If you’re a casual music lover or a full-blown audiophile, you know the importance of a good set of speakers.
But as we know, high-quality audio systems can often be large, bulky, and take up a lot of space. One way to mitigate the problem of where to put your speakers is to suspend them.
How you go about doing this will, of course, depend on the type of speakers you have and how large/heavy they are; if you’re renting or own your home, and if you’re confident with various DIY methods.
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Before You Get Started
Before you go drilling into walls or applying strong adhesive, make sure you’re 100% set on every part of the plan.
Wall-mounted speakers are great for so many reasons, but you’ve got to remember that once they’re there, they’re there forever! Or at least for a very long time until you absolutely have to move them.
If you do choose to remove or reposition your speakers once they’re mounted, remember that depending on your hanging technique, there may be unsightly holes and/or chipped paint to repair.
First things first, weigh your speakers, or find out the weight online and make a note of it. It’s important to know exactly how much each speaker weighs as this will determine what kind of method you can use for hanging it on the wall.
Secondly, work out exactly where you want your speakers to go! I recommend placing them in roughly the location you want to hang them, then playing some music to make sure they’re all optimally placed and everything sounds good.
Here are a few general tips on speaker placement, but more specific information can be found elsewhere – probably from your speaker manufacturer’s official site.
- Never place a speaker in the corner of the room – the sound won’t bounce
- Ideally, speakers should be at least 30 cm from the wall they’re mounted to
- Arrange the speakers symmetrically around the room
- The highest speaker should be no higher than ear-level
- Center speakers should be placed between the two front speakers, at least 40 cm off the floor
- Front speakers should be ear-height, equidistant from the screen/hi-fi system, and have at least 1 meter of space between them and any side walls
- Surround speakers are usually small satellites, perfect for wall mounting. They should be at least 4 meters off the floor
Finally, decide on a method of fixing your speakers that is appropriate for their weight, positioning, and your home.
If you’re in a rented flat, you may not be able to drill into the walls. And likewise, if you don’t know where the studs are, don’t go drilling in blind! You’ll damage the walls and may compromise the placement of your speakers.
Note: What you do with any wiring is completely up to you, but a popular option is to either tack it up along the top of the wall or along the skirting board at the bottom. Ideally, it would be concealed behind the drywall, but that’s a whole other job!
Methods of Hanging Wall Speakers
There are a few different ways you can go about actually fixing your speakers to the walls. Each has its own benefits, and some may be more appropriate than others, depending on your situation.
L-brackets are by far the safest and most secure method of mounting speakers to a wall. They’re durable, long-lasting, and can safely bear a load of up to 120 lbs.
Of course, they require proper fixtures and fittings to be hung securely, and this means the wall will need to be drilled.
First, find the studs. Use a stud locator so you can be absolutely sure you’re drilling into the right place. You won’t be able to mount anything securely if you don’t find the stud first!
Use a spirit or laser level to mark your speaker positions and to ensure they’ll all be hung on a straight line at the right height.
Drill into the wall and stud, and affix a wall anchor (also known as a wall plug) into the hole. Next, screw the brackets into the anchors…and that’s it!
Most speakers (especially ones that are made to be mounted) come with some kind of fixing to allow them to be attached to brackets, so now all you need to do is mount them, and you’re done!
If you aren’t able to drill into the walls for whatever reason, you might think hanging speakers isn’t possible for you, but you’d be wrong.
There are a number of extremely strong adhesives out there that you can use to fix lighter speakers to walls.
Command hooks are removable plastic hooks with a strong adhesive on the back to hold securely on most smooth surfaces. The best thing about them is they can be removed without any damage or residue left on the wall after use.
The limitations of command hooks are in the weight they can safely support on the wall. The absolute maximum weight they can take is 7.5 lbs, but it is not recommended to hang anything over 5 lbs with a command hook.
Another viable option if you have small speakers is to hang them using alien tape. Alien tape is a strong adhesive that can support up to 17.5 lbs at an absolute maximum, but again, a safe, more realistic limit to work with is no greater than 12 lbs.
Simply clean the wall where you want to use the alien tape with a microfiber cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol, then cut the tape to the required size. Apply the alien tape to the wall, then press your speakers onto it to ensure they’re stuck.
Some speakers may be hangable using picture hooks, and this method may be considerably safer than adhesives, as a well-mounted picture hook can hold up to 30 lbs in weight.
Using two straight nails, hammer the hook to the wall in the desired location, then securely hang the speaker from the hook. This may be easier said than done! Make sure your speakers are hangable in this fashion before you start.
The best and safest way to do this is with an L-bracket, that much is obvious. But of course, there are other ways to go about things if the best option isn’t possible. The main downside is that you won’t get optimum sound from speakers hung with adhesive or hooks.
Remember the 30 cm rule? That will be pretty hard to achieve without the use of a designated bracket or mount.
Having said that, you might find that the audio quality of your speakers hung with hooks or tape is good enough for you! As always, take all necessary safety precautions when carrying out DIY – and good luck!