How To Connect a Wire Speaker


Connecting a wired speaker can be a daunting task, especially if you are unsure of the process. However, connecting a wire to your stereo or home theater system is not as scary as you may think. While it may not be the most exciting aspect of setting up your new audio equipment, it is probably the most important step. Without the wire, you won’t have any sound.

Before you start the connection process, it can seem pretty tricky. But, with a little thought, it is surprisingly straightforward. To make it even easier for you, we are going to guide you through each step to ensure you get the best possible sounds from your speakers.

Firstly, you must understand the various connection types that may be on your gear. Once you have gotten to grips with these connections, we can start connecting your wire speaker.

Is the speaker wire positive or negative?

You must understand whether the wires you are dealing with are positive or negative. Here’s how to find out which wire is positive:

  • The wire has a printed line or a series of dashes/lines.
  • One wire is copper in color (positive) while the other has a silver finish (negative).
  • The positive wire’s insulation is red or a different color from the negative wire. Red is most often used.
  • Positive wires tend to have small positive symbols (+) and/or a wire gauge printed onto them.
  • A positive wire’s insulation has an imprint or molded stripe on it.

Of the 5 kinds of imprints, they can sometimes be a little bit trickier to find. Therefore, you may need to look very closely under sufficient levels of lighting. Moreover, the “+” symbol can be hard to read on some occasions. 

How to connect speaker wire? 

One of the most crucial topics to cover is how to connect a speaker wire together for an extension in its length. Here, you will need to splice and extend the speaker wire using two methods:

  1. Soldering wires – Strip the wire insulation and leave around ½” of bare wiring on the ends. Twist these wires together tightly and then apply solder (heat the wire until the solder flows). Insulate with some electrical tape by wrapping it tightly around the exposed wire.
  2. Crimp connectors – Strip the wire’s insulation, leaving about ½” of bare wire on the ends. Twist the bare wire ends tightly and insert these into the connector. Crimp these firmly near the ends. 

Using a solder tends to be more reliable but can be a hassle. Crimp connectors can give excellent results in only a few minutes and are usually the most favored method. 

Connecting speaker wire 

Speaker wires are made from two separate cables that must be connected to the positive and negative connectors on the speaker and amplifier. It doesn’t matter which way around you connect these wires, even if the wire is marked with a plus or minus symbol.

You just need to make sure the same piece of wire is connecting to the positive and negative terminals on the speaker. 

There are two posts for every speaker which are clearly labeled as positive and negative. Conventionally, the positive side is red whereas the negative is black. However, this can vary. 

One wire will connect to the positive and negative post for a single speaker’s output while the other end of this wire will connect to the speaker. And you must remember, the positive connection on the amp must connect to the positive connection of the speaker. The same goes for the negative sides. 

Connecting wire speakers with crimp connectors 

We will be focusing on the method using crimp connectors as this tends to be the best and most reliable way to connect wire speakers.

There are only a few steps required:

  • Cutting the wire (if needed)
  • Stripping the wire
  • Crimping the connectors

You will need either a crimper tool with a cutting feature, needle-nose pliers, wire cutter pliers, or utility scissors. We recommend a crimper tool for the best results. 

Cutting seeker wire

When cutting the wire, just insert the wire into your cutting pliers and slightly close it until the wire is held securely in place. Once it can not move, squeeze extremely firmly. The wire should now snap lightly and be completely severed. 

Strip speaker wire 

When stripping a speaker wire, we recommend using a low-priced wire stripper/crimper tool, especially for standard wires. 

This process can be a little tricky but the main trick is to only pinch the wire’s insulation and not the wire strands themselves.

Here’s how to strip the wire:

  1. Insert the wire into the stripper. Close it carefully on the insulation and use enough force so the wire is held in place firmly. Pinch the insulation but not too much to put force on the wires inside. 
  2. Hold the tool and press firmly in place so the wire cannot move. 
  3. Pull the wire and the insulation should break off and leave the exposed wire remaining. 

Using the crimp connector

Here, you need to twist the wire tightly to get the wire insert ready and connect it to a crimp connector. Let’s take a look at the steps together:

  1. Strip the wire so ⅜” to ½” of bare wire is exposed.
  2. Twist the wire tightly so it can be easily pushed into the connector.
  3. Firmly insert the wire into one end and push it into the metal contact inside. Ensure this is inserted fully.
  4. Now, place the connector into your crimp tool near the end of the connector.
  5. Crimp securely and forcefully with the tool to press the connector down hard. All the time, the wire should be inside. 
  6. Repeat this same process for the other side as well as the speaker wire. 

And that’s how you connect wire speakers together through the use of crimp connectors. 

In Summary 

While it is possible to solder wired speakers, crimping is the quicker and usually easier solution. With a little practice and patience, you will be able to perform this process every time without much thought. 

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