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Niles C5-A2

CAT-5 stereo audio balun

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  • Niles C5-A2

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Our take on the Niles C5-A2

by Amanda P.
Niles

If you're putting together a multi-room audio system that involves longer cable runs between rooms, check out the Niles C5-A2. This clever device uses durable, inexpensive CAT-5 cable to send stereo audio signals to another room in your house. It's a great option for homes with an existing CAT-5 network, since you won't have to install any new in-wall wire. And it delivers full, clear sound, even over cable runs of up to 2,500 feet.

How it works
You'll need to purchase two stereo audio baluns to set up a fully functioning system. You can use two C5-A2s, or pair one with an in-wall model. Connect the first one to a CD player, satellite radio, or other stereo audio source in your main listening room, and plug it into a nearby CAT-5 outlet. Next, connect your second C5-A2 to a CAT-5 outlet in your remote listening area. Then hook it up to a table radio or powered home audio system via its stereo audio jacks. The compact C5-A2 doesn't require AC power, and it's wall-mountable for flexible placement.

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What is a balun?
A balun gets its name by converting signals between balanced and unbalanced lines. Balanced cables can carry signals over much larger distances than unbalanced lines, because of their superior noise rejection. The C5-A2 balun converts audio signals between balanced CAT-5 connections and unbalanced RCA audio connections.

Highlights:

  • two Niles stereo audio baluns required for a fully functioning setup
  • gold-plated stereo audio input/output
  • shielded Ethernet jack
  • maximum range: 2,500 feet
  • bandwidth: 20-20,000 Hz
  • not compatible with Wi-Fi® adapters
  • cannot share CAT-5 cable with other signals
  • universal mounting holes
  • stereo audio cables required for installation (sold separately)
  • 4-3/4"W x 1"H x 2-1/4"D
  • warranty: 10 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • CAT-5/Stereo audio Transformer
  • Installation guide

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Features
Input/Output
Specifications

Features

Product Overview: The C5-A2 is a transformer to convert a CAT-5 signal to analog stereo audio, and vice versa. Typically two are used at opposite ends of the signal path; one unit converts the audio source to CAT-5 for transmission over a long distance, a second unit converts the CAT-5 signal back to analog audio to feed a remote audio system.

Input/Output

Analog Audio: Female RCA stereo audio, can be used as an input and converted to CAT-5 or as an output to feed an audio video system

CAT-5: RJ-45 jack, can be used as an input and converted to stereo audio or as an output to feed a network

Specifications

Bandwidth: 20 Hz-20 kHz

Transmission Distance:

  • 2000' (CAT-3 UTP)
  • 2500' (CAT-5 UTP)
 
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Niles C5-A2 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

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5 out of 5

Easy setup

Written By TF, NY on Thursday, October 10, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
The Niles CAT-5 stereo audio balun is the easiest to setup. Plug in your source and connect it to a amp. I have had other Niles extenders and I have had no problems with the video and audio. I do recommend doing a test before you set it up in the room were you plan to use it. Just take a 6 ft network cable and connect each CAT-5 stereo audio balun together and hook up a audio source and plug in your amp just to make sure every thing is working. I had a bad cable in my wall and I had to do this trouble shooting tip. I do recommenced this equipment for your audio needs.
Pros:
Good sound quality?. You loose quality after 12 feet using RCA cables. No power needed. It took me 10 minutes to set it up. metal hosing. Very little plastic.
Cons:
No cons at all
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

A Must Have

Written By Dominic S., Grand Rapids MI on Friday, March 16, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I bought a pair to connect a new Yamaha AVR in my HT to older one in my LvRm. Both units have zone output and the one in the HT plays music from the NAS, internet radio, Pandora, HD Radio etc. I can now listen to these types of music in other parts of the house using my home network as the backbone. The only thing that keeps this from being a perfect system is the older unit can not be controlled by an iOS/Android app. If you are remotely thinking about this product, have a dedicated cat 5 or 6 run from your point A to point B, and be ready. This is an awesome solution.
Pros:
Easy setup took a total of 10 minutes. (5 at each end). With Both AVR's now connected. I have a total of SIX zones through out the house, patio and deck. All with 2 receivers and I get the functionality of the digital age on an older system.
Cons:
Not really a con in my situation, I lost 2 network jacks. one each in the HT and LvRm. You can not run this through the network switch so I used an inline coupler to connect the jacks off of the switch.. When I wired the house, I was told it was "overkill", NOT! If I had known about this product when I had the drywall open (walls and ceiling) I would have run a special cat 6 just for this purpose and used the inwall version.
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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