Sunday, April 29, 2018

Ethereal and Metra Home Theater Premium Home Audio and Video Installation Products Review

When it comes to installation products for car audio, Metra makes some of the best. But what may not be as well known is that Metra also has you covered for your home audio and video installation needs. Under their corporate umbrella, is found Ethereal and Metra Home Theater, which covers your home theater, or any other home audio or home video installation needs. Up for review today are some of their installation products, in the Velox HDMI & audio cables, and Ethereal RG6 Coaxial cable & 2-conductor stranded wire, Ethereal wall plates, and Ethereal banana plugs.

Features and specs:

Velox HDMI cable:
·          HDMI® transmission cable
·          Advanced features in metallurgy, topology, dielectric and shielding
·          New microwave RF design
·          Less insertion loss over long distances
·          For HDMI® TMDS High Speed Signaling
·          Highest bandwidth performance
·         Cable Diameter: 6mm
18.0 Gbps
10.2 Gbps
10.2Gbps, 18Gbps
Brand or Series
Velox Series
ARC Supported, DPL Certified, HDR
1080p, 4K
Ethernet, Passive
Length (feet)
Length (meters)
Jacket Type
CL Listed
DPL Certified

 Velox Professional Audio Cable:

·         24K gold plated contact connectors
·         Compression RCA connectors
·         Colored logo for wire management

Ethereal 65 Strand Oxygen Free Speaker Wire
·         16-Gauge
·         2-Conductor
·         65 strand oxygen free speaker cable
·         Length: 500ft

·         Color: Black

Ethereal RG6 Coaxial Wire:
·         RG6 Quad CCS
·         3.0GHz CL2
·         Box
·         Color: Black

Ethereal Premium Banana Plugs:
·         Premium level banana plug
·         Gold plated
·         2 Pack (1 red, 1 Black)

Ethereal Wall Plates:
·         7.1 Home Theater Wall Plate
·         Wall Plate w/ HDMI®
  • Accepts up to 12 AWG speaker wire
  • Two speaker connections can be installed easily and quickly in a single J box
  • Designed for home theater surround sound systems
  • Gold plated connectors
  • Easy installation
The products came in nice professional packaging. The Ethereal speaker wire and coaxial cable came in nice bulk boxes. The Velox HDMI and audio cables came in nice color printed boxes, with photos and specs of the cables. The Ethereal wall plates and banana plugs came in simple clear plastic pouches, with specs printed on the pouches. Materials used in the quality of the construction was metal and plastic. Quality of materials used was very good, as was the fit and finish.

For the bulk wiring, it was the speaker wire and coaxial cable. The speaker wire is perfect for running in the studs during the construction phase. Having purchased several new build homes, when you pay for the option for a surround sound pre-wire, this is the wire I would have LOVED to have been provided. Typically builders will use a cheap 20 gauge, maybe an 18 gauge wire if you're lucky. But this wire from Ethereal is a really high quality 16 gauge, 65 strand oxygen free copper. The Ethereal RG6 coaxial cable is also a high quality, with good shielding, and a solid 18 gauge copper wire core.

Next are the Velox ultra high speed HDMI cables, and Velox Professional subwoofer audio cable. The HDMI cable has a cool glossy metal connect with gold plated tip. And I love the color coded system. It uses color rubber grommets that fit into the top of the connector. So when you are connecting up multiple cables, it makes it easier to make sure the correct cable goes to the right device. The subwoofer cable is another high quality cable. It features a cross braided flexible jacket and 24K gold plated connectors. The connectors are not cross-cut or ribbed. Instead, there are internal ribs to make sure you have a solid connection, so it is still really high quality.

The same quality also comes through with the wall plates. The standard wall plates feature gold plated connectors. The connectors are standard connectors that accommodate bare wire and banana plugs. When running wire for a speaker system, you need a standard 2 connector plate for the positive and negative wires to be located next to each speaker location. The wires will run from the 2 connector plate to the main plate. The main plate has connectors for 7.1 surround sound, plus an HDMI connector for the video, for the TV or projector.

Unfortunately, manufacturers have not caught up to the current Dolby Atmos format, which can be found in 7.4.1, 7.2.1, 5.4.1 or 5.2.1. Dolby Atmos adds height channel speakers, and there are not yet wall plates in those configurations. In their defense, demand for them probably is not very high yet. An easy solution would be to just add a separate 8 connector or 4 connector plate for the 4 or 2 height channels speakers. So you can just add an additional 8 or 4 connector wall plate for the height speakers.

I also liked the banana plug quality. They are 24K gold plated for excellent signal conductivity. The screw on design is also a simple one. All you do is unscrew the bottom, slide the wire up the bottom piece and fray the end and push the wire over the end. Once this is done, you screw the bottom piece back onto the top piece. Once this is done, the top of the bottom piece cinches the wire up against the bottom of the top piece, to give a secure, solid connection. It’s easy to attach the wire to the banana clips. And I love the easy installation of using banana plugs. When the wires are ready to install, it’s just a matter of pushing the banana plug into the wall plate connectors. Five seconds, and you’re done.

Performance of the products was aces! The speaker and RG6 wire was easy to run. The wall plates were also easy to install. With the wall plates installed, securing the bare wire to the back of the plates was as simple as sliding the wire into the designated hole and twisting the connector down onto it to secure it in place. And using the banana plugs on the wire that went to the actual speakers, made it a breeze connecting the speaker wire to the wall plate. Thanks to the ample sized 16 gauge wire, they provided plenty of power to the speakers. And given that they also used a high strand count of pure oxygen free copper wire kept the power signal pure and high quality. The sound that they provided from the source was powerful and transparent from the source.

The audio and HDMI cables were also great in performance. Think of it as the weakest link. I’ve seen people get really nice and expensive surround sound receivers, and blu-ray players. But then they use cheap cables. To get the best performance out of your hi-res audio device, or 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player, you need high quality cables that can transfer all of that source signal, so it all can be seen or heard. Using the best quality cables maximizes the performance of your devices. The HDMI cables provided excellent resolution high quality sound, as well as well saturated and vibrant colors in full resolution that was true to the source material of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player. And the Premium Subwoofer Audio Cable provided the same audio performance that was true and transparent to the source material. It will help any subwoofer reach its full potentials.

In the end, I must say I was pleasantly unsurprised. I’ve worked with Metra for years, and they have never provided a product that did not perform well. So when given the opportunity to review some of their home installation products, we naturally jumped at the opportunity. We had high expectations, and as usual, those expectations were met. Based on their design, features, quality and performance, these Metra and Ethereal home installation products have earned our Editor’s Choice award. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at