How to Hook Up a JBL Surround Sound


JBL's home audio surround sound offerings cover a wide range of consumer products. The company's two main lines, as of October 2010, are the CS series (from the 30-watt, three-speaker/single subwoofer CS360 Xcite system to the 300-watt, five-speaker/single sub CS6100) and the SCS series, which includes the SCS145.5BK five-satellite/center channel/single subwoofer system. Hooking up the amplifiers and speakers on any of JBL's surround sound systems is a relatively straightforward process.

  • Turn off all power. Use the included speaker wire (or similar wire) to make your connections. The side of the wire with a ridge or other coding is usually considered positive (+) polarity.

  • Match polarities when connecting satellite speakers to the subwoofer or amplifier. Connect each positive + terminal on the back of the subwoofer or amplifier to the respective + (red) terminal on each speaker. Connect the -- (black) terminals in the same way.

  • Match polarities when making speaker connections for the center channel. Connect the center channel + terminal on the back of the subwoofer or amplifier to the + (red) terminal on the center speaker. Connect the -- (black) terminals in the same way.

  • Do not reverse polarities (i.e., + to --, or -- to +) when connecting speakers to the subwoofer or amplifier. Reversing polarities will cause poor imaging and diminished bass response. Avoid dangerous short circuits by making sure that the positive and negative wire strands are completely isolated.

  • Place the extra infrared receiver underneath the center speaker if you decide to put the subwoofer somewhere discreet. Otherwise, the infrared sensor on its front panel may not be able to receive commands from your remote control. The separate sensor has a 3.5mm stereo mini-jack, which plugs into the socket on the back of the amplifier or subwoofer. Both sensors are active simultaneously.

  • Connect the three speakers to the marked inputs with the speaker wire in the box, or other suitable wire. There is a plus (+) and a minus (-) wire to each speaker. "FL" stands for the front left speaker, "C" is center speaker, and "FR" is for the front right speaker.

  • Connect analog audio outputs from a TV, DVD player, or CD player (or any other line level source with analog left and right RCA phono plug outputs) to the two RCA phono sockets on one of these inputs. An analog RCA cable is included with the system. You may need to use a preamp for a record player.

  • Connect the coaxial digital output of a DVD or CD player to the marked socket. A digital RCA cable is included with the system.

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