11 Different Car Speaker Connectors Types


Car speaker connectors are simple pieces of hardware that make it easy to connect the wires from your car speakers to your car audio system. I remember when I purchased my first used car in high school, the first thing I did was buy a receiver to upgrade the old stock tape deck.

When I looked at the different wires and connectors, I was a little overwhelmed trying to figure out how to connect them to the speakers. But as with anything in life, there’s more than one way to do it! This guide will show you 11 different car speaker connector types and when they’re the most appropriate choice to use.

1. XLR Connectors

XLR connectors are often found on professional equipment like amplifiers and mixers. They can also be found in some car speaker systems. The X in XLR stands for the cross-shaped metal pins that transmit the audio signal, while the L stands for the length of the connector, which is typically 3 to 10 inches.

When used with a balanced line, these connectors help eliminate noise distortion by ensuring that each side carries an identical signal. These types of connectors have an output impedance from 50 ohms to 1,000 ohms and a frequency response from 20 Hz up to 100 kHz.

XLR cables are usually terminated using either banana plugs or spade lugs, but many people will solder their own terminations directly onto the cable as well.

2. SpeakOn Connectors

SpeakOn connectors are cylindrical connectors used to connect two compatible speakOns together. SpeakOn connectors can be identified by the number of pins they have (4 or 8) and by their size. The 4-pin connector is smaller than the 8-pin connector and has a locking latch on one side to prevent accidental disengagement of the connection.

SpeakOn connectors use an internal spring for contact pressure, so there's no need for external screws or knobs. They are available in many different sizes, shapes, and types with varying numbers of contacts.

The most common type is the 8-contact stereo connector (2 rows). A 2-row 5-contact stereo connector exists as well. A 6-contact stereo connector will also work in place of an 8-contact stereo connector if that's all you can find.

In most cases, you'll want to get a single SpeakOn cable to connect your speakers together because it'll offer better sound quality than running individual cables between each speaker.

3. "1/4" Phone Connectors

1/4 Phone Connectors are some of the most common types of car speaker connectors. These connectors can be found on two types of speakers: 1) tweeters and 2) woofers.

The tweeter is a small speaker that is used to produce high-frequency sounds, while the woofer produces low-frequency sounds like bass and drums.

The tweeter typically has a longer wire than the woofer because it needs a stronger signal in order to produce high-pitched sounds. This means that the tweeter needs to be connected closer to the audio source (i.e. car stereo). A 1/4 phone connector would be used for this. A similar setup would be needed for the woofer with its own set of 1/4 phone connectors.

4. RCA Connectors

RCA connectors are also very common types of connectors for audio devices. The RCA connector is often seen as a single plug with three separate wires (red, white, and yellow) that connect to audio components like amplifiers or preamplifiers.

RCA connectors were first introduced back in 1946 as composite video plugs for TVs. Today, they're primarily used for analog audio signals such as stereo sound or left/right soundtracks on DVDs.These cables have been used in the consumer electronics industry for over 50 years.

RCA connectors are not just limited to audio purposes; they can also be used as video inputs. This is common on DVD players and video game consoles. Due to this versatility, RCA plugs and cables are one of the most common ways that home theater enthusiasts connect their equipment together.

The size of the connector varies based on what it’s being used for; if it’s being used as an audio input, then it will be about 3mm in diameter, while if it’s being used for video input, then it will generally be much smaller at 1mm.

RCA connectors have either a male or female end; typically the female end would go into the device receiving the signal, while the male end would go into an amplifier.

5. Pin Connectors

Pin connectors come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles and allow for easy connection without the need for tools. Pin connectors can be found on many car stereos, speaker boxes, and amplifiers.

Pin connectors are often color-coded to make it easier to match up a wire with its corresponding terminal. You can also find pin connectors that allow you to insert the wire from either end, so you do not have to worry about which direction it is going in when connecting it.

Pin connectors will not work with speakers that require an insert connector because they do not offer enough contact points with the wire's metal strands. A straight-blade connector may also not be appropriate if your speaker requires angled terminals as these connectors only feature one angle.

6. Spade Connectors

Spade connectors have a curved tab that is inserted into the hole on the side of your speaker while the other part remains outside of it. The two parts are then joined by pushing them together or screwing them together, depending on their design. Some spade connectors include additional clips to secure the cable once it has been connected to prevent any possibility of dislodging.

A downside to spade connections is that there is no defined polarity for positive or negative connections, so you will want to make sure beforehand which wire goes where or else your wiring could become mixed up, resulting in some serious confusion!

7. Banana Plugs

Banana plugs are a type of speaker connector that features an L-shaped design with an attached cable. These speaker connectors have a single banana plug on one end and four banana plugs on the other, allowing them to be inserted into a corresponding hole in the car's receiver.

The four pins on the other side allow for some customization as they can be connected to speaker wires and routed in any way desired. One downside is that these connectors are not compatible with all receivers and therefore may not work with certain cars.

8. RP Connectors

R.P. connectors are typically used for speakers but can also be used for other audio equipment such as amplifiers, mixers, and turntables. They're a type of single-pole connector that is used when you want to send the signal in one direction only. It's similar to the figure 8 style of the connector where the cable goes into one end and out the other without being changed or split in any way.

The R.P connectors are threaded, which means they screw together rather than push together like most other types of connectors do, so it is important to make sure they are screwed in tightly before using them, or else they may loosen up while in use and cause interference with your signal.

9. MMCX Connectors

Most people don’t think about the materials used in car speakers until they have an issue with their sound. It’s important to know which type of connector you need for your new or replacement speakers so that you can get the best sound out of them.

MMCX connectors are one type to consider. They are a more recent design and offer many advantages over older designs, including better sound quality and more durability.

10. MCX Connectors

In a car, the speaker is connected to the radio or amplifier by a wire that has connectors at each end. The type of connector varies depending on what kind of speakers are being used.

For example, if you have 4-ohm speakers with two wires, you'll want a pair of 4-ohm connectors. If you have 8-ohm speakers with two wires, then you'll want an 8-ohm connector pair.

11. Speaker Pins

Speaker pin connectors are one of the easiest ways to connect your car stereo's wires to your car speakers. There are four different types that you can choose from: female plugs, male plugs, binding posts, and spades.

  • The female connector has a hole for the wire that is inserted into it.
  • Male connectors have slots on the sides that the wire slides through and then snaps in place.
  • Binding posts are threaded metal rods with holes in them.
  • Spades are metal prongs with holes in them that tighten around a wire when they are screwed together.

These connectors vary in size and type, so be sure to check out the manual for your equipment before you buy anything.