There are many adjustments and fine-tuning options for any set of car speakers to ensure high performance. One option is to check the speakers are “in phase.” If you hang around with car audio enthusiasts there is a good chance you’ve heard this term before.

Out of phase speakers means the wiring is incorrect which can cause multiple speakers to move in different directions. This may seem like a small issue but it can lead to speaker damage. When your speakers are in phase, they’re in sync and move at the same time in the same direction, providing you with the best sound possible.

1. Check Your Speaker Wires

The most common issue and simple solution is to retrace your speaker wires from the speakers back to the amplifier. You will want to check that the positive wire is connected to the positive input (typically red-colored) and that the negative (or black colored wire) is connected to the negative input. If they are not, your speakers are out of phase and you should correct that by connecting them properly.

2. Carefully Listen to Your Bass

Have you noticed the bass is not sounding right? Any loss of bass can be a symptom of out of phase wiring. To help determine if that’s the issue, crank up your bass to the highest level and play around with balance and fade so one speaker is playing at a time.

For example, set your fade to the front so you only hear your front speakers. Next, adjust your balance to the left or right so that you only hear the front left or front right speaker. As you switch from the one speaker to the next see if you notice a difference in bass. If you do hear a difference, you need to fix the issue so the speakers are in phase.

3. Check Your Polarity with a Polarity Tester or a 9V Battery

Allyn, Installation Manager, does a quick walk through of how to test speaker polarity.

A device like the PAC TL-PTG2 can be used to test your speaker’s polarity.

By attaching the device attachments to the speaker wire, you can test to verify the positive and negative charges to ensure you correctly rewire your equipment. This method is useful particularly with aftermarket materials that may have different color coding.

The speaker cone will move inward if it is wired improperly. To save money, you could also try using a simple 9V battery to get the same effect.

4. Have an Audio Professional Check Your Speaker Phase

If you still are uncertain about your speaker phase, bring your vehicle to a local car audio business for review. Although this will likely cost you a for the check up, you’ll have the peace of mind that your speakers are functioning properly.

If you still have questions about phasing or your car audio, be sure to view Sonic Electronix other posts for more information.