How to Test for a Short in Speaker Wires

By Maxfield Carroll

It's a simple matter to test speaker wire for a short.
i speaker wire image by Paolo from

Your speakers will sound their best when connected to the amplifier with heavy speaker wire in the shortest length possible. If your wires are securely connected in the correct phase alignment but the speakers still don't sound right, there may be a break somewhere along the line. Testing the speaker wires for an electrical short is a simple procedure.

Turn off the power to the speakers.

Remove the speaker wire from the speakers and the amplifier. You may need to unscrew or flip a lever at the terminal posts to release the ends of the wire.

Twist the wire leads together at one end of the cord.

Assemble a voltmeter for use. Switch the meter to the "ohm" setting.

Attach each of the voltmeter probes to a wire lead at the untwisted end. If the wire has continuity, the meter should show a reading between 2 and 8 ohms. If the meter reads zero, there is a short or break in the wire.