The Untold Secret to How to Wire Speakers with 4 Terminals

Speakers are important peripheral devices connected to PCs and other similar electronic gadgets. They are used to emit sounds from PC. They have been constantly updated to meet customer’s requirements and produce charming computer sounds with the supreme quality.

The better the quality, the louder sound would be produced by the speakers and more people would be able to hear it.

With time, they have been updated to come with different designs such that in earlier times, they had 2 terminals with limited functions; now they are made with multiple terminals.

More than one terminal allows the speakers to perform various functions and execute more features, such as the audio can be sent to isolated drivers and amplifiers.

Plus, they can still be used in stereotypical and outdated ways, such as sending a single audio signal to all the drivers.

But the issue you might encounter is how to wire speakers with 4 terminals? Hold on! There’s no need to get troubled as this article would satiate your inquisitiveness.

Best Way to What is a Speaker

Speaker is a device that transforms electric audio signals into sound waves. In proper terminology, it is known as an electroacoustic transducer.

There are many speakers based on the latest technology and have the best quality machinery fit inside to amplify the sounds, so it is audible to a large audience.

But the best one among them is dynamic speakers. They require an external force to amplify and enhance the audio before it makes it to the speakers.

The main function of speakers is performed by an electromagnet, as you would notice if you open your speaker. It transforms the electrical signals into audio signals.

It vibrates the cone attached to it to the receiving audio signal and produces sound. Speakers are casually used by people in different parts of their lives for performing various tasks.

Mostly, people use it to enjoy music and entertain themselves in their leisure time. They have different sizes and shapes and are available with different features.

They are also known as super tweeters, woofers, sub-woofers, and mid-range woofers. But they all are similar in that they are connected to wires, and that connection, too, is never changed.

Speakers are attached to cables which may differ depending upon their number of terminals. Nowadays, with improvements in technology, speakers have become wire-less.

They are made to function through Bluetooth to avoid the hassle caused due to wire connections. But still, wired connections are better, and many companies produce wired speakers with multiple terminals.

Learn Why Do Speakers Have 4 Terminals

It is often confusing how to connect speakers with cables having 4 ends. The two terminals are used for positive and negative polarities, while the other two regulate high and low frequencies that depend upon you.

They are several methods of wiring speakers with 4 terminals, and all of these ways differ from each other.

How to Wire Speakers with 4 Terminals Step by Step

If you want to know in detail about the major ways of how to wire speakers with 4 terminals, then the instructions beneath would clarify all your queries:-

Bi-Wiring

This refers to the connection in which speakers have two terminals. You should use this method by separating the conducting bar from the terminals and joining one group of wires, and this is how usually the speakers are connected.

The bar is left out, and the two groups of wires are connected to each driver. The bar is disconnected to eliminate audio distortion caused by high and low power frequency. They can enhance sound levels significantly.

These are outdated forms of connections used in speakers. These speakers were manufactured in the late 1980s.

Bi-Amping

This refers to the connection when speakers have more than two terminals. This can be an alternative method that you can follow for wiring speakers with 4 terminals.

Here you have to attach the terminals with the isolated amplifiers directly. This segregates the high and low-frequency speakers to their respective amplification channels. 

It’s better than bi-wiring because it has 4 terminals which produce better quality sound. This is why people mostly prefer bi-amped speakers to have more control over sound production.

More terminals mean more amplifiers, and more amplifiers lead to better sound with minimum disruptions.

How to Make Sure Whether Speakers Are Bi-wired Or Bi-Amped

Find the labels upon your speaker terminals. If they are labeled as’ Height’ and ‘Main,’ you should refrain from bi-amping them. For bi-amping, separate connections are made at the top and bottom of the terminals for external power.

The top ones are used for high frequencies, while the bottom ones are for lower frequencies. If you go with the same old method of connecting wires through bi-wiring, you should use two metal jumpers.

These jumpers come with speakers and are used to provide a link between both sets of terminals. They are made up of conducting materials used for delivering the signals from one set of the terminal to another.

In case you don’t have metal jumpers, then don’t worry! You can achieve the same results by using two wires connected in the same combination to that of metal jumpers.

They are also made up of conductive materials and can convey signals from one terminal to another.

