How do you kid-proof bookshelf speakers? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 53 Old 06-24-2012, 05:32 PM - Thread Starter
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I've asked this question in other forums, but figured I'd start a new thread.

I'm interested in some bookshelf speakers as left and right, but am concerned about my kid knocking them over onto himself. How have you guys kid-proofed your speakers to minimize this possibility? Some potential solutions I've found:

1) Get tower speakers. Unfortunately, I really haven't found many towers I like, so I'm really trying to make the bookshelf speakers work.

2) Wall mount the speakers. Don't really like this solution as I'll have to drill holes in the speaker box, it has low WAF, and kids can still hang from them.

3) Buy speaker stands that can be filled with sand/shot to make them bottom heavy, then secure the speaker with Blu-tack to the stand. Being I've never used Blu-tack, how well does it secure the speaker to the stand? Can a kid still knock the speaker off the stand? I'm sure they can with enough force, but hopefully it'll minimize the possiblity

4) Discipline (ie: Kid, stay the *%$ off my speakers! (well, not in those words... smile.gif )

5) Putting a kid gate around all my home theater equipment when not in use. Seems like they'll just learn to get around it when they are 3 years old...

Anyone else have good solutions that worked for them?
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post #2 of 53 Old 06-24-2012, 05:58 PM
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One solution that works is to put the speakers on top of a solid wood shelf unit, approximately 12"deep x 12' to 24' wide x 30" to 36" tall. Amazon has all kinds of units, or the local flea market can yield something cheap maybe.

Put very heavy stuff, such as books or LP records, on the bottom shelf, and the unit is pretty much tip-proof and the speakers are high enough to be out of harms way until they can understand the concept of bad=pain.

Gear needs to be high enough to defeat the wandering toddler, on some sort of large shelf unit or room-divider shelving. One about 6 feet high and 5 feet wide is a good size, 15" deep or so, on a side wall or between rooms.

A strip of velcro 2 inches wide across the front and back of the speaker bottom (with peel-and-stick adhesive backing) will hold the speaker firmly in place but allow removal if needed later.
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post #3 of 53 Old 06-24-2012, 06:04 PM
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The best solution, and what worked for me is sturdy heavy stands with the speakers secured (blue tack will work fine), and a whole lot of butt whopping when the kids even look at the speakers. Something like the custom stands linked, made short (like 16"), with the tilt back option, and the base plate much larger then the top plate will be very sturdy.

http://www.gwizpro.com/stands/proddetail.php?prod=FCStands
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post #4 of 53 Old 06-24-2012, 06:42 PM
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Putting speakers totally out of reach and sacrificing ideal placement, as commsysman suggests, is the best.

Secondly, tower speakers with outriggers can be very stable.

Thirdly, depending on budget, some Bookshelfs speakers have dedicated stands that are heavy, fillable and bolt directly to the base of the speakers. You can also add outriggers to the stand's base to stabilize further.
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post #5 of 53 Old 06-24-2012, 07:17 PM
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somewhat of a side note that applies to OP...

I bought some used gear locally via audiogon. and the guy I bought it from had a special-needs child. I was told he had previously been destructive with A/V gear. His family room HT had Salamander Design synergy with locks on all doors, and Vienna Acoustic speakers. the Vienna speakers do have a wide, sturdy base, and the grille has a plastic brace vertically over the tweeter. I also believe they can be filled as steven mentioned in a previous post

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post #6 of 53 Old 06-24-2012, 11:27 PM
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I would mount them high and to the wall - stand mounted bookshelfs are coming down. period. (father of 2...)

Towers I would furniture mount to a wall or they are coming down as well...just the way it is.

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post #7 of 53 Old 06-25-2012, 02:39 AM
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A mote! With sharks!! Kids are smart. It'll only take a couple of limbs for them to learn to leave the speakers alone.

