Banana plugs are simple accessories with important jobs. When you need a dependable connection between your speakers and AV receiver, quality banana plugs can make all the difference. The best banana plugs are long lasting, provide a secure fit, and offer the highest sound fidelity possible.
There are a lot of banana plugs available for purchase. Finding the best ones for your specific needs can be confusing. This is why we are helping you with our new 2017 guide of the best banana plugs. We compared the most important features and considerations for you. And, after narrowing our research we compiled the top 8 best banana plugs available today to make your decision easy.
Top 8 Best Banana Plugs Comparison Guide
Choosing Banana Plugs for Your Needs
There are some considerations to keep in mind when choosing the best banana plugs for your audio setup. Banana plugs are all about convenience, allowing you to quickly and securely connect your audio devices using speaker wire. The two most common banana plug designs are open-screw and closed-screw, sometimes known as side-entry and rear-entry respectively. There’s no real difference between the quality of these designs, but which type you need will depend on the angle of your setup and personal preference.
For both types, you will strip between 1/2” to 1” of speaker wire. With open-screw banana plugs, simply remove the screw from the banana plug, thread the wire through the center hole, then screw the banana plug back together with the wire between the two pieces. Leftover wire can be clipped or bent to conserve space and keep your area organized.
Closed-screw banana plugs are even more convenient. Remove the bottom of the banana plug, thread the bare wire up through the bottom and up over the crimping mechanism. Spread the copper wires around the crimp, then screw the bottom half of the banana plug back into the top half. This provides an extremely secure fit.
The best banana plugs are gold plated for ultimate conductivity and anti-corrosion. Springs within the banana plug will keep its delicate curvature from collapsing after use, making for a tighter, more secure fit. Quality springs will help your banana plugs last longer and work more reliably.
Finally, wire gauge is important to keep in mind. All of the best banana plugs are rated for a range of AWG values, so before making an investment, be sure the banana plugs you choose can accommodate your wire gauge.
Reviews of the Top 3 Best Banana Plugs
These are the best banana plugs because of their unparalleled versatility and great price. Extremely affordable, you can set all your speakers and amps up without breaking the bank. These closed-screw banana plugs fit a large range of gauges (between 8 and 18 AWG). The connectors and crimps are plated in 24k gold for better clarity of sound and superior corrosion protection.
These easy to use banana plugs are useful because they are compatible with bare wires, spade plugs, and other banana plugs. These Mediabridge Banana Plugs have a short 1” profile, ready to fit comfortably against walls or other tight spaces.
One problem customers found is that the color coded rings around the body of this banana plug can be a nuisance when trying to get a grip. They are not adhered to the body, and spin when you grab them. This is a small design flaw for what are otherwise great banana plugs.
If your budget allows, the Monster Quicklock Gold Banana Connectors are the premium choice. We recommend these 24k gold-plated banana plugs for between 8-16 AWG. The superior design of these banana plugs makes it very simple to install your wires, and in most cases it should take under a minute for each plug.
Nine springs made of gold-plated beryllium-copper make these banana plugs truly great, making them extremely resilient and ready to last a lifetime of use. The strong springs keep the connector from collapsing, and ensure a tight fit no matter how many times you disconnect.
The Monster brand is known for its high priced items, but we think the quality of these banana plugs more than justifies the price. They are well constructed, designed with ultimate convenience in mind, and come with a limited lifetime full replacement warranty.
Wires can get disorganized fast, which is why it’s always nice to have banana plugs like the GLS Audio Gold Banana Plug Dual Tip. These have a small plastic piece connecting 2 plugs .75” apart. While this spacing is standard for audio equipment, be aware that they will not fit any other spacing, and you will need to get single banana plugs for non-standard lengths.
These best banana plugs are priced right for the job, especially if you have a large setup. The package also contains extra screws, which we found came in handy right away for the more clumsy among us. They are made from gold-plated brass and accommodate wires between 12-18 gauge.
The curious issue with these banana plugs is that they come in either black or red plastic casings and do not readily have a solution to mark your negative and positive wires. Users can mark wires with paint or tape, but we would have liked to see a better option.
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