How to Check Polarity for Tweeters

Written by tom becker
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How to Check Polarity for Tweeters
Incorrect speaker polarity can negatively affect audio quality. (Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

The quality of home audio has risen steadily since the days of the early hi-fi systems. Even the sound enthusiast with a modest budget can set up a theatre-quality experience in his own home. Any sound system requires the proper set-up, including ensuring the speaker wires and amplification are hooked up properly. If the speakers have differing connections or "polarity," they can play sounds slightly out-of-phase. You can check the polarity of your speakers' tweeters with a simple technique.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Wire clippers
  • Wire stripper
  • AA battery
  • Speaker

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Cut two lengths of shielded speaker wire with wire clippers.

  2. 2

    Strip approximately 1 inch of insulation from both ends of both wires with a wire stripper.

  3. 3

    Twist the braided ends of the two lengths of wire.

  4. 4

    Wrap one end of one wire around the "+" or positive terminal of the speaker tweeter you wish to test.

  5. 5

    Wrap one end of the second wire around the "-" or negative terminal of the tweeter.

  6. 6

    Touch the "+" wire to an AA battery's "+" or positive terminal and touch the "-" wire to the "-" or negative terminal.

  7. 7

    Watch the front of the speaker as you connect the wires to the battery. If the cone moves outward, the speaker has the correct polarity. If the cone moves inward, the speaker has incorrect polarity.

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