical cable into the back of the PS4’s Optical Output. Plug the other end into the Optical Input on your receiver. This takes care of the audio.
Plug an HDMI Cable into the back of your PS4. Plug the other end into the GAME input on your receiver.
Plug another HDMI cable into in available output on your receiver. Plug the other end into an input on your T.V. This takes care of the picture.
Now it’s time to hook up the speakers.
For this demo, I’m using the Andrew Jones Pioneers mentioned in Part III, which are some of the best entry-level passive speakers you can buy for your home theater system.
These speakers (and all speakers really) utilize what is known as “binding posts” to connect the wire. All you have to do is unscrew each one, and then feed the corresponding wires (Red & White) into the small holes on each post. Now re-screw them (back down) until you’ve got a snug fit. With a few quick gentle tugs, ensure the wires do not move.
Some old school speakers and gear use what are known as “spring clips”, which I personally prefer as it’s much easier. My old Panasonic CD player uses them and they’re a breeze. The classic Yamaha NS10’s also use spring clips!
Just pull down the spring/tab, and insert the speaker wire. You don’t have to shove it all the way in the hole as you risk fraying the wire. Just be gentle, chill out, and insert about halfway. Now let go. It should be firmly in place. Do the same for the left side (negative)! This is much easier than the above binding posts, but there’s another way we can make our lives much simpler with said binding posts.
The great thing about banana plugs is that you connect the speaker wire to them once (in the same way you would to the binding posts).
Now just plug each banana plug into the holes on the binding posts and you’re done forever. When you want to swap speakers or mix and match, it’s as simple as unplugging and re-plugging the same way you would a standard cable.
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If you don’t have banana plugs, there’s another way to keep the wires from fraying! It’s an old school method taught to me by my dad and works great. You’ll need a lighter and some solder, but let’s quickly go through the process of readying a speaker wire for insertion into a speaker.
DIY Strip & Solder
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As you can see from the video, soldering the wire is a great way to ensure it never becomes frayed ever again. The peace of mind knowing my wires are all solid and still malleable is truly priceless. I never have to worry about stray pieces, or even re-twisting if the cable loosens up.
It’s awesome baby with a Capital A! Big thanks to my dad for this tip. He’s taught me so much over the years and I’ll always be forever grateful to him 🙂
The process of connecting the other ends into the receiver is a bit more of a chore if you don’t have banana plugs, but let’s dive in anyway!
Connect the wires to the receiver
The problem with this step is that it can be time-consuming and tedious, especially if you don’t have any banana plugs and/or have the receiver in an awkward spot. Right now I’m in the process of building my entertainment center (out of wood), and currently have the receiver on the bottom of my bookshelf. This makes it kind of hard to get to, even after I’ve turned the unit around a bit.
Anyways, it’s similar to step 5’s connection to the speakers.
Just unscrew the red and white posts on the back of the receiver, and insert the wire into each hole. Make sure you match positive (red) and negative (black) with the wire. The wiring should have some sort of indicator on it. If you need to, use a flashlight so you can see what you’re doing.
Again, with soldered wire, this makes the connection much smoother and you won’t have to worry at all about it fraying when you put it in.
After both wires are in their respective slots, re-screw each binding post and give them a gentle tug to make sure they aren’t going to come out.
The last thing you want is what happened to me the first night. The sound wasn’t coming through the left speaker and I had to go back there and re-do my shoddy initial wiring job. 😛
With that, we’re almost ready for music!
At this point, everything is hooked up except for your Turntable. Make sure that the receiver in question has PHONO inputs, as you will simply run the male RCA’s from your turntable into the inputs on the back of the receiver.
Also, remember to flick the switch on the back of the turntable to PHONO or you won’t hear anything XD I had mine set on LINE and forgot to switch it.
If you have a CD Player, just run some RCA cables from the outputs on the back, into the TV/CD inputs on the receiver. Now you can play some of those if you like! I still have some and do enjoy them from time to time 🙂
Finally, if you decided on a receiver with Bluetooth, just power it on (there’s usually a button on the front) and go to your phone’s BT settings. Press search and wait. The Receiver’s name should pop up. Now just pair them and you’re ready for some wireless music with Spotify and/or Tidal!
Now we’re mostly finished.
All we have to do is run the main cable from the receiver to some power and get everything fired up!
In theory, you would turn your main power on (I have a Power Strip with an On/Off), turn the receiver on, and fire up your source (for me the PS4), and everything would immediately work.
It should, anyway 😛
If the sound isn’t coming out of the speakers, first make sure they’re connected properly (as mentioned earlier).
Also double-check all of your connections.
Is the HDMI from your source going into the input on the Receiver?
Is the HDMI cable from the output of the receiver going to your T.V.?
Is the optical cable from your PS4 securely in place on both ends?
Check your settings inside of your source. Is the audio set to Optical? Sometimes it can get finicky and be set wrong for whatever reason.
With that, I did a neat graphic to help you out visually with what it might look like.
All artwork done by me! 🙂 Keep in mind this only includes the right and left, but adding the other speakers in the 5.1 set up is done in the exact same way.
Video Discussion (Coming Soon!)
Setting Up A Home Theater System For A Beginner doesn’t have to be a difficult endeavor. All it takes is someone to clearly explain it in a concise and simplistic way.
I hope I’ve done that for you!!
Are YOU ready to blast some tunes and slay Super Mutants?! Here’s everything I recommend and most of what I already have:
A Television. I assume you already have one of these, and that it has HDMI inputs. 🙂 I still have my 42″ Vizio from 2008 and it’s perfectly serviceable!
Playstation 4.Obviously, you don’t have to get one. You might have another console, another source, etc., etc.
Onkyo TX-NR626.This is what I have, but you don’t necessarily have to go with this model. As mentioned earlier, just find one that fits all the criteria that YOU need. It will likely be similar to this if you plan to do all or some of the same things I do! The NR696 is also very close to what I have as well, so that’s an option too. If you need some help, let me know!
Andrew Jones Pioneer Speakers (Right and Left). These are a fantastic bang for buck solution that will knock your effing socks off homie. The great thing about them is that you can purchase the entire package (5.1), or just add pieces as you go like I’m doing! They sound phenomenal, are cheap as dirt, and get very high marks, so you really can’t go wrong. Some alternatives that I was also considering are the Sony SSCS5’s, which get really high ratings as well!
Audio Technica AT LP60. This is a great budget turntable that will get you started. I’ve had mine since 2014 and it runs like a dream! Don’t let those audiophile snobs tell you otherwise. There’s nothing wrong with purchasing something cheap and affordable to start. A lot of these products are very well made and the LP60 is no exception! If it’s unavailable, the LP60X is also good!
CD Player (Optional). I will let you decide on that one. As mentioned earlier, I have a really old Panasonic SA-AK403 but I love it! I’ve had it since 2003 and it still sounds as fantastic as the day I got it.
A Headphone Amplifier/DAC like the SoundBlasterX G6, which is what I use when I want to game with a Headphone like the AKG K702 orSHP9500 with a Boom Mic or Mod Mic from Ant Lion. This is all optional, but it’s nice to be able to listen with headphones if I want. The G6 plugs right into the front of the PS4 and runs off of bus power. Super simple and effective setup. When you unplug it, the sound automatically runs back through the speakers.
If you’re ready to purchase an entire 5.1 surround set up, here are my 2 solutions: