If you are trying to set up your stereos but stuck at the point where you need to wire the banana plugs, you’ve got this post right. Banana plugs are one of the various methods useful for terminating the speaker wires. Check this post to know how you can connect banana plugs with speaker wires easily!
What are Banana Plugs?
Also known as 4mm connectors, these are cylindrical plugs with sprung metal leaves bulging outward. These springs provide good connectivity and a snug fit in a socket, which prevents the pin from falling out.
There is about a 25mm long cylindrical pin in the plug that can be inserted into the socket for making a secured electrical contact. The wide end of the 4mm plug has a 4mm hole that accepts the pin of another plug. This is known as a stackable plug.
Benefits of Using Banana Plugs
Banana plugs improve the electrical connection between the component and speaker wire. It allows convenient and quick installation.
They offer a safe and tidy way of connecting wiring to the equipment through banana-compatible sockets. It can be quickly connected and disconnected. If you avoid using banana plugs, it could risk your connection of equipment overload and short circuit.
These plugs fit well with different audio equipment, such as:
- Audio wires and cables
- Hi-fi receivers
- Wired speakers and sound systems
- Auxiliary jacks
- TV aerials
- Laboratory testing equipment
How to Use Banana Plugs with Speaker Wire?
Step 1 – Prepare the Wire
- Measure the Speaker Wire
You must measure enough wire that reaches your speaker. Measure at least 1-2ft wire from the actual length. Clip the desirable wire length using wire cutters.
- Choose the Positive End of the Wire
There are two sides to a wire – negative and positive. For a red and black wire set, the red wire is positive. If both wires are of the same color, the smaller side is the positive wire.
The banana plug is attached to the positive end of the wire and this has to be connected to the red terminal of the receiver and speaker.
- Strip Away Insulation Using Wire Cutters
You need to strip away around ¾ -4 inches of insulation from the wire. There is a small notch in the wire cutter using which the insulation can be stripped away. Insert your wire into this notch with gentle pressure.
Strip away the insulation from both ends of the wire. In case there is no notch in the wire cutter, you can use blades.
- Twist Both Ends of the Wire
Take the exposed part of the copper wire in between your hand ensuring the wires face the same direction. Roll them between the fingers to twist them. Avoid placing too much pressure on the wire as it could result in breakage.
- Solder Both Ends of Each Wire
For a long-lasting connection, it is better to solder both ends of the wire. Hold the solder to the wire’s tip. Solder for 1-2 seconds and repeat if required.
The soldering iron must be kept away from flammable substances. Keep it away from your skin as well. Apply a little amount of solder to all ends of the wire. If you don’t wish to solder, you can twist the wire.
Step 2 – Connect Banana Plug to the Speaker Wire
- Use the Negative and Positive Plug
You can identify the positive plug of the banana plug by checking the red mark or ring. There is no marking on the red plug or there is a black ring. It is important to plug the wire into the correct component, to avoid damage or shock.
- Unscrew the Bottom of the Banana Plug
Banana plugs come in various designs, but each has 2 parts – a post or prong with a hole where the wire can be inserted and a screw or a sleeve that you need to tighten. Carefully match the plugs and set the plugs securely so that they don’t roll away. Loosen the screws of the plug using a screwdriver.
- Insert the Positive End of the Wire into the Red Colored Hole
The soldered end of the wire needs to be plugged into the hole. This is vital to form a secured connection. The insulation and another side of the plug must be placed outside the plug.
The hole for the wire must be placed on the bottom or side of the plug. Don’t insert insulation inside the hole. This is necessary to form a secured connection. If there is any bare wire visible, you need to cut it till it wraps or fits the end of the plug using electrical tape.
- Insert the Screw into the Plug
Though each plug has different mechanics each one of them has a screw, which needs to be tightened. Fit a bigger screw into the plug’s bottom or you may place a sleeve over the plug and tighten it. It is best to read the instruction manual carefully.
- Repeat the Process Again for the Negative End of the Wire
Place the negative plug of the side to the negative end of the plug. Be careful to identify the negative wire and connect it to the right plug. Once done, you will have 4 banana plugs connected to the speaker wire.
- Insert the Banana Plugs into the Correct Ports
There are black and red jacks or ports on the receiver and speaker. This makes it convenient to match the polarity. When everything is connected, switch on the power to its components.
If no sound or spark is coming, it means the connection is properly done.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Does Banana Plugs Make Sound Quality Better?
A. Not only banana plugs but other methods of termination do not affect the sound quality at all. You get a streamlined and durable connection setup with these plugs but not much improvement in the sound quality. The connectors pass the electricity from amplifiers to the binding post of the speaker using internal crossover and wiring.
Q. Should I purchase expensive banana plugs?
A. Buying an expensive banana plug does not mean an enhanced sound quality. Even a cheap banana plug can produce the same level of sound that an expensive one does. However, expensive plugs offer better connectivity than cheaper ones. This means you can expect long years of service from expensive banana plugs.
You may easily install banana plugs and join them to the speakers conveniently. Enjoy the durable wire and quality sound with your speakers. Enjoy a great audio system!