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Niles SS-4

4-pair speaker selector

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Item# 190SS4
 

Review Summary

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Expected: 4/22/2014
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Our take on the Niles SS-4

by Barry Montgomery
Niles

The Niles SS-4 lets you send music from a single amplifier or receiver to four pairs of speakers throughout your home. Push-button controls let you turn each pair of speakers on and off independently. Selectable impedance-magnifying circuitry prevents damage to your receiver or amp, letting it safely drive all four pairs at once.

Details:
  • handles up to 100 watts per channel
  • selectable impedance magnification safeguards your system
  • requires an amplifier or receiver capable of driving a 4-ohm load
  • accepts speaker wires up to 14 gauge or pin connectors
  • includes room/speaker labels
  • rugged all-metal chassis
  • 8-9/16"W x 2-1/16"H x 6-1/2"D
  • warranty: 10 years
 

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

Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Speaker selector
  • Sheet of self-adhesive Room/Zone Labels
  • Installation and Operation Guide
  • Warranty and Registration card

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
Specifications

Features

Construction: The chassis is durable black metal with padded feet.

Speaker Switches: Each set of speaker outputs has an on/off switch so any combination of connected speakers can be played at any given time.

Protection Switch: The impedance protection switch on the front of the unit safeguards the receiver or amplifier even when all 4 pairs of speakers playing (4 pairs of 8-ohm speakers will present a 4.5-ohm load to the receiver or amplifier).

Note: You will need to activate the "Protection" switch whenever the overall system impedance might fall below 4 ohms. It is recommended to verify that the receiver or amplifier is capable of driving a 4-ohm load.

Removable Speaker Terminals: There are four removable speaker output terminal blocks and one removable speaker input terminal block, each of which can accept 14 to 22-gauge wire (16-gauge recommended). This makes it easier to wire the speaker selector into your system.

Labels: Included are 72 pre-printed and 6 blank label stickers for easy identification of the front panel controls.

Specifications

Specifications:

  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz +0dB,-0dB (flat)
  • Power Handling: 100 watts per channel RMS at 8 ohms
 
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Niles SS-4 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

19 people say:

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5 out of 5

Could not have been easier!!!

Written By JK, Huntsville, AL on Wednesday, April 16, 2014
 
This was easier than I thought. Could not have been simpler to hook up or use. .
Pros:
Easy Hook up, once I had micro srewdriver. Easy to use.
Cons:
Pins are a little hard to get open for wire insertion, but micro screwdriver solved that issue.
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5 out of 5

Simple and Effective

Written By JulieT, Las Vegas, NV on Thursday, December 05, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
We needed a low cost solution to connect existing in-wall speakers in 4 rooms to our home theatre stereo. The Niles SS-4 was perfect fit. I'm no AV expert, but I was able to figure out how to get it hooked up and am now enjoying music throughout my entire home without having to by a multi-room amplifier.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Awesome

Written By Anonymous, Hollywood, FL on Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Works as advertised. Paired with the Yamaha rxv673.
Pros:
Push of a button to activate each room.
Cons:
None
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5 out of 5

Positive ending

Written By PeterD, Buffalo, NY on Monday, February 04, 2013
 
A follow up to my earlier review: I contacted Niles about the switch problems I was having , and after returning the defective unit to them, i received a brand new SS-4. Great customer service!
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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1 out of 5

Switches Fail

Written By PeterD, Buiffalo, NY on Wednesday, January 09, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I have had this unit for about 16 months. Within six months after purchase two of the switches began to stick. It became necessary to pull them in and out instead of having them "snap" in and out. Within another few months, one of the switches began to short out, so it is now necessary to jiggle it to get both speakers to work.
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Just what I needed

Written By Grayhouse13, Mulberry Florida. on Saturday, November 10, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This is exactly what I was looking for, tried another from a local chain store, but it was cheap and it would loose a lot of sound, this one was perfect and I love it.thanks crutch field, this was my first order from them and it was perfect.
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4 out of 5

crutchfield still doing it well

Written By jhop, brookshire,tx on Saturday, June 09, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
fast delivery product was as advertised simple hook-up detachable connector plugs made for easy set-up ++
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5 out of 5

Excellent product from Niles!

