Connecting speakers to an amplifier is not hard, it just takes a little bit of knowledge and some time. The process can be a bit confusing at times, but with a few tools, some patience and a lot of know-how you can make it work!
Whether you’re building a home stereo system or adding a new speaker to your car, it’s important to understand how to properly connect speakers. This will prevent loud thumps, clicks, pops and vibrations that can damage your speakers or scare you!
The first step in connecting speakers to an amplifier is identifying the speaker wire. Most speaker wires have either positive (+) or negative (-) markings, usually printed on the ends of the wire strands, to help identify their polarity. Alternatively, some speakers sport a color-coded terminal on the back of the speaker.
Next, you need to determine whether the speakers should be connected in series or parallel. This depends on their impedance. A speaker with a 4 ohm impedance can generally be connected in parallel, while a 6 or 8 ohm speaker is better suited to being wired in series.
If you plan on wiring speakers in parallel, you’ll need to calculate the total impedance of all the speakers being connected to one amplifier. This is easy with my calculators for Speakers in Series and Speakers in Parallel, which also calculate how multiple speakers share power when wired together.
For example, two 4O speakers in series have a total impedance of 8O, while a pair of 6O speakers is 12O. This means that the speakers can be connected to one amplifier in a way that will reduce the overall output power of your amp.
Once you have determined the correct connection method for your situation, you’ll need to gather all the necessary cables. Typically, you’ll need two audio cables to connect the amplifier to your speakers.
Then you’ll need to connect the speaker wires from each speaker to their corresponding terminal on the amplifier. This can be done using quick disconnect crimp terminals or soldering.
While the latter will give a more permanent connection, it will take longer to finish and requires a hot soldering iron. However, it can deliver a more robust and accurate sound, and can be used for equipment with non-typical connections.
Another option is to use a switch box, which has a number of specialized terminals for each amplifier channel. These terminals are labeled with a + or – symbol, and can be color coded red or black to indicate the proper polarity.
If you’re not using a switch box, you can still follow these simple steps to connect speakers to an amplifier. This is a great alternative to using a mixer or powered speaker, as you can connect all the speakers in your home without sacrificing performance!
Lastly, remember to turn off your amplifier before you start to connect your speakers. This will prevent thumps, clicks and pops that can damage your speakers or make them unusable!