How Much Does It Cost to Wire a Home Theater System?

Typical Range:

$204 - $820

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 6,131 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

How We Get This Data

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  • Homeowners use HomeAdvisor to find pros for home projects.
  • When their projects are done, they fill out a short cost survey.
  • We compile the data and report costs back to you.

Updated May 5, 2022

Reviewed by Salvatore Cutrona, Licensed Master Electrician.

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Home Theater Wiring Cost

Installing home theater wiring costs $497 on average. You can expect to pay between $204 and $820. Prices only include wires and labor, not the system itself. Prices for all the components range from $1,000 to $10,000 or more for the average system. High-end wiring can hit $4,000 or more. Wiring in a home theater involves running electrical, coaxial, HDMI, and networking cables through your ceiling and walls. You might even need to run a new electrical line for $500 to $2,000.

“Home theater systems can be as expensive or as basic as you want,” says Salvatore Cutrona, founder of Cutrona Electric, LLC, in CT. “But in the end, it’s a great way to upgrade your home in a way that provides enjoyment for the whole family.”

A home theater starts with a simple large format TV with a soundbar. At the other extreme, you might dedicate a room with stadium theater seating, full theater surround sound, and a high-definition projector streaming your favorite movie to a 150-inch screen. And it can fall anywhere between those two extremes.

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National Average $497
Typical Range $204 - $820
Low End - High End $85 - $2,100

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 6,131 HomeAdvisor members.

New Home Theater Wiring Costs

Home theater install pricing comes mostly from time spent and the cost of the actual wires.

New Electrical Circuits Cost Average Cost*
Audio Cables $20 – $300
Video Cable $50 – $300
Ethernet Cable $20 – $100
Optical Cables $30 – $300
Cable Concealment $100 – $500

*High end cables and components can cost $1,000 or more each.

Cable Concealment Cost

Keep in mind that your pro wraps cable concealment costs into the job. You have a couple choices when running new cables, including:

  • In-wall concealment: $200–$800. Professional option. They’ll run cables from your component to satellite speakers and projectors. Often done with a steel fish tape to avoid causing damage to your walls.

  • Flush mount concealers: $12–$100. Excellent DIY option. Mounted directly to the surface of your wall with tape, glue or fasteners. They’re usually plastic in standard white to blend in with white walls.

  • Painted cables: $0–$20. The cheapest DIY option leaves wires exposed. You’ll either buy white cables or paint them to match your walls.

Cost of Cables You Need

For in wall installs, you’ll need a variety of wires, including:

  • Audio cables: $10–$1,700. High quality, heavy gauge speaker wire or optical speaker wire. On average, you’ll pay $300 or less.

  • Video cables: $8–$2,000. Current standards include HDMI and DisplayPort. You’ll likely only spend $50–$300 but extremely high-speed HDMI cables run $500 to $2,000.

  • Power cables: $0–$20. Components come with power cables. You may need to find an electrician to run new in-wall wiring or circuits.

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Wall Jacks: Neat Entry and Exit Points

Pass-through wall jacks cost $5 to $75 per plate. While wireless systems have become a mainstay in high-end home theaters, you’ll still find plenty of wired options. Not only do wires eliminate connectivity issues, but wired systems are also far cheaper to purchase than wireless. And, we still haven’t figured out a way to power all our devices wirelessly. You can purchase a variety of pass-through A/V wall plates to keep holes in your walls neat.

Styles include:

  • Brush plate: $5–$40. A brush plate is one hole opened in the middle with two opposing brushes to conceal the hole while still allowing wires to pass through.

  • Powered wall plate with opening (brushed or open): $10–$40. A recessed plate with outlets and an opening to allow power and cords through. This is an excellent option for flush mounting TVs and other powered components.

  • A/V Component Plates: $20–$40. Customizable to attach wire connections directly to the plate rather than passing through. This plate works with HDMI, DisplayPort, Coaxial, RCA and any other type of component cable that has a connector attached.

Electrical Installation

Installing an outlet or new wiring for your home theater adds $150 to $2,000 to your project.

“Something to consider when installing a new outlet for your home theater is an outlet with surge suppression or a whole-house surge protection device at your main panel,” says Salvatore Cutrona.

Home Theater Wiring Repair

Repairing home theater wiring costs $100 to $350. When doing your initial install, it’s a good idea to have any future wiring upgrades installed simultaneously.

Theater Components

Home theaters include various options, such as high and ultra-high-definition TVs, surround sound speakers, gaming consoles, streaming devices, high-definition projectors and projector screens. You’ll also often have a nearby mesh Wi-Fi system.

It’s hard to pin down the cost of components with technological innovation making price a moving target. With innovation comes lower prices and affordable home theater systems.

Wired Home Theater Component Prices
Component Price Range
Media Streaming Devices $20 – $300 each
Wi-Fi $50 – $600
Surround Sound $750 – $4,000
TVs $50 – $60,000
Projectors $70 – $35,000
Projector Screens $50 – $5,000

Surround Sound Installation

Surround sound installation costs $250 to $1,000 total. Typical installs include the set-up and installation of all audio components and wires.

Wireless Home Theater Installation

Wireless home theater installs cost $20 to $90 per hour. That usually includes all the labor, but not any extra materials. You’ll need to pay for any additional wires or other components that don’t come as part of your system.

Home Automation

Home automation costs $200 to $1,500 on average. Although not classically part of a home theater setup, streaming services and devices, like Google Home, Amazon’s Echo with Alexa, and Smart TVs make integration easy.

DIY vs. Hiring a Pro

Wiring a home theater isn’t tough to do if you’re using a kit and surface mounted wire concealment. With options of hybrid sound systems, with wired front speakers and wireless rear speakers, it’s easy to do this yourself. But if you’re designing a fully immersive experience with wired components, you’re better off with a local home audio installer. For rooms where you’ll need new outlets, don’t try that yourself. For all electrical installations, find an electrician near you.

FAQs

How much does it cost to wire a house for surround sound?

Surround sound wiring costs $650 on average.

What wires do I need for a home theater?

A home theater uses speaker wires and any of the following, which you’ll often find included when you buy a system:

  • Power cords

  • HDMI, DVI or DisplayPort cables

  • RCA or Optical cables

  • Coaxial cables

How can I hide speaker wires without cutting a wall?

To hide speaker wires without cutting into your wall, use surface-mounted cable management and concealment conduit or channels.

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