How to Hook Up Grey & Black Speaker Wires

By James Clark

Two-strand speaker wire is commonly manufactured in contrasting colors for the insulation that shields the pair of wires. This lets you distinguish the positive terminal connection from the negative connection when running wire from an amplifier or receiver to a speaker. If the wires were the same color, it would be difficult to tell which was which after hooking up one end to a component. Although black is customarily used for the negative terminal, it doesn't matter which wire is connected to positive or negative -- only that the connections are consistent.

Things You'll Need

  • Wire stripper
  • Speakers
  • Amplifier or receiver

Step 1

Shut off the amp or receiver before connecting any speakers to prevent a damaging power surge.

Step 2

Cut and strip a half-inch of insulation from the grey wire and the black wire on each end of the two-strand speaker wire.

Step 3

Twist the strands sticking out of the gray wire with your finger and thumb to form a solid wire core. Do the same with the strands on the black wire.

Step 4

Attach the black wire to the negative terminal on your amplifier or receiver, and hook up the black wire at the other end to the negative terminal on your speaker. For example, if you are connecting the left speaker in a stereo system, attach the black wire at each end to the negative terminal on the speaker and your amp or receiver.

Step 5

Hook up the grey wire to the positive terminal on the speaker and your amp or receiver.