How To Connect Speakers With Speaker Wire [Detailed Guide]

How To Connect Speakers With Speaker Wire [Detailed Guide]

Not sure how to connect speaker cable to your audio system? then our guide is definitely what you need. It’s not the most exciting procedure for connecting speaker wire, but it does require setting up an audio system. It may seem too complicated for some, but everything will be much easier if you understand the nuances.

Today, we’ll take a closer look at the different possible connection types and show step-by-step instructions for connecting.

Reading: How to connect wire to speaker

what you need to know about speaker cables

Each speaker in your audio system requires its own electrical signal. connecting speaker cables provides this signal to the amplifier or receiver, so you need a separate cable for each. for example, for a 5.1 system you will need 6 cables and a 7.1 system will require 8.

for all speakers, except for the subwoofer, as a rule, two-wire stereo cables are needed, which consist of 2 copper wires. a mono stereo cable will work for the subwoofer. all types of cables have a synthetic coating so that only the ends show.

Any wire has a positive and a negative part at its ends. Incorrect connection of these sides will negatively affect the performance of your system, so it is always worth checking before turning it on for the first time.

if the markings on the equipment itself always indicate quite clearly which side to connect, there are often problems with the cables themselves. the simplest solution is to wire with a two-color scheme, but if it’s not there, you need to know other ways to determine where the + is and where the – is.

One stripe or dotted line at the end of the wire indicates the positive side. You can see tips in the form of printed signs or text on the end of the wire. In addition, there is a way to mark the wire yourself: test it with ordinary batteries and then stick colored tapes to the necessary sides. connect speakers

how to connect speakers with speaker wire

To connect the speaker to an amplifier, you must follow these steps:

  1. Place the amplifier and speakers in their designated places. make sure you have access to patch panels.
  2. cables should not interfere with your daily life. There are many ways to secure and hide cables. for example, you can use masking tape or hide them behind molding along the wall.
  3. match the speaker cables to the correct outputs on the amplifier. not very challenging in practice, since the connections are indicated on the device. connect the speakers on the right side to the appropriately labeled outputs on the receiver. the same situation is with the left side.
  4. also, check the correct connection of the poles. Be sure to connect the end of the cable to both the positive pole of the speaker and the positive pole of the receiver. with negative poles, you need to do the same, respectively. the color scheme and brand of the cable should help you with this.
  5. open the brackets on the receiver to have a space where the stripped end of the cable can fit.
  6. insert carefully the end of the cable into the connector of the receiver and then close it.
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what happens if I connect the speaker cables incorrectly?

There are several ways to incorrectly connect the speaker cable to the receiver and we’ll look at each in more detail below.

connect the left speaker to the terminals marked right on the receiver

This type of incorrect connection will occur if you connect the speakers on the right side to the jacks marked for the left side and vice versa: the speakers on the left side into the jacks on the correct side.

what will happen in such a case? actually, there is nothing to worry about.

sound intended to be output from one side will be output from the opposite side. often you won’t even notice it. Of course, to fully appreciate the work of the sound engineer who worked on what you’re listening to, it pays to hook up your speakers properly. but a wrong connection will definitely not ruin your equipment or damage your ears.

connect positive to negative terminals

if you reverse the poles and connect the negative output of the amplifier to the positive input of the same speaker, nothing bad will happen either. it will work as it should. if you connect reverse poles for 2 speakers, in the same way, the situation will be similar.

problems will start if you connect 2 speakers in different ways. this is called connecting speakers out of phase.

In this case, you also don’t have to worry about the security of your computer, but the sound quality doesn’t suit you. the fact is that the diaphragms of these speakers will move in different directions. this will create an effect where the low frequency waves will mute each other.

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To tell the truth, the sound will not please you as it will be rather strange. wire for speakers

types of speaker cable connections

There are two types of standard connectors for speakers, receivers and amplifiers: spring clip or binding post.

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To make it easy to connect the speaker cables, they are usually marked with colors. for example, red usually means a positive terminal, while black means a negative one. there are also bi-wired devices where both inputs are paired.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these types.

spring clips

Such a terminal is common for almost any kit, but you’ll often see it in budget or all-in-one kit options.

This connection is popular for its maximum ease of use. all you have to do is open the connector by pressing on the bottom of the spring clip. then insert the cable into the slot that appeared above the button you pressed. that’s the whole procedure.

Both bare wire and pin connectors will fit this terminal.

binding posts

This connection is one of the most popular. It can be seen both in low-cost models and in the highest-end devices.

To connect the cable to this connector, start by unscrewing the plug. then insert the stripped wire into place. if using a spade connector, place it around the post. your next step is to screw the cap back on.

there is another way of connection: with the help of banana plugs. connect them to the ends of the cables and then insert them into the desired connectors. banana plugs are more common on receivers, but you won’t see them often on speakers.

types of speaker cable connectors

Using a connector at the end of a cable is called termination. There are several types of connectors, and choosing a particular one depends on the type of terminals on your equipment.

There is also the simplest option, which does not require any connectors. is an acceptable bare wire connection for all devices.

Use a sharp knife or special equipment to cut the insulation at the ends of the wires for this method. it is usually enough to remove half an inch. next you need to twist the copper strands of the bare wire. there should be no loose threads. then insert the prepared end of the wire into the desired terminal and make sure it is secure.

okay, now let’s talk about the characteristics of each type of connector.

pin connectors

pin connectors

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This is a more reliable type of connection establishment.

The pins are usually about 2mm in diameter. you can attach them to bare wire with pre-cut insulation. crimp, solder, or screw connections are the most common methods of attaching the pin to the cable.

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This connection is normally suitable for spring clips. your next step is to depress the clip and push the connector into the hole. however, with binding posts, this connector is rarely used.

banana plugs

banana plugs

This is probably the most popular type of connector that most people use for home systems – it’s quite simple and effective.

4 of these connectors are needed for each cable, 2 for each end. they are fixed to the cable by threaded connections, by welding and, sometimes, they are also self-adjusting.

the standard diameter of these connectors is 4 mm. this allows you to use them with maximum comfort for the connection of binding posts.

spade connectors

spade connectors

Another popular type of connector is spades. in the methods of securing the connector to the cable, as well as the quantity required for each cable, it is identical to banana plugs.

This connector provides a firm and secure connection and is especially effective when the speakers are placed close to the wall. in this case, you may not have enough room for another connector, but you can use spade connectors with different angles.

for fixing, simply unscrew the cover of the blind post, place the blades and screw the cover back on.

why do i need to use speaker wire connectors?

Using wire connectors has some advantages over bare wire.

first of all, they save you headaches by checking for the correct connection. receivers are often color coded for connection, which may not be true for all cables. using connectors will help you forget about this problem because the connectors themselves are color coded. this is especially important for owners of multi-channel systems.

The next important point is that connectors simplify the actual connection process. When using bare wires, you must strip and twist them properly so that the copper ends do not stick out. as a result, you can tangle or damage the cable. With a connector, you can avoid these types of problems. this is especially important if you need to frequently disconnect and reconnect computers.

In addition, the use of connectors can improve sound quality by providing a more reliable connection to audio system components. in this case, the speakers will always receive a pure quality signal and reproduce it accordingly.

well, the last point is the tidy appearance of your system. You rarely see the back of devices, but you’ll be happy to know that everything is in order there.

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