Home News How To Determine Whether The speaker Wire Stripe Is Positive or Negative?

How To Determine Whether The speaker Wire Stripe Is Positive or Negative?


Speakers with high-end features are usually appreciated due to their sophisticated and high-quality sound. To keep these speakers functioning and in good condition, make sure you take proper care for the cables. Each speaker comes with a variety of wires connected to its ports.

Do you require clarification regarding the negative and positive wires? What is the best way to distinguish the various wires? This article will provide you with all the information you need about speakers’ wires.

In most speakers typically, the white wires, or wires that have an white marking are the wire that is positive. The completely black or unmarked wire is typically that wire which is the negative. However, this can differ based on the maker’s design. Some manufacturers have different markings too.

What are the Signs to Determine Which Wire is Positive & Which is Dangerous in Speakers?

As you are aware that the wire markings may vary according to the brand of speaker or installer. Some speakers have instructions that clearly define the positive and negative wires.

In many instances the manual might have to explain how to identify wires clearly. Let’s learn about the techniques that will assist you in identifying the speaker’s wires–

1. Using Colour Codes

The majority of speakers have the color code of the speaker that can be used to identify the wires.

a. Silver & Copper Speaker Wire

Certain speakers have silver and copper wires with clear covers. In this case, the silver one is positive. It means that the copper is negative.

b. Black & White Speaker Wire

Sometimes, speaker wires are colored according to their nature of polarity. The speakers come with white and black wires. In this case, the white wires have negative polarity while the white ones are typically positive.

C. C. Or Black Speaker Wire, Which one is positive?

Some models of speaker also have black and red colored wires. The black wire is positive while that of black is neutral.

D. Blue & Grey, Which Wire is Positive?

Some speakers do not have the black-white or red-black color markings. Some models also feature blue and grey speaker wires. In this case, blue wire is typically negative, while the blue has a positive charge. But not all models feature the same labeling. Some manufacturers employ grey-coloured wires for negative, and blue wires as positive ones.

The e. Green & Blue Speaker Wire

Experts have also discussed the green-blue wire structure, where the green wire is negative while the blue wire is positive. You can see speakers that have blue(negative) as well as green(positive) wires.

2. Stripes on Wires

You can observe the colors of wires are confusing. In this situation you must examine the stripes in the wiring. There may be a wire that is black and one is white-striped or red-striped. In this instance the black wire is negative while the one that has markings is positive.

a. The Signs on the Wires

Certain models of speakers come with wires that bear markings. Wires that have marks of white or red are generally negative wires. The markings may be visible on the other end on the wire.

B. Writings on wires

There are speakers which come with the symbols or writing. Positive wires may include a symbol like “+” as well as the term ‘positive’ written on it. The negative wire could have either the symbol ” or the word ‘Negative’ on the wire.

C. Ridges & Bumps

Sometimes, speaker wires are made with various textures to indicate their direction of travel. There are wires with a smoother texture , and another that has ridges, bumps or bands. Most often, wires with textures are positive.

3. Checking to the Audio Quality of Each Speaker

If you’re not sure, listen through the cables at different ports. If the wires have not been connected to the port they are assigned the quality of sound will get sloppy and poor. In some cases, sound might be dim, or even have weird sounds. In certain cases distortions can also be detected.

Simply connect the wires to the port. Turn the soaker on and listen. If the quality isn’t as good as you would like Try changing the wires, and then listen to the same. You will only have to listen for a few seconds in order to get the right wire arrangement.

It is important to note that this is a trial and error method. It will therefore take some time to learn the correct arrangement of wires.

4. Refer to the User Manual.

As we’ve already mentioned, the user manual is a must to understand both the negative and positive speaker wires. So, go through the user’s manual along with your speaker and look through the section on wire arrangement to determine the wire’s direction. But, there are a possibility that your device does not have a user manual, or that the manual doesn’t contain the necessary information.

5. Test using a 9-Volt Battery

If you’re still struggling to determine the wire’s polarity, you can perform an 9-volt battery test at home to identify the negative and positive wires. Here is how to perform this test:

  • The first step is to take the 9-volt AAA battery, and a battery clip that has positive(red) along with negative(black) cables.
  • Next, find an audio wire that you believe to be negative. Connect one end of the wire to the speaker and the positive wire from your battery clip.
  • The wire can be harmful when you hear a sound of scratching emanating from your speaker. If it is not, the wire that you have picked up is most likely positive. The other wire will be negative.

Once you’ve located the wires ensure that you mark them to make them easier for you in the future.

