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Looking for the best speaker selector with volume control for your multiroom setup? You’ve come to the right place. This article is designed to help you understand the purpose of speaker selectors and the way they work. We will also give you some tips on what to pay attention to when looking for speaker selectors and, in case you are interested in some suggestions, you can scroll down to our selection of 7 best speaker selectors with volume control in 2023.
Buying wireless speakers with multiroom capabilities is probably the easiest and simplest way of setting up a multiroom speaker system. However, not all people have the kind of money necessary for a wireless multiroom system. And some people simply prefer wired connection because of its reliability. Regardless of the reason why you opted for a wired connection, there’s one little device that can make the installation much easier and save you a lot of time. The device is called a speaker selector.
Table of Contents
- What Is The Purpose of a Speaker Selector?
- What Types of Speaker Selectors Are There?
- Best Speaker Selectors with Volume Control – Comparison Table
- 7 Best Speaker Selectors with Volume Control in 2023
- 1. Best Overall – Niles SSVC-6
- 2. Best 4-Zone Speaker Selector with Volume Control Under $100 – Pyle PSPVC4
- 3. Best for Large Multiroom Systems – SPECIALTY-AV SP-160-10V
- 4. Best 2-Zone Speaker Selector with Volume control Under $100 – Monoprice MSV-2
- 5. Best 6-Zone Speaker Selector with Volume Control Under $150 – Pyle PSLSW6
- 6. Best 4-Zone Speaker Selector with Volume Control Under $150 – OSD Audio SSVC4
- 7. Best 5-Zone Speaker Selector with Volume Control Under $200 – SPECIALTY-AV TC-905B
What Is The Purpose of a Speaker Selector?
The purpose of a speaker selector (aka speaker selector switch or speaker switch) is to distribute audio signal received from an audio amplifier or AV receiver to multiple speaker sets across your house while protecting the amp from overloading at the same time. So, you’re just supposed to connect your amp to the speaker selector and run the speaker wire from the speaker outputs on the back of your selector to all the speakers in all the rooms. After you’re done wiring (which is the biggest and most painful thing about setting up a multiroom system), you can use the speaker selector to turn on/off the speakers in different rooms.
The Speaker selector is not only meant to distribute the audio signal to all the speakers/zones in your home. It’s also supposed to protect your amp from overloading. For that purpose, selectors use special protection circuits.
Cheaper speaker selectors use so-called series resistor circuits. They have built-in 4-6Ω resistors. These resistors are wired in series with the speakers and they are supposed to protect the amp by minimizing the resistance and limiting the impedance to 2.5-5Ω. This kind of protection is known as ‘’manual impedance protection’’ since there’s usually a switch that you have to press (labeled as ‘’impedance protection’’) in order to engage the protection.
High-end speaker selectors have a more sophisticated way of protection called ”matching impedance transformer”. This transformer is installed inside the selector and its purpose is to multiply the impedance of each connected speaker while keeping the total impedance at the level of a single speaker (assuming that all the speakers have the same impedance).
Both cheap and high-end speaker selectors are meant for use with low-power amps (usually up to 100W RMS) and should not be used with more powerful amps. The cheaper ones can handle less power (often up to 60W per channel), while the more expensive ones can handle 100-120W RMS per channel.
What Types of Speaker Selectors Are There?
You can use different criteria to make a distinction between different types of speaker selectors.
Based on the number of available outputs (number of speaker pairs you can connect to one selector), the selectors can be divided into 2-way (or 2-zone), 4-way, 5-way, 6-way, 8-way, or even 10-way selectors. You can also make a difference between selectors that can be connected to only one amp and those that can be connected to two amps.
Based on the presence of volume controls, you can make a difference between speaker selectors with volume control and those without volume control. If a speaker selector has a volume control dial for each zone, you’ll be able to control the volume of each speaker pair separately. If it doesn’t have a volume control, you can only control the volume of all the speakers simultaneously (by using the volume dial on your amp). Or you can buy a bunch of in-wall volume control dials, and install them in each zone/room where the speakers are located. In this article, we will be dealing only with speaker selectors with volume controls.
Best Speaker Selectors with Volume Control – Comparison Table
|Speaker Selectors with Volume Control||Rating||Price||Review|
|Niles SSVC-6||4.6||Check Amazon||Read Review|
|Pyle PSPVC4||4.4||Check Amazon|
|SPECIALTY-AV SP-160-10V||4.2||Check Amazon||Read Review|
|Monoprice MSV-2||3.7||Check Amazon|
|Pyle PSLSW6||4.4||Check Amazon|
|OSD Audio SSVC4||4.3||Check Amazon||Read Review|
|SPECIALTY-AV TC-905B||4.2||Check Amazon||Read Review|
Now that you know the basics, we can move onto our selection of 7 best speaker selectors with volume control in 2023. We did our best to make a comprehensive list that includes both cheap and expensive selectors. Regardless of your budget or the type of selector you’re looking for, you should be able to find something that meets your requirements.
