How Do I Convert Red And Black Speaker Wires To A 3.5mm Audio Jack
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Do you have an old stereo speaker with red and black speaker wires but wondering how you can convert it to a 3.5mm audio jack to connect to your computer? That is exactly why we have prepared this article. Read on to find out more.

Here is the easiest way to convert red and black speaker wires to a 3.5mm audio jack:

  1. Unscrew or cut away the black sleeve covering the terminals.
  2. Locate the tip and band connectors on the audio jack.

3. You then also need a soldering iron and some solder. Connect (solder) the audio jack to the red and black speaker wire. Connect the black wire to the sleeve and the red wire to the tip. Check out this illustration:

How Do I Convert Red And Black Speaker Wires To A 3.5mm Audio Jack

Can I Convert Red And Black Speaker Wire To A 3.5mm Audio Jack?

Converting red and black speaker wires to a 3.5mm audio jack is possible. Before you can do this, you need a 3.5mm Mono Jack plug, a soldering iron, and some solder. The jack comes with a sleeve covering the terminals.

3.5mm Audio Jack tip and sleeve

Most 3.5mm jacks are however stereo jacks. Stereo 3.5mm jacks have three conductors – a tip, a band in the middle also known as the “ring”, and the base of the jack also known as the “sleeve.” They are therefore sometimes called “Tip, Ring, “Sleeve” jacks, or simply “TRS” jacks. In most cases, the tip is the left, and the ring is the right.

How To Convert Red And Black Speaker Wire To A 3.5mm Audio Jack – Detailed Guide 

1. Unscrew The Sleeve: Begin by unscrewing the sleeve to expose the two metal pins with holes in them. The pins are made to make the wire connections easier.

2. Check If Mono or Stereo: If your jack plug is a stereo, it will have two black lines. However, if it is mono, it will have only one black line. The lines are used to separate the two or three wires.

3. Solder The Wires: The Mono one will have positive/mono (red), and earth/ ground/negative (black) wires. On the other hand, stereo jacks have two pins – ground (black), right positive, and left positive. If you have two speakers, one red wire will be connected to one of the center pins, while the other red wire from the second speaker goes to the other center pin.

Once the red wires are connected to the center pins, the black wires are combined and wired to the outer edging pin. Majorly, the ground/negative pin in electronics is a shared pin. Ensure the wires are correctly soldered to avoid loose connections.

Also, once the wires are soldered, be sure to keep the bare wires as short as possible. This is to avoid any contact between the bare wires with any other pins or other bare wires. Besides, the positive and negatives wires should not cross each other.

Although some people may shove a small piece of cardboard between the pins to shield the red and black wires, this is extremely unnecessary. You simply need to ensure the wires are not crossing each other and are not bare to cause any contact between each other.

Speaker Connections

Once the wire is converted to a 3.5mm audio jack, you will probably need to play audio on the speaker by plugging the jack into your audio system.

However, before you do this, remember to conduct the following checks:

  • Confirm that the audio system you want to plug the speaker jack to supports the 3.5mm audio jack.
  • Confirm that the impedance of the speaker supports what the stereo requires. Commonly, receivers are rated between 4 ohms to 16 ohms. The majority are however between 4 – 8 ohms. It is important to match the speaker impedance to that of the receiver system to avoid ruining the system or getting an awful sound performance.

If you want to go a bit further, check out these articles:

Does a 3.5 AUX Cable Carry a 5.1 Surround Sound Signal?

Can I Connect a 5.1 Speaker with a 3.5 mm Jack to My TV?