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Why You Should Think About Banana Plugs

Whether you are setting up a multi-channel surround sound system, or even a simple two speaker setup, a good speaker wire connection is vital for getting great sound, not to mention a clean looking installation. Traditionally, speaker wire connections were made by stripping the cables of their rubber coating, leaving the bare wires to make the connections. This causes several problems for anyone wanting great sound or an aesthetically pleasing setup.

What is a Banana Plug?

Banana plugs are the alternative to using bare wire terminations when connecting your speakers to your receiver. They are metal or plastic plugs that attach at the end of your speaker wire, allowing for an attractive, safe, simple, and secure connection between the speaker wire and the terminal.

Why Banana Plugs

Good speakers and speaker cable are both important elements to a good home theater, but how you terminate your speaker cable can be just as important. And there’s more to consider than just sound quality. This is why banana plugs are such a great idea, they give you great sound quality along with several other benefits you can’t get from other connector types.

Don’t Second Guess Whether Your Connection is Optimal

When it comes to cable termination, sound quality is most affected by surface area contact. For the best sound, you need all the strands in the speaker wire to connect with your equipment. Bare wire connections can easily get pulled out, become corroded, or get frizzy over time, making it hard to guarantee a secure connection. Banana plugs protect against corrosion and ensure a solid connection with the maximum surface area for the life of your cable.

banana plugs

Keep You Cable and Equipment Safe

The main worry with bare wire connections is frayed cable. If you’re not experienced handling bare wire, there’s always the odd chance a random strand could escape you and touch something metal, causing a short. Even after you’ve installed your speakers, if there is even the slightest chance of them being knocked over by pets, kids, or anyone else, banana plugs are a must. They will keep your cables from tearing or being ripped out, which could damage your cable and equipment.

Speaker Cable Oxidation Prevention

Speaker cable is made of copper, which can oxidize very quickly when exposed to air (you’ll know when this happens because the bright copper color will darken). This oxidation can ruin your sound quality, not to mention your cable. The only way to fix it is to cut off the section of cable that has been oxidized. This can be a serious problem if you don’t have any cable length to spare. Both soldered and solderless banana plugs offer great protection from corrosion.

Banana Plugs are Easier to Connect

Connecting speaker wires can be a pain, usually requiring a bunch of stuffing and twisting for each speaker connection. This can be worse if you have to get into cramped spaces to connect your cables. With banana plugs, you just plug the cable into the port, no hassle required. This is especially beneficial for multichannel systems or anyone who plans on moving their setup in the future.


Last but not least, banana plugs make your equipment look better. If you’re spending the time and money to put in high quality equipment, why not make it look as good as it performs? Bare wire connections are messy and can be rather ugly. Banana plugs give you a clean installation that looks as nice as it sounds.

Bottom Line

While buying banana plugs might not seem as exciting as buying that big screen TV or earth rattling speakers, they are important to a quality home theater setup. They make it look better, sound better, and install easier.

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