7 Best Speaker Selectors with Volume Control in 2023
1. Best Overall – Niles SSVC-6
Niles has more than 40 years of experience in making all kinds of premium home audio solutions including multizone audio and video controllers and receivers, in-wall speakers and volume controllers, etc. Their speaker selectors with volume control are our top choice.
Things we like
Niles SSVC-6 comes with a simple user manual, non-skid feet, a bunch of room identification labels, and a premium 10-year warranty.
Niles SSVC-6 has a strong metal chassis. It looks quite rugged and durable. It’s 17in wide, 2in tall, and 9.2in deep.
The control panel and all the buttons and dials are on the front panel. There’s a dedicated 12-step volume wheel and on/off button for each zone (each speaker set).
On the back, you have six sets of removable speaker terminals and one additional set for connecting the amp. All the terminals are compatible with 12-Gauge wire.
In the left corner of the rear panel, there’s the impedance correction screw (aka impedance magnification selector). It allows you to select the number of connected speakers (1, 2, 3-4, 5-6) and enable better power output and protect the amp from overloading. The selector can handle up to 100W of RMS power input from an amp (200W peak).
Things we don’t like
There’s a slight loss in sound quality (in terms of detail and dynamics) when playing the music through the speakers connected to the selector but it’s not something a regular listener will care about. Most people won’t even notice the difference.
2. Best 4-Zone Speaker Selector with Volume Control Under $100 – Pyle PSPVC4
Looking for something affordable? Pyle is one of the most popular choices when it comes to affordable speakers and other audio equipment. Their products are maybe not high-end but they still offer pretty good performance for the price. PSPVC4 is our top choice under $100.
Things we like
The selector comes with a simple user manual and a 1-year warranty card.
PSPVC4 has an all-metal chassis. It’s almost 17in wide, 3in tall, and 6.3in deep. All the controls are on the front. You have the main power button, 4 volume dials for each set of speakers (they double as power switches for each speaker), and 4 A/B selectors. A/B selectors enable you to select the amp you want to receive the audio signal from. You can connect two amps to this selector.
On the top, you have a large heatsink and, on the back, there’s a series of speaker terminals for four speakers and two sets of terminals for connecting the amps. The terminals are made of plastic and accept only bare wires.
The selector can handle 100W (@8Ω) of power input max (50W RMS). Technically, you can connect 4-16Ω speakers, but the user manual gives you the impedance chart for 8Ω speakers only and it’s recommended to use 8Ω speakers only.
Things we don’t like
The biggest downside is the lack of impedance protection. It is very important to handle the selector carefully and check if it’s too hot, especially when running all 4 sets of speakers. Also, it’s not recommended to use your speakers at high volumes for long periods of time. PSPVC4 is good enough for background music but not for parties.
Those plastic speaker connectors are kind of finicky and don’t seem durable. Also, if you’re using 14-Gauge wire, it will be very hard to install it since the terminals are tiny.
3. Best for Large Multiroom Systems – SPECIALTY-AV SP-160-10V
Looking for something that would allow you to make up to 10 zones in your home? SPECIALTY-AV SP-160-10V is a great choice. You can have it for $300.
Things we like
SPECIALTY-AV SP-160-10V is slightly larger than the previous selectors but it’s still fairly slim and compact. It’s 19in wide, 6in deep, and 2.4in tall. It weighs 15lb.
It has a smooth aluminum cabinet with a black finish. On the front, you have a bunch of buttons and dials. There’s a dedicated volume dial for each zone (speaker pair) and dedicated on/off and A/B buttons for each zone. In total, there are 30 buttons/dials.
On the back, you have a series of screw-down terminals. You can connect up to 10 speaker pairs and up to 2 amps. The max supported speaker wire gauge is 12 AWG.
On the left end of the rear panel, there’s the manual impedance correction screw. You can use the screwdriver to select the number of connected speaker pairs (1, 2, 3-6, 7-10). By selecting the right number of speaker pairs, you will provide a better power supply to each speaker pair and also protect the amplifier from overloading. The selector has a built-in transformer-based impedance matching circuitry.
The selector can handle up to 100W of power input per channel (at 8Ω). It can output up to 50W per zone.
Things we don’t like
The control panel is quite crowded – the separation between buttons and volume dials is minimal.
