[5] Best Banana Plug Reviews [2020]

Top 5 Best Banana Plugs 2020:

  1. Sewell Direct SW-29863-12 Deadbolt Banana Plugs
  2. Sewell Silverback 24k Gold Banana Plugs
  3. Mediabridge Banana Plugs
  4. AmazonBasics Banana Plugs
  5. Ytuomzi Banana Plugs

Technology took over our lives. Our homes are packed with electronics that make our existence more bearable. We bet you have the same “problem”.

It has become a common thing for people to set up a home theatre or sound system on their own. If you are proactive in this way too, you probably know that the most problematic part of the whole setup are the joints.

If you mess up the joints with insecure, loose, or shorted up connections, you can end up with an unreliable connection and even increase the chances of an accidental short circuit induces by stray wire strands.  

Banana plugs are the best solution to such problems. They are reliable and highly convenient. All you need to do is push them into the binding posts. Banana plugs provide the most reliable connection, but they are mass-manufactured, and choosing the best banana plug from tons of models in the market is not an easy task.

We will help you get a good idea on which banana plug to buy, and sport a hands-on review on 5 top picks sold on the market today.

Let’s not waste any more time!


5 Best Banana Plugs In 2020: Detailed Reviews

1. Sewell Direct SW-29863-12 Deadbolt Banana Plugs –  Secure and straightforward connection without screws or soldering

Image Credit: Amazon.com

Sewell Direct SW-29863-12 Deadbolt Banana Plugs are 24K gold plated connectors with crimping teeth. 24K gold plate makes these plugs resistant to usual wear and tear as well as the negative effect of friction force. 

Crimping teeth are very beneficial too. They prevent the plug from getting loose after constant use and guarantee a strong connection. As a result, the signal transfer is also strong, stable, and distortion-free.

The casing is made from brass and well insulated. It is not only safe to use but also quite durable. Thanks to the broader and shorter base in comparison to other models on the market, these plugs can fit the boards with limited space and have a better signal transfer rate. 

You can find these plugs in sets of 2, 5, 6, and 12 pairs. The set we have chosen to review includes 12 pairs of banana plugs. Each of these pairs has a male and a female connector. For more facile distinction, they are labeled with red and black circles on top of the perimeter of the casing. You can use Sewell Direct SW-29863-12 plugs with wire sizes up to 8AWG.

Pros

  • Superior built quality
  • 24K gold plated 
  • Crimping teeth guarantee a secure connection.
  • Heavy-duty brass casing for extra durability 
  • Wide, easy-to-grab base 
  • Superb signal transfer rate, distortion-free

Cons

  • A bit pricey
  • Too thick for some older connectors 

2. Mediabridge Banana Plugs – Fast-lock, heavy-duty plugs made by a reputable company

Image Credit: Amazon.com

Mediabridge Banana Plugs are compatible with a wide range of electrical equipment such as audio & video receivers, amps, televisions, home theatres, and so on. They can be combined with almost any kind of wires within a range of 8-18AWG. 

These plugs also feature crimping teeth that automatically adjust themselves to provide a tight fit and secure connection. Both the connector and teeth are plated with 24k gold and should thus last quite long as well as offer apparent sonic accuracy without any distortion.

Mediabridge plugs feature a 2-piece screw design to ensure better termination. They come with the installation guide, but we are not sure you even need instructions as the installation is quite simple. A shorter and wider base of these banana plugs ensures good signal transfer and makes them easy to handle.

These banana plugs can never be mixed-up as their entire base is colored to signal their polarity.  The set we have chosen to review includes 12 couples of plugs, all featuring a female port and a male plug.

Pros

  • 24k gold plated base and teeth
  • Self-crimping teeth for secure connection
  • Compatible with any wire within 8-18AWG range
  • Wider base secures less deviation and easier handling
  • No distortion even after years of use
  • Reliable 2-piece screw installation
  • Installation guidebook included
  • Easy to install
  • Fast locking
  • Color-coded 

Cons

  • Some plugs had loose rubber grips 

3. AmazonBasics Banana Plugs – Suitable for limited installation space

Image Credit: Amazon.com

AmazonBasics Banana Plugs feature a 24K gold plate rating as our two previous picks. Such plating guarantees not only long-lasting optimal performance but also prevents corrosion. Thanks to the self-crimping teeth that hold a strong connection, the process of installation will be easier too.

