How to Wire Speakers With 4 Terminals: [Step-by-Step Guide 2024]

Do you want to improve the sound quality of your speakers and learn how to wire speakers with 4 terminals?

If your answer is yes, you will agree with me that connecting a speaker can seem a little confusing if you are facing it for the first time.

How to wire speakers with 4 terminals

But luckily for you, I’ve written this article to help you to connect 4 terminal speakers so that you can get a sound that is clearer and more accurate.

By the end of this guide, you’ll have all the information you need to successfully wire 4 terminal speakers yourself.

So let’s get started!

Understanding the Basics of 4 Terminal Speakers

Speaker with 2 terminals and speaker with 4 terminals

Unlike standard speakers with one positive and one negative terminal, 4 terminal speakers have two sets of terminals: one pair for the tweeter (high-frequency driver) and another for the woofer (low-frequency driver).

This design provides improved frequency separation and better sound quality, making a more enjoyable listening experience overall. Trust me, once you hear your favorite songs on speakers with 4 terminals, you’ll never want to return to plain old speakers again.

The Benefits of 4 Terminal Speaker Wiring

Wiring the speakers with 4 terminals has several advantages; one of them is the better sound quality  (you will notice that the sound is much cleaner and more pleasant to listen to). Another advantage is the reduced sound distortion because the frequencies are separated into different drivers and thus you get a more accurate sound reproduction.

If you looking for more control over sound reproduction, then bi-wiring and bi-amping might be the way to go. to achieve it. These wiring methods separate frequencies into different drivers, improving clarity and detail.

Four Terminals: Everything You Need to Know

When we speak about positive and negative terminals, you need to make sure you connect them correctly to get the best sound quality possible.

The positive terminal is typically marked with a “+” sign, while the negative terminal is marked with a “-” sign. They are often color-coded in red and black. If you accidentally don’t connect the polarities correctly, the result will be speakers that are out of phase and producing lower-quality sound.

Elevate Your Listening with Bi-Wiring

The most popular method of connecting speakers with 4 terminals is bi-wiring. Instead of using just one cable, you use two cables for one speaker, which gives you four connection points or ‘terminals’ on the speaker.

Two of these terminals handle the high notes (connected to the tweeter), and the other two manage the low notes (connected to the woofer). This method can help reduce signal interference and make the sound clearer and more defined. To get the best results, it’s important to use high-quality speaker wires that are the right thickness.

Here are bi wiring speakers pros/cons:

1. Simpler and Cheaper:

Bi-wiring typically requires a lower investment since it only requires an additional set of speaker cables instead of extra amplifiers.

2. Potential Sound Improvements:

Some people report that bi-wiring can provide a slight enhancement in sound quality, particularly in terms of clarity and separation between different frequencies.

1. Simpler and Cheaper:

Bi-wiring typically requires a lower investment since it only requires an additional set of speaker cables instead of extra amplifiers.

2. Potential Sound Improvements:

Some people report that bi-wiring can provide a slight enhancement in sound quality, particularly in terms of clarity and separation between different frequencies.

Instructions for Bi-Wiring Speakers

bi wiring diagram

1. Identify the Terminals:

Check your loudspeakers for two sets of binding posts (four terminals in total), typically color-coded as red and black for each channel.

2. Remove the Bridges:

Disconnect the short metal pieces or plastic bridges linking these terminals.

3. Prepare Your Wires:

Obtain two sets of speaker wires. Strip back a small section of the wire insulation to reveal the conductive metal underneath, taking care not to cut any of the metal strands.

4. Connect the Wires to the Speakers:

Connect one set of speaker wires to the ‘high frequency’ or ‘tweeter’ terminals on your speakers, and the other set to the ‘low frequency’ or ‘woofer’ terminals. Match the wire to the color of the terminal – red is typically positive, black is typically negative.

5. Connect the Wires to the Amplifier:

Connect the other ends of your speaker wires to the corresponding terminals on your amplifier or receiver. Ensure to mirror the connection you made on the speaker end for consistency.

6. Test Your Setup:

Test your speakers, starting at a low volume and gradually increasing. The sound should be clear and free of distortion. If the audio is balanced and immersive, this signals a successful bi-wiring setup.

Boost Your Sound Quality with Bi-amping

Bi-amping is a method to improve your sound system by using two amplifiers for your speaker. One amplifier is for the high sounds (the tweeter) and one is for the low sounds (the woofer). Each of these has two terminals, one pair on the top for the tweeter and another pair on the bottom for the woofer.

When you wire your speaker for bi-amping, you connect one amplifier to each pair of terminals. It’s important to check that your amplifiers match the speaker’s needs, so you get the best sound without damaging your gear.

While bi-amping can seem complicated, it gives you better control over your sound and can make your listening experience much more enjoyable.

Here are bi amping speakers pros/cons:

1. Greater Potential Improvements:

Bi-amping involves using separate amplifiers for high and low frequencies, allowing for more precise control and potentially significant improvements in sound quality and volume.

2. Increased Power:

Bi-amping effectively doubles the power provided to your speakers, which could allow for higher volumes and better dynamic range.

1. More Expensive:

Bi-amping requires two amplifiers or a multi-channel amplifier, which can significantly increase the cost of your audio setup.

