Top Tip : Buying Hi-Fi Speaker Cables

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Hi-fi speaker cables are an essential part of any hi-fi system, whether mono, stereo, or surround sound. Whatever the set-up, the best possible quality hi-fi speaker cables within the buyer’s budget should be purchased to ensure the maximum performance is achieved. When buyers purchase a top of the range hi-fi system and speakers, they often buy low quality cables that are inappropriate and perform poorly, eliminating any benefits of the expensive audio system.

When buying hi-fi speaker cables, it is important to have a basic understanding of the cables to ensure that the right choice is made. The length of the cable has an impact on the quality of the audio, so the greater the distance from the stereo or amplifier to the speakers, the better the quality of cable required to ensure good sound reproduction. The material used as the primary component of the wire core, and the type and level of shielding are also important in order to achieve the best possible sound.

Hi fi speaker cables can be found at electronic shops and specialist audio retailers. For the largest selection at the most competitive prices, buyers can visit eBay, where they can find everything that they need to create the ultimate sound system.

Factors to Consider When Buying Hi-Fi Speaker Cables

When purchasing hi-fi speaker cables, buyers need to take several different factors into account so that they get the most appropriate type of cable for their audio system. Buying the best type of speaker cable is important because the wrong cable can produce poor, unacceptable audio quality from even the best quality stereo or speakers.

Length of Cable Run for Hi-Fi Speaker Cables

The length of the cable run should be considered. The cable run is the length of cable between the input and output devices. A longer cable length requires a very high quality cable because the longer the cable, the further the audio signal has to travel. The further the distance, the more opportunity there is for signal degradation. A low quality cable cannot maintain the audio signal over distances greater than one metre without there being a noticeable loss of audio quality. Higher quality cables tend to carry signals over greater distances without losing any audio quality.

Buyers should also bear in mind that they need to keep the length of cable to each speaker at the same length. This creates a good, balanced sound, as any signal loss over the length of the cable runs is equal across each speaker.

Type of Wire Core for Hi-Fi Speaker Cables

Buyers should consider what type of metal is required for their wire core. Most standard cables use an impure form of copper. The purer the copper the better quality the cable. The oxygen and the reduction of impurities improves the conductivity of the copper. Other options that offer superior conductivity and reduced resistance are silver and gold. Cables with silver or gold as their primary core material are much more expensive than copper core cables, and some argue about whether there is truly a discernible difference in performance that can be heard by the naked ear. However, many agree that a high-end system does perform noticeably better with improved conductivity, and this superiority is particularly distinguishable in stereo sound as opposed to mono.

Sheath Shape for Hi-Fi Speaker Cables

Sheaths are the outer layer of the cable, and should not be split or damaged. Sheaths are available in a number of different shapes, including the standard round cable. However, because it is sometimes necessary to trail speaker cables across or around a room, a standard, traditional cable in a round sheath can become damaged easily. To avoid this, flat, rectangular models are available. The type of cable located inside an almost flat sheath can be placed on the floor without receiving much damage when stood on. This flat hi-fi speaker cable can be attached to or beneath the floor to reduce the risk of trips and falls that can occur with unsecured, traditional round sheathing.

Shielding for Hi-Fi Speaker Cables

Shielding is a protective insulating layer that is located around the wire core, just beneath the outer sheath. Shielding helps to prevent signal degradation as data travels along the length of the cable. It also helps to minimise the risk of interference and