Detailed Guidance for How to Wire Speakers with 4 Terminals

Let me explain to you the process above, which is not as difficult as it seems. Certainly, teaching it to you sequentially will eventually make you fancy How to Wire Speakers to Amp.

Power off The Speaker System

First and foremost, you need to power off the whole speaker system to avoid injuries in case of wrong wire connections.

Then you have to determine the nature of wire that you should use, keeping in focus the length of the cable and resistance of the speaker. While keeping this in mind, you should also note the length and gauge of the wire.

Shredding Speaker Wire

The follow-up step to wire speakers with 4 terminals includes shredding the wire of speakers. You should do this to connect the two open ends of wires to amplifiers for amplifying the sound.

For properly shredding the wire, I would recommend you a crimping tool. It is mostly used by experts for not causing much damage to the wire and neatly stripping it off because there is much more possibility of damaging the inner side of the wire in case of not using this tool.

Connecting Speaker Wire with The Amplifier at One End

Following this step, the next task you have to perform is joining your speaker with an amplifier at one end. An amplifier may have different types of terminals like bi-wiring posts, clip terminals, or binding posts.

The ends of both the speakers and amplifiers are coded with particular colors, so it would be easy for you to distinguish among them and attach the wires with terminals of similar colors.

Now, join the speakers’ wires to the amplifier, keeping in mind that you have to eliminate any pins or plates acting as a barrier/bridge between the two terminals.

You should notice that the specific channels of the amplifier should be connected with their respective sections of speakers.

Now search for the ends of receivers with which you have to do bi-amping. Once found, now set the volume controls of the amplifier.

It will correspond with the signal that will be given to the speakers. After this, attach the output of the main speaker to the set of connections of the other speaker.

Follow the same method on the other side. Along with this, you should also take notice of the proper polarity of the connected wires.

After everything is confirmed, you are right to go! Now tauten the posts. This marks an end to the wiring.

Connecting Speaker Wire with Speakers

This is just similar to the task you already performed above with the amplifiers. Eliminate any bridge pins or plates attached to the ends and enter the wire to each post to ensure that the polarity is okay.

Also, check and confirm that correct wires are attached to correct ends, i.e., bass and treble end. After examining and approving everything, now secure the ends by tightening.

How  to Connect Amplifier  with 2 Terminals with Speakers Having 4 Terminals

Amplifiers often come with 2 outputs: one is plus and the other minus. One is for the left speaker and the other one for the right.

On the other hand, speakers have 4 terminals: two for negative and positive poles while the other two for low and high frequencies.

So to connect the amplifier with 2 terminals with a 4 terminal speaker, it is suggested to either attach both the cables to each of the speakers or join one cable, of short length, to the low-frequency terminal and then make connection from low frequency to the high frequency.

Why Are Lenth and Gauge Measurements of Wire Important

Most people ignore the length and gauge of the wire, which is not good. Remember, you can never have the best audio quality unless and until you measure your speaker’s impedance which is important for knowing the length and gauge measurement.

You should be mindful that an elongated wire increases the resistance, which disturbs the original audio. Hence, the wire should be of proper length related to the impedance of the wire.

Most of the wires used in speakers are made up of copper.

Why is Matching Polarity Important

This method can also succeed and give you desired results when both speakers are connected with two terminals. A speaker wire that has 4 terminals has an active gauge when it’s redoubled.

It resultantly augments your power supply and would become the best choice for you to fulfill your needs. This is the method where you may encounter problems like many others out there.

Before setting up the wires, they don’t measure the impedance levels and length of the wires and then blame the defects in the setting of wires.

Also, keen attention is needed while setting up wires, ensuring their polarity and whether they are connected to the proper ends.

This is because the matching polarity has a huge role in electrical connections. Normally, the black one is ground or negative while the red wire is positive.

Although speakers work on AC than DC, hence not much danger is suspected in the reversal of polarities but may still be dangerous. It’s better if you avoid it.

A mere reverse in polarity might damage the whole electronic setup and audio system, which can be a big loss for you. So take care!

You may find it time-consuming, but a little laziness in this part may cause a failure of the entire setup.

Frequently Asked Questions  (FAQs) of How to Wire Speakers to Amp

For further clarifying your concepts, let me give a brief and comprehensible answers to your questions:

Q1. Why do some speakers have 4 connectors?

