What Happens If Speaker Wires Touch

Many people wonder what happens if their naked speaker wires touch each other, particularly while working.

Some users also genuinely question whether speaker wires can shock because they just transmit sound signals. This article discusses what happens and what to do when your speaker wire touches.

When speaker wires touch, this causes a short-circuiting of the source supplying current to these wires. This source is normally the amplifier. Therefore, when speaker wires touch, this causes a shorting out of the amplifier or whatever source the speakers are connected to. 

Read on to learn more.

What Happens If My Speaker Wires Touch?

Just like most wires, a speaker wire has a negative and positive wire component although they are not easily distinguishable.

Speaker wires touch

When these two wires come into contact, the source delivering current to these lines is short-circuited. The amplifier is usually this source. As a result, when speaker cables come into contact, the amplifier shorts out.

Intermittent signals and transients can also be caused by bad wiring and broken speaker wires, which can damage your speakers.

Are Speaker Wires Dangerous?

People generally believe that all conducting wires are dangerous and humans and wires should not come in contact with each other. And whenever such happens, there is a possibility of injury to occur.

Are Speaker Wires Dangerous

However, in the case of speaker wire, there is no risk of electrical shock. This is because the electric current flowing through speaker wires is extremely low and not capable of shocking you.

But it should be noted that there is a tendency to slip on stray wires which can lead to accidents or injury. Therefore, speaker wires must be kept off lying about loosely on the ground at your home, workspace, or wherever it is being used.

Is Voltage Present in Speaker Wires?

So, certainly, a speaker cable connected to a powered amplifier contains some voltage. The voltages involved with speaker wires are quite low.

The voltage is normally so low that most people aren’t aware of it. As a result, electric shock from devices and wires carrying low voltages is negligible.

Speaker cables convey whatever voltage is output by the amplifier to which they are attached.

The voltage that will be delivered through the speaker wires for a 100-watt amplifier driving an 8 Ohm speaker will be around 30 volts.

This voltage is totally determined by the amplifier’s power rating. Speaker wires carry voltage. Any media that transfers or carries electricity contains a certain amount of voltage.

Speaker Wires Should Be Checked and Inspected on a Regular Basis

Maintenance is a way to keep all electrical appliances in a good condition for use whenever they are needed.

A wire may appear to be in fine operating order yet conceal a small cut or tear that is difficult to notice by just looking at it.

Regular checks will also reveal whether the speaker wires are firmly connected to the amplifiers and speaker connectors
This is why regular checks and comprehensive inspections of speaker wires are essential.

Can You Shorten The Speaker Wire?

A speaker wire can easily be shortened by touching one end of the wire with the other. The current coming out of the speaker travel down two separate wires (i.e the positive and negative wires) to supply the speaker with power.

This is a self-protecting state that prevents the speaker from getting an electrical surge that could destroy the speaker’s principal component.

In a situation where these two wires touch, it is referred to as “shorting.”

How to Repair a Short in a Speaker

One of the most typical causes of speaker system failure is a faulty speaker wire. When there is a lot of length of cable in use, broken wires and/or short-circuiting speakers are common.

Although it is not difficult to repair a damaged or improperly connected wire, locating the problem can be tricky.

In a case where your speaker wires have been shortened, do the following.

  1. Disconnect the amplifier that is connected to the loudspeakers.
  2. Inspect the backside of the system amplifier and look for any cables that connect one terminal directly to another to check for a short circuit at the speaker terminals. If cables were accidentally pulled when relocating system components, short circuits may occur. If a short is discovered, disconnect and reconnect the wires right away.
  3. Check the terminals on the back of each loudspeaker by turning them around. At that point, look for any wires connecting the positive and negative terminals. If a short is identified, remove the wires as soon as possible and reattach them appropriately.
  4. Examine the speaker wire that connects the amplifier to the speakers. Inspect the insulation for any crimping or cuts. Short circuits can happen anywhere in the signal chain. Any speaker cables that have visible damage should be replaced.

Examine the internal wiring of the speaker. To do this.

  1. Remove the loudspeakers’ primary driver with a screwdriver. This will provide you with the most convenient access to the speaker’s internal wiring.
  2. Visually inspect the cabling that connects each speaker to the crossover circuit board that is housed within each speaker. Short circuits can occur at any point inside the loudspeaker, however, they are most commonly seen on the individual driver connections.
  3. Push in on the speaker cone and listen for a harsh or grinding sound to see whether any of the drivers in the loudspeakers have melted voice coils. A driver having those features is blown out and could be the source of a short. Replace the driver with another.

The Best Way to Protect Speaker Wires From Tangling

Speaker wires have to be terminated in order to prevent them from tangling/touching. Spade plugs or banana plugs are required to terminate your speaker wire.

To avoid unintentional disconnections, provide some gap in the cables of your receiver or speaker if they have exposed a bunch of wire strands with a soldering iron.

You can also tape speaker wires together in sections to prevent them from getting tangled with other wires in the system.

Store speaker wires with care

To avoid damaging your audio system and setup, you should always store your speaker wire safely to prevent damage.

Quality speaker wires can be quite very costly, especially those with a longer length. They have to be kept fit and available for use when they are needed.

Avoid coiling wires tightly when you want to store them. Coiling wires too tightly can damage the wires inside the sheath in ways that aren’t visible. Speaker wires can be packed loosely and stored in a secure location until needed.

Conclusion

The importance of speaker wires cannot be overstated. Speakers, amplifiers, and other audio components are all connected with them.

Speakers will be unable to function without them. When we touch speaker wires, we don’t get an electric shock since they have a low voltage passing through them.

However, if the naked ends come into contact with each other, amplifiers can be damaged.