How do I know which are the best connectors for speaker wires?
Having a good stereo in your car elevates the entire experience to another level. Now if you are an audiophile, you already have a basic idea of how to upgrade your car stereo in a proper manner.
You’ve taken care of the head unit, speakers, woofers, amplifiers and speaker cables. But there’s one more thing you’ve forgotten without which all of your efforts: figuring out the best connector for the speaker wires.
You might have tons of questions like: what are speaker wire connectors? Don’t worry because this guide will provide you with all the answers for your questions. Let’s get started.
What is a connector for speaker wire?
A connector is a small component of a stereo system that facilitates the connection between a speaker wire and the different other components of your car stereo system like the head unit, speakers, amplifiers and others.
You can attach the bare wire of a speaker wire to the terminals of a stereo component but most of the times it is not the best way to connect your wires.
Bare wires usually get loose over time and there’s also huge signal losses in such cases which affects sound quality very much.
Speaker wire helps in making tight connections between the speaker wires and the amplifier and prevents signal losses to a great extent.
Where do you use speaker wire connectors?
Speaker wire connectors are used in the terminals usually located at the back of different components of your car stereo system.
These are used to connect the bare speaker wires to the amplifier to provide smooth and adequate flow of sound signals of the required strength for a superb sound quality.
Since most speakers aren’t made with two-tone insulations, using colour-coded connectors make it easier to connect the wires to the correct terminals. Red positive terminals and black negative terminals of the amplifiers.
Connectors also make it a lot easier to simply plug and unplug wires from your stereo components. This is usually really helpful when you have to insert speaker wires around confined spaces.
With the proper housing for the wires provided by the connectors, connecting them becomes as simple as inserting a USB drive into a computer.
The other major contribution of a speaker wire connector is that it maintains a solid connection for sound signals to flow to the amplifiers.
Are there different types of speaker wire connectors?
Yes, there are different types of speaker wire connectors. Let’s have a look at some of them –
Pin Connectors –
These connectors look like a straight pin and are designed to work with spring-loaded terminals. You can also find some pin connectors to have angled pins and are held tight with screws.
They can also work with binding post terminals but it requires to have a hole in the side of the inside connector to function.
Spade Connectors –
Designed to work with binding post terminals, spade connectors look like a metal fork and they are fitted behind the screws of a binding post. They are known to provide one of the most reliable and secured connections.
Their design helps in preventing the wire ends from getting loose over time. They are a bit difficult to use compared to banana plugs but they do offer the best connection depending on your requirement.
Banana Plugs –
For binding post terminals, banana plugs provide the best connection for your speaker wires. They are especially useful when you have to connect your subwoofers to the amplifier without using a sub-out.
The banana plugs are inserted straight into the holes of the binding post terminal and provide probably the most solid speaker wire connection without any signal losses.
They are also available in dual plug configurations which can be used for dual-wiring speakers.
What makes a speaker wire connector good?
The main functions of a speaker wire connector are to provide proper housing for the speaker wires and a secured connection between the wires and the amplifiers. The connectors also prevent corrosion of the wires down the stretch.
The signal from the amplifiers to the speakers and the woofers is very high powered and as such, it will need wires of adequate size and quality.
Using wires appropriate wires helps maintain the overall sound quality of the stereo.
But if the contact area between the wires and the stereo components is not large enough, then the signal will get distorted. This leads to signal losses at those contact points which will ultimately lead to poor quality of sound coming from the stereo system.
A good connector then needs to be able to provide a proper surface area at the terminals for the signals to flow freely from the wires to the stereo components.
They also need to provide very tight connections and also need to prevent corrosion of the wires.
What are the best connectors for speaker wires?
The connectors usually considered to be the best for speaker wires are the banana plugs. Why? Well, there are a lot of reasons for it.
Banana plugs provide probably the most secured connection between the speaker wires and the amplifiers.
The plugs are bowed out in the middle and are inserted straight into the binding post holes, which provides a really strong grip at the terminals.
This means that signal loss is negligible, zero outside interference and no external noise, all of which adds up to a superb stable connection for superior sound quality.
The terminals required for them are also found in most of the speaker systems in the market which makes them really versatile to use.
All of the above reasons make banana plugs probably the best types of speaker wire connectors out there.
In this guide, you’ve learnt about speaker wire connectors and their uses. You’ve also learnt about the different types of connectors and why banana plugs are the best of the bunch. So, with all of that knowledge, what choice will you make for your connections?