Poor Man's Surround Sound





Introduction: Poor Man's Surround Sound

Here is how to create excellent surround sound without fancy decoders or expensive equipment.
As they say "necessity is the mother of invention". Without the money for a proper setup (they (The Man) overcharge us (consumers) in Australia) my dad and I got his old speakers and amp and wired up something that sound like the real deal.
This instructable requires some (not much) knowledge about wiring speakers (plugs and whatnot)

Step 1: Equipment and Materials

Amp (nothing fancy)
2 main speakers (pick these up cheap from garage sales/ flea markets or family)
2 car speakers (I used a $20 set)
Speaker cabling
Speaker mounting for main speakers (optional)

Drill / screwdriver
Saw (regular or plasterboard type)

Step 2: Arrangements and Connections

Arrange the speakers as in the diagram. Then use your wire to arrange the positive and negative connections as shown in the diagram. As I said this requires previous knowledge of speakers.

Step 3: Mount!

After you have hooked everything up you have to decide if you want to mount the speakers. I put the car speakers in the roof and the main ones on the wall. If you can't decide there are plenty of 'ibles on the subject, look around.

Step 4: Enjoy!!!

All that is left now is to hook up your dvd/vcr/pvr/media device to the speakers and listen.

Take care,



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    Interesting. Simply sharing, I also wrote a short article about DIY stereo system for audio enthusiasts who are less fortunate at the following address; 'https://selamatpagicikgu.wordpress.com/2016/10/13/cheap-stereo-sound-amplifier-for-audiophile/'.


     This is pretty cool, but I noticed on a few songs, parts of it, such as the guitar or drums, were really quiet or missing. Any way to fix that?

    No, sorry, but it might be where your sitting in relation to the speakers. Some tracks have only the guitar or drums coming out of one set of speakers. Other than that I don't know.

     I found out what it was. One of the terminals on the back of my stereo broke off inside. Its really old. This setup works really nice with my new receiver though. Thanks for the instructable.

    This is actually called stereo quad. It sounds better then standard stereo or maybe even 2.1 surround, but it isn't as good as 5.1 or 7.1 surround.

     Wouldn't you need to run the negative on the bottom of the diagram back to the original? or if you connected the wire on one of the sides to a negative instead of a positive that would also work, otherwise you just have 2 wires that go off and do nothing

     I just saw a new 'ible, and they way they describe it in step 3 makes sense, the back 2 speakers get any difference between the 2 speakers, if they left one gets more it esentially becomes the positive and since the other one has less it effectively becomes the negative allowing the electromagnet to fire

    how come you connect the rear speakers at the positive leads of the front speakers alone?

    That way you get the difference between the right and left channels only... this doesn't really work like surround sound. I guess that's why its named "poor man's surround sound".