Do speaker wires have an inherent polarity?

When I wire my sound systems I usually use wires that have writing on one side and not on the other. 

Out of habit I use the side with writing as the negative.(I know to connect positive to positive etc.)I got some wire recently that has writing on one side, as usual, but the writing is a line of plus symbols which got me thinking:

Do these wires have an inherent polarity?

I had always assumed that wires that designated one side + or - were just trying to help you remember what decisions you made while wiring but now I'm curious.

My suspicion is that, because the wires are twisted within the casing, that the curl of the copper strands could be creating a magnetic field and there is some resultant inductance occuring inside the wire that might effect the current.

There is a bit of plastic in the center of the copper spooling whose chemical composition I don't know, but it doesn't seem to have any magnetic properties so I have my doubts but I am still interested.

I'm not a complete layman, I have a couple physics S&E courses under my belt but not enough to come to a conclusion that I'd be confident in.

Any thoughts?

3 Answers

  • 1 month ago

    No, the speaker wires are identical except for the plastic insulation. they will have printing, a colored stripe or a small rib on one of the wire insulation jackets. this is for identifying one from the other. You hook one wire, say the id'd wire to red and the plain wire to white at the amp output and do the same to the speaker end. Phasing is important in stereo and somewhat in mono. It is important to phase the speakers the same way, + to + and - to -, but to answer your question, the wires are identical except for the jacket.

  • Ash
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Here's a link that can answer your questions.

    Basically, if you have one speaker then it does not matter but if you have more than one then they should be in phase for better acoustic performance.

  • Dixon
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    For the situation you describe, there is no inherent polarity. All that matters is the two speakers are wired up in the same overall fashion, so they are in phase, ie motion in and out. However, the world of hifi and audio is filled with pseudo science to such an extent that some will no doubt claim otherwise. 

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