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How to Use Banana Plugs With Speaker Wire

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Attaching the banana plugs to the speaker wire

This tutorial demonstrates how to install our side-entry banana plugs (below) with speaker wire. Find connection diagrams for our other models on each of their respective product pages.

There are many benefits of using banana plugs with your speaker wire. The biggest benefit comes when you are doing behind the wall installations and using wall plates (as opposed to just leaving a big hole in the wall). These wall plates will generally just have a jack for a banana plug. Banana plugs also will help the back of your speakers and receiver look nicer and reduce the messy look of all the wires.

Pre-Terminated Speaker Cable

In this article we'll show you how to attach the Sewell Direct banana plugs to speaker wire. In this guide we'll be using the Sewell Direct bulk speaker wire that is designed to be great for in wall installations, but also works great for your regular speaker wire runs. The yellow wire stripper is also one that we sell at a bargain price.

Products used in this guide:

Click on the images for a larger view


The first thing you'll need to do is to cut the wire to the length you need. If you're running the wire behind the wall, do so before attaching the banana plugs. When you have the correct length of wire, pull one end away to give yourself room to work.

banana plug installation

Using the wire stripper place the cutting edge about 2 inches away from the end of the cable. Let the force of the arm on the stripper put pressure on the cable and then spin the stripper around the cable a few times to cut the outer jacket.

banana plug installation

With the jacket being cut, simply slide the jacket off the end of the wire. This will expose the two inner wires. Also, remove the wire stripper.

banana plug installation

You'll now see the red and black wires which are what will carry the audio signal. The red line is used for the audio signal and the black wire is for the electrical ground connection.

banana plug installation

We will now need to be able to work with each individual wire of the pair. In order to make this easy, untwist the pair of wires and pull them away from each other.

banana plug installation

We now need to strip the jacket off of the copper wire. Place the wire stripper about 3/4 of an inch from the end of the wire. Just as before, rotate the stripper around the wire a few times in order to cut through the jacket.

banana plug installation

Pull the cut jacket off of the bare wire and remove the cable stripper. This will expose the bare wire that we need to work with.

banana plug installation

We need to repeat what we just did; doing it to the other wire. Use the wire stripper to cut the jacket about 3/4 of an inch from the end of the wire.

banana plug installation

Once that is completed, we will have the exposed wire on both wires. This is exactly how the cable needs to be for us to use the banana plugs. We will no longer need the wire stripper.

banana plug installation

In order to best feed the wire into the banana plugs we want the wire to be twisted. Place one of the sets of wire between your finger and your thumb. Then slide your finger across the top, causing the wires to twist around each other.

banana plug installation

Here is the pair of banana plugs we will be using. These banana plugs can be used in two different ways. You can install the wire through the back of the plug, or through the side. We will show both methods. We will show the method of feeding the wire through the back first.

banana plug installation

First, unscrew the back of the banana plug. This will make room for us to feed the wire into the front of the plug from the back.

banana plug installation

Feed the speaker wire through the back of the open banana plug until you feel it reach the front of the plug.

banana plug installation

We need to get the wire to fill the gap between the front and back of the banana plug. You can do this by applying more pressure to the wire being fed through the back. Keep pressing until you see the wire start to spread out inside. If done correctly, the wire will appear to fan out in all directions.

banana plug installation

With the wire filling the open gap, screw the back of the banana plug down. If you have properly fed enough wire into the banana plug this should tighten down on the wire and create some pressure on it, keeping it from falling out.

banana plug installation

Now, let's look at the simpler, but less clean looking, side method. Just as before, unscrew the back of the banana plug to make room for the wire.

banana plug installation

Insert the wire in through the side of the banana plug, pressing the end of the wire against the front of the banana plug.

banana plug installation

With the wire in place, screw the back of the banana plug down. This will then secure the wire in place by pinching it between the screw and the side of the plug.

banana plug installation

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