There are no instructions included, but you do not have to be a professional electrician to install these plugs, the process is quite simple. You need to insert the conductor through the bottom half base and then screw the top half on top of it. Besides, all the plugs are clearly labeled with a black ring or a red ring.

This plug works with wires from 12 to 18 AWG and will thus be suitable for most modern electronics that require this type of cables. The package we have reviewed contains twelve pairs of plugs, but if you don’t need as much, you have a six pair package as well. 

Each plug features a female banana plug, and that means that you can connect multiple speakers from a single output. Besides, these AmazonBasics plugs are quite short, and that can be a great advantage when the space on the board is limited, like, for example, when the wall is too close.  On the downside, some spring sleeves seem loose, but that did not seem to influence the connection much.

Read More:

Pros

  • Corrosion-free 24K gold plated cover
  • Self-crimping teeth point
  • Durable 
  • Color-coding
  • Clear audio signal
  • Multiple speakers can be connected from a single output.
  • Compatible with wires between 12 and 18 AWG.
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • No instructions
  • Loose spring sleeves

4. Ytuomzi Banana Plugs – Budget-friendly yet equally functioning 

Image Credit: Amazon.com

Ytuomzi Audio Banana Plugs are affordable cable connectors that deliver optimal signal transmission with no break or interruption. Their casing is made from strong but light-weight aluminum while the pin is made from 24k gold plated copper. The plugs are 46 millimeters long, and their external diameter measures 11 millimeters. 

These banana plugs accept wires from 10AWG to 20 AWG or the cable diameter up to 6mm². The contact pins on these plugs feature spring-loaded lamellas for the best possible contact and support and interruption-free cable connection experience.

Even though you can choose between a screw connection or soldering, we would go for the former option as it allows for even better contact. After all, we did not really see any sound improvement in soldered units, so we think there is no need for it. The provided screwdriver can be a bit problematic at times, but you can always use your own.

The set includes seven pairs of female and male banana plugs that are color-coded to distinguish the polarity. As you can see, this is the smallest set reviewed so far, but that explains the lowest price as well. 

Pros

  • 24k gold plated copper pin
  • Robust aluminum covering
  • The spring-mounted blade guarantees best possible contact
  • Satisfactory signal transmission rate
  • Dual screw connection
  • They can be soldered as well

Cons

  • Only 7pairs in the package
  • The provided screwdriver is of poor quality & performance

5. Sewell Silverback 24k Gold Banana Plugs – Audiophile-grade plugs at an excellent price

Image Credit: Amazon.com

Our top 5 list has started with Sewell banana plugs, so we thought, why not end it the same way. The Sewell Silverback plugs feature a non-conductive aluminum outer sleeve with brass threaded insert and connectors covered with a 24k gold plating. This combination of materials allows for crystal clear signal and superb real-time performance.

Although many people choose the no-tool installation plugs nowadays, the double screw installation this Sewell plugs call for provides a hard connection between the plug and the port. You should not worry about installation as you will receive both the instruction and the screwdriver you need to complete the process. If you fasten the screws properly, the connection will be as strong as soldering without so much hassle.

The conduction rate of the audio signal is excellent and results in a clear and crisp output. The signal transmission strength is more than satisfactory as well. Like all the other banana plugs on our list, these plugs feature a color code indicator as well, this time in the form of red and black circles on the casing.

The wires that these plugs are compatible with can be up to 4.5 mm thick (12AWG), which is good enough for most common uses. The set includes 12 pairs of plugs, but you can also opt for a six pair package. The price is quite reasonable. 

Pros

  • 24k gold plated connector and robust aluminum casing
  • Made to last a lifetime
  • Top-notch performance
  • Crystal clear signal
  • Hassle-free DoubleScrew installation for a reliable connection
  • Compatible with wires up to a size of 4mm
  • Color-coded circles

Cons

  • Long plugs might not be suitable for tight applications

What Are Banana Plugs And Why You Need Them?

best banana plugs

Banana plugs are single-wire connectors that create a joint between the bare wire and a port. They are most often compatible with 4mm wires, but some models fit in with any wire within a 8 to 24AWG range.

Why buy a banana connector?

They are alternative to bare wire terminators, but they offer an improved signal transfer rate, as well as minimal distortion and signal interruption. Other types of connectors wear out over time, while banana plugs provide a tight connection even after more than 200 plug-in/plug-outs. The durable plug connection is mostly the result of crimping teeth every banana connector has.  