6. Make sure to test the Multimeter

A multimeter can aid in determining the polarity of speaker wires efficiently. It is easily available at your local electrical hardwire store or from online stores. The multimeter can be described as a device which can assist you to determine electrical quantities such as amperage or resistance, voltage, etc. Here is how to use the multimeter

  • Then, disconnect the speaker’s wires.
  • Then, you need to get an 9-volt battery and connect the wires of the speaker with the battery.
  • Then, you can take an instrument and connect your multimeter at it’s DC voltage.
  • Then, connect the wire to the multimeter.
  • After that, verify the reading of the wire. If the reading on the multimeter is positive, then the wire has been connected positively. A negative readings on a multimeter signifies that a negative wire has been connected.

7. Use a Polarity Testing App

A single of the simplest methods is to determine the polarity with an app for polarity. It’s simple, and doesn’t require any technical expertise.

  • First, look up any app that tests polarity on the Google Play store or the App store. Install it and then launch the application.
  • Use a speaker wire to place them in the way you think is the most appropriate. Take headphones and connect them with the output audio line on your smartphone.
  • Then, you can check the app’s rating. The Polarity app will make use of the microphone on your phone to listen to the sound and then state the nature of the polarity.

What Would Happen If You Combine Positive & Negative Speaker Wires?

Many people mix negative and positive speaker wires. There isn’t any risk arising from this mismatch.

Speakers transmit sound signals via positive and negative pressure variations. Human eardrums or tympanic membranes receive the differences in sound and transmit them to the brain via electrical signals.

In the event that you attach the positive cable to the negative of the speaker the sound wave is reversed and then travels in reversed or inverted polarity.

It causes harmful interfaces in which the sound waves can cancel each other and weaken wavess. Thus, certain frequencies are not heard between the audio.

This results in a chaotic image, which hinders proper mixing of audio effects. This is especially noticeable if you put the speakers in close proximity to one the other.

In the end, the sound appears more dim or less clear, with wired or distorted interruptions between the audio or music. The distortion or bad sound quality is more apparent in lower frequencies, as the wavelengths are more long and not greatly affected by the air or physical medium.

Additionally reverse polarity can cause phase cancellation when there are more than one speaker on the scene.

Remember that if are prone to doing this in the future the speaker could be damaged. This includes damage to wires as well as damage to the amplifier.

In essence the speakers could be secured if you mix the wires at times. However, the quality of sound is not great. To get the best audio experience you must connect the wires to the appropriate ports.

Does Polarity Matter When It Comes To Speakers?

It is true that polarity plays a role in the world of speakers. However when the polarity shifts every now and then it won’t pose any risk. It’s because speakers are not equipped with back-to-back popularity. However, if you own several speakers the polarity begins to play a role.

If you are looking for the most optimal audio experience, with just the one device, this can be able to work with reverse or straight the polarity. If you own more than one, you need to keep them within the exact polarity, with the wires in a proper arrangement.

If you pair positive and negative wires for speakers with two or more and the reverse polarity causes the cancellation of phase. Hence, certain frequencies will be cancelled and you don’t hear the sounds in between the frequency. It often appears as if the audio stops or is abruptly interrupted during the audio streaming sessions.

The change in polarity doesn’t mean that the speaker is having negative consequences. As you know, the speakers don’t need to be polarized in order to function. However, with the addition of two speakers problems can affect the audio quality. If you’re looking for the most enjoyable audio experience, you must rectify the polarity issue.

How Should You Connect Speaker Wires Properly?

This is the step-by step guide:

  • Then, shut off the amp.
  • Cut the wires in the insulation coat in order to pull them out. Just a half inch cut will suffice. The wire stands should be twisted to make a perfect arrangement. In the event that your wires have connectors for port ports then you don’t have to cut the wires.
  • Then, you can take your negative cable and join it to the negative ports of the amplifier and speaker.
  • Repeat the same procedure with your positive wire.
  • The speaker should be connected to the power source then you’re good to go.

Signs That If You’ve Wired Speaker Wires Properly

There are numerous methods to tell whether you’ve wired your speaker in the correct way. The most straightforward method is to switch on your speaker, and hear the sound. If the sound is natural and clear without distortion, then you’ve installed the speaker in the correct way.

Verify if the audio quality is not great, appears weak, or the sound frequently gets cut off. You may also notice a few pauses between the audio. The speaker wires aren’t correctly connected if these issues are apparent on the audio.

Is Speaker Wire Harmful?

Speaker wires aren’t harmful to humans. Although they conduct current, their power is much smaller and won’t shock you.

What Would Happen If a Positive & Negative Speaker Wires Come In Contact?

Even when the negative and positive wires are in contact They will not cause any serious problems. The wires are extremely low voltage and will not cause sparks when they touch. So, you won’t be at risk.

The wires that touch one another can lead to serious problems for speakers. So, be aware.


There can be confusion with speaker wires because it is difficult to distinguish between the positive or negative wires. You now know how to distinguish between both the negative and positive speaker wires. Therefore, if you’re trying to find the correct polarity of your wire then you can make use of this article as a reference to resolve the issue.

The article How to determine if the speaker wire Stripe is Positive or Negative? was originally published in Electronics Hub.