How to Hook Up a Stereo to Speakers

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Though music lovers have lately started to shift toward a more mobile style of listening, nothing beats the sound quality of a dedicated stereo system. A stereo system is also much more customizable than a portable music player because you can choose the type and number of speakers to hook up to the system, allowing you to get just the right sound in your living room or other listening area. Most speaker systems come with at least two speakers, though some will come with a center channel, a subwoofer, or more. You'll need to determine how many speakers your stereo system can support before buying new speakers. Also, some stereos have plug connectors in the back, while others have terminals to connect to bare speaker wire. Take this into account as well when purchasing speakers.

Things You'll Need

  • Speakers
  • Stereo
  • Screwdriver (in some cases)

Speakers and Stereos With Plug Connectors

  • Place the speakers where you want them, and run the wires around the wall to your stereo. You want to make sure that the wires are long enough to allow you to place them where you want without running directly across the floor or across a high-traffic area in your room.

  • Turn the stereo so that it is facing you (it's nearly impossible to hook up speakers without looking).

  • Plug each of the two connectors into the corresponding color-coded ports. You'll repeat this process for each speaker, once for the right, once for the left, and then again for any other channels or auxiliary speakers. With most stereo systems, there will be a designated right and left speaker and the plugs will be marked out as "R" and "L" on the back of the stereo.

Speakers and Stereos With Bare Wire Terminals

  • Place the speakers where you want them, and run the wires around the wall to your stereo. You want to make sure that the wires are long enough to allow you to place them where you want without running directly across the floor or across a high-traffic area in your room.

  • Turn the stereo so that it is facing you (it's nearly impossible to hook up speakers without looking).

  • Connect each of the wires to the corresponding color-coded terminal. There are two types of wire terminal connectors. If your terminals have screws on them, unscrew the screw at the terminal, place the wire between the screw and the terminal plate, and then screw it tight so that the wire is held firmly in place. If your terminals have thumb tabs and a hole, simply depress the thumb tab, insert the end of the speaker wire in the corresponding color-coded hole, and release the thumb tab to secure the wire. You'll repeat this process for each speaker, once for the right, once for the left, and then again for any other channels or auxiliary speakers. With most stereo systems, there will be a designated right and left speaker and the terminals will be marked out as "R" and "L" on the back of the stereo.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some speakers do not come with wires, but the connectors on the back of most speakers are one of the same two types mentioned here, so you'll easily be able to tell what sort of connectors you'll need on the wires you purchase.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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