The Bose Acousticmass 10 is a powerful premium home cinema speaker system, perfect for watching movies, TV shows and listening music in high-definition surround sound.
The Bose Acousticmass 10 speaker system lets listeners enjoy surround sound with 10 separate speakers included in five complete speaker arrays. This creates a truly immersive listening experience.
These satellite speakers are connected by RCA Speaker cables included with the speaker system. While these included cables are generally good enough for most people, those with large rooms could benefit from longer cables.
Moreover, these speaker cables are bound to be subject to wear and tear, and any snags or naughty pets having a nibble can damage these speaker cables over time.
To ensure a smooth and reliable listening experience, it’s a great idea to replace your Bose Acoustimass Speaker Wires regularly. Here’s a guide on which replacements to opt for, how to install them, and other important information about speaker wire.
Which speaker wire do you need?
Here’s the speaker wire that comes with the Bose Acoustimass 10 surround system. For the front three satellite speakers (the center, left and right speakers), Bose includes three 20-ft front speaker cables. For the rear two satellite speakers, Bose packs in a two 50-ft rear speaker cables.
For those with larger rooms, it may be that this 50ft cable may be too short. A replacement cable therefore may be useful. These speaker cables feature an RCA connector to connect to the Bose Acoustimass powered module which are manufactured in predetermined lengths.
For the Bose Acoustimass IV and older, the other end of the speaker are loose wire pairs. To connect the cable to your speakers, simply insert the cable into the corresponding terminal on the back of the satellite.
Starting with the Bose Acoustimass V, Bose introduced a proprietary plastic connector to make it easier to connect the satellite speakers. For the Acoustimass V, it’s a little trickier to replace the speaker cable.
Users of the Bose Acoustimass speaker system must make sure they’re wiring the speakers to the powered module, and not their AV receiver. The speakers are designed to be amplified by the powered module (the base station that the subwoofer is built in to). It’s vital that you wire the speakers into this and not your receiver as you risk damaging your speaker system or even giving yourself an electric shock.
What gauge speaker wire should I use?
The speaker wire that comes with the Bose Acousticmass 10 has a 16 gauge (AWG). This means the included cables have a diameter of 1.3mm. The lower the gauge, the thicker the cable is. See my speaker gauge wire table here.
However, if you want to extend the cable past the default length, you may want to consider lowering the gauge and hence opting for thicker wires. The thicker a wire or the lower the gauge, the lower resistance is. This allows the speaker wire to function at longer distances. Therefore, for significant extensions to the default length of the speaker cable, users may want to try 10 AWG wire.
However, thicker cables tend to be more expensive. If you want a like-for-like replacement in regards to size, 16AWG wire should be fine. Bose Acoustimass speakers don’t have a particularly high impendence (rated for 8 ohms), and therefore unless you’re running long cables, speaker gauge shouldn’t matter.
Can you splice the Bose Acoustimass Speaker Cable?
If you need to extend a speaker cable, splicing is a great method to add some extra inches while using the existing cable. For the Bose Acoustimass IV and below, it may be easier to get a brand new speaker cable with an RCA connector. However, to replace the Bose Acoustimass V cable, you will need to splice it to preserve the propriety connector at the speaker end of the cable.
There are a few methods you can use to extend a speaker wire through splicing
- Using a Crimp Connector
- Using a Terminal Block
- Soldering the Wires Together
- Step 1: Get some new extra wire. It’s good practice to match the gauge of the wire, but if you need to run super long cable, there’s nothing wrong with dropping the gauge. It’s fine to mix speaker wire gauges.
- Step 2: Use some wire cutters to cut your desired extension length. We’ll be performing two splices on this cable, so make sure you’re cutting the exact length you want to add to the speaker cable.
- Step 3: Find a suitable section in the original cable to cut. We recommend near to the speaker connector as this is easier to manage. Using some wire cutters, make a clean cut in the cable
- Step 4: Strip the ends of both the new cable and the existing cable. Using a wire stripper, find the corresponding hole on your strippers for your gauge and use it to strip the insulating rubber from the cable. We want to expose around 1mm or ½ inch of copper cable.
- Step 5: Twist the copper wire to bunch it up until it’s neat. We don’t want any of the wire to fray as this could affect the connection with the new wire. Make sure all exposed copper ends have been twisted.
Now it’s time to select your chosen method!
Using a Crimp Connector
A crimp connector, sometimes known as a butt connector is a small insulator cylinder to ‘crimp’ the two wires to connect them.
Note: Make sure you remember which side of the wire is positive. The usual tell for a positive end are:
- Text and markings on the positive end
- Stamped or molded wire
- A colored insulator
You must keep the polarity consistent along your wire. As the Bose Acoustimass speaker wire uses an RCA cable, it’s difficult to swap the polarities, so note down which is negative.
- Step 7: Insert the ends of the wire into the crimp connector, making sure all of the stripped copper is covered by the insulator. You’ll want to make sure the ends of the copper wire have contact or the extension will not work.
- Step 8: Use a crimp tool to press the connector down firmly. This will seal the wires inside the connector permanently. Repeat this step for all sides of the wires until both the positive and negative wires are extended careful.
- Note: For safety reasons, make sure there is no exposed copper wire. It must all be adequately insulated to prevent damage to your equipment through a short circuit or injury to yourself and others.
Soldering the Wires Together
While using a crimp connector is usually the easiest way to splice a wire, you can also solder the wires together. Wiring the speaker the wrong way, so that the speaker is in inverse polarity, will affect the sound quality of your speaker system. To do this:
- Step 1: Cut and strip the new wire to your desired extension length. Cut and strip the original wire as in the last method.
- Step 2: Twist copper wire the so that none of the exposed metal is frayed.
- Step 3: Twist the original and extensions wires together so that the exposed copper on each end tightly twist around the other.
- Step 4: Heat and add solder onto the exposed wire until the solder flows throughout the exposed copper. This will create a strong solid bond between the wires.
- Step 5: Wrap some electrical tape around the exposed copper for insulation.
- Note: It is possible to splice cables by twisting the copper and then applying electrical tape without adding solder to strengthen bond. We do not recommend this. If the electrical tape falls off and the wire comes apart, you can easily short your equipment. It can also be extremely dangerous. Take the extra time to solder or use a connector.
Does it matter which speaker wire is positive?
Speaker wire usually splits into two wire pairs, one negative and one positive. This is so a complete circuit can be formed between the powered module and the speaker.
For the Bose Acoustimass IV and older:
With the standard cables that come with the speaker system, the polarity of the wires is indicated by a red ring around one of the ends of the cable. This indicates the positive end of the wire. This positive, red-ringed end must go into the red speaker terminal.
If you’re using a replacement speaker cable, check the documentation to find out which side is positive. Make sure you’re inserting this side to the colored terminal.
For the Bose Acoustimass V:
The speaker cables connecting the speaker ‘cubes’ to the powered module on the Bose Acoustimass V are single wires, unlike the bi-wires used on older models. Therefore, for the latest model of the Acoustimass 10, there’s no need to worry about polarity.
Can you repair speaker wire?
If parts of your speaker wire are damaged (for example, your pet may have chewed on the cable), it’s a good idea to replace the wire. However, it is possible to repair the speaker wire.
The first method is replacing the insulation. If the rubber insulation is damaged but the copper wire underneath is completely intact, you can apply some electrical tape to repair your cable.
If there’s damage underneath the insulation, we’d want to remove the damaged section of speaker wire. This is because loose wires can lead to short circuits, potentially damaging the speaker hardware and potentially injuring you or your family. In this case, we would want to cut the damaged section and then spice a replacement wire as shown above. This should repair the speaker wire.
If there’s more than one section of damaged speaker wire, it’s probably best to purchase a new speaker wire. For Bose Acoustimass IV and older you can purchase any bi-wire speaker cable with an RCA connector or splice an RCA connector onto a new bare wire cable.
For the Bose Acoustimass V, we recommend purchasing a new speaker cable from Bose directly or from a third-party seller. It can be difficult to navigate Bose’s proprietary connector.