Or you could just go with the other blah methods mentioned above. Booooring!

smile.gif
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post #8 of 53 Old 06-25-2012, 05:29 AM
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AM40 Pinpoint Side-clamping mounts, they do not require you to drill a hole in your speakers. Mount them high.
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post #9 of 53 Old 06-25-2012, 10:41 AM
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This is why men have bat caves, to keep to the wife and kids out. And it why some men have bullet proof doors and locks better than what Brinks would use. biggrin.gif

In all seriousness though, I would look at a combination of reinforcing the stand (sand in the stands) and then making sure the speaker is well secured to the stand and then investing in some very strong adhesive that you can stick to the bottom of the stand. Then you attach a cable from the stand's base to a bolt in the floor and the adhesive ties the cable to the stand. This keeps the speaker from being pushed or knocked over. The only caveat here is that the you would have to drill nto the floor and attach a cable to a bolt. But this would be the best method in so far as it would not compromise the sound. In fact it would likely help the sound. By adding sand the stand it would make the stand more inert and create less resonance.
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post #10 of 53 Old 06-25-2012, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twylight View Post

I would mount them high and to the wall - stand mounted bookshelfs are coming down. period. (father of 2...)
Towers I would furniture mount to a wall or they are coming down as well...just the way it is.
^^^ This.
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post #11 of 53 Old 06-25-2012, 08:00 PM
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I have a 3 year old son & a 1 year old daughter. Before our son was born I had towers speakers in our HT. One day my son knocked one of the towers over & it smacked the floor which scared the hell out of him & myself. Fortunately he was not hurt & the speaker was not damaged. After that day I used furniture straps to secure the towers & center channel to the wall. This was a safe solution but it just made it more fun for my son to shake them. I had my center channel on "L" brackets anchored to the wall below my display, but he would still remove the grill & poke at the woofers. My current HT which is in my Great Room is almost completely child proof. All of my gear is in a Sanus AV Rack in a closet with a child proof lock on the bi-fold door. My Pioneer PRO-141FD is wall mounted, although he can still touch it strict consistent discipline from my wife & myself have eliminated little fingers from touching the screen. All of my speakers are wall mounted: Definitive Technology Mythos 10's for my LCR (center channel mounted above the display) with Klipsch Reference RS-42 II's for side surrounds & RS-41 II's for my rear surrounds. My JL Audio F113 subwoofer is in the right front corner of my room with a black towel wrapped around the gloss black finish. Although still exposed, both of my children don't seem to have much interest in it. I ran all of the wiring in the walls, basement & attic. In my opinion this setup has a very high WAF, child proof, clean, modern & professional look. I had the audio system professionally calibrated & my Kuro ISF calibrated by Jeff Meier from Accucal. Good luck!
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post #12 of 53 Old 06-25-2012, 08:22 PM
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Depends how old the kids are. My boys are 10 and 12. I have already had several items broken in and around the house, often mysteriously and somehow no one knows what happened. So my concern was more the kids damaging the speakers - rather than the speakers damaging the kids. Rough-housing in the basement could lead to ruptured speaker cones with open or cloth grills. I sensed an accident waiting to happen going that route. For that reason and being on a budget, I put together a set of Pioneer speakers that have metal grills. Short of taking a hammer to the grills, the cones are well protected from my kids or any younger relations who might show up. I often wonder looking at some of the speaker setups with no grills at all, while they can look nice, there must not be any kids or pets in those houses!
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post #13 of 53 Old 06-26-2012, 01:30 AM
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I dealt with my kid problem (I have 5 kids and my eldest is 4) by getting in-wall/in-ceiling speakers. They still climb on the subwoofer, but it's pretty sturdy.
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post #14 of 53 Old 06-26-2012, 06:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beezar View Post

How have you guys kid-proofed your speakers to minimize this possibility?
The only sure method is a vasectomy. biggrin.gif
If it's too late to go that route just assume that there's no such thing as kid proof. Don't buy anything that you can't easily, and affordably, replace.
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post #15 of 53 Old 06-26-2012, 06:20 AM
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i cat-proofed a set once. i bought a strip of velcro tape at the hard ware store. i put one side on the bottom of the speaker and one on the shelf.

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post #16 of 53 Old 06-26-2012, 07:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

The only sure method is a vasectomy. biggrin.gif
If it's too late to go that route just assume that there's no such thing as kid proof. Don't buy anything that you can't easily, and affordably, replace.

