During the installation of a home theater system, there are times when you need to run wires to various speakers. Unfortunately, if your speaker wire isn’t long enough to reach from the wall where your receiver is located to each speaker throughout your room, you might not be able to use it at all. Instead of buying longer speaker wire, you might be tempted to splice the wire. However, you’ll need to properly connect the pieces if you don’t want your music experience to suffer.
How can I do it?
Follow the steps below to learn how.
- Gather your materials. You’ll need to gather a few things before you can get started. These include: the speaker wire ends (with wires stripped back), wire nuts, electrical tape or zip ties, and wire strippers or scissors if needed.
- Strip the speaker wire at each end. To do this, you’ll need to use wire strippers or scissors to cut off about 1/4 inch of insulation from each end. If you’re using the speaker’s existing wiring, it’s okay if an extra amount of wire can’t be appropriately stripped back with just your tools.
- Screw on Wire Nuts. Using your wire nuts, connect each end of the speaker wire and twist them on tightly. Make sure to screw the wire nuts back onto their housings when you finish.
- Tape over connections with electrical tape or zip ties. To keep the wire connections secure and protected, cover them with either electrical tape or zip ties that go around the wire nuts and tighten. Either one will do the job well.
- Test connections and enjoy! To check that your speaker is still working correctly, play some music through it and turn up the volume all the way. If you don’t hear any sound coming from your speakers, check to ensure the connections are secure. If everything is in place, enjoy the music!
Can I face problems when splicing a wire?
In theory, this shouldn’t be a problem, but there are two primary issues with speaker wire splicing:
You can damage your wire. The insulation on the speaker wire is designed to keep water and other elements from damaging the copper core. If you cut too deeply or nick the insulation, you’ll damage or prevent the wire from conducting a current. Neither of these is a useful result.
The next problem you may face is that your speaker wire isn’t designed for splicing, which can cause problems later. Each strand or size of speaker wire has a particular number of copper wires inside it. If you cut into one of those copper strands, you can reduce its ability to conduct current or create an unwanted short.
Considering these issues, it’s sometimes better to buy a longer wire than try to splice your existing speaker wire. There are, however, some circumstances when it makes sense to consider splicing speaker wire.
Is it better to splice a speaker wire or buy a new one?
This question comes up often, and we’re not too surprised. Several factors come into play. Let’s look at these factors one by one and see what we come up with:
How much wire do you have?
If you’re missing just a foot or two, then splicing is the perfect solution. However, it can be time-consuming and difficult if you’ve got more than that to replace. A foot or so is a perfect distance to splice a wire
Is it difficult to find a wire for your model?
If you’ve got, for example, a JBL Gto, Polk Momo, JL Audio W7, etc., we’d recommend getting a new cable as it’s easier and cheaper than trying to splice the correct length. However, if it’s a Klipsch, Polk, Pioneer Reference, Boston Acoustics, or an Infinity-based model, then yes, you can go ahead and try splicing the wire.
What is your confidence level in performing this task?
For example, do you know how to strip the correct amount of insulation off to connect it? If you’re not too confident or don’t know what you’re doing, we’d recommend avoiding splicing and going with a new wire.
Do you have the necessary tools needed for splicing?
Don’t forget you will need some tools, including wire nuts, isolating tape, and so on.