SPECIALTY-AV SP-160-10V can’t be rack-mounted – it has to be placed on a shelf.
4. Best 2-Zone Speaker Selector with Volume control Under $100 – Monoprice MSV-2
Monoprice is also a pretty good budget brand. We liked their Monolith electrostatic headphones and planar magnetic headphones. Today, we are reviewing the Monoprice 2-zone speaker selector. It’s an affordable and elegant way of controlling two sets of speakers.
Things we like
Monoprice MSV-2 comes with a user manual and a 1-year warranty. It’s a compact device – 8.5in wide, 6.2in deep, and 2.5in tall. MSV-2 has a nice-looking black aluminum chassis with heatsinks on the left and right panels.
All the controls are on the front panel. You have two separate sets of controls – two volume dials, two on/off switches, and two A/B selectors (for selecting the amp).
On the back, there’s a series of speaker terminals for two sets of speakers and also two sets of terminals for connecting two amps. The speaker terminals will accept 14-Gauge wire max.
The selector can handle 100W per channel continuously (at 8Ω). The max input power is 180W.
MSV-2 has a protection circuitry that maintains the impedance at 8Ω. It is recommended to use only 8Ω speakers, but you can use 4-16Ω. When speakers with different impedance are connected to the selector, they will play at different volumes even when the volume dials are at the same position.
Things we don’t like
The speaker connectors are cheaply made and don’t look very durable. Also, they are not compatible with 12-Gauge wire. The max allowed wire is 14-Gauge.
5. Best 6-Zone Speaker Selector with Volume Control Under $150 – Pyle PSLSW6
The next device on our list of 7 best speaker selectors with volume control in 2023 comes from Pyle Audio. Again. The thing is – when it comes to affordable multi-channel selectors, Pyle is simply one of the best options.
Things we like
The selector comes with a user manual and a 1-year warranty card.
PSLSW6 has a strong aluminum chassis with a black finish and large heatsinks on the left and right panels. The selector is almost 17in wide, 6.3in deep, and 3in tall.
All the controls are on the front. You have one main power button and a series of 6 individual volume dials (that double as power switches) and 6 push-buttons for selecting the amp.
On the back, there’s a series of six screw-type speaker terminals for 6 different zones and 2 sets of terminals for connecting two amps. The max allowed thickness is 14-Gauge. It’s recommended to use either 14-Gauge or 16-Gauge wire.
The max power input of the selector (from the amp) is 100W per channel (rated at 8Ω). The selector has built-in circuitry that protects your amp from overloading. You can connect 4-16Ω speakers but it’s recommended to use 8Ω speakers. When connecting speakers with low impedance you should pay attention to the combined impedance of the selector. The user manual gives you the impedance chart for 8Ω speakers only.
Things we don’t like
PSLSW6 doesn’t support 12 Gauge or thicker wire.
The push-buttons on the front are cheaply made and get stuck quite often.
6. Best 4-Zone Speaker Selector with Volume Control Under $150 – OSD Audio SSVC4
OSD is also a good choice if you’re looking for affordable speaker selectors. OSD’s SSVC4 is our top choice when it comes to 4-channel selectors under $150. Unlike Pyle, OSD offers a 5-year warranty.
Things we like
OSD SSVC4 comes with a user manual and a 5-year limited warranty. The selector has an attractive brushed aluminum housing. It’s quite compact and slim (16.75in wide, 2.5in tall, 6.25in deep). The heatsinks are located on the left and right ends.
The whole control panel is on the front. There’s a dedicated volume dial for each of the 4 zones as well as dedicated on/off buttons and amp selectors.
On the back, you have 6 sets of screw-down terminals. They allow you to connect up to 4 speaker pairs and up to 2 amps. Max allowed wire gauge is 14 AWG.
The max power input of SSVC4 is 100W per channel (at 8Ω). It is recommended to use only 8Ω speakers. Technically, you can use 4-16Ω speakers but you have to pay attention to the combined impedance.
OSD SSVC4 has an impedance-matching circuitry that protects the amplifier from overloading.
Things we don’t like
The speaker terminals are cheaply made and look finicky. The same goes for push buttons on the front panel.
7. Best 5-Zone Speaker Selector with Volume Control Under $200 – SPECIALTY-AV TC-905B
SPECIALTY-AV TC-905B is an excellent choice if you want to install speakers in 5 zones/rooms. It’s not the cheapest out there but it’s reasonably priced considering the fact that it has an automatic overload protection, 12AWG-compatible terminals that accept banana plugs, and that it has a headphone output with dedicated volume control for the headphones, too.