Written By Rodgers, Cincinnati OH on Sunday, February 05, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
The Niles switch worked perfectly!
Pros:
Well made and easy to use
Cons:
None
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5 out of 5

Great product

Written By RobertM, Kansas City, MO on Sunday, June 19, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This is a sleek well-designed product. The detachable connector plugs are also really helpful--allows you to make each speaker's connections easily in the comfort of your hands in good light, and then plug the whole little assembly into the speaker selector.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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3 out of 5

Protects my reciever but...

Written By Mike F., Otwell, IN on Friday, December 03, 2010
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This box does what I want it to but it does have it's flaws. It doesnt give you much room
to work on the back as far as hooking the speaker wire, 14 gauge is about the biggest it
will accept which is mostly all that any guy needs but if you wanted to have bigger wire it
won't fit. The thing I dislike the most about it, I have a 100 watt high-current receiver and
want to power my Advent Legacy 2's. My speakers are 6ohms, so if I run the speakers
without the Niles box it's drops my receiver to an unsafe 3ohm load. I purchased this box
to protect the receiver. When I run all 4 speakers it cuts my sound down, my sound is
better just running 2 speakers without the box. If you want to purchase this box for
speakers in separate rooms this would be perfect. I'm a stickler for perfection when it
comes to sound but also can't afford Mono Blocks.haha If you are running into a
situation as I have had on an unsafe load, I wouldnt purchase this, it's not worth the
money to have 2 extra speakers sound like they are in a concrete building.
2 out of 5 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Does what it's supposed to

Written By Anonymous, Houston, TX on Friday, July 23, 2010
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Not much to say really. I set up 8 in-wall speakers in 4 pre-wired rooms and power them all through this box from the extra set of outputs from my receiver. Works great! Does what it's supposed to do, and the speakers sound great.
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Niles SS-4

Written By Curtis, Portage, MI on Friday, July 17, 2009
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Love this little guy! I have all 4 sets of speakers hooked up and they all sound great! The speakers sound great no matter how many I turn on. I would recommend this to anyone. Please realize that if you have an amp that has an A and B front speaker set, you can not run the B set off of your amp they must go through the Niles unit so pay attention to how many speakers sets you need in total.
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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2 out of 5

could they make the connectors any smaller?

Written By Bear, boston, ma on Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
1st off I got an ALMOST DOA unit. hook up 1 set of speakers, it works. hook up 2nd... problems, volume dropped, amp shut down, etc. I tore all the wiring apart 3 times, thinking I made a mistake. Every time, it's flipping those little connectors. Then checking connectors, and hooking them into the amp, and it works. make it a little bigger, and give it a real connector. I e-mailied Niles this past week and received no reply. I will try calling them in the morning. Either that, or I'll just add a 2nd power amp to dirve the 3rd set of speakers (not hooked up... couldn't get 2 to work right thru the unit). Most people seem to love it, so, I didn't give it a 1 star, but, I couldn't give it any more than 2.
1 out of 5 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Niles SS-4

Written By Rob, Eagle, WI on Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I've had the Niles ss-4 for about a month and it works great. With my amp at about 1/4 volume I get plenty of power to three rooms. Haven't installed fourth set of speakers yet, but don't anticipate any problems.
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Great Device

Written By Baiju, Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, December 30, 2008
 
This device works great. It was recommended by the Cruchfield staff. I use it with eight speakers and the sound is great if I have two on or eight. Highly recommended for multiroom setups.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Don't Gamble your Receiver

Written By Scott, University Place, WA on Monday, October 06, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
If you want multiple speakers around your house...or even outside on the deck, etc... this is really going to tax your receiver. Advice- add up the load...the total ohms and see what your receiver can handle... then get a top rated speaker switch with a protector built in. The protector in most recievers will function well for a while...but keep pushing it..and it will fail. Double the back up. The speaker switch I had before is in the garbage. Get the Niles and give your reciever a break!
3 out of 4 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

niles ss-4

Written By craig, Manhattan,KS. on Thursday, February 14, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Easy to use and very well design!Crutchfield also answered all my questions before i purchased the product!
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Great!

