How to install banana plugs on speaker wire for easy connect…

We install and dismantle a lot of home theater and audio/video gear on a daily basis – from speakers and subwoofers to amplifiers, receivers, turntables and everything in between. And one thing that gets old very fast is cutting, stripping and wrapping raw speaker wire. It’s messy, it involves connecting and disconnecting components, and it can leave wire hanging loose behind your speaker or receiver terminals resulting in unwanted noise or poor performance.

One of the best things you can do to improve the condition of your speaker wire is to install banana plugs Which can be plugged directly into compatible speaker or receiver/amplifier terminals, similar to RCA plugs. It’s cheap to do, and they look clean, provide a secure connection, and make it really easy to connect and disconnect your components.

Here’s how to install banana plugs on raw speaker wire.

A set of banana plugs on the table.

Derek Malcolm/

take a pack of banana plugs

There are a few different types of banana plugs that you can find at your local Best Buy, audio shop, or Amazon, but as far as installing them goes they are pretty much the same. For our purposes, we’re going to go with banana plug style You don’t need any soldering and it has a small screw that you can tighten.

You can find banana plugs in a variety of fasteners and in every style right angle connector To dual tipped even more. It’s up to you to decide what works best.

The speaker wire was separated by half an inch to allow for banana plugs.

Derek Malcolm/

Prepare Your Speaker Wire

After cutting your speaker wire to the length you need, here’s how to prepare the ends for the banana plugs.

step 1: Depending on the speaker wire you’re using, there may be an outer jacket that hides two different wires inside, one red and one black. If this is the case, using your wire strippers, carefully remove about 2 inches of that outer jacket to expose and separate both wires.

Different types of speaker wire, such as the wire we are using, are joined together. Use an exacto knife to separate the two wires. They may or may not be color-coded.

step 2: After separating your wires, use wire strippers to remove about half an inch of insulation from the ends of each wire to expose the raw wire. Be careful that none of the wire strands are cut or damaged.

The cut wire and an open banana plug is ready for installation.

Derek Malcolm/

Connect the wires to the banana plug

With the wires exposed, you can now connect them to the banana plug.

step 1: First, you may have to prepare the banana plugs to accept the raw wire. In our example, you will need to open the outer cover of the plug’s housing and separate it from the inner stem. Also make sure to loosen the screw that holds the wire in place.

Tighten the screw on the banana plug.

Derek Malcolm/

step 2: Next, insert the raw end of the wire into the core of the banana plug and tighten the screw to secure. Do this for both the black and red plugs and then do the same for the other end of the wire if installing at both ends.

A set of banana plugs installed on speaker wire.

Derek Malcolm/

step 3: Put the outer cover of the plug back on and tighten it tightly. That’s it, your work is done.

A set of banana plugs are plugged into the speaker.

Derek Malcolm/

Connecting Banana Plugs to Amps and Speakers

This is the easy part. Most speakers and receivers/amplifiers will have speaker terminals with a hole in the middle for inserting a banana plug. Some have little plastic covers over the holes that you have to remove first. Make sure to put them in a ziplock bag or container for safe keeping.

Similar to plugging in an RCA cable, all you have to do is plug and play!

Comment: However, keep in mind that banana plugs will not work with the spring clips found on many speakers and receivers/amplifiers.

With banana plugs installed on all of your speaker wires, it will not only be much easier to connect and disconnect your components – especially for those of you who have components hidden in the media unit that you have to pull in and out of. Or have to crawl under to access – – but the electrical connection will be stronger and more stable than dirty raw wire. Plus, it couldn’t be easier to do.

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