How to Extend Speaker Cables

Updated February 21, 2017

Speaker cables carry audio signals from your audio receiver to your speakers. Most speakers come with cables, but they are often too short to accommodate your desired audio configuration or listening space. Extending speaker cables provides more versatility for your audio set-up. Extending cables does not harm your audio quality if performed properly. Knowing how to extend your speaker cables is a critical skill for any audio system owner.

Measure and cut a length of speaker cable long enough to meet your speaker placement needs. Remember to account for the length of your current speaker wire.

Cut your existing speaker cable 4 inches from the speaker end of the cable.

Strip both ends of the new cable and the cut end of your existing cable. Strip the ends to reveal 3/4 inch of bare wire.

Separate the positive and negative sides of the cable 2 inches by pulling them apart with your fingers.

Connect your existing cable to the new cable using wire connectors. Simply hold the positive wires of the new cable and the existing cable together and insert them into the wire connector, twisting the connector to combine and lock the wires. Repeat with negative wires. Positive cables are usually denoted by the colour red or a plus sign. Negative wires are denoted by the colour black or a negative sign. However, both wires are teca

Connect your new extended cable back to your speaker.


Consider discarding your old cable entirely. The cables that come with most audio systems are often of poor quality. Using a better quality cable will improve your audio performance. Simply purchase a reel of new cable to cut, strip and connect to your speakers.


When shopping for new cable, choose a size that matches your current cable. Speaker cable is measured by its width, usually called gauge. If you are unsure about your speaker cable size or gauge, take the cut end from Step 2 with you when you shop for new cable. Never cross the positive and negative sides of your cable. Doing so will cause an electrical short circuit, severely damaging your audio system.

Things You'll Need

  • Wire strippers
  • Speaker cable
  • Wire connectors
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About the Author

Patrick Hutchison has been doing freelance work since 2008. He has worked as a physical therapy aide and as a writer for various websites including Destination Guides and several travel-related companies. Hutchison has a Bachelor of Arts in history and anthropology from the University of Washington.