The speaker cable debate is one of the most contentious in the audio arena. Some claim that speaker cables don’t make any difference, while others say that you should be spending thousands on your audio cables.
The truth lies somewhere in the middle. Here, we’ll give you a deeper look at how much speaker cables affect the sound and whether they’re worth the investment.
The Difference Between Good and Great
Speaker wires are often the difference between good sound and great sound. The bulk of the quality will come from the sound system itself, but the wire that connects the speaker to the source has an important role as well.
The Biggest Factor
There is a lot of sales jargon regarding selling speaker wires. The most expensive on the market use rare materials and convoluted processes that change the quality of the sound incrementally.
An untrained ear probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between a cable worth a few thousand and a cable worth a few hundred. You would, however, be able to tell the difference between a $20 speaker cable and a $500 speaker cable.
The biggest consideration you need to take is resistance. Long cables offer more resistance, which means there isn’t as much room for the electricity to pass through. The ultimate result is a sound that isn’t as pure as it could be.
When you’re searching for speaker cables, make sure to prioritize thickness to reduce resistance. The resistance will make much more difference than the material of the wires.
Spending on a Speaker Cable vs. New System
If you have an old, outdated, or cheap sound system, then high-end speaker cables aren’t going to make much of a difference. Sure, the sound will be crisper and cleaner on high-end sound systems, but this isn’t the case with cheap or old products.
We recommend prioritizing spending on your speakers ahead of spending on your cables. Even the best speaker cable won’t change the sound very much of budget speakers. On top of that, high-end speakers dwarf the cost of speaker cables.
Does speaker wire matter? Yes, but not enough to turn a bad sound system into a good one. A nice impact audio cable will do wonders to improve the sound of an expensive system, but little if the hardware you’re using isn’t up to the task.
We recommend spending some extra money on your cables, but only after you’ve bought a sound system that fits your standards. After that, you can choose the best speaker cable for the money and enjoy the sound you hear.
Working Within Your Budget
Most people don’t have hundreds or thousands of dollars to shell-out on speaker cables. Fortunately, you can find a high-end speaker cable that limits resistance and improves sound for a relatively low price if you know where to look.
Speaker cables affect the sound that comes out of your sound system, but only to a degree. Prioritize getting a good sound system ahead of spending additional money on cables.
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