How to Wire Speakers with 4 Terminals

Norvan Martin
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Modern speakers that come with four terminals send audio signals to separate amps and speaker drivers, making it possible for you to get the most out of your audio equipment. To get the best listening experience, you should use the correct methods correctly to wire these speakers. If you’re struggling to wire yours, consider reading this detailed guide on how you can do precisely that to the end.

How To Wire Speakers With 4 Terminals

There are 3 main ways to wire speakers with 4 terminals. Here they are:

  1. Bi-wiring
  2. Bi-amping
  3. Leaving the conductive bar between the terminals and connecting one set of wires

How Do You Bi-Amp Your Speakers?

Here are the most straightforward steps you can follow to get the best experience if your speaker comes with four terminals:

bi amping speaker setup

  1. Ensure the entire speaker system is powered OFF
  2. Remove the speaker’s bi-wire bridges
  3. Connect each of the amp channels to the respective speaker section
  4. Find the bi-amping terminals at the receiver’s back
  5. Set the desired level of control on your amps (Set the same levels of control if the amps are identical).
  6. Connect the receiver’s main speaker output (front) to the speaker’s set of connections on the left
  7. Repeat the above procedure on the remaining side as well

Can Bi-Wiring Connect Speakers with Four Terminals?

Bi-amping is preferred for wiring speakers with four terminals since it gives the amps and the low and high-frequency speakers their amplification channels.  So, why do some people say bi-wiring is an alternative to bi-amping?

In bi-wiring, users typically require a single cable to connect their speaker to the amp. A speaker uses two cables-one for the low frequencies and the other for the high frequencies.

This means, if you have two speakers, you can wire them using this method and finally connect the two cables to the same spot on your amplifier. This way, you can get less muffled and clearer voices.

The good news is that you can use four-conductor-speaker cables when setting up speakers with or without bi-wiring. With these wires, you can wire your speakers with four terminals by applying these bi-wiring principles.

What is 4-conductor Speaker Wire?

 The four-conductor speaker wire is designed for bi-amping and bi-wiring speakers. If you have a standard speaker, you can see that it has two connections that accept wires.

For speakers with four terminals, you need four-conductor wires, not two-conductor wires. You should use two of the wires for negative and positive as you do with regular speakers. The remaining two are for the lows and highs or other frequency ranges that you need.

When Should I Use 4-Speaker Wire?

There are several instances when you can use four-speaker wires. It can give you the best wiring and listening experience when wiring speakers with four terminals. That’s not all, though.

As you might have rightly guessed, you can also get the most out of this wire when connecting two speakers with two terminals. What’s more, the four-speaker wire can also make your work easier whenever you are running power to a volume control from a receiver.

Please note that the four-conductor speaker wire often has a higher effective gauge whenever it’s doubled up. So, it can increase your power delivery and perfectly suit your needs if you use it to wire your speakers with four terminals.

Why Do My Speakers Have 2 Wires?

If your speakers have two wires instead of four, you should understand that the two terminals are designed for high-frequency and low-frequency drivers.

In other words, they are tailored to be bi-wired with ease. Bi-wiring can help you to lower the impedance between the speakers and a single amplifier.

What If I Only Have 2 Speaker Wires?

If you only have 2 speaker wires from your amp or stereo, you can still bi-wire your speakers. This is in fact the best way to connect them. Check out our guide on how to connect speakers with 4 terminals to 2 wires to learn more. 

Do Positive and Negative on Speaker Wires Matter?

When wiring speakers with four terminals, you must consider other important factors like whether the positives and negatives matter. Typically, the ground wire is black. On the other hand, the positive one is coded red.

The good news is that it doesn’t matter which of these wires you connect to your speaker’s or receiver’s negative or positive terminals. As long as you are consistent, you’ll be able to wire your speakers quickly and get the best experience.

However, if other people also use your audio system, the color of your matters should matter to you. This makes it easy for everyone else to understand your basic connection principles.

Remember that if you aren’t consistent, you may be a victim of reverse polarity, damaging all your electronics. In other words, it’s just a matter of time for reverse polarity to affect you, particularly if you have no built-in mechanism in circuitry to protect your audio system against it.

Do Wire Gauge And Length Also Matter?

Most people often forget to figure out their wire gauge and length and fail to wire their speakers with four terminals correctly. Before you start the process, please remember to find out your speaker impedance.

It’ll help you know the correct wire gauge and length, which is essential for perfecting your ultimate listening experience.

Please note that if you use a cable that’s too long or too thin, the impedance through the wire will be significantly high. The increase in resistance can cause a significant decrease in the quality of the audio you get.

Let’s use a simple example to illustrate this next. Imagine using two speakers with a resistance level of 4 ohms that have four terminal posts. In this case, you’ll require a wire that’s 15 feet long. Since the impedance is 4 ohms and the distance is 15 feet, you are likely to need an 18 gauge wire.

Do you get the point?  The length of the cable will determine its gauge. The above figures may change, but this lesson remains. The best solution is to go for thick and short cables. They typically enjoy lower resistance to power.

Speakers With Four Binding Posts

Many people use speakers with four terminals or four binding posts in bi-wire/bi-amp configurations. However, most people connect their speakers using the bottom pair of terminals. Should you connect to the top two or bottom two terminals? 

In reality, if your jumpers are doing their job properly, then it doesn’t matter. Most people connect to the bottom pair of terminals because most speaker wires run along the floor. Of course, the first set of posts closest to the floor is what you’d naturally connect them to.

As an alternative, many people choose to connect 4 single driver speakers. For example, you can connect 4 speakers to a 2 channel amp. On the other hand, you can also connect 6 speakers to a 4 channel amp.

Why Are There 4 Terminals On My Speakers?

This is due to a function known as a bi-wiring connection, speakers possess four terminals in order to make that happen. Only speakers that have four terminals are capable of bi-wiring and making split connections.

Why Do My Speakers Have 2 Sets Of Terminals?

If your speakers possess 2 sets of terminals, their functions are usually for the benefit of the low-frequency and high-frequency drivers. If you have multiple amps you could bi-wire to lower the total resistance between a single amp and the speakers. 

What Do LF And HF Mean On Speakers?

HF is an abbreviated version of high-frequency. 

A high-frequency (HF) speaker can also be called a tweeter. 

LF is an abbreviated way to describe low-frequency. 

A low-frequency (LF) speaker can also be classified as a woofer.

Can Speakers Have Two Inputs?

Nowadays, speaker manufacturers design their products with two input terminals. The purpose of this design is to enable customers to easily bi-wire their sound systems. As an added bonus, the dual-input terminals improve audio quality, leaving listeners with a richer listening experience.

How Do I Know Which Speaker Wire Is Positive And Negative?

All speaker wires possess a way to distinguish and tell them apart. The most common metric is color-coding, with different speaker wires and polarity distinguishable by colors like red and white.

Another method of identifying speaker wires is by checking the wiring itself. This is only possible with high-end speaker wires as they tend to be transparent. The silver wire is positive and the copper is negative.

Summing Up

Once you start implementing these tips to wire your speakers with four terminals, you’ll see that the process doesn’t require much effort. Depending on your knowledge of how the wiring works, you can choose to bi-wire or bi-amplify. If you want quality and better sound, you should go for bi-amping.

Feel free to choose any wiring method that you can use to connect your speakers with four terminals with ease and get the most out of your audio equipment.

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Norvan Martin is the founder of He is a professional Electronics Engineer and is passionate about home theater systems and AV electronics. BoomSpeaker was created as an online hub to share his knowledge and experiences as it relates to home theaters and home audio electronics. My email: [email protected]  Connect on Pinterest and Linkedin