Car speaker wires must be connected properly. If speakers wires are connected in the opposite direction, it will damage the audio system and result in poor sound quality.
Will car speakers work if wired wrong? If car speakers are wired wrong, it can result in loss of bass, inverted polarity, distortion in sound, cancellation of sound frequencies, and out of phase speakers. You should adjust the wiring; otherwise, they will not work.
Here are 6 possible outcomes if your car audio system is not wired correctly.
Will car speakers work if wired wrong?
A car audio system usually has a pair of speakers. These have different cables that connect them to the stereo system of the vehicle.
The correct order of connection of wires
The wires of speakers have both terminals positive and negative. Different markers distinguish between them.
The manufacturers of cables use red color for positive and black for the negative terminal. Some have plastic insulation; it can get confusing when you attach them.
We should always connect the positive terminal of the wire to the positive terminal of the audio system. Now connect the negative terminal to the required side of the system.
This is the exact order in which we should join them. Sometimes due to mishandling and negligence, people connect them in reverse order.
In most cases, it does not affect the sound quality of the speaker. You can enjoy it without any worries. However, in some systems, it can cause many problems in the functioning of the speaker.
Out of phase speaker
The speaker becomes out of phase when the connection is wrong. The out of phase means that both devices are responding in contradiction to each other.
When we connect them to the audio system, they produce sound by vibrating forth and back.
When they are in the same direction, they should produce the same vibrations. They produce sound waves by moving forth and back. They are in a phase when one is moving forth; the other speaker is following it.
When the connection is mixed up, then both gadgets oppose each other vibrations. One is vibrating back, and the other is vibrating forth. The resultant sound is diffused and vague.
It will produce two different sounds coming from each speaker. The stereo imaging also gets lost due to out of phase speakers. It can damage both the speaker and the amplifier.
Cancellation of frequencies
It is common for us to listen to the highest and lowest sound of speakers. This happens due to the cancellation and boosting of sound frequencies.
The reverse or backward wiring can also cancel many sound frequencies due to phase cancelation. It occurs when the out of phase signal waves coincide.
When the speakers are out of phase, they produce the same signals with the same frequency, but these signals are out of phase.
The cancellation also depends on the percentage of phase reversal of sound signals. When the sound signals are 100% or 180% out of phase, they will cancel each other.
The signals of low frequencies cancel each other promptly when combine. When phase cancellation occurs, you will hear no or diminished sound.
When the out of phase signal combines to boost up, they will result in high pitch sound. Therefore, a piece of smooth flowing music or sound is impossible to listen to when cables mix up. You can play m4a files on a car stereo for better results.
They have correct polarity when they have the correct order of connection. When we attach a negative terminal to the positive terminal, we are reversing its polarity.
The polarity is a series of positive and negative voltage of the sound waves. The positive voltage is above the median line in the correct order, and the negative voltage is below the median line.
When we invert the polarity, the positive voltage becomes a negative voltage, and the negative voltage becomes positive.
The reversal or inversion of polarity can cancel or boost sound waves. When two inverted waves meet, they reinforce each other. When opposites meet, they cancel each other.
Due to this reason, the sound or music is totally at the peak or too weak to listen to. It isn’t enjoyable to listen to some sounds and not listen at all.
When we reverse or mix the wiring, two things happen. One is polarity inversion and the other cancellation.
Both these phenomenon results in loss of bass. When low-frequency signal cancels each other, bass completely disappear from the music. This causes difficulty in distinguishing slight rhythmic notes of music. If you are playing MP3 CDs on the stereo, the quality will decrease.
You will hear the only high-pitched sound of drum guitar and other instruments. Bass serves as a bridge between these rhythmic notes.
Not only bass but treble are also vague when we mix it. They even lose their focus, and you will hear a thin voice.
These high frequencies sound larger than usual and are unclear to ears. We will listen to noise but without any clarity. Check the car radio for a virus, and then attach it.
Sound distortion is a common issue with wrong wiring. However, we overlook this effect of music. Every soundtrack has some distortion in its output. You can add good quality Alpine speakers; they work awesome.
Distortion in sound refers to the sound signal in the output music that is not present in the input signals. When the out of phase signals mix up, they also result in sound waves with different specs.
This new sound signal results in distortion in the sound. This sounds like a separate noise in the music and sounds fuzzy and rough.
When the speakers are 180% out of phase, then the distortion is maximum in output music. So to reduce it, connect them in proper order.
Reducing the degree of out of phase also helps in making sound clear. The newly produced sound waves make the sound annoying and intangible.