2. Increased Complexity:

Bi-amping requires more knowledge to set up correctly, and may also require additional equipment like an active crossover.

Instructions for Bi-Amping:

bi amping diagram

 Switch off all equipment:

This is a crucial safety measure to prevent electrical accidents.

Identify the terminals:

Ensure that your speakers have four terminals and are bi-amp compatible. The same applies to your amplifier, which needs two separate channels.

Remove bridging bars:

Disconnect the metal or plastic bars that link the speaker’s terminals. They are often pre-installed for non-bi-amp setups. Removal of these bars enables separation of the high-frequency (tweeter) and low-frequency (woofer) drivers.

Connect the ‘A’ or ‘main’ output of the amplifier to the lower terminals of the speaker:

The lower terminals typically cater to the woofers.

Connect the ‘B’ or ‘secondary’ output of the amplifier to the upper terminals of the speaker:

The upper terminals generally serve the tweeters.

Match the polarities:

While making the connections, ensure you connect positive to positive (usually red) and negative to negative (usually black) to avoid phase cancellation. In audio terms, phase cancellation could lead to a loss of sound quality.

Switch on the equipment:

Once all connections are made, turn on your amplifier and speakers.

Adjust the levels:

Fine-tune the levels for each amplifier channel until you find your preferred balance between high and low frequencies. This flexibility to control sound profiles is one of the many advantages of bi-amping.

Test and tweak:

Finally, play some music and tweak the settings until you’re satisfied with the sound.

Common Problems with 4-Terminal Speaker Wiring

As we mentioned earlier in the text, you may get the polarity wrong when researching how to connect speakers with 4 terminals. As a result, you will get poor sound quality. Another problem that can occur is loose connections. Over time, wires can become loose, even when properly connected, resulting in poor sound quality.

My advice is to check that the wires are tight and secure periodically. In addition to loose wires, it can also happen that the wires are broken or damaged when connecting the speakers, this problem is not so common, but if it happens to you, it is best to replace the old wires with new ones.

How to Wire a Speaker With 4 Terminals Safely

Here’s how to avoid harm to you or your equipment. First, start with dry, clean hands to prevent slips or shocks. Unplug your amp/receiver from the wall before wiring to reduce the risk of electrical shock. Don’t twist your terminals too tightly. You could break the terminals or the wire if you do.

Check the positive/negative terminals to ensure they match. Keep your work area clean. It’s easy to mess up when you’re working with wires and tools. Keeping your work area organized helps prevent accidents.

How to Wire Speakers with 4 Terminals: Frequently Asked Questions

What are 4-terminal speakers?

Four-terminal speakers are high-end or professional models that offer bi-wiring or bi-amping options. They have dual binding posts or terminals, allowing the tweeter (high frequencies) and the woofer (low frequencies) to be connected separately to the amplifier.

Why do some speakers have 4 terminals?

Speakers have four terminals to facilitate bi-wiring or bi-amping. Bi-wiring involves running separate wires from the amplifier to the woofer and tweeter, which can reduce signal interference and improve sound quality. Bi-amping uses two amplifiers: one dedicated to the tweeter and the other to the woofer, enhancing the performance and clarity of the sound.

What’s the difference between bi-wiring and bi-amping?

Bi-wiring involves using separate wires to connect the high-frequency and low-frequency terminals on a speaker to an amplifier. This can reduce signal interference. Bi-amping, on the other hand, uses two separate amplifiers: one dedicated to driving the high-frequency signals (tweeter) and the other for the low-frequency signals (woofer). This can result in improved performance and sound clarity.

Can I harm my speakers or amplifiers if I wire them incorrectly?

Yes, incorrect wiring can potentially harm your speakers or amplifiers. It may lead to performance issues, damage the equipment, or even pose a safety risk. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and consult a professional if you’re unsure.

How to test your 4-terminal speaker wiring to make sure it’s working properly?

Play some music and pay attention to the sound for any distortion or other problems to make sure the 4-terminal speaker wiring is functioning properly. Also double-check that the wires are connected correctly and that none of the wires are loose or damaged.

Does it matter which wire goes to which terminal on a speaker?

It matters which wire goes to which terminal on a speaker. Speakers are designed to work with specific wiring configurations, so connecting the wires incorrectly can result in poor sound quality or even damage to your equipment. To ensure that your speaker is properly wired, connect the positive wire to the positive terminal and the negative wire to the negative terminal.

What is the point of banana plugs?

Banana plugs eliminate the need for bare wires, which can lead to shorts or other electrical problems. They’re designed to make connecting and disconnecting wires more convenient and less prone to damage. Banana plugs also help reduce interruptions or other issues impacting sound quality, helping you achieve optimal speaker performance.


Connecting speakers to 4 terminals may seem daunting, but it’s a simple process that can make a big difference in the sound quality of your audio setup. Following this step-by-step guide, you can wire your speakers like a pro. Pay attention to the polarity, use the appropriate tools, and follow the instructions closely.

I hope this guide has been helpful and you now know how to wire 4 terminal speakers! If you have any additional questions, feel free to ask them in the comments.

Also on this site, you can find many more useful articles such as How to connect 4 speakers to a 2 channel amp and What are satellite speakers.

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