I wish this would have been posted 5 years ago! Anyways, i have a 4 yr old and a 3 yr old and i have never had any issues with my towers etc. From the time the kids could crawl, it was made crystal clear what they could touch and not touch. Audio, tv, really anything that was in the stand was completely off limits. So far, so good. When it stops working i'll introduce mousetraps.
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post #17 of 53 Old 06-26-2012, 09:53 AM
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I have tower speakers for the fronts that I put in an angle in the front two corners of the room. That way, they can only tip maybe a few inches to inches to each side but cannot fall over.

My 18 month old son doesn't mess with the speakers. Instead, I'll be in the bathroom doing #2 when I hear my Xbox360 turn ON/OFF about 30 times until I can get into the room to pull him away from it! wink.gif

As other parents have told us, "don't buy nice stuff when you have kids, it will get ruined".

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post #18 of 53 Old 06-26-2012, 10:16 AM
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I can sympathize with the OP. All of our close friends have kids, most under the age of 4, and so when we have a get together there's literally 10 or so little ones running around screaming. It drives me insane sometimes but we love our friends so there's no getting around it. I don't have an airtight solution, but I keep my bookshelf speakers on the outer edge of my media console, which sits low to the ground. So far (knock on wood) I haven't had any accidents although the kids at times will touch the speakers.

I am probably going to upgrade to towers soon, but not to kid proof my set up because although kids won't tip it, they sure as heck can poke the speakers.

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post #19 of 53 Old 06-26-2012, 10:23 AM
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When my son was small, we put up kid-gate in front of the entertainment center and cd rack. He could look, but couldn't get to it. Now, he is 13 and is as much of a gadget/electronics guy as his dad, so is not a problem.

We bought what was essentially a large corral for kids, didn't complete the circle, and formed a wall in front of all the electronics. We didn't have to leave it up long, as he learned how to use the system to play his videos and mom and dad could sleep in a bit longer if we left him to watch a bit of TV.

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post #20 of 53 Old 06-26-2012, 02:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the tips!

For those of you who wall mounted your speakers, how high do you think I need to do it? I'm assuming by the time they reach a certain height/age, they should be smart enough not to mess with them anymore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post

The best solution, and what worked for me is sturdy heavy stands with the speakers secured (blue tack will work fine), and a whole lot of butt whopping when the kids even look at the speakers. Something like the custom stands linked, made short (like 16"), with the tilt back option, and the base plate much larger then the top plate will be very sturdy.
http://www.gwizpro.com/stands/proddetail.php?prod=FCStands

This may be another option, as making the stands wide and heavy is like putting the speakers higher up on a wide/sturdy bookshelf. What do you mean by a "tilt back option"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Twylight View Post

I would mount them high and to the wall - stand mounted bookshelfs are coming down. period. (father of 2...)
Towers I would furniture mount to a wall or they are coming down as well...just the way it is.

Yeah, I'm afraid of this. I am worried that wall mounting them might tempt them to hang from the speakers, which could be potentially bad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jano18 View Post

My current HT which is in my Great Room is almost completely child proof. All of my gear is in a Sanus AV Rack in a closet with a child proof lock on the bi-fold door. My Pioneer PRO-141FD is wall mounted, although he can still touch it strict consistent discipline from my wife & myself have eliminated little fingers from touching the screen. All of my speakers are wall mounted: Definitive Technology Mythos 10's for my LCR (center channel mounted above the display) with Klipsch Reference RS-42 II's for side surrounds & RS-41 II's for my rear surrounds.

Care to share pics?
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post #21 of 53 Old 06-26-2012, 02:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McSpike View Post

When my son was small, we put up kid-gate in front of the entertainment center and cd rack. He could look, but couldn't get to it. Now, he is 13 and is as much of a gadget/electronics guy as his dad, so is not a problem.
We bought what was essentially a large corral for kids, didn't complete the circle, and formed a wall in front of all the electronics. We didn't have to leave it up long, as he learned how to use the system to play his videos and mom and dad could sleep in a bit longer if we left him to watch a bit of TV.
Mike

Until what age did you do this for? I'm worried that when they reach a certain age, they will be smart enough to get around/over the gate, but still mess with the speakers.

All of this is giving me heartburn.
I guess the kid is worth it. I suppose. Maybe... smile.gif
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post #22 of 53 Old 06-26-2012, 03:17 PM
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You're not going to kid proof your speakers. You can make them resistant, but it's only temporary. At the present age, get over the idea of holes in your wall. I've put holes in many walls, and the use of patching compound, sometimes sandpaper and paint will do wonders. With minimal skill, the previous holes become invisible. Wall mount or put the speakers on a shelf that's out of reach. But that's noly temporary.

