A two-way speaker often comes with 4 terminals. The four-terminal is usually added so you can connect your speaker to two different Amps and produce the best sound. This is referred to as “Bi-amping.” Alternatively, you can easily connect your 4-channel speaker to one Amp by simply “bi-wiring.”
To explain quickly:
Bi-Amping: This allows you to connect the speakers to 2 amps
Bi-Wiring or Bridging: This allows the use of 2 wires from 1 amp terminal and connects these to the 2 speaker terminals. To be more specific, bi-wiring would involve using 4 wires but if we simply leave the jumper wires or conductive bar between the terminals of the 4 terminal speakers and connect one set of wires, it’s basically the same except that the jumper wires or conductive bar may not offer the best sound quality.
In our case, we will bi-wire the speakers.
These types of speakers offer split connections which have two sections, one section connected to the mid and high-frequency drivers, and the other section connected to the low-frequency drivers. This means one set of terminals is connected to the mid/high-frequency section and the other to the low-frequency section.
To connect any 2-way speaker with 4 terminals to 2 speakers, all you need to do is to use 2 jumpers and connect the bass and tweeter terminals. This is called bi-wiring or bridging. You can then connect your amp or stereo to any red and any black terminal. This is popular with floorstaning and bookshelf speakers.
Here is another quick example:
The jumpers normally look like this:
To learn more, read on.
In this case, since you only have 2 wires, we will bridge or bi-wire the speakers. It is important to keep in mind that you should not bridge speakers on amplifiers that are not intended to be bridged.
How Do You Wire A 2-Way Speaker With 4 Terminals To Stereo Leads With 2 Wires?
In bi-wiring, each loudspeaker uses two cables (one for the tweeter and one for the woofer) which are then connected to the same amplifier
Bi-wiring is a pretty straightforward process so long as you know the gimmicks and have the right tools at hand.
Step 1: Connect The Amp End Of The Speaker Cable Together
To begin, you’ll need to remove the jumpers on your speaker terminal. You should then purchase two sets of speaker cords. The wires will be connected/joined at the end that enters your receiver or amplifier, but the part that goes to the speaker will be separated.
There may be two sets of speaker connectors on high-end amplifiers, making the procedure of connecting the appropriate wires considerably easier. The most important thing to remember is to make use of identical speaker wires. That is, they should come from the same manufacturer and be exact replicas of one another.
N.B: The circuitry on the speaker will differ if the cables are not similar when attached to the four terminals, and this will affect the overall sound equilibrium.
Step 2: Check That The Wires Are In Good Working Conditions
So, once you have your four-speaker cables and have double-checked that they are similar, you must perform the essential checks to guarantee that they are in perfect working condition.
Step 3: Connect Positive To Positive And Negative To Negative
It is important to check that you connect the positive end of one speaker cable to the other speaker cable before plugging it into the Amp. Once the ends are connected, join this to the appropriate plug or cable head and Insert it into your Amp.
The positive side of the cable mustn’t be in contact with the negative side.
If either of the cables has a defect and connects to the wrong terminals, it can cause catastrophic damage to your 4-terminal speaker, as well as blow your amp beyond repair.
There is a general rule of thumb to follow in order to minimize noise production. Make sure to use the shortest speaker cable available when hooking up your speaker’s four terminals.
The cable must, of course, be long enough to allow for minimal strain, otherwise, wear and tear may occur. However, the shorter the wires are, the lower the likelihood of undesired noise in the output.
Why is a 4-Terminal Speaker preferable?
To begin with, the obvious advantage is the significant boost in sound quality. This is a controversial topic, with some stating that bi-wiring provides considerable sonic benefits and others objecting.
“Bi-wiring” is said to remove undesirable distortion from the speaker output. The idea is that by separating the high and low frequencies, the strain on the cables is reduced, and the signal can flow through more clearly.
When you use the four terminals on a set of speakers (for example your 2-way speaker), one pair of loudspeaker cables is sent to the tweeters, while the other two wires are sent to the woofer. You’re essentially dividing the tweeter and woofer currents here.
The woofer or bass driver can travel an incredible distance compared to the treble of mid-range drivers.
Cons of 4-Terminal Speaker
4-terminal speakers have a few drawbacks. When compared to standard 2-terminal speakers, bi-wiring with 4 terminals requires double the quantity of speaker cable. Bi-wiring is also not especially simple to set up and requires some work. This is why we took the time to carefully explain the steps in this article.
Is Thicker Speaker Wire Better?
For lengthier cable runs, it is preferable to make use of thicker speaker wire. Thicker wires are also preferable for speakers with a low impedance rating and high-power applications. For speaker uses, it would be advisable to use a 16 gauge wire.
Why Do My Speakers Have 4 Wires?
Your speaker has Four wires because of the presence of four terminals. Bi-wiring connections are possible thanks to the four terminals on some speakers.
Split connections are available on four-terminal speakers, dividing frequency transmission into two portions.
One set of terminals is connected to the mid and high-frequency drivers, while the other set is attached to the low-frequency drivers. Bi-wiring is possible in speakers with four terminals when compared to speakers with two terminals.
Can You Use 4 Conductor Speaker Wire?
Yes. But you can only connect a pair of speakers with only one pair of connections using four-conductor speaker wires. 4-conductors are commonly used to deliver an amplified stereo output to two speakers that are close to each other or to a stereo volume control.
The problem with using 4-conductors for speakers that are far away is that you’ll have to cut away the outer jacket for the distance between the two speakers unless they’re directly next to one another which will make the setup process quite unpleasant.
Why Do Speaker Wires Have 4 Conductors?
The four-conductor wire is often used for bi-amping and bi-wiring speakers. A standard speaker has two wire connections, whereas these ones contain four: one for positive and negative, as with conventional speakers, and two more for highs and lows, or specific frequency ranges.
Can You Connect 4 Speakers To A 2 Channel Amplifier?
Yes. You just have to consider the impedance of the speakers and divide the power evenly between the two channels to connect four speakers to a two-channel amplifier. There are two ways by which you can do this: Connect the four speakers in series or in parallel.
Using the same cables, regardless of whether you are bi-wiring or not, will guarantee that their physical properties match up and reduce the likelihood of any audio-related anomalies. Cables are sometimes disregarded, although they have a significant impact on the frequencies generated by speakers.
Finally, a speaker cable with a minimum rating of 14AWG should be used. This will ensure that it is powerful enough to perform the role required of a 4-terminal speaker.