How to use banana plugs

How to use banana plugs

Banana connectors or banana plugs are connectors that connect wires to their respective equipment. Instead of just connecting the bare wire, you may use banana plugs especially while setting up your home theater system. The plugs may be made out of plastic or metal. They are available in various sizes that you can pick from based on your need.

Are Banana Plugs Worth it?

The Importance of getting the Connection right

How to use banana plugs

You may have the best system available in the market today, but if you don’t get the connection right, it will be a waste. You won’t be able to enjoy surround sound or amazing quality despite shelling out the big bucks.

Now, stripping the cable and connecting the bare wire is the traditional way to go but that doesn’t mean you have to stick to it particularly when this is the first time you are setting things up. You need safety and an easier way to do it, and banana plugs help with just that.

Are Banana Plugs Better? Really?

Yes, they are better. We are not just saying that because we want you to buy them. We have used banana plugs, and we know just how easy they make lives. That is why we mean it when we say that banana plugs are worth the time and investment.

Not convinced yet? Here are a few reasons why we think banana plugs are necessary:

  1. As aforementioned, banana plugs ensure safety, and that is very important when we are dealing with wires and electricity.
  2. Banana plugs ensure that the wires are securely connected. When you are dealing with multiple wires, you should be sure to bring all the strands together and connect them to your system. Without a banana plug, this may be difficult. A banana plug connects all the wires and eliminates the risk of them getting pulled out.
  3. Corrosion is something you will not worry about with banana plugs.
  4. Frayed cable can damage the entire equipment and make you shell out a lot of money. Frayed cable is a huge risk with bare wires. With the banana plug, you have one less thing to worry about.
  5. The plugs ensure that the cables don’t oxidize, which is usually a big concern.
  6. Last but not the least, banana plugs make things easy because they are very easy to connect and there’s no hassle at all!

What’s our verdict?

Of course, banana plugs are worth it! They are easy to use and make the setup look aesthetic. They are also safe and secure. What else could we ask for?

Remember to buy banana plugs only after research and understanding of the type and size that will suit your purpose. The market has many options based on the type of cables and the number of wires. Make the right choice accordingly!

The Complete Guide to Banana Test Plugs

Banana Plugs are spring-loaded, single-wire electrical test connectors used for joining wire to electrical test equipment or electrical circuit boards. Banana connectors come in either, Banana Plugs (male) or Banana Sockets (female). This short article identifies the different sizes and different types of banana plugs, as well as offering guidance on what banana test plug connector suits your specific application.

1 – General Information on Banana Test Plugs

Banana Plugs are referred to as a male connector and commonly found in either 4mm (standard) or 2mm (miniature) pin plug sizes. Banana plugs are designed to connect into Banana Sockets (Jacks) which again are available in either 4mm (standard) or 2mm (miniature) socket sizes. Discover the Complete Guide to Banana Sockets for more information on different types and sizes.

The Banana plug features a unique contact tip. The cylindrical pin features ‘metal-leaves’ that bulge outward to create a strong contact in a socket. The leaves prevent the connection failing when it’s subject to movement or vibrations and offers more reliable testing. Banana Plugs are typically connected to wire by; screw, solder or crimp.

Banana plugs can be found in a range of colours, the most common being black and red. It’s common to see them follow the standard colour codes; 0 – Black, 1 – Brown, 2 – Red, 3 – Orange, 4 – Yellow, 5 – Green, 6 – Blue, 7 – Violet, 8 – Grey, 9 – White.

How to use banana plugs

2 – Banana Plug Sizes: 4mm Vs. 2mm

Banana plugs are typically available in two different sizes, standard and miniature. In Europe, a standard banana plug refers to a 4mm plug. Generally all standard Banana Plugs are compatible with all 4mm Banana Sockets (Jacks). A miniature or mini banana plug is a smaller design of the standard banana plug. Miniature Banana Plugs can vary in size between 3mm and 2mm, so it’s always worth checking product datasheets for reference and capability check.

For the majority of industry applications a standard (4mm) banana plug size is used for electrical testing and wire connection requirements. Digital Multimeters are frequently used in most electrical applications and they typically accept standard banana plugs.

How to use banana plugs

3 – Banana Plug Protective Sleeve Types

Banana Plugs typically offer three different types of protective sleeve options; unshrouded, retractable shrouded and shrouded. Banana Plugs with a shrouded sleeve are often used in High Voltage applications for safety requirements.