How To Select The Best Banana Plug?

There are a few things you need to consider before you can make an informed decision and buy a banana plug that will live up to all your expectations; those are:

1. How Thick Is The Cable?

  • You have to make sure that the banana plug you are buying suits your cable’s thickness. A good fit guarantees the best possible connection. So how can you know?
  • Take your cable and measure the diameter of the conductor. It should be a tit smaller than the diameter of the banana plug you need to buy.

2. What Is The Best Installation Angle?

  • While most banana plugs are terminated from the back, there are side entry plugs as well. The best way to decide which ones work better for you is to try them out and see how well they fit onto your device. 
  • Generally, speakers with binding posts angled upwards should be combined with a side entry banana plug for the cables to hang straight down.

3. How To Choose The Termination Method?

Banana plugs need to be terminated, and there are a few methods of doing this:

Screw Termination

  • Banana plugs are screw terminated by using one or two small screws that lock the cable down. It is a good and reliable method but requires more time.

“Fray” Termination

  • Some banana plugs require “fray” termination. It is performed by inserting the cable and then fraying the end and reconnecting it. This method is faster and less demanding, but the connection is not as secure as with the screw termination. It cannot be applied to larger cables that are thicker than 12AWG.

Soldering

  • Banana plugs can be soldered directly onto the cable. To do this, you will need a very high power soldering iron. If you have one, remove the screw from the banana plug and get down to business. Let us warn you, though; banana plugs are notoriously problematic to solder correctly.

4. How Much Are You Willing To Pay?

  • Most banana plugs perform well. However, high-quality banana plugs are made with better machines and feature a thicker gold plating and higher quality polishing.  All these factors will have little if any effect on the connection, but if you plan to make higher-end cables, you should perhaps think about this.

How To Install Your Banana Plug

Once you have identified and bought the best banana plug, you brought it home, but what next?

It is time to install it, and there are three types of installations:

1. Screw Installation 

Most banana plugs use a screw mechanism to lock the cable down. This type of installation requires a small flat head screwdriver.

  • Step 1: You have to put the cable next to the plug to determine how much of the conductor you need. 
  • Step 2: Strip the cable to the measured extent, twist it to tighten up the braids, and insert it into the plug.
  • Step 3: Tightly screw-down the two, and you are all done!

2. Bolt/piston Installation

Dual lock banana plugs suit a wide range of cable sizes. They are easy to install once you identify whether they require side or back cable entry.

Rear Termination 

  • Step 1. and Step 2. are the same as above
  • Step 3: Once you have inserted the cable through the bolt at the back of the plug, you need to fray the conductor end for a better grip, or it might slip out. If the cable is thick, you can bend the whole conductor over itself.
  • Step 4: Re-assemble the plug, but don’t forget the piston as it helps secure your cable in place. Tightly screw-down everything together.

Side Termination

  • Step 1. and Step 2. are the same as above
  • Step 3: Insert the cable into the plug through the side entry point.
  • Step 4: Put the piston in and tighten up the rear bolt. If there is excess cable, you can trim it off. 

3. Bolt Only Installation

Bolt only plugs are the easiest to install. The termination is super-fast, and you only need an appropriate tool to strip the cable. 

  • Step 1. and Step 2. are the same as above
  • Step 3: Insert the cable through the bolt located at the back of the plug. If you have excess conductor trim it off. 
  • Step 4: Fray the conductor in all directions.
  • Step 5: Re-assemble the tip and clamp the plug down until you get a tight fit.

Final Verdict

Many people think that banana plugs are all more-less the same no matter who made them, how they look, and how much they cost. You now know that is not the case. There is a lot to consider if you want a secure connection and a crystal clear signal, and you have the knowledge to do that on your own!

If you are still a bit indecisive, we have narrowed the choice for you even further. Sewell is a brand we highly appreciate, so you can opt for either  Sewell Direct SW-29863-12 Deadbolt Banana Plugs or Sewell Silverback 24k Gold Banana Plugs. You won’t regret your choice for sure as both are of high quality and excellent performance.

For most uncomplicated installation, go for Mediabridge Banana Plugs. The company has an excellent reputation, so you might consider this a completely risk-free purchase too.

Leave a Comment