Written By James, Chicago, IL on Monday, February 04, 2008
 
We just purchased a Condo with ceiling speakers throughout. This little box works perfectly for distributing our music.
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Niles SS-4

Written By stuart, DOVER,DE on Saturday, November 18, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
THIS THE SECOND NILES UNIT I HAVE BOUGHT. MY FIRST ONE STILL WORKS PERFECT AFTER 12 YEARS. I JUST NEEDED A THINNER UNIT TO FIT MY NEW SETUP. I AM SURE IT WILL PERFORM JUST AS GREAT.
42 out of 49 people found this helpful
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2 questions already asked

We have an Onkyo TX-SR608 receiver where the first five channels are being used for our surround sound system. We're adding this speaker selector on the 6th and 7th channels so we can send music to other locations in our home. Will we be able to access different audio through the surround sound vs. the speakers using this selector? In other words, can we get two different audios at once? [ Jackie  Mar 15, 2014 ]
7 answers
  • Thank you! [ Jackie   Mar 17, 2014 ]
  • Thank you very much! [ Jackie   Mar 17, 2014 ]
  • I am not audio professional but I believe you will need to use zone 2 to send a different audio (from the main - Zone 1) to your other locations. The SS -4 does a fine job of selecting the rooms you want the second zone input to go to. Check with Crutchfield; their support is the best. enjoy and good luck Vince [ VINCENT   Mar 17, 2014 ]
  • Yes you can. Just push the buttons for individual audios, or use them all at once. At least that is how it works for me. Great product! [ ARLENE   Mar 17, 2014 ]
  • I have a 3 zone denon amp/receiver AVR-3312CI. It is designed to play different source audio in each zone, if you like, at the same time. I've integrated the niles speaker selector system, to control the volume and on off at the point of the speaker, (outside away from the receiver). I have a lake home as well and have only a two zone amp/receiver, same points just not as flexible. The point I think isn't how many channel surround you have, it is whether you have more than a simple one zone amplifier. [ GREG   Mar 16, 2014 ]
  • Aloha from Hawaii Jackie, Let me explain more about your system so that you are able to hook it up properly and enjoy it to the fullest! #1: In order to enjoy multiple room listening with your Onkyo you will want to wire the SS4 to the "Zone 2" Speaker Terminals on the very bottom right hand corner of your Onkyo Receiver. (Channels 6 & 7 are strictly used for your Main Surround Sound Zone.) #2: Yes, you will be able to access different audio sources from any speakers that are wired to the SS4 as long as you follow my instructions listed previously. #3: To hear audio from the SS4 use your Onkyo remote and at the top you will see a button labeled "Zone 2" make sure to turn that on. Hope this helps. Thank you for inquiring about the SS4! Ian [ IAN   Mar 16, 2014 ]
  • In a word, yes. that is why I purchased it, and it works. Great. [ KIM K   Mar 16, 2014 ]
The details on this product say it should be used with a receiver capable of driving a 4 ohm load. Such receivers seem to be hard to find or very expensive. Does anyone have experience using this unit with a standard 8 ohm receiver (i.e. a Yamaha or Sony)? Thanks. [ andrew s  Feb 24, 2014 ]
2 answers
  • I have this unit hooked up to a old school cd player with about 6 speakers hooked to it. To me ohm's don't really matter. I have a set of high dollar outdoor Polk Audio speakers, a set of mid range speakers that came with the head unit and a set of older outdoor speakers that were at the house that I bought. Not a problem with any of them. No loss of sound or quality. This unit is the way to go to be able to switch from your outdoor speakers to your indoor or my case the speakers in my garage.. [ MATTHEW   Mar 04, 2014 ]
  • I am using this with the Yamaha RX-V775WA 7.2 channel receiver & it works flawlessly! [ SANFORD   Feb 24, 2014 ]

For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the Niles SS-4, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_190SS4/Niles-SS-4.html ).

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      • requires a receiver or amp capable of driving a 4-ohm load
      • accepts up to 14-gauge speaker wire
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