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Installing in-wall speakers in an exterior basement wall

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hello all, I've been a long time lurker and I'm now building a house and need to install speakers in my basement walls. Due to space and multiple arguments with my wife, in-wall/in-ceiling speakers were my only option. I have planned for a 7.1 system with the following speakers I found on woot.

Front 3 channels in wall: Pioneer Elite SIW571L

Side 2 channels in ceiling: Pioneer Elite S-IC871A

Back 2 channels in wall: Pioneer Elite S-lW871-LR


I was able to get into the house before the sheet rock went on to run wire and box out the in-wall speakers.

Front wall:

Rear wall:


I live in ND and it gets cold in the winter. The builder did not put vapor barrier between the foundation and insulation/studs. The studs are roughly a 1/2 inch from the concrete. I really hope I don't run into mold issues as I've read about on these forums and elsewhere. There will be a dehumidifier running at all times. We are using a very reputable builder so its my hope they know what there doing. I don't know much about building houses, I'm just a nerd that likes speakers and big tvs... 


My questions are:

When I cut out the sheet rock to mount the speakers how should I insulate/seal them?

There is currently fiberglass insulation in the walls. Do I leave the fiberglass insulation in behind the speakers?

Should I spray form between the studs and concrete wall so I have somewhat of a sealed box?

Any other suggestions on how I can make these sound as good as possible?

The sheet rock is now on so I have no options to get in the wall besides working in the hole cut for the speakers.  

post #2 of 7
That does not look like bare concrete behind the framing. And yes you leave the insulation behind the speakers. Which should be purchased with in-wall back boxes.
post #3 of 7
Usually, well - up here any way, the poly goes on the outside of the studs before the drywall. So you'd have concrete wall, air gap, insulation and studs, poly, drywall. If you're going to cut into the drywall for your speakers youll have to cut through the poly as well. If you're concerned about huge holes in your vapour barrier youll need to fix that hole. You could use something like this. http://www.ihomepro.ca/dealer/pc/Large-Speaker-Pot-Light-Vapour-Barrier-ea-p2845.htm
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your help! I was under the impression that the poly should go between the concrete and the studs. The builders did put poly on the outside of the studs and I will be sure to add poly behind the speakers.


Since the sheet rock is already on and I am over budget I will not be able to purchase in-wall back boxes. Would it help to spray foam or seal the back of the studs to the concrete wall to create an more air tight enclosure?

Would something like this from Lowes or HomeDepot do the job?



I also plan to caulk where the sheet rock meets the studs.

post #5 of 7
Remember the speaker designer anticipated a certain air space to properly load the woofer. If you create a smaller cavity you won't get all the fidelity that you purchased.
Edited by BIGmouthinDC - 10/3/13 at 2:35pm
post #6 of 7
^^^Also a smaller cavity means the woofer will roll off at a higher frequency than its rated output.
Although stuffing a box with insulation actually increases the virtual volume of the box, thus producing a lower roll off.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

I got the speakers installed last night. Thanks for the help! Now I need to wait until Nov 21st when we close on the house to actually use them...

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