How to Connect Speaker Wire to a Receiver

The first thing you should know about connecting speaker wires is that there are two main methods: RCA and XLR. Most modern sound systems will use one or the other for their signal line. However, depending on your particular sound system.

Your speakers may be great, but they won’t really do anything until they’re connected to the sound system in your room. But when you connect speaker wire in the wrong way, it can lead to some rather unpleasant results. That’s where you need to know how to connect a speaker wire to a receiver.

Here is how to avoid that issue by connecting speaker wire properly in order to get a good sound”.However, depending on your particular sound system, there may be more than one signal connection type on your equipment.

Speaker wire is an important music accessory that connects the sound system to the speaker. Whether you are connecting a small portable stereo or a complete home theater setup, at some point you will need a speaker wire for your connection.

Speaker Wire is a 16 gauge plain copper wire with outer sheathing. If you are unfamiliar with speaker wire, it is not necessary to know how it works or which type of cable to buy. Not only does the speaker wire play your tunes but, when put into one of these connectors, you can also listen to music!

Table of Contents

5 Steps to Connect Speaker Wire to a Receiver

The speaker wire that you’re describing only extends the length of the connecting part of the cord, and it is used to connect one speaker to another.

Speaker wire can also be used as an engineering cable for interconnecting amplifier lines, especially when a heavier-gauge line needs to accommodate much higher voltages or currents.


Most stereo receivers, amplifiers, and standard speakers have terminals on the back for connecting speaker wires. These terminals are either the spring clip or binding post type.

These terminals are also almost always color-coded for easy identification: The positive terminal (+) is typically red, while the negative terminal (-) is typically black. Note that some speakers are bi-wire capable, which means the red and black terminals come in pairs for a total of four connections.

Types of Connectors

Mono: Single wire with a lug, crimp, or threaded spade connector that is connected to a terminal on the other end.

Duet: Two wires are connected together by a barbell-shaped terminal on one end and a lug, crimp, or threaded spade connector on the other.

Duplex: Two wires are connected together with a common lug and ring terminal on one end and each leads to its own threaded spade or lugs connector on the other.

Connecting Receivers or Amplifiers

The positive speaker terminal (red) on the receiver or amplifier must be connected to the positive terminal on the speakers, and the same applies to the negative terminals on all the equipment.

Technically, the color or labeling of the wires doesn’t matter as long as all the terminals match up. However, it’s usually best to follow the indicators to avoid potential confusion later.

This situation can cause serious sound quality problems. It may not damage any components, but you will most likely hear the difference in output, such as:

  • Very thin, lean-sounding bass, poor subwoofer performance, or both.
  • No discernable center image.
  • A general sense that the system doesn’t sound right.

Of course, other issues can create similar sound problems, but an incorrect speaker phase is one of the most common mistakes when setting up a stereo system. Unfortunately, the Speaker phase setup is easy to overlook, especially if you’re dealing with a cluster of audio and video cables.

So, take your time to make sure that all speakers are in-phase: positive-to-positive (red-to-red) and negative-to-negative (black-to-black).

How do I check if a speaker wire is positive or negative?

Here’s a list of the most common ways to tell:

  1. A printed line or series of dashes/lines is on the positive.
  2. One side is a red wire or a different color than the negative wire (most often red and black are used).
  3. One wire has a copper color and one has a silver finish.
  4. The positive wire may have small positive (“+”) symbols and/or size info printed on it.
  5. An imprint or molded stripe is made in the positive side’s insulation.

Wire Cutting Tips

To cut wire, just insert the wire and slightly close the tool until the wire is securely held in place & can’t move. Then squeeze very firmly. The wire should “snap” lightly and will be cut.

While you can get by with utility scissors (don’t use standard scissors used for paper or fabrics!) you’ll have to insert the wire right at the inside of the blades and cut very carefully.

Stripping the Wire

Stripping speaker wire can be a little bit tricky but it’s a skill you’ll pick up quickly after a few tries. The main trick is to pinch only the wire’s insulation and not the wire strands themselves.

If you catch the wire inside by squeezing a stripper too hard you’ll likely break off of the wire strands.

To strip wire:

  1. Insert the wire in the stripper and close it carefully on the insulation. Use enough force to hold the wire in place and slightly pinch the insulation, but not enough to put force on the wire inside.
  2. Hold the tool & pressure in place firmly so it cannot move.
  3. Pull the wire. The insulation could break off and the exposed wire should remain.


This article will provide you with some information on how to connect speaker wire, as well as some advice on where to obtain appropriate tools.

Speaker wire is an electronic cable that contains two strands of thin copper. The cable is designed so it can transmit electricity, which speakers need in order to produce sound.

The most common places to find speaker wire are at electronics stores and home improvement stores. If you’re planning on connecting your speakers to an amp using this type of cable, then it’s important that you know how to use the proper tools for the task.


Q: How to connect ceiling speakers to receivers?

A: Unplug everything. Before you connect all the wires to a receiver,be sure to have any electricity source cut off. Get your wires. Take note of their colorings; for basic wiring,they come in black and red pair. … Split the ends of the wires. … See how the wires should be connected to the speakers. …

Q: How do you connect speaker wire?

A: Make sure all your components are completely unplugged. No signal should be running through anything while you hook up speakers. Prepare your wires for connection. Examine the wire and take note of any differences between coloring on either half. Split the wire down the center for a couple of inches. …

Q: How to connect your speakers properly?

A: Speaker Terminals. Most stereo receivers,amplifiers,and standard speakers (i.e.,ones that are able to receive signals through speaker wire connections) feature terminals on the back for connecting speaker wires. Speaker Wire. … Types of Connectors. … Connecting Receivers or Amplifiers. …

Q: How to connect 4 speakers to a 2 Channel Receiver?

A: Never try to overload the amplifier as it will just damage it. The sound you get depends upon the power of the amplifier and you cannot increase it much just by increasing the speakers. … Don’t neglect a bit in checking impedance if you want your audio system to work for a long time.