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Speaker Wire

Speaker Wire

How to shop for speaker wire

If you want to connect a pair of speakers to a receiver or amp, you need speaker wire. But once you start looking, you might have a few questions.

  • What gauge do you need?
  • Should you get cables with pre-attached connectors?
  • Is one brand of wire better than another?
  • What kind of wire is best for outdoor and in-wall speaker installations?

Check out our speaker wire buying guide to learn more.

Bulk speaker wire

Crutchfield carries speaker wire in 50- and 100-foot rolls, so you can easily cut it to the length that you need. That’s extra-convenient when you’re setting up a home theater system with multiple speakers.

Speaker wire with connectors

Speaker cables with pre-attached connectors give you a quick and tidy way to wire your speakers. Just make sure you get the right length.

Speaker wire for in-wall and outdoor applications

Bulk wire that’s rated for in-wall use comes in 2-conductor and 4-conductor construction. For connecting a pair of stereo speakers, you almost always use a single 2-conductor wire to connect to the positive and negative terminals on each speaker.

4-conductor wire is used more often in custom installations where you're using single stereo speakers with two pairs of terminals each, or if you're attaching a volume control to a single speaker. 

Check out our tips to learn more about running in-wall speaker wire.

Audiophile-grade speaker wire

Audiophile-grade speaker cables features heavier-gauge conductors with robust shielding that makes them less susceptible to interference. They also use top-quality materials in their conductors and connectors (if included).

Speaker wire gauge

Speaker wire comes in different thicknesses — gauges — most commonly 12-, 14-, and 16-gauge. Thicker wire has less resistance to current flow, so it's better for longer runs, high-power situations, and lower-impedance 6- or 4-ohm speakers.

For shorter runs or 50 feet or less and standard 8-ohm speakers, 16-gauge wire works fine.

Banana connectors and plugs

Banana connectors attach to bare speaker wire in a few different ways — set screws, threaded collars, and lever locks. People love them because once you put them on your wires, connecting to your speakers and amp is as simple as plugging them in.

Cable management

Keeping the wires that connect your gear tidy with some simple cable management makes your life easier in the long run. Especially when you’re connecting speakers in a surround sound system, using labels on both ends of each cable can minimize your risk of making the wrong connection.

Cable routers and ties can keep wires out of sight and keep them from getting tangled up.

In-wall volume controls

In-wall volume controls are great for custom installations that include in-wall or in-ceiling speakers in multiple rooms. That way, each room or “zone” can have independent volume control.

Speaker selectors

There are a lot of situations where you might want to hook up two or more sets of speakers to your amp. For amps that only have a single set of speaker outputs, a speaker selector makes that possible.