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Niles SS-6

6-pair speaker selector

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Item# 190SS6
 

Review Summary

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Expected: 4/21/2014
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Our take on the Niles SS-6

by Barry Montgomery
Niles Audio

The Niles SS-6 lets you send music from a single amplifier or receiver to six 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 six 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
  • 11-1/2"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 pairs of speakers playing.

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 six 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 (flat)
  • Power Handling: 100 watts per channel RMS at 8 ohms
 
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Niles SS-6 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

7 people say:

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4 out of 5

Niles SS-6

Written By MikeS, Chicago, IL on Sunday, January 12, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I recently moved into a home with a whole-house audio system installed. This switch was exactly what we needed. I have five zones (this has six) so it couldn't have been more tailored for my needs. (I've noticed Niles has other models available, so there should be something for just about any in-home system). I especially like the protection feature...this is engaged when you're pushing output to three or more zones, to avoid frying the amp. (Not needed when using only one or two zones, but I leave it on anyway).

If you read the other reviews you'll notice a lot of comments about the speaker connections being difficult to open/close. This wasn't a big negative for me, but when I was setting it up I could easily see why those comments were made. Opening and closing them IS a bit hard on the fingertips, but I figured you only set it up once in a great while so not a big deal.

Overall very solid product--good sound, reasonably simle setup, attractive case, and the preprinted labels for the output zones are a nice touch (beats having to hand write all those). Would definitely recommend this as a low-cost way to feed your whole house audio system.
Pros:
Price, amp protection logic, appearance
Cons:
Balky speaker connections
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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3 out of 5

Niles SS-6

Written By Jim, New York on Monday, March 25, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Using it in a whole house application. Does the job well for what I'm using it for. The connections for the individual speaker wires are difficult to close. Once connected it's fine but initial set up is for folks with tiny fingers.
Pros:
Does the job.
Cons:
Wire connections are difficult to lock.
2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Works great - speaker connections could be a little easier

Written By efd, NJ on Monday, January 16, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I recently moved into a home that has ceiling-mounted speakers throughout, with volume controls in the various rooms/zones. This was my first experience with a multiple-zone speaker system, and my receiver didn't have built-in multi-zone support, so I purchased this unit to control the five zones. I opted for the Niles SS-6 over some less expensive units primarily for aesthetic reasons, and this controller does look great. It also works perfectly in controlling the audio to the different zones, as you'd expect. My one complaint -- and I would have taken off just a half-star for this, if that were an option -- is that I found the speaker connections on the back of the unit to be extremely difficult to open and close. It always felt like I was going to force them to a breaking point, although none of them broke. By the time I was done making the 20 connections (10 speakers, right and left for each) my hands and fingers were pretty sore. I also tried using a screwdriver to flip up the connectors but even that seemed more difficult than it should have. Obviously once the speakers are connected you don't have to go through that again, so it's not a huge issue overall but something to be prepared for.
Pros:
Easy operation, controls speakers, looks good, included zone-name stickers are helpful.
Cons:
Stiff speaker connectors.
7 out of 7 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Niles SS-6

Written By Jeff, Greeneville,TN on Friday, September 09, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Great Option at a great price
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5 out of 5

Niles SS-6

Written By Mike, Los Angeles, CA on Thursday, March 17, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
The Niles SS-6 worked perfectly for my needs. It's very easy to hook up. It
connected my speakers in several different rooms (which can be played
separately or simultaneously). A great solution for my system since I didn't
want to add a separate powered amplifier (someone in a store tried to
convince me I needed an expensive one). I don't have a super high-end
receiver, but the sound is still great. This model is good if you have volume
controls in each room (otherwise, get the model with volume controls on the
unit itself). The customer service rep from Crutchfield was very helpful in
selecting this. Great price, delivery, and service.
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Works Great!

Written By Joseph, Scranton, PA on Wednesday, February 04, 2009
 
The Niles SS-6 works as advertised. I was able to safely and easily hook up 5 pairs of in-ceiling speakers throughout the downstairs of my house (I'm saving the 6th speaker hook up for outside on the deck this Spring!). It's great to have the option of turning speakers on/off in each room without having to worry about overloading my amplifier. One last thing, since this is Crutchfield, a customer representative was able to look up the specs on my older receiver to ensure compatibility and give me the recommended setup within minutes. Crutchfield is top-notch when it comes to service.
13 out of 13 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Niles SS-6

Written By Jim, Southern Cal. on Monday, June 25, 2007
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Small, compact size. Easy set-up, "plug & play" that I use every day. I have 6 wired speakers to the outside of the house, it adds another dimension to entertaining around the pool.
12 out of 13 people found this helpful
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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the Niles SS-6, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_190SS6/Niles-SS-6.html ).

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Compare with other Niles Audio models

  • Niles HPS-6
  • Got a lot of power?
  • 5 out of 5: Out of Stock
  • The Niles HPS-6 offers compatibility with receivers or amplifiers that deliver up to 250 watts per channel.
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  • Niles SS-6
  • 6-pair Speaker Selector
  • 4.5 out of 5: Out of Stock
    • The Niles SS-6 offers:
      • Handles up to 100 watts RMS per channel
      • requires a receiver or amp capable of driving a 4-ohm load
      • accepts up to 14-gauge speaker wire
  • Add To Cart
    $174.99
  • Niles HPS-6
  • High Power 6-pr. Speaker Selector
  • 5 out of 5: Out of Stock
    • The Niles HPS-6 offers:
      • Handles up to 250 watts RMS per channel
      • impedance magnification circuitry to protect your receiver or amplifier
      • requires a receiver or amp capable of driving a 4-ohm load
  • Add To Cart
    $299.99
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