SpeakOn is a special type of audio connection for connecting amplifiers to speakers.The most common circular connector is the Speakon NL4.">

SpeakOn - Everything you need to know !

A SpeakOn cable is a connection that is used with high-voltage audio equipment.
A SpeakOn cable is a connection that is used with high-voltage audio equipment.

SpeakOn Connector

A SpeakOn cable has a special type of connection invented by Neutrik that excels at connecting amplifiers to speakers.

A SpeakOn cable is a type of connection that can only be used with high-voltage audio equipment and therefore can never be confused with any other use.

According to most industry experts, their introduction meant the beginning of a new era for audio connections around the world.

Physical Design : Speakon connectors come in the form of circular or rectangular connectors, depending on the model. The most common circular connector is the Speakon NL4, which usually has four pins to connect speaker cables. However, there are also Speakon models with a different number of pins to meet various connection needs.

Security and reliability : Speakon connectors are designed to provide a secure and reliable connection. They use a bayonet lock that holds the connector in place even under heavy vibration or strain, making them ideal for use on stage where reliability is paramount.

Compatibility : Speakon connectors are designed to be compatible with a wide range of speaker cables. They can be used with cables up to 10 mm² (approx. 8 AWG) wide, allowing them to handle the high currents needed for high-powered loudspeakers.

Usage : Speakon connectors are often used to connect speakers to amplifiers or PA systems. They provide a secure and reliable connection that minimizes the chances of short circuits or accidental disconnection during a live performance.

Variety of models : In addition to the standard NL4 model, there are several other variants of Speakon connectors, such as the NL2 (two pins), NL8 (eight pins), and others, which offer different configurations to meet specific wiring and power needs.

Rotate and lock

Locking mechanism design : The locking mechanism of the Speakon connectors is based on a bayonet system. It consists of a female socket (on the equipment) and a male connector (on the cable), both of which have a locking ring. When the male connector is inserted into the female socket, the locking ring is rotated clockwise, which firmly locks the two parts together.

How the lock works : The bayonet lock is designed to be easy to use while ensuring a strong and secure connection. When the male connector is inserted into the female socket, it is pushed until it reaches the locking position. Next, the locking ring is rotated clockwise, which secures it in place. This creates a secure connection that won't loosen even under vibration or shaking.

Purpose of the lock feature : The main use of the Speakon connector lock feature is to ensure a stable and reliable connection between audio equipment, such as speakers and amplifiers. By avoiding accidental disconnections, this feature ensures continuous audio performance, which is especially crucial in live performance environments where reliability is paramount.

Security : In addition to ensuring a stable connection, the bayonet lock also provides an extra level of security by preventing the connectors from accidentally disconnecting. This reduces the chances of short circuiting or signal loss during a performance, which is essential for the safety of equipment and the public.

Cabling

Wiring Speakon connectors is an essential part of setting up professional audio systems. These connectors offer a variety of configuration and wiring options, allowing for great flexibility in the design of audio systems. Here's a detailed explanation of how to wire Speakon connectors and what they can do for audio :

Speakon connectors : Speakon connectors are available in several configurations, but the most commonly used model is the Speakon NL4. This connector has four pins for speaker connections, although other configurations like the NL2 (two pins) and NL8 (eight pins) also exist to meet different wiring needs.

Speaker Wiring : Wiring Speakon connectors for loudspeakers is relatively straightforward. For a mono connection, you use two pins of the Speakon connector. For a stereo connection, you use both pins for each channel (left and right). Each pin is usually associated with a polarity (positive and negative) to ensure good reproduction of the audio signal.

Parallel and serial wiring : Speakon connectors offer the ability to wire speakers in parallel or daisy-chain, allowing different speaker configurations to be created to meet the specific needs of each audio system. Parallel wiring allows multiple loudspeakers to be connected to a single amplifier, while daisy-chain wiring is used to increase the total impedance of the system.

Use with amplifiers : Speakon connectors are often used to connect speakers to amplifiers. They provide a secure and reliable connection that minimizes the chances of short circuits or accidental disconnection, which is especially important in live performance environments where reliability is paramount.

Speaker Cable Compatibility : Speakon connectors are compatible with a wide range of speaker cables of various gauges. This allows users to choose the appropriate cable based on their needs in terms of length, power, and sound quality.

Advanced configuration options : By using Speakon connectors with advanced configurations such as NL8 (eight pins), it is possible to create complex audio systems with multiple channels and different speaker configurations. This allows for great flexibility in the design of audio systems for applications such as fixed installations, open-air festivals and large concert halls.
Speakon 2-point connection
Speakon 2-point connection

Connecting a PA speaker with a Speakon cable

To connect a PA speaker with a Speakon cable, we use the 1+ terminal for the + of the speaker and the 1- terminal for the -. Terminals 2+ and 2- are not used.
Woofer :  1+ and 1-. Tweeter :  2+ and 2-
Woofer : 1+ and 1-. Tweeter : 2+ and 2-

4-pin speakon and bi-amplification

Some Speakons cables are 4-point : 1+/1- and 2+/2-. These 4-point Speakons can be used for bi-amp.
Woofer : 1+ and 1-. Tweeter : 2+ and 2-
Sound system used in a concert.
Sound system used in a concert.

Professional example

Audio system used in a concert or live event :
Suppose you have a sound system that includes two main speakers (left and right) and a subwoofer, all powered by an amplifier.

Wiring of the main speakers :
Use speaker cables with Speakon NL4 connectors.
For each main speaker, plug one side of the Speakon cable into the corresponding amplifier output (e.g., left channel and right channel).
Plug the other end of the Speakon cable into the Speakon input on each main speaker.

Subwoofer Wiring :
Use a speaker cable with a Speakon NL4 connector.
Plug one side of the Speakon cable into the amplifier's subwoofer output.
Plug the other end of the Speakon cable into the Speakon input on the subwoofer.

Speaker Configuration :
If you are using a stereo system, make sure that each main speaker is properly paired with its corresponding channel (left or right) on the amplifier.
Also, make sure to respect the polarity of the connections by making sure that the positive cables are connected to the positive terminals and the negative cables to the negative terminals, both at the amplifier and the speakers.

Verification and testing :
Once the wiring is complete, perform tests to ensure that all connections are correct and that the sound is playing as expected.
Adjust the amplifier and speaker settings as needed to get the best possible sound.

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