Things we like
SPECIALTY-AV TC-905B comes with a simple user manual and a warranty card. The unit is 15.5in wide, 8.5in deep, and 2.25in tall. The chassis is made of metal. It’s quite compact and feels rugged and durable.
On the front, there’s a series of dedicated volume dials and amp selectors (5 of them) for each zone. There’s also the master power button and a headphone output with dedicated headphone volume control and another A/B selector for the headphones.
On the back, you have 5 sets of gold-plated banana sockets for connecting the speakers and two sets of connectors for the amps. All the sockets are compatible with 12-Gauge wire.
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The selector has a built-in automatic transformer-based impedance correction circuitry which protects your amp from overloading. The selector handles 100W of continuous power input (200W peak).
Finally, this selector also has a headphone output so you can connect your headphones to it, too. We’re not sure if you’re going to use this feature but it can be useful.
Things we don’t like
You can’t turn on/off each zone separately, There’s only one master ON/OFF switch.
This concludes our list of 7 best speaker selectors with volume control in 2023. Hopefully, it helped you find the perfect selector for your setup. If you want to find out more, please go through our FAQ section. If you need advice or want to share your experience with speaker selectors, leave us a comment below.
Q: What is a speaker selector?
A: A speaker selector is a simple passive device that receives the audio signal from an amp (or AV receiver), splits it, and distributes it to all the speakers connected to it. This device makes the installation of a multiroom speaker system much easier and it also protects your amp from overload by limiting the minimum impedance.
Q: How do you hook up a speaker selector?
A: Connecting a speaker selector is pretty much straightforward. For connecting the amp to the selector and selector to the speakers, you will have to use the same kind of speaker wire you would use for connecting the speakers to the amp. There are two things to be aware of. First, most speaker selectors on the market don’t accept banana plugs or spade lugs – only bare wires. Second, most speaker selectors can’t accept thicker wires. You will usually have to use 14-16 Gauge wire (12-Gauge at best).
Q: What to pay attention to when buying a speaker selector with volume control?
A: Besides the price (which is often the most important factor), you have to pay attention to a few other important things. The number of speaker pairs (or zones) you want to connect is the first thing to consider.
After that, you have to look for the selector that can handle the power output of your amp. Most selector manufacturers are giving the ratings for 8Ω loads, which means that you have to check your amp’s output at 8Ω load.
Then, check the maximum allowed gauge. Since you have to buy a bunch of speaker wire, it would be stupid to buy something too thick for the selector. In most cases, you will have to use a 14-Gauge or 16-Gauge wire.
In the end, check what kind of protection circuitry (overload protection) the selector has. If you’re buying a cheap selector, you will probably get manual overload protection (series resistor circuits). High-end selectors have matching impedance transformers. Some selectors don’t have any kind of protection and you should avoid those.
Q: What is the best speaker selector with volume control in 2023?
A: We can’t give you a single answer to this question since it all depends on all the factors we’ve talked about in the previous answer. We can only advise you to go scroll back to our selection of 7 best speaker selectors with volume control in 2023 and find something that suits your budget and other requirements.
Overall, we think that a speaker selector can be really useful for anyone who wants to manage the volume of multiple speakers from one spot. These selectors come in different sizes and setups to fit different needs and budgets, and they can also save you money compared to buying separate amplifiers for each speaker.
Also, when you’re picking a speaker selector with volume control, make sure to match the power handling capacity of the device to your speakers’ power requirements. On top of that, look for a device with impedance matching to avoid damaging your amplifier and speakers.
All in all, if you’re tired of adjusting each speaker’s volume individually, a speaker selector with volume control is definitely worth considering. With careful selection and installation, it can make your audio setup more efficient and enjoyable for years to come.
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Hello, my name is James Longman.
I’m a writer and editor at AudioReputation. I disassembled my first portable AM/FM radio when I was only 8. At the age of 11, I burned the circuit board on my old boombox cassette player. I’m not going to explain how but it was reckless and stupid.
Since then, I have become much more careful around radios, boomboxes, and other audio devices (at least, I like to think so) but I have never lost the passion for audio equipment. Throughout 20 years of my professional career, I’ve been working for various audio equipment manufacturers and even started building speakers on my own in my little workshop.
I love the work we do here at AudioReputation. Testing, comparing, and evaluating all kinds of audio devices (speakers, soundbars, headphones, home theater systems, etc.) is something I truly enjoy. I try to be unbiased and give you my honest opinion on every piece of equipment I test. Still, you should take my reviews with a pinch of salt and always be just a little bit skeptical. The fact that I liked some speaker or soundbar doesn’t mean that you are going to love it. If you have the opportunity, you should test it/hear it before buying it.