What Are Speaker Selectors?

G. Wiesen

Speaker selectors are devices that can be used with one or more amplifiers, or amps, and one or more sets of speakers to allow these devices to be more easily connected. A single amplifier is typically designed to work with a set number of speakers, and connecting more speakers can potentially damage the system. Using a speaker selector, however, allows multiple sets of speakers to be connected to a single amplifier. The selector can be used to switch between which speakers are in use. Speaker selectors can also be used to connect two or more amplifiers to a single set of speakers, and then switch between input devices using the selector.

A speaker.
A speaker.

The primary purpose of speaker selectors is to allow an output device, such as a radio receiver, to be safely connected to multiple speaker setups. Most amps and other devices are designed to safely work with a set number of speakers, and adding more speakers directly into the setup can potentially damage the amp. The use of speaker selectors, however, allows an amp to be connected to multiple speaker without damaging any of the hardware connected. Some selectors can also be used to boost the signal from the amp, allowing speakers at greater distances to be used with the system.

Different types of speaker selectors are available, often designed to facilitate the use of a certain number of speakers or amps. Most selectors are designed to work with a single amp, which is usually connected to a radio receiver or media player, and is connected through speaker wires to the selector. Depending on the selector, a certain number of sets or pairs of speakers can be connected to it. These speaker selectors can then be used to easily switch between which speakers the signal from the amp is being sent to.

Speaker selectors can also be used to connect two of more amps or other devices to a single set of speakers and then alternate which device is being used. These types of selectors are somewhat more unusual, but allow a user to connect two different audio systems to a single speaker setup. The selector can then be used to choose which device is being used, and audio from that device then plays through the speakers. Some speaker selectors are also designed as a wall mounted switch, to which devices are connected by wires through the walls of a building, allowing the switch to be used to indicate which speakers are used at a given time.

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