The role of the speaker cable in the sound system has always been an interesting subject, and it has always attracted much interest and debate among music lovers. The difference in sound quality between expensive or cheap speaker cable, this depends on a lot of the “feel” of the listener. However, if the quality of the speaker cable is too poor or improperly used, it will affect the signal transmission, leading to a change in sound quality. Choosing the right speaker cable for your home entertainment system is important and essential. The article will provide useful information to help you decide the right type of speaker cable for your audio system.
Selecting the Appropriate Size for The Speaker Cable
With metal wires, the loss of electrical signals depends on the size of and the length of wire. So if you can not avoid using long speaker cables, you should increase the size of the speaker wire at the highest level. This will help you minimize signal loss during transmission. Wire size is usually measured in AWG (American Wire Gauge), a unit of measurement following American standards. The “AWG” index is inversely proportional to the size of the wire. In other words, the AWG will be small when the speaker wire size is large. According to the manufacturers, when the wire diameter is doubled, the AWG will drop six times. For example, the wire size of AWG 2 would be twice as large as AWG 8.
For good sound quality, although still dependent on many other factors such as material, wire structure. Audiophiles often recommend the use of AWG 16 or smaller wires, which is equivalent to a fiber diameter of 1.29 mm or more. And this depends on the cost you invest in cables. Before choosing to buy, it is necessary to refer to the AWG product specifications through the seller or the manufacturer’s website, as sometimes the product speaker wire does not expose the wire core to check the diameter.
Structure of The Speaker Cable
The speaker cable consists of two components, cable sheath, and wire core. The cable sheath has two main effects: insulating and shielding the signal from the outside into the cable. The wire core is responsible for transmitting the signal through the length of the wire. Each component has its materials and manufacturing techniques.
The wire core is usually made of pure metal or copper alloy, silver. Although the copper resistance is higher than silver (1.72 microOhm/cm vs. 1.59 microOhm/cm of silver), copper is very cheap. Therefore, copper is commonly used in the wire-making industry. Also, gold is also an option for wire core materials. Gold is not easily oxidized like silver and copper, but gold has a higher resistance (2.44 microOhm/cm).
The wire sheath is not as noticeable as the wire core on the material but also contributes significantly to the quality of the speaker cable. The energy absorption of the cable sheath affects the transmitted audio signal. Common types of cable sheath are usually made from cheap plastic, better wire sheath using polypropylene or Teflon. Theoretically, the vacuum is the best material to make the casing, in fact, it can not be done. So, some manufacturers pump air into the material to create a crust of air.
These Factors Affect The Quality of The Speaker Cable
The Connector: The connector is part of the signal transmission line, and it prevents signal loss. Therefore, the quality of the connector is also an important factor. Similar to the wire core, the material of the connector can be copper or silver. However, as the unit is constantly exposed to air during use, the connector is easy to oxidize. Therefore, the manufacturer usually coated with a nickel or gold layer outside the connector, to increase the durability of the connector. To connect connector and the wire core, manufacturers often use the wire core directly as intermediates. Later, the manufacturer will use a large electric current to melt the contact point between the wire core and the connector. The top priority task of the connector is to create broad and firm contact with the speakers.
The length of the speaker cables in the audio system: The length of the speaker cables in the sound system should be equal. Differences in length can lead to time lags between speakers, or affect the resistance, and create distortionary experiences of music. Also, this also loses the balance of the sound system. Manufacturers are always very meticulous in designing sound systems, including speaker cables.
Select the right type of speaker cable: There are many types of speaker cables with different shapes and colors to suit the needs of the user. For example, speaker cables with the CL2 can go into the home design. The CL3 has more features such as anti-shock, heat resistant, suitable for outdoor use.
Note: Due to the simple structure of the wire cable, the homemade wire cable is entirely possible. The measurement of the speaker wire needs to be accurate, depending on your needs. The precise measurement of speaker wire size- it will save you a lot of investment costs. Moreover, many manufacturers offer two kinds of speaker cable: finished speaker cable or coil wire at different prices. If you believe in the quality of your DIY speaker cable, making your speaker cable is also worth considering.
There are mixed opinions about the role of the speaker cable in the quality of the sound system. And this issue is also of great interest because of the high cost of speaker cable. Anyway, investing in the right speaker cable will give you the best music experience possible. There is a standard formula of many audiophiles when building a sound system: 50% for electronics (amplifiers, CD, DAC, …), 40% for speakers and 10% for the speaker cable. Listening is a personal experience, and each one has a different feel. However, many types of expensive speaker cables are but still do not perform much better than older, cheap speaker cables. In the case of this situation, it is best to try different speaker cables for your sound system before buying. If you do not recognize the difference between types of speaker cables, choose the cheapest.