How To: Install Banana Plugs

By Jeff | Nov. 06, 2012

If you’ve ever attached bare speaker wire to an AV Receiver or speaker, you know how annoying it can be, especially if you need to move things or reattach wires. Even if you only need to do it once, you’re still generally in an awkward position.

That’s where banana plugs come in. These small connectors let you set up your wire from the comfort of your couch and make plugging in speaker wires just as simple as plugging in your headphones. If you aren’t already familiar with banana plugs, head on over to our favorite cable store, monoprice.com, and check out their selection.

For our system, I chose the closed-screw type plug shown above. They were a little finicky at first, but it was still much nicer not to have to work in a cramped space.

The first step is to remove the outer covering of your speaker wire if your speaker wire has one. I found that it was easier to just use some scissors to cut off part of the jacket than trying to use a wire cutter or some other fancy tool. The amount you want to cut back depends on how much flexibility you want when connecting the individual plugs.

Step 1: Remove outer covering

Then you’ll want to use your wire stripper and take off may 1/4 inch of the insulation.

Step 2: Strip the inner casing

Now it’s time to attach the banana plug. Depending on what kind of connector you purchased, this step might be a little different. For the closed-screw type, you’ll want to take apart the connector and insert the wire and spread out the copper around the non-threaded part of the inner connector.

Step 3: Prepare the plug

Step 4: Install the wire

Yes, this is a very small amount of overlap, but if you’re copper wire is touching the threads, it will be very difficult to screw the cap back on, which is the next step. Once you’ve done that, put the second banana connector on the other wire and you’re ready to go!

Step 5: Close the plug