How to Buy Used Surround Sound Speakers

Like if this guide is helpful
How to Buy Used Surround Sound Speakers

A home theatre changes the user's viewing and listening experience, and is a great choice for those who love watching movies. One of the best ways to complete a home theatre system is to add surround sound. Surround sound speakers provide the ambience necessary for optimal movie watching. Surround sound adds power and detailed sound that heightens the viewing experience. Speaker prices are sometimes high, but buyers can reduce the initial outlay by purchasing them a few at a time. Matching the speakers with the current receiver or amplifier reduces the cost of having to purchase a receiver that fits with the speakers. Check the suitable power levels for the receiver or amplifier. Other important considerations are the number of speakers the surround sound system utilises, the space of the room, the types of speakers, and length of the speaker wire.

Surround sound speakers are available in electronics shops, online from various retailers, and on eBay. eBay has a wide selection of used surround sound speakers of all types, and at prices to fit any budget.

Surround Sound Speaker Power

A surround sound system completes the home theatre setup, but if it crowds a room too much, or leaves limited room for furniture, the system may not be worth it. Factor in the size of the speakers and how they are going to fit into the room into the decision. Another good reason to consider the size and space of the room is to determine how powerful the speakers need to be. Larger rooms require more wattage than smaller rooms. A larger room requires 150 watts of speaker power, or more. The speakers need to be capable of handling this amount of power for them to be properly utilised. For smaller rooms, 50 watts of power is suitable.

Number of Surround Sound Speakers

Surround sound speakers typically come in sets. Three to eight speakers are most common. Three is the minimum number, because surround sound typically needs two rear speakers and one front speaker to create the "surround" effect.

Buying a set of speakers may be cheaper than buying each speaker individually. While surround sound can be accomplished with three speakers, a powerful quality surround sound system requires at least five speakers.

The number of speakers in a surround sound system is designated by two numbers with a period in between them (e.g. 6.1). The first digit indicates the number of speakers, while the second refers to the subwoofer. Subwoofers play deep, bass sounds. Regular stereo sound is designated by a 2.0, which indicates two speakers and no subwoofer.

Three speaker surround sound systems are often referred to as virtual surround sound. The virtual surround sound system utilises two speakers and one subwoofer, or just one digital sound projector. A digital sound projector contains a row of speakers in a single unit. Virtual surround sound does not produce the same quality of sound as a system with more speakers, but it does provide surround sound with a minimal number of speakers and wires. Virtual surround sound is typically produced by a speaker called a sound bar. Sound bars are space efficient, and are an upgrade from television speakers, but the surround sound they produce is very limited.

Types of Surround Sound Speakers

A surround sound system utilises centre channel speakers, front-left and front-right speakers, surround speakers, and the subwoofer. Centre channel speakers produce much of the soundtrack and dialogue of a film. Centre channel speakers are available in a range of sizes, and should be placed in the centre of the front speakers. Front side speakers produce the special effect sounds, and sounds that are off-screen. They also shift sound from side to side to give the impression of movement. For example, when a car speeds by on-screen, the sound travels from one set of speakers, across the front, and to the other side, before finally fading away. The surround sound speakers are placed in the rear of the room. They produce ambient noises, and also assist the front speakers in producing directional effects.

Speaker Placement

When installing the speakers, place front speakers on either side of the receiver, and rear speakers slightly more elevated than those in front. Rear speakers are optimised by having them face each other, typically with viewer seating between them. The front speakers are set up triangularly, facing the viewers. The centre speaker is set up at the same height as the tweeter speakers. For optimal bass sounds, be sure that the subwoofer and rear speakers are approximately 60 cm away from the wall.

When purchasing speakers separately, it is a good idea to purchase similar types of a single brand, to keep the system consistent, cohesive, and of similar quality.

Speaker Wire for Surround Sound Speakers

When purchasing surround sound speakers, it is important to use quality wire to ensure that the speakers receive a strong signal. Gauge, length, and type are the three important factors to consider when purchasing speaker wire.. The thickness of the wire is indicated by its gauge number. The smaller the gauge, the thicker the wire is. For longer wire, a thicker wire is required to transmit the signal. Thicker wire is recommended for surround sound systems, to create high-impact sounds. Higher quality wire sometimes uses different material to improve the sound quality. Check for any additional materials used in speaker wire, and make sure to measure the distance between speakers to ensure that you have enough wire.

Speaker wire has different connectors associated with it, as well. Make sure the wire has connectors that match both the receiver and the speakers. Bare wire (i.e. wire without connectors) can be used instead; it is accepted by all speaker wire terminals. The table below lists the different connector types and their terminal compatibility.

Connector Type

Terminal Compatibility

Bare wire

Spring clip and binding post

Pin connectors

Spring clip and binding post

Banana plugs

Binding post

Dual banana plug

Binding post

Spade connectors

Binding post

Always check to make sure the speaker wire connector fits with the speaker terminal. There are two types of terminal: the spring clip and the binding post. Spring clips make for very secure, simple connections, while binding posts have stronger connections. Most surround sound speakers utilise a binding post because of its solid connection with the wire.

Wireless Options for Surround Sound Speakers

The surround sound setup often requires a lot of speaker wire to connect many speakers located in all corners of the room. For this reason, wire can get in the way, cause a tripping hazard, and can be frustrating to deal with. Some surround sound speaker sets include a wireless option for the rear speakers. Wireless speakers communicate wirelessly with the receiver, and therefore do not need to be connected with speaker wire. However, they still need a power cord connection to a mains outlet. But wireless speakers reduce the total number of cords around the room.

How to Buy Used Surround Sound Speakers on eBay

To begin a search for surround sound speakers on eBay, enter "used surround sound speakers&" into the search box found on an eBay page. If you know how many speakers and which types you need, enter detailed descriptions into the search bar to limit the number search results to only those that are most relevant to your needs.

Read the detailed item descriptions carefully to make sure the speakers meet your needs in every way. Because you are purchasing used items, be sure to message the seller and ask any questions you may have. It is a good idea to find out why the seller is selling the speakers, and how they felt about the quality of the system.

Also, be sure to review the feedback left for the seller by previous buyers. Sellers with a lot of positive responses are much more likely to provide a quality product and a smooth transaction than are sellers who have a lot of negative feedback on their account.

Because speakers are a larger item, you may want to find sellers located in your area. To do this, specify your postcode in the box under the "Distance" tab. You may even be able to arrange to pick up the speakers yourself, if the seller is agreeable.


One way to really improve a home theatre is to implement a surround sound speaker system. Surround sound speakers are sometimes pricey. To save on costs, it is a good idea to purchase a set used. Before shopping, it is important to understand the different types of speakers used in a typical surround system. Buyers should know how many, what size, and what type speakers they need, and should have a budget in mind. The speakers you buy should all be of the same brand, to ensure that they work well together and produce a quality sound. In a complete surround sound speaker system, there is a centre channel speaker, two side front speakers, two rear speakers and a subwoofer.

Proper placement of the speakers is important. Otherwise, the system can not produce an optimal sound. A smaller, cheaper system can be assembled to produce "virtual surround sound", which only requires a three speaker system or a soundbar.

Speaker wire must be purchased for surround speakers, unless it is included in the set. Speaker wire length must be determined, and the quality of the wire is important, especially for longer wire lengths. There are some wireless speaker options, as well.

Used surround sound speakers are available in brick and mortar stores and online. eBay has a large selection of speakers available for a variety of needs.

Have something to share, create your own guide... Write a guide
Explore more guides