A standard home theater system consists of 5.1channels, and at the center of the setup is an AV receiver. The receiver is not only used to power the speakers but also to decode signals from connected devices, such as a Blu-ray or DVD player.
The process of connecting an AV receiver varies from one model to another, but the overall process is relatively uncomplicated. Now, what happens when you want to use your speakers across different rooms within your home? Can I connect two AV receivers and use them simultaneously?
Connecting two AV receivers together is not uncommon, but unlike setting up a single receiver, hooking up two home theater systems is slightly complicated, and it requires you to have a good wiring experience.
How to Connect Two Receivers Together
Using two home theater receivers simultaneously is especially useful if your system is power-hungry or when your current receiver can’t accommodate all your speakers. However, it is important to highlight that connecting two receivers together does not always guarantee a better-sounding home theater system, but it provides you with more playback options.
Having said that, the following are the steps for connecting or hooking up two AV receivers together:
Note: Do not attempt to plug the receivers into your power supply outlet until you complete the entire connection process.
i. Locate a spot for your AV receivers
When finding a spot to place your receivers, you may want to consider somewhere with sufficient airflow. AV receivers generate a lot of heat, so for them to maintain a safe operating temperature you’ll need to place them in an area with ample air circulation. You’ll also need to position them in a way that makes it easy for you to attach the wires and speaker cables to the back panel.
ii. Connect your first receiver to the input source
Once your receivers are in place, preferably in close proximity to each other, you can go ahead and hook up your first receiver to the input device as normal. Your input source can be just anything from your TV set and CD player to Blu-ray player, gaming consoles, and more.
iii. Plug the HDMI matrix
Next, plug the HDMI matrix into the port labeled Output on the back of the first receiver. Some receivers may use a different name for the port, such as Zone 2 output, and preamp output, among others. Ideally, the work of the HDMI matrix cable is to transmit audio and video signals from one input source to your multiple output devices.
For this application, you may want to get a fairly long cable to connect to your second receiver. However chances are that you won’t need to run your wire across a long distance, so finding the right should not be much of a hassle.
iv. Connect your second receiver
The next thing you’ll need to do is to locate the input jack on your second receiver. Once you’ve positively identified the input port, you can go ahead and use the HDMI matrix cable to connect the first receiver to your second receiver input port.
Basically, this connection will allow you to use one input source using two output sources i.e., run two receivers at the same time. However, keep in mind that your screen will show one image instead of running two different images.
v. Connect the receivers to your output sources
At this point, the process of connecting your two AV receivers together is complete. You can now go ahead and hook up all your surround speakers to the receivers for media playback. For this setup, you’ll need to match all your speakers to the corresponding terminals on the first receiver.
You can start by connecting the front left and right speakers to the main left and right channels, the center speaker to the center channel terminal, and so on. To connect your powered subwoofer, all you need to do is run your subwoofer cable from the subwoofer LFE jack to the subwoofer output of the first receiver, and you’re good to go.
vi. Plug the receivers into the power source
Finally, plug your receivers into the power source using the recommended AC power cord. At this point, you can test your system using any media of your choice. Remember, some receivers may come with advanced features that require specialized setup procedures. That said always consult the user manual for specific instructions on the installation process.
Tips for connecting two receivers together
Connecting two receivers together gives you a good opportunity to play your favorite music track throughout your home. It especially comes in handy when hosting a party or when looking for a way to watch a movie in your main living room and project the same in another room.
Furthermore, having a dedicated home theater system that can transmit signals to a second room whenever needed is generally cost effective. For the best experience, here are some of the considerations you’ll need to keep in mind while adding a second receiver to your existing home theater setup;
- Make sure that both AV receivers have the same screen resolution as well as identical aspect ratio. Ideally, this will allow you to mirror the same image and transmit the same audio signal to multiple locations throughout the house.
- You may also want to ensure that both receivers are compatible with your input device. By this, we simply mean that both setups should support either full HD or 4K signal to ensure compatibility with the respective medial playback.
- Make sure the HDMI matrix cable conforms to the quality of your audio and video sources. For instance, if you’re using a 4K TV, then your HDMI matrix cable needs to be 4K compatible. The good thing is that most HDMI matrices support 4K sources.
- To manage your cables and keep them out of the way, you can use wire ties or cable wraps to prevent them from tangling up.
- It may also be worthwhile to invest in smart wireless speakers. Although wireless speakers are associated with loss in audio quality, a wireless setup helps you deal with wire clutter while allowing you to play the same media in multiple rooms, such as during a house party.
How to connect two stereo receivers together
The process of connecting two stereo receivers is pretty similar to that of connecting any other pair of receivers. By connecting one stereo receiver to a second receiver, users get a chance to experience two separate stereo audio feeds generated by a single set of stereo speakers.
To connect two stereo receivers, you’ll need to ensure that there’s an output jack on the first receiver and a corresponding input jack on the second sound system. The good thing is that most stereo receivers come equipped with both ports.
All you need to do is plug one end of your cable into the output port of your first stereo receiver. You can then go ahead and plug the other end into the input port of the second receiver. Next, turn on both receivers to allow you to run your second receiver into your existing sound system.
We hope this guide has helped you learn how to connect two surround sound systems together. The main idea behind connecting two receivers together is to allow you to add extra channels to your existing setup while allowing making it easy to send audio/video signals to speakers in another room.
However, very few people can afford to pay out for a second receiver. If getting a second receiver is not in your budget, we’d recommend getting an AV receiver with multi-room capability. Such receivers come with the multi-room function already installed, so you don’t need to invest in a second receiver to build a multi-room system.