How to Solder Speaker Jacks

Written by matthew burch
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How to Solder Speaker Jacks
Speaker jacks consist of either two or three pins for mono or stereo audio output. (Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

The speaker output jack on your stereo and computer work in exactly the same way and have the same wire configuration. The difference is in the size of the jack. For most home stereo systems with speaker output jacks, the connectors are female 1/4-inch phone jacks. On a computer and other audio devices, the connectors are mini or 1/8-inch or 3.5-mm jacks. While the size difference is noticeable, the wire connections to either type of jack is exactly the same.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Stereo flush mount jack (either 1/4 inch or 3.5-mm) for running a stereo line, or mono for running separate lines to each speaker
  • Soldering iron
  • Solder
  • Flux
  • Screwdriver
  • Needle nose pliers

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Plug in and heat up the soldering iron.

  2. 2

    Remove the housing on the equipment you are replacing the jacks on. Remove the housing on a home stereo. To gain more working room, remove the mounting screws on the back panel and lift it out.

  3. 3

    Note where each wire is connected to the jack and what colour it is.

  4. 4

    Touch the tip of the soldering iron to the end of the solder to "tin" or coat the tip, and then touch the tip of the soldering iron to one of the wires on the speaker jack. Once the solder turns liquid (it will be a matter of seconds) pull the wire free from the jack.

  5. 5

    Heat and remove the remaining wire from the jack post and if it is a stereo jack do the same for the third wire.

  6. 6

    Unscrew the mounting nut on the jack and remove the jack.

  7. 7

    Put the new jack into the old mounting hole and secure it in place with the mounting nut.

  8. 8

    Run the wires through the holes on the mounting posts and bend the tips over with the needle nose pliers so that the wires will not slip out. The wires should be black wire to Pin 1, red wire to pin 2 and shield or ground wire to pin 3.

  9. 9

    Heat a wire and post by holding the soldering iron to it and touch the end of the solder to the heated wire where it passes through the post. If the solder does not immediately melt, rub the tip of the solder back and forth a bit on the tip of the soldering iron.

  10. 10

    Solder the remaining wire, or two, the same way and remount the back panel and secure the housing back in place.

Tips and warnings

  • Make sure there are no solder drips connecting any of the posts to each other or to any part of the jack other than the post.
  • The tip of the soldering iron will reach temperatures in excess of 204 degrees C. so use care when handling.

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