Unshrouded Banana Test Plugs

Unshrouded banana plugs are also called unsheathed banana plugs. They feature a bare pin that is uninsulated and visible. The unshrouded banana plug is commonly used in lower voltage (30 – 70 VDC) electrical testing applications.

Retractable Sleeve Banana Test Plugs

A banana plug with a retractable sleeve has a spring-loaded shroud cover that slides out of the way when the pin is inserted into a shrouded or unshrouded banana socket or jack. The retractable shroud improves safety and is typically used in higher voltage applications.

Shrouded Banana Test Plugs

Shrouded banana plugs are also called sheathed banana plugs. They feature insulation (protective plastic sleeve) around the connector to avoid accidental contact with the metal plug in high voltage situations. Shrouded banana plugs are a common requirement for CAT II & IV (600-1000V) applications. Shrouded banana plug will only fit into shrouded banana sockets (jacks). Remain safe when electrical testing high voltages with shrouded banana plugs.

There are many benefits of using banana plugs with your speaker wire. Not only do they help your installation to look cleaner, banana plugs also give you a permanent and high quality connection.

Often bare speaker wire connections are unreliable. Wires tend to get pulled out or frizzy as time passes, which can affect your sound quality. With banana plugs you ensure this won’t ever happen. Another benefit comes when you are doing behind the wall installations and using wall plates (as opposed to just leaving a big hole in the wall). These wall plates will generally just have a jack for a banana plug.

Banana plugs also will help the back of your speakers and receiver look nicer and reduce the messy look of all the wires.

1. Cut The Wire

The first thing you’ll need to do is to cut the wire to the length you need. If you’re running the wire behind the wall, do so before attaching the banana plugs. When you have the correct length of wire, pull one end away to give yourself room to work.

2. Separate Wires

You will need to be able to work with each individual wire in the pair. In order to make this easy, pull the wires away from each other so you have one or two inches of separated cable.

3. Work with Individual Wires

You will need to be able to work with each individual wire in the pair. In order to make this easy, pull the wires away from each other so you have one or two inches of separated cable.

4. Strip Away the Jacket

Place the cutting edge of the wire stripper about 1/2 of an inch away from the end of the cable. Let the force of the arm on the stripper put pressure on the cable as you spin the stripper around the cable to strip away the jacket.

5. Expose the Bare Wire

Peel the cut jacket off the bare wire and remove the cable stripper. This will expose the bare wire so you can attach the banana plug.

6. Repeat for Other Wire

Repeat the above process on the other wire, using the wire stripper to cut the jacket about 1/2 of an inch from the end of the cable.

7. Attach Banana Plugs

Once you have stripped both cables, you will be able to attach the banana plugs. You will no longer need the wire stripper.

8. Twist the Copper Strands

In order to easily feed the wire into the banana plugs you’ll need to twist all of the copper strands together. Place one of the sets of wire between your finger and thumb, then slide your finger across the top to cause the wires to twist around each other.

9. Attach the Banana Plugs

Once you’ve twisted the wire strands together you are ready to attach the Strike banana plugs. Each pair of cables will use a red striped banana plug and a black striped banana plug. The banana plug with the red stripe will attach to the grey cable with the red stripe printed on it. The other banana plug will attach to the black cable.

10. Feed the Speaker Wire

Take the banana plug with the red stripe and unscrew the bottom about half way and feed the speaker wire into the bottom of the banana plug.

11. Push Cable Into Banana Plug

Keep pressing the cable into the banana plug until you can’t push it any farther. There is a cone at the front of the plug that spreads the wires in the speaker cable out to ensure a good connection. If you don’t push it in far enough, you won’t have as secure of a connection.

12. Screw Back of Banana Plug to Secure

After you’ve fully inserted the cable, screw the back of the banana plug back down. This will twist the wire farther into the plug, giving a strong connection. If you have properly fed enough wire into the banana plug, this should tighten down on the wire and keep it from falling out.

13. Repeat for Second Banana Plug

Repeat this process for the other banana plug, making sure to insert the cable in as far as you can to ensure a strong connection.

14. Connect Banana Plugs to Speaker

With both speaker cables inserted and secured in the banana plugs, simply connect the plugs into the back of your speaker or receiver.

