I have a pair of old Pioneer S-P170 speakers that I’m trying to hook up to various RCA output devices with the use of an adapter I recently purchased. I know the speakers work and have the positive and negative wires correctly identified, but I am not getting any sound. My only guesses right now are that these adapters I’m using are either completely worthless, or there is something I am fundamentally not understanding. I’m inclined to think I am doing something wrong, but do not have any idea what the problem might be. What might be a cause of the lack of sound when the speakers are attached with the adapter to an RCA output device such as a TV or a Bose Wave Radio?

RCA Cable Audio Adapter, Phono RCA Male Plug to AV Screw Terminal Audio/Video Speaker Wire connectors Solderless Adapter(RCA Male-2pack) https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07HBJMHVV/ref=ask_ql_qh_dp_hza

1 Answer 1


Keep in mind that speakers require power and a specific type of connection, a speaker output, the type you would find on the back of an amplifier or a powered receiver. There are speakers which are powered (contain built-in amplifiers) and have to be individually plugged in to an outlet and switched on but I don’t believe yours are.

I think that you might be connecting your speakers to a simple audio output (Bose devices and TV’s generally do not have speaker outputs) which is designed to send the signal to another device with its own power source. Is the Bose or the TV output specifically labeled “speaker output”? If it says audio output or output then it is sending a line level signal only and is not designed for speakers.

In order to hear your speakers they need to be powered by some type of amplifier. The amplifier can receive the signal from the output on your TV or Bose unit and amplify and send it to the speakers vía the speaker outputs. Hope this helps.

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    It's rare to find RCA sockets ('phono') as speaker outlets - although some equipment from the 60s did use them. Far, far more common to find them as line level ports.
    – Tim
    Commented May 7, 2020 at 7:31
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    @Tim I’ve seen RCA Speaker connections on a few things, usually less expensive stereos but you’re right, RCA is almost exclusively for line level signals. The majority of stereo equipment I’ve seen uses terminals for attaching bare wire or banana plugs for speaker connections. Commented May 7, 2020 at 7:52
  • Don't know why, but I've never used banana plugs, ever! Bare wire, XLR, DIN speaker plugs (one flat, one round pin) jacks, and now Speakon. Maybe banana sounds like it's not really for the job?
    – Tim
    Commented May 7, 2020 at 16:51
  • I've seen binding post/ banana jack connections mainly on older commercial sound theater type speaker systems. Also most of the power amps used them because of their high current capacity. Commented May 7, 2020 at 18:18

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