Ans: Some speakers have 4 connectors instead of the normal two. These are made for bi-amping your speakers. For connecting both amps, one pair of connectors is attached to each amp.

One is for running the lower terminals, while the other is for running the upper terminals. The upper ends are for powering the tweeters, while the lower terminals are for powering the woofers.

To connect these 4 jumpers, you must have a jumper that could provide a link between the two. This jumper would assist you in jumping the polarity from positive to negative and vice versa.

Q2. Why do my speakers have 2 sets of terminals?

Ans: Some speakers might also have 2 sets of terminals. These are meant for bi-wiring the speaker wires. Bi-wiring refers to the connection in which two wires of receiver speakers are connected to the speakers such that one pair goes to the upper terminal while the other pair goes to the lower terminal.

Q3. What is a 4 conductor speaker wire?

Ans: 4 conductor speaker wires are slightly different from 2 conductor speaker wires. These have 4 terminals: 2 for positive and negative connections while 2 for high and low frequencies. You can use them for bi-wiring and bi-amping speakers.

Q4: Why do Klipsch speakers have 4 terminals?

Ans: Updated versions of Klipsch speakers have 4 input terminals along with an input cup. These 4 terminals are used for bi-amping the speaker rather than the traditional bi-wiring.

For bi-amping these speakers, you will have to attach an external power amp to the bottom terminal while another external power amp to the lower terminal.

Q5: How do you hook up to 4-way speakers?

Ans: There are 3 ways to connect 4-way speakers:

  1. Parallel combination: This is also known as the daisy chain. Speakers are directly connected to amplifiers; hence it is the most suitable method.
  2. Series combination: Each speaker is wired to the next one, which may be complex to connect. If anyone’s wire is disconnected, the whole setup may stop working.
  3. Speaker selector switch: This is the safest way. In this way, a switch box is installed at any area to which all speakers are connected.

Q6: How do I connect 4 speakers to a 2 channel amplifier?

Ans: There are simple ways to wire 4 speakers with 2 amplifiers. They can be connected both in parallel and in a series combination. But the best way to connect them is through parallel one rather than series.

This parallel combination is known as the Daisy configuration. In this system, the speakers are directly attached to the amplifier; hence, it is easiest.

Q7: What is the difference between HF and LF on speakers?

Ans: You may encounter speakers labeled as HF and LF. HF stands for High frequency while LF stands for Low frequency. A high-frequency speaker is also called a tweeter, while a low frequency speaker is also called a woofer.

Q8: How do you hook up speakers in parallel?

Ans: There are several ways to connect speakers. The most feasible ones are through parallel and series combinations.

In a parallel combination, all the positive leads are connected while all the negative leads are connected to the negative connection of the other speakers.

Q9: Can a 4 conductor speaker wire be used to connect a pair of speakers?

Ans: Yes, you can connect a pair of speaker with the help of a 4 conductor speaker wire when each of them has one pair of connections.

But the problem you can face here is that you will have to remove the outer jacket to minimize the distance between the two speakers. This may be a little problematic.

Q10: What is the difference between 2-way, 3-way, and 4-way speakers?

Ans: There are plenty of speaker types available in the market. But they are of 3 kinds regarding their ways of combination:-

  • 2-way: These are the most common ones. They are available with 2 drivers, i.e., a tweeter and a woofer driver.
  • 3-way: These are also called tri-axial speakers. They are available with 3 drivers, i.e., midrange driver, woofer cone, and a tweeter driver.
  • 4-way: These are also called quad-axial speakers. They are available with 4 drivers, i.e., midrange cone, woofer cone, tweeter, and a super tweeter.

Final Verdict

In a nutshell, speakers are useful output devices for producing computer sounds. You can use them at different places for different purposes.

They have different types and can be combined in various ways. They are attached to amplifiers to double-up the fun!

Nowadays, they are manufactured wire-less, which makes it easier to connect them. The wiring combination may be tough, but in the above guidelines, you can easily understand how to wire speakers with 4 terminals correctly.

It would help you understand all the pre-requisites for making a wire connection with speakers. Also, it would take you along a venture of wiring while making you aware of all the danger zones that might pull up if care was taken for granted.

After going through this article, I am sure you would have rightly put everything and connected your speakers. Now sit back and enjoy the fun!

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