THE CONSUMER ELECTRONICS ASSOCIATION (CEA) is wired for sound with a new multiroom audio cabling standard for residential construction that clearly details specifications for multiroom audio.

Walt Zerbe, product manager of audio at OnQ Legrand who chaired the audio standards committee, says the new standard was needed because the Telecommunications Industry Association/ Electronic Industry Association 570 wiring standard for communications and TV only had one page devoted to audio.

“We felt that since audio has progressed so far, one page wasn't enough,” says Zerbe. “What we found is that people would pull telephone wire instead of speaker wire, select the wrong gauge of speaker wire, or [pull] 15 wires throughout the house, and that wasn't necessary either.”

The standard, known as CEA's 2030 Multiroom Audio Cabling Standard (CEA-2030), advises home-tech integrators to run at least one Category-5 wire and one 16-gauge, four-conductor speaker wire from the head end (audio source) to any volume control location or speaker in a new home.

Zerbe says the CEA-2030 spec guarantees a consistent installation and a standard that the builder can depend on. He says running the Cat-5 and 16-gauge speaker wire gives builders and installers the flexibility to easily add the latest keypads, infrared products, touchscreens, or volume controls. A follow-up document detailing best practices for installing speakers will be released this fall. For more information on CEA-2030, visit