Banana plugs attach to either end of a speaker wire, making it easy to plug and unplug your speaker and receiver. They’re named banana plugs because they’re wider in the middle of the plug, and narrower at the top and bottom, similar to the shape of a banana, and they plug into banana ports on your speaker.

Without these plugs, you’d have to unwind the bare wires each time you wanted to unplug the component, and you would see the bare wire coming out of your speaker components. Even better, installing them yourself is easy!

Why Banana Plugs

There are many benefits of using banana plugs with your speaker wire. Not only do they help your installation to look cleaner, banana plugs also offer you a permanent and top quality connection.

Often bare speaker wire connections are unreliable. Wires tend to urge pulled out or frizzy as time passes, which may affect your sound quality. With banana plugs you ensure this won’t ever happen. Another benefit comes once you do behind the wall installations and using wall plates (as against just leaving an enormous hole within the wall). These wall plates will generally just have a jack for a banana plug.

Banana plugs also will help the rear of your speakers and receiver look nicer and reduce the messy look of all the wires.

Steps

Cut The Wire

The first thing you will need to try to to is to chop the wire to the length you would like . If you’re running the wire behind the wall, do so before attaching the banana plugs. once you have the right length of wire, pull one end away to offer yourself room to figure .

Separate Wires

You will got to be ready to work with each individual wire within the pair. so as to form this easy, pull the wires away from one another so you’ve got one or two inches of separated cable.

Work with Individual Wires

You will got to be ready to work with each individual wire within the pair. so as to form this easy, pull the wires away from one another so you’ve got one or two inches of separated cable.

Strip Away the Jacket

Place the leading edge of the wire stripper about 1/2 of an in. away from the top of the cable. Let the force of the arm on the stripper put pressure on the cable as you spin the stripper round the cable to strip away the jacket.

Expose the Bare Wire

Peel the cut jacket off the bare wire and remove the cable stripper. this may expose the bare wire so you’ll attach the banana plug.

Repeat for Other Wire

Repeat the above process on the other wire, using the wire stripper to cut the jacket about 1/2 of an in. from the top of the cable.

Attach Banana Plugs

Once you’ve got stripped both cables, you’ll be ready to attach the banana plugs. you’ll not need the wire stripper.

Twist the Copper Strands

In order to simply feed the wire into the banana plugs you’ll got to twist all of the copper strands together. Place one among the sets of wire between your finger and thumb, then slide your finger across the top to cause the wires to twist one another .

Attach the Banana Plugs

Once you’ve twisted the wire strands together you’re able to attach the Strike banana plugs. Each pair of cables will use a red striped banana plug and a black striped banana plug. The banana plug with the red stripe will attach to the grey cable with the red stripe printed thereon . the opposite banana plug will attach to the black cable.

Feed the Speaker Wire

Take the banana plug with the red stripe and unscrew rock bottom about half way and feed the speaker wire into the bottom of the banana plug.

Push Cable Into Banana Plug

Keep pressing the cable into the banana plug until you can’t push it any farther. there’s a cone at the front of the plug that spreads the wires within the speaker cable bent ensure an honest connection. If you don’t push it in far enough, you won’t have as secure of a connection.

Screw Back of Banana Plug to Secure

After you’ve fully inserted the cable, screw the rear of the banana plug back down. this may twist the wire farther into the plug, giving a strong connection. If you’ve got properly fed enough wire into the banana plug, this could tighten down on the wire and keep it from falling out.

Repeat for Second Banana Plug

Repeat this process for the opposite banana plug, making sure to insert the cable in as far as you’ll to make sure a strong connection.

Connect Banana Plugs to Speaker

With both speaker cables inserted and secured within the banana plugs, simply connect the plugs into the rear of your speaker or receiver.

The Complete Guide to Banana Test Plugs

Banana Plugs are spring-loaded, single-wire electrical test connectors used for joining wire to electrical test equipment or electrical circuit boards. Banana connectors come in either, Banana Plugs (male) or Banana Sockets (female). This short article identifies the different sizes and different types of banana plugs, as well as offering guidance on what banana test plug connector suits your specific application.

