How to Connect Speaker Wires to Your Receiver

The most common way is to twist the Bare speaker wire around a metal post on the back of the receiver . Another way is to use a spring-loaded connector. Simply insert the Bare speaker wire into the hole and release the spring, which will clamp down on the wire and make a connection.

If you are new to home audio equipment, connecting your speakers to your receiver can be confusing. In this post, we’ll break down the process into three sections: how to pick out your wire, how to prepare that wire, and how to make all of those connections.

Speaker wire comes in pairs, with one set of wires for one speaker. The two wires are connected to two binding posts or terminals, making one complete connection – one for the positive binding posts and one for the negative binding posts. Speaker wire also comes in different colors, lengths, and sizes.

Speaker wire uses a sizing system called gauge. If you’re shopping for wire, you may come across a term called AWG with a number after it. Essentially, the smaller the number, the larger the gauge of wire. For instance, 16 gauge wire is thinner than 10 gauge wire.

When preparing the wire, you need to strip the end back so that it can connect to your home theater receiver, integrated amplifier, or standalone power amplifier. You can use scissors or pliers, but the best way to do this is with some wire strippers.

Banana plugs are a convenient option that makes things easier and also looks nice. To use banana plugs, strip the wire and fan out the strand, then push it through the one end of the unscrewed banana plug and screw the top down.

Connecting the wire to your speakers and component depends on whether you’re using bare wire or banana plugs. For bare wire connection, unscrew the terminal and thread the wire between the plastic guard and the terminal pillar in the middle. For banana plugs, just plug it into the middle hole.

For a home theater receiver, start wiring the front left and right speakers and unscrew the terminal. If you’re using thicker wire, make sure that you open that up as much as you can. Thread the wire through the hole and screw the terminal down.

For an integrated amplifier or stereo, it’s a little bit easier with the bare wire. Unscrew the terminals and thread the wire through the hole, then tighten down the terminal or binding posts.

Stand-alone power amplifiers are pretty much identical to either process that we’ve done depending on what kind of binding posts are available and what type of wire you’re using.

In summary, connecting speaker wires to your receiver is not as complicated as it seems. Strip the wire, use banana plugs for convenience, and connect the wire to your speakers and component.


Which wires to connect to receiver?
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.
Can you plug any speakers into a receiver?
Your receiver will need to include pre-outs or Zone 2 lines in order to connect powered or active speakers to it. Simply connect your speakers to the pre-outs or zone 2 outputs. You cannot connect powered or active speakers to a receiver's normal speaker terminals because it WILL damage the speakers.