Kids get bigger. They become teens. Ever see the first part of "Risky Business"? The part after Tom Cruise's parents leave and he goes to the stereo? That's what's going to happen to your AV system in about 10 years. There's a silver lining though. After 5 teen age kids and I don't know how many friends, my Polk RT 10's rattle and sound bad, and my center doesn't make any sound at all. They are all adults, and gone. I'm building, and new speakers are in the works.

Don't feel too hopeless. There are always wireless headphones!:wink.gif
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post #23 of 53 Old 06-26-2012, 03:47 PM
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I've seen twice with the same type of speakers in two different states the same method for keeping out little hands off his expensive speakers, the guy had a gate which look like a dog cage opened from one side of the wall to the other side like an arc blocking off all little intruders biggrin.gif .

I sold off my speakers, and got less expensive speaker at better quality in SQ, it turn out great for me.


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post #24 of 53 Old 06-26-2012, 03:53 PM
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Been there done that with three young kids. I now have in-wall speakers...

No more worries.

My son was obsessed with tipping over tower and bookshelf speakers until he was old enough to know better. My daughter was easier. But she took a nice chunk out of our drywall with a bookshelf speaker that was on a stand.

I got tired of worrying about it, and in-wall speakers allow you to utilize maximum placement and not compromise sound quality. It does get pricey though as I recommend in-walls that have an engineered enclosure.
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post #25 of 53 Old 06-26-2012, 04:08 PM
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I use these http://www.jbl.com/estore/jbl/us/products/Studio-L810/STUDIO%20L810_JBL_US

They come with hardware and can mount in the corner or flat. Sound awesome!

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post #26 of 53 Old 06-26-2012, 05:58 PM
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little kids DO NOT belong in any room with items(read "toys") valued over $200.

to be honest go to bennie's or walmart and get a gate to put in the doorway to your ht/den. sure its a PITA to climb over a gate with a bowl of popcorn and a cold beverage in the other but its better than having ruined equipment
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post #27 of 53 Old 06-26-2012, 08:07 PM
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I have heavy speaker stands filled with sand and have the speakers blue tacked to the stands. It'd take quite a bit of force to knock over the speakers.
I also have a rule that no kids are allowed at the front of the theater. The last thing that I want are little hand prints on my fixed screen. I have an area rug that is a few feet shy of the speakers and the kids know that they have to stay on the rug. I also don't allow "horse play" in the theater. "Horses play outside." is a phrase that can be heard often at my house.
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post #28 of 53 Old 06-27-2012, 02:19 PM
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http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-100375146/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=simpson+strong+tie+angle&storeId=10051

 

I use toggle bolts to attach the strong-tie to the drywall. Other end screws onto the stand. Use either industrial velcro or screws to attach the speaker onto the stand. Unless a full grown man falls on it, the stand is not going anywhere.

The only problem with this type of setup is that the speakers are very close to the wall and the stand base has to be small.

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post #29 of 53 Old 06-27-2012, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

AM40 Pinpoint Side-clamping mounts, they do not require you to drill a hole in your speakers. Mount them high.

I installed a set of these last weekend, very sturdy and reasonably priced. the included hardware is good, but if you have really heavy speakers, you might consider better screws. the ones it came with worked for me, but my bookshelfs were only about 15 pounds apiece. in addition to the bracket feeling reliable, you still have the option of drilling/screwing if you so desire.

guess i got lucky, though. my daughter is 8 now, and she learned early on that certain things in the living room were off limits. i've had dogs knock speakers off stands, but never my kid. she did, however, push in a tweeter cone once, but i was able to fix it.

kids are awesome, but they do require you to look at the world differently. smile.gif
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post #30 of 53 Old 06-27-2012, 02:40 PM
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Mount high on the wall or tower speakers with the back or sides attached to the wall with furniture straps like they do in California
where everything needs to be secured from tipping over because of precautions against earthquake.

I'd recommend mounting high on the wall out of reach with slightly non ideal placement in your situation. If you are not using full range towers its non idea anyway so slightly higher placement won't matter much anyway.

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