1 – General Information on Banana Test Plugs

Banana Plugs are referred to as a male connector and commonly found in either 4mm (standard) or 2mm (miniature) pin plug sizes. Banana plugs are designed to connect into Banana Sockets (Jacks) which again are available in either 4mm (standard) or 2mm (miniature) socket sizes. Discover the Complete Guide to Banana Sockets for more information on different types and sizes.

The Banana plug features a unique contact tip. The cylindrical pin features ‘metal-leaves’ that bulge outward to create a strong contact in a socket. The leaves prevent the connection failing when it’s subject to movement or vibrations and offers more reliable testing. Banana Plugs are typically connected to wire by; screw, solder or crimp.

Banana plugs can be found in a range of colours, the most common being black and red. It’s common to see them follow the standard colour codes; 0 – Black, 1 – Brown, 2 – Red, 3 – Orange, 4 – Yellow, 5 – Green, 6 – Blue, 7 – Violet, 8 – Grey, 9 – White.

How to use banana plugs

2 – Banana Plug Sizes: 4mm Vs. 2mm

Banana plugs are typically available in two different sizes, standard and miniature. In Europe, a standard banana plug refers to a 4mm plug. Generally all standard Banana Plugs are compatible with all 4mm Banana Sockets (Jacks). A miniature or mini banana plug is a smaller design of the standard banana plug. Miniature Banana Plugs can vary in size between 3mm and 2mm, so it’s always worth checking product datasheets for reference and capability check.

For the majority of industry applications a standard (4mm) banana plug size is used for electrical testing and wire connection requirements. Digital Multimeters are frequently used in most electrical applications and they typically accept standard banana plugs.

How to use banana plugs

3 – Banana Plug Protective Sleeve Types

Banana Plugs typically offer three different types of protective sleeve options; unshrouded, retractable shrouded and shrouded. Banana Plugs with a shrouded sleeve are often used in High Voltage applications for safety requirements.

Unshrouded Banana Test Plugs

Unshrouded banana plugs are also called unsheathed banana plugs. They feature a bare pin that is uninsulated and visible. The unshrouded banana plug is commonly used in lower voltage (30 – 70 VDC) electrical testing applications.

Retractable Sleeve Banana Test Plugs

A banana plug with a retractable sleeve has a spring-loaded shroud cover that slides out of the way when the pin is inserted into a shrouded or unshrouded banana socket or jack. The retractable shroud improves safety and is typically used in higher voltage applications.

Shrouded Banana Test Plugs

Shrouded banana plugs are also called sheathed banana plugs. They feature insulation (protective plastic sleeve) around the connector to avoid accidental contact with the metal plug in high voltage situations. Shrouded banana plugs are a common requirement for CAT II & IV (600-1000V) applications. Shrouded banana plug will only fit into shrouded banana sockets (jacks). Remain safe when electrical testing high voltages with shrouded banana plugs.

There are many benefits of using banana plugs with your speaker wire. Not only do they help your installation to look cleaner, banana plugs also give you a permanent and high quality connection. Often bare speaker wire connections are unreliable. Wires tend to get pulled out or frizzy as time passes, which can affect your sound quality. With banana plugs you ensure this won’t ever happen. Another benefit comes when you are doing behind the wall installations and using wall plates (as opposed to just leaving a big hole in the wall). These wall plates will generally just have a jack for a banana plug. Banana plugs also will help the back of your speakers and receiver look nicer and reduce the messy look of all the wires.

How to Install Strike Banana Plugs

he first thing you’ll need to do is to cut the wire to the length you need. If you’re running the wire behind the wall, do so before attaching the banana plugs. When you have the correct length of wire, pull one end away to give yourself room to work.

You will need to be able to work with each individual wire in the pair. In order to make this easy, pull the wires away from each other so you have one or two inches of separated cable.

Place the cutting edge of the wire stripper about 1/2 of an inch away from the end of the cable. Let the force of the arm on the stripper put pressure on the cable as you spin the stripper around the cable to strip away the jacket.

Peel the cut jacket off the bare wire and remove the cable stripper. This will expose the bare wire so you can attach the banana plug.

Repeat the above process on the other wire, using the wire stripper to cut the jacket about 1/2 of an inch from the end of the cable.

Once you have stripped both cables, you will be able to attach the banana plugs. You will no longer need the wire stripper.

