extend speaker wire

How to Connect Speaker Wires Together – With Tips to Extend

If you would like to connect new speakers to your TV or just want to extend the distance between the TV and the speakers, then you’re looking to connect new wires to the old ones.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to connecting speaker wires properly together.

Step 1

Switch off the entire system and disengage the wall plug.

Step 2

Detach the speaker wire from the back of the amplifier or the radio and examine it.

Every speaker’s wire ought to consist of 2 smaller wires with a metal core that is stranded, encased by a flexible insulating material.

One of the strands is the positive, while the other one is the ground. The 2 normally have varying features to help differentiate them; for instance, there might be a bump on the insulation of one of the wires, or one of them may have a copper color while the other one has a silver color.

At the end of each wire, you should see a split in the shape of a Y, and at the tips, the wires should be stripped, such that around a ½ inch of bare metal strands are exposed.

Step 3

Buy a wire roll whose thickness is the same as (or near the same as) that of your speaker wires.

Step 4

Purchase also, a vinyl electrician’ tape roll as well as a few wire nuts (or wire connectors) that match the wire thickness.

Step 5

Take the measurements of the distance you need to extend the existing speaker wire and cut the new wire accordingly.

Step 6

Prep the wires’ ends by splitting them to form a Y. Also, strip the insulating material from the tips, to expose around a ½ inch of the bare metal strand.

Step 7

Link the new wire to the old one, and apply some insulation at the points of connection. The smartest way of doing that is to solder the bare metal strands and then apply some heat shrink around the soldered points.

Another fine way of doing it is by utilizing crimped connectors or wire nuts.

Note: if you don’t have the tools for soldering, such as the soldering iron and the soldering gun, and you don’t have crimping tools, wire nuts are your best option.

So, to link up the speaker wires, pick up the prepped ends of the new and the old wire. They should be 4 in number (2 on each side).

Ensure you’re matching the wires correctly, so that positive is connected to positive and the grounds are also connected together. To ensure you’re matching them up properly, observe the colors of the metal strands; they should be similar.

In case you’re going to use the heat shrink tube as insulation, side a piece that’s adequately long to cover the connection point onto the wires prior to creating the connection.

If you’re using wire nuts, position the new and the old wires such that the exposed tips are lying side by side, then place the wire nut over the tips, and turn it in the clockwise direction. The connector will not only link up the wires but also provide insulation.

For those who want to crimp the wires, here’s how to do it: insert the prepped wire ends into the connector and crimp. That’s the basic process but normally, crimping products come with their own directions; be sure to follow them.

Step 7

By now, the speaker wires should have 2 splices (or connections) each. Use a heat shrink tube or a wrap of vinyl tape to cover the splices and provide insulation. If you’re going to use a heat shrink, note that you’ll need a heat gun to apply the heat to the tubing.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1.Which speaker wire is positive and which one is negative?

There are normally indicators that you can use to tell the wires apart. Typically, the positive one is silver while the negative one is copper.

2.What speaker wire thickness is ideal?

For long runs, you should use a thick wire that’s 12 or 14-gauge. Such a wire is also well suited for a high-power application or a low-impedance speaker that is 4 or 6-ohm. If you’re doing a short run, a 16-gauge wire will be perfect.

3.How can I tell the polarity of the speaker wires based on color?

The red wire is typically positive while the black one is normally negative.

Final Thoughts

If you have several speakers, the same process will work for extending the speaker wires. Once you’re done, plug the electrical lines back into the wall outlet and turn on the system.

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