Types of Audio Speaker Connections

Written by sarah freeman
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Types of Audio Speaker Connections
Use connectors to attach your audio speaker to an amplifier. (Burke/Triolo Productions/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

An audio speaker will amplify the sounds of music or dialogue. Before it can work, however it must be connected to an amplifier with speaker wire. There are a variety of ways to make that connection, including using bare wire or terminated connectors. These connectors can be crimped, soldered, compressed and twisted on the end of the wires before making a secure connection from the speaker to the amplifier.

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Bare Wires

Bare wires, with their plastic sheathing stripped, are one way to connect an audio speaker to an amplifier. This is often seen as the simplest way to connect audio speakers to an amplifier because the user doesn't need any additional terminals or crimps. Instead, the wire can be easily placed into the needed terminals. However, bare wires can fray and unravel over time, which can lead to short circuits. Also, these exposed wires might corrode and corrupt the connection.

Pin Connectors

A pin connector is another way to connect your audio speaker to an amplifier. This connector has a straight and narrow shape that can be attached on the end of a wire. The pin end will slide into a spring-clip terminal or can be bound with a five-way binding post. Pin connectors work well with thick-gauged wire.

Spade Connectors

Spade connectors are horseshoe-shaped connectors that can be secured on the end of an audio speaker wire through crimping, pressure and other methods. This style of connection is used to secure an audio speaker wire to a five-way binding post. The spade is placed underneath the binding post. This connector can make a secure connection by tightening the five-way binding post on top of it.

Banana Plug

A banana plug is an audio speaker connector that features a bow shape in the middle of the connector that resembles the fruit. These connections are inserted into the middle of a binding post, where the shape of the plug creates a solid connection. The banana plug style of connection can often be found on high-end amplifiers and speakers.

Dual Banana Plugs

Dual banana plugs are similar to their singular banana plug cousin; however, these connectors use two prongs for both the positive and negative signals of the amplifier. These plugs are evenly spaced to fit directly into a pair of a five-way binding's posts, which helps prevent the system from shorting out if the wires become loose.

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