In order to easily feed the wire into the banana plugs you’ll need to twist all of the copper strands together. Place one of the sets of wire between your finger and thumb, then slide your finger across the top to cause the wires to twist around each other.

Once you’ve twisted the wire strands together you are ready to attach the Strike banana plugs. Each pair of cables will use a red striped banana plug and a black striped banana plug. The banana plug with the red stripe will attach to the grey cable with the red stripe printed on it. The other banana plug will attach to the black cable.

Take the banana plug with the red stripe and unscrew the bottom about half way and feed the speaker wire into the bottom of the banana plug.

Keep pressing the cable into the banana plug until you can’t push it any farther. There is a cone at the front of the plug that spreads the wires in the speaker cable out to ensure a good connection. If you don’t push it in far enough, you won’t have as secure of a connection.

After you’ve fully inserted the cable, screw the back of the banana plug back down. This will twist the wire farther into the plug, giving a strong connection. If you have properly fed enough wire into the banana plug, this should tighten down on the wire and keep it from falling out.

Repeat this process for the other banana plug, making sure to insert the cable in as far as you can to ensure a strong connection.

With both speaker cables inserted and secured in the banana plugs, simply connect the plugs into the back of your speaker or receiver.

I was wondering if someone could clear things up on how to put in my banana plug speaker cables. I have the polk rti a3 and all I can gather from the manual is to:

Carefully pry out the binding post plugs
to expose banana plug holes.

Do I unscrew the entire cap and does it matter if I use the top or bottom row?

Comments

Do NOT unscrew – would make too fragile.

As long as you have the jumper (brass piece) in place, it doesn’t matter.

I should do a instructional video on this subject. It’s the new thing how people have no idea how to use banana plugs. It’s cool and all I’ll at least post some picks here for you to see how they look when properly inserted.

Please watch this video at least 10 times over so you have a deep understanding.

Here is another video for your viewing pleasure and learning curve.

Hope this helps.

I’m so proud, because somehow I figured all of this out on my own without ever having to read instructions or watch a movie. :redface::biggrin:
I don’t know how I ever did it??

I’m so proud, because somehow I figured all of this out on my own without ever having to read instructions or watch a movie. :redface::biggrin:
I don’t know how I ever did it??

That’s it in a nut shell.

I was mech. inclined but my brother wasn’t. He could remember every joke he ever heard, I can’t. It’s just the cards we’re dealt with.

Then there’s common sense. that’s not so common anymore. eek:

Yeah, I kinda get that, but how much inclination does it take? It just seems so simple, and yet, the next thing you know, some dude’s snapping off his binding post. I mean, I could do something dumb like that, too.

But the questions that come up on here. Perhaps someone at Polk should spend a little time and add some info to the manuals. Maybe some better diagrams and explanations of the various connection options. The first thing they should include is something about the jumpers – their purpose, the fact that if they’re in place it really doesn’t matter whether you connect to the top or bottom, etc. You wouldn’t need more than a page to clear up a lot of the confusion that’s caused, such as it seems.

To add to the confusion, sometimes the binding post can be removed all the way and other times it can only be loosened to a maximum.

Polk Monitor 40 can be removed all the way, then it’s just a question of inverting the binding post and the small plug pops out without any problem.

Polk CSM cannot be removed all the way, for some reason–the plug can be loosened only to a certain point. Need to use a needle nose pliers (also called mini long nose pliers in some tool kits) to pry out the plug when the binding post is in the fully tightened position.

As for the banana plugs themselves, it’s usually just a matter of twisting the speaker wire and then **** on the banana plug; however, check the direction. I have some where the protective cover shows a COUNTERCLOCKWISE direction, therefore, the speaker wire has to be twisted counterclockwise, then the banana plug is tightened over the twisted wire in a counter clockwise direction.

Assuming all that is known, the procedure becomes:

1. Remove plugs from the binding posts.
2. Reinstall binding posts by tightening all the way.
3. Twist the speaker wire strands in the direction the banana plug tightening direction for both the positive and negative speaker wires.
4. Slide the protective cover (if included) on the wire past the speaker wire strands.
5.Tighten one banana plug for the positive side, another one for the negative side.
6. Slide the protective cover (if included) over the non-connecting side of the banana plug.
7. Insert each banana plug into the hole in the binding post.

