Is a bi-wire speaker connection worth the added cost?

Written by
HTD Staff
Published on
February 10, 2022 at 10:17:45 AM PST February 10, 2022 at 10:17:45 AM PSTth, February 10, 2022 at 10:17:45 AM PST

Many audiophiles (self-proclaimed home audio enthusiasts/experts) will only connect speakers using bi-wire or bi-amping. The benefit to most listeners is negligible and not worth the additional cost. But to audio-purists, even the slightest improvement can make all the difference to their listening experience.

All of our Level THREE Bookshelf, Center, and Tower Speakers include two pairs of 5-way gold-plated binding post connections. Two pairs of binding posts allow for a standard connection (read more) or a bi-wire or bi-amp connection. 5-way binding posts allow for your cable to be connected by either: 1. bare wire, 2. spade connectors, 3. pin connectors, 4. individual banana plugs, or 5. dual banana plugs (shown here).

Whether bi-wiring or bi-amping, the gold-plated jumpers included with the speakers should be removed.

When bi-wiring, at the amplifier, the two positive cables are connected together to the positive post and the two negative cables are connected together to the negative post.

Bi-wiring is more affordable than bi-amping because it can be done from any amplifier (receiver) and your only additional expense is some special cable. Bi-wiring utilizes the same amplifier channel to power the tweeter (high frequencies) and mid-low range drivers (mid-low frequencies).

On our Level THREE speakers, the upper binding posts send the signal through the crossover and more directly to the tweeter. The lower binding posts send the signal through the crossover and more directly to the mid-low range drivers.

While some benefit is gained by simply "doubling" the amount of cable, another benefit of bi-wiring can be achieved using a conductor better suited for high frequency signals and a slightly different conductor is used for the mid-low frequencies. HTD bi-wire cable uses 14 gauge silver-plated copper for the high frequencies and 11 gauge copper for the mid-low frequencies (read more).

Bi-amping takes this one step further and uses one amplifier solely for the tweeter and a separate amplifier solely for the mid-low range drivers. This is a much more expensive option and because the benefit is not dramatic or even noticeable to most listeners, it is only recommended for audiophiles who can justify the performance to cost ratio.