How to Connect 6.1 Speakers to 7.1 Receiver? 2 Easy Methods!

You’ve spent couples of grands in your home theater. However, you find out that the receiver you have is a 7.1 receiver. Whereas the newly bought home theater is 6.1. 

Is there any way to salvage anything from this? Well, there is. You can connect your 6.1 speakers to 7.1 receivers. But there are some guidelines which you’ll need to follow. 

So let’s see how to connect 6.1 speakers to 7.1 receivers!

You can connect the 6.1 speakers to the 7.1 receivers in 2 different ways. You can directly plug the wires into the channels and leave one port open. Another way is, to use banana plugs for more convenience. Make sure to insert the wires or plugs into the desired channels.

Eager to listen to some bangers with your brand new home theater? I understand your excitement. 

That’s why I urge you to follow this detailed guideline and turn the music up!

Does 6.1 Speaker Work on 7.1 Receiver?

A very common confusion can come to the mind when you buy a speaker set or a receiver.

Suppose you have bought a 6.1 home theater and you have a 7.1 receiver. The first question that comes to mind is, will the speaker work with my receiver? 

But the good news is yes, a 6.1 speaker will work perfectly on a 7.1 receiver. It will also work on a 6.1 receiver. Because both of these have enough outputs to serve the speaker.

Unlike connecting an old subwoofer to a new receiver, connecting a 6.1 speaker is relatively easy.

Also, you might want to increase the number of speakers to match the receiver. You can go for a DIY speaker or a store-bought one. But before that, you should get a good grip on the differences between DIY Speaker and store-bought one.

A 6.1 speaker means it has 6 speakers and 1 subwoofer. The 6 speakers are basically for different positions. The positions are

  • Center
  • Front left 
  • Front right
  • Surround left.
  • Surround right.
  • Back


Your 7.1 receiver should contain all outputs for these speakers. And it should contain an extra output port. That extra output is for the back position. 

Back left and back right are the two outputs for back speakers. That can make you confused because a 6.1 speaker has only one speaker for the back. But you don’t need to worry about that at all. 

We are going to demonstrate all the possible ways to connect your speaker to the receiver. 

But if you have an old 6.1, then make sure the old sub is connected properly with the receiver.    

2 Easy Ways to Connect 6.1 Speakers to 7.1 Receiver

Generally, you can connect your speakers to the receiver in two different ways. First, you can directly wire the speakers to the output of the receiver. Or, you can use banana plugs for the wires to plug the speakers.

As you have a 6.1 speaker so it should contain lots of wires. If you mismatch the speaker position to the receiver’s output then it can be a mess. But if you follow the instructions, you’ll be able to connect a sub with two inputs as well!

That’s why we would like to request you to follow the instructions properly. If you follow the procedures properly.

We assure you there won’t be an issue if you follow the whole procedure step by step. 

In both of the methods, the subwoofer connection way is the same and simple. There should be a pre-out subwoofer port on the back of the receiver. You just need to connect the subwoofers connector cable to the port.

It is possible that your subwoofer doesn’t contain a built-in cable. In that case, you can use an RCA cable to connect the subwoofer to the receiver. 

Let me suggest to you some good quality RCA cables. This list isn’t some kind of hocus pocus because I’ve personally experimented and chosen them. So, it’s safe if you want to use them too.

You can choose any cables for your subwoofer from these cables. Because these are one of the best cables on the market.

Now let’s get into the main part, the methods.

Method 1: Connect Through Direct Wire

First, you need to check which speaker is for which position. Generally, there should be tags on the wire of the speakers. That indicates which speaker is for which position. 

Each of the wires has two wires in it. One is a positive wire that should be coated with a red cable. The other one is the negative wire that should be in black.

Each of the receiver’s output positions also has two outputs. The red outputs are for red wires and the black outputs are for black wires. 

Source: Rolling Stone

Now let’s connect the wires to the receiver.

Step 1: Connect the Center Speaker  

Find the center speaker first. Take the positive wire and the negative wire. If the wires aren’t trimmed properly then trim them with a wire trimer.

I personally use the Klein Tools 11055 Wire Cutter, which is a bit expensive. If you want to go down a step then MulWark Electrical Wire Stripping Tool can be a good pick.

However, if you want to save money go for the Dowell Wire Stripper.

Strip the wires properly so that the wires are totally out of the courting. 

Now unscrew the red plug of the center plug of the receiver. Put the red in it and screw it up tightly. Now unscrew the black plug put the black wire in it and screw it properly. 

Step 2: Connect The Front Speakers

There should be two front speakers in your home theater 6.1. One is for the right side of the center speaker and one is for the left. 

The receiver should also contain plugs for the left front speaker and the right front speaker. Now plug the positive and negative wires of the right front speaker like a center speaker. Do the same with the left front speaker.

Remember don’t swap the right and left speakers with plugging. Because it’ll ruin your sound experience and make you confused. 

Step 3: Connect the Surrounding Speakers

There should also be two kinds of speakers for your surrounding like front speakers. There should be a surrounding left and a surrounding right speaker. 

You will also find plugs for your surrounding speakers on your receiver. Just follow the process of connecting the left and right front speakers for surrounding speakers as well. 

Step 4: Connect the Back Speaker 

As you have a 6.1 speaker there should be one backside speaker for you. But your 7.1 receiver contains two ports for your back speaker. One is for the back left and one is for the back right. 

Now the question is which port you should for your back speaker? The answer is pretty simple. You can use any of them you wish. 

There shouldn’t be any issues with that. Just put the red wire in the red plug and the black wire in the black port. But if you use the right port then you must put both of the wires to the back right ports. 

Don’t mix it up otherwise it may not work properly. 

Are you are done with it? Then voila! You’ve completed connecting your 6.1 speakers with your 7.1 receivers

But wait a minute, there’s another option as well. Let’s explore that one for a moment!

Method 2: Using Banana Plugs

Are you a person who likes to change the positing of your speakers more often? Then this method is for you. 

All you need to do is to put banana plugs on every single wire of the speaker. As you have a 6.1 speaker you will need 12 banana plugs. Here are our picks of the best banana plugs.

Then just insert the plugs in the ports as per method 1. That’s it you are done with plugging. This port will help you to remove and insert the wires from the receiver easily. 

This method can be called a convenient option.

Just follow these methods properly. And you will be able to connect 6 speakers on the 7.1 receivers easily. And don’t forget to clean your music system properly. 


Can I use a 7.2 receiver with 6.1 speakers?

It’ll turn out well. Because it doesn’t have two speakers to deal with. The receiver’s processor should output mono to that channel. This may be accomplished by turning off one of the channels. You don’t need to worry about that at all.

Is there a 6.1 surround sound?

Yes, there will be surround sound with the 6.1 speakers. You’ll get left and right surrounding speakers. DTS-ES, Dolby Digital EX, and THX Surround EX are common sound electronics for 6.1 systems. Multiple sound formats are supported by most 6.1 surround radios.

Can I use a 7.1 receiver with only 2 speakers?

With a 7.1-channel AVR, using only two speakers is totally acceptable. Indeed, many receiver manufacturers indicate the power output with only two channels active. Which is often greater than with all channels operated. You’ll likely obtain closer to the rated output with two speakers.


We hope you have gotten a clear idea about how to connect 6.1 speakers to 7.1 receivers! 

But again we want to add please don’t mismatch the wire with the receiver. Otherwise, you won’t get the perfect sound.

If you have any more queries please drop them in the comment section. 

Till then enjoy your music.

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