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  • Writer's pictureCraig Whitaker

How Important is Speaker Polarity?

A client this week was moving a bookshelf speaker and wanted to know was it important to match the black and white wires on the speaker and amplifier. The answer is yes, matching the positive (white) and negative (black) on the amplifier and speaker, known as speaker polarity, will impact the overall sound quality. Having the correct speaker polarity ensures the speaker diaphragm is moving in the right direction and as a result, produce clear and accurate sound reproduction. Incorrect wiring creates a phasing issue and would push the speaker diaphragm in the opposite direction of the input signal which cancels out certain frequencies that will degrade your sound quality. Reverse polarity can also decrease the bass output. Correct polarity will contribute to proper soundstage and imaging which enhances the overall listening experience, particularly in stereo and surround sound setups. Correct polarity will help eliminate dead spots in the room by preventing destructive interference, where sound waves from one speaker interfere with those from another.

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