How to Check Speaker Wire Polarity

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Checking speaker wire polarity is one of the first steps in troubleshooting audio issues you may be experiencing. Check speaker wire polarity with help from a graduate of Full Sail University in Recording Arts in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Audio Tips
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Video Transcript

Hey, everybody, Joe Liptock, audio engineer here. Today, I'm gonna be talking to you guys about checking the polarity of your speaker wires. Now, in most cases, the polarities already labeled for you on speaker wires. I know speaker wires in my downstairs basement either has color coded where the positive red and the negative is black. In this case right here, they actually have like a bronze finish on one lead and a nickel finish on the other, so you can tell the difference there too. But what if that isn't there to help you? What if the leads look almost identical? How do you maintain continuity when you're wiring your sound system? Well, in my opinion, I think this is the job for digital multimeter. You can use this guy for a lot of different applications, but here we'll be using the digital multimeter to do a continuity test for your speaker wire. Now how you do that is you take the two probes that are connected to your digital multimeter, excuse me, and you place one probe on one lead at one end of the wire, and then place the other probe at one lead of the other end of the wire. If you hear a beep, that means that your probes are touching the same wire, if you don't hear it beep, try placing one of the probes on the other lead at one end, and you should hear a beep. So that's how you check continuity for speaker wire. I'm Joe Liptock, stay in phase everybody, and have a great day.

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