You’d think speaker wires wouldn’t require very much preparation for excellent sound system quality, now would you? Clearly, when dealing with your speakers and your audio or sound system, this latter fact holds quite a bit of truth. The process was very simplistic indeed in the past and amounted to just stripping the wire free from its insulation and sticking it into the amplifier. Bear in mind, this is how it used to be.

While this initial step is still just as important as it always was, there is far more to this preparation now. You’ll find that adding a connector to the speaker wire guarantees desirable, long term use. Honestly, connectors like banana plugs secure your connection fully. You won’t have static coming through, and you certainly won’t have to worry about the wires becoming damaged any more either.

The Growing Popularity for Connectors on Speaker Wires

So, clearly, when you add connectors like banana plugs to your stripped stereo wires you’re gaining:

  • A top quality connection that stays secure
  • Safety for the wires when they are being inserted into the amplifier
  • Prevention of corrosion of the wires which can impact the sound performance

Most of those experienced in the audio system niche should be aware that Banana plug connectors also come in a variety of styles as well. Most audio enthusiasts find the majority of these are fairly common and the process of connecting them to the bared wires is not as difficult as it might appear. Clearly, banana plugs, and connectors like them are the key elements for gaining impeccable sound quality from your audio system.

When it Comes Down to Proper Installation of Speaker Wire.

Now, as mentioned any audio expert or even a novice to a sound system can find the benefits to using banana plugs makes logical sense. The main impact of this comes down to when you might be doing an installation in behind your wall. While some just leave the hole in the wall (sometimes necessary for installation), using banana plugs which include wall plates eliminate a tacky issue such as this.

Furthermore, you’ll find that the normal clutter and tangle of the wires are totally eliminated when using connectors such as these. In other words, you have an attractive, neat and tidy appearance in behind your speakers, as well as directly in front of them! You might have thought that guests never noticed something such as this, but they certainly do. Furthermore, depending upon what style of banana plug connectors you choose to go with—this determines how you will be connecting your stereo wires, such as the image above demonstrates to you. This is a side connection that is basically self-explanatory. However, the bad news is that there are some audio systems which still aren’t compatible for the usage of connectors such as these. If that is the case then you’d have to stick to the old fashioned method for audio output.

Are Banana Plugs a Requirement for Improved Audio Quality?

There are mixed opinions on banana plugs in general. While some users claim them to be ideal and the best way of connecting stereo wire appropriately, others beg to differ. Those individuals who have been working in the audio business professionally claim that these plugs make connection more efficient period.

There is no lost signal, no outside interference, no external noise, and definitely, the connection is more stable than through just winding the stripped wires to the inside of the amplifier.

The perfectly clean lead now simply can’t be applied without something to stabilise it. Banana plugs do just this. Now, it does take a little bit of time to prepare the stripped wires and insert them into these plugs correctly, but following this it only takes about 30 seconds to connect to your A/V receiver. Even those who state that these aren’t absolutely necessary do claim that they provide one thing for certain. A sure way to hold those speaker wires in place.

The Truth Behind Banana Plugs

While there might be some truth into the fact that sound quality isn’t wholly transformed; these plugs still perfect the sound system in many other useful ways. For some it is convenience, and for others, these are used just for the sake of “better to be safe than sorry.” Now, for those who move their sound systems around a lot then banana plugs guarantee that the stereo wires don’t shift or fray, which is perfect.

You don’t have to solder these like many people think either. Most banana plugs are screwed into place now, thus this design allows for the copper wire to be inserted relatively easy. This alone has changed the idea that many individuals used to have concerning utilizing these. Now, the one final point to be made here about these is in ensuring that they are installed correctly.

Guaranteeing Proper Installation

Within this article you’ve surely learned that banana plugs can be utilized for several different reasons. However, installing them correctly is definitely more than just important, it is imperative for sound quality. If these aren’t screwed in properly then the connection can become potentially weakened, leading to outside interference and a loss of sound quality.

However, when you follow the proper instructions for installation and take the time for preparing the stereo wire correctly, then normally everything goes right without a hitch at all. Remember, these provide you with long-term security, and you’ll find no damage caused just from moving your system around as you might have beforehand. Ultimately it is a personal decision to use these, but those who do are more than satisfied. The investment is one that is more than affordable as well, and well worth the time and energy.

Remember to checkout our range of affordable banana plugs which are available in our store.