Do speakers have a Positive + and a Negative - like LEDs?

I'm planning on hooking up a small speaker out of a cheap toy to a 3.5 mm Mono jack that will go into my mp3 player but I don't know if it matters which wires go where. Do speakers have a Positive + and Negative - like LEDs? If they do, how would I find it out? Thanks

karnuvap8 years ago
The mono jack might not work perfectly with your MP3 player which is designed to take a stereo jack.
The best that could happen is that you will only get one channel of the stereo but what might happen is that you short the left channel to the right one and this could damage your MP3 player.
I would advise using a stereo jack and only wiring one channel but a better solution would be to wire the left and right channels together using a low value resistor (say 4 ohms) in series with each to avoid the risk of shorting of left and right .
lemonie8 years ago
They should be marked in some way. It isn't going to make that much difference but it will make some difference on the stereo effect. L (see other comments)
kevinhannan8 years ago
just a quickie to augment what appolo says: he is right but here is more detail if you want it... Speakers are not like leds even though both have a polarity. If you wire a speaker the wrong way it will still work but an led won't. That said speaker polarity is important when enclosing the speaker in a box. Because the cone moves back and forwards you want the positive pulse of the sound to push forward. You absolutely need a port hole when delivering powerful sound and this allows the cone movement to be as easy as it can be. Also when you insulate a speaker box the insulation will absorb some of the negative sound. Make sure your speaker wire is able to handle the ampage current. Good luck! ;-)
appolo8 years ago
Hi, yes they do have a plus and negative. The plus goes to the signal,centre tip connection of your jack, while the negative is connected to the outer long tang with the cable clamp. However the polarity only signifies the direction of which the cone moves in and out. If you had two speakers connected together in mono mode to your jack and reversed the polarity of one, the resulting sound would be out of phase causing a cancellation effect, but no harm would result. Worth remembering when connecting up speakers to a sound system to observe these polarities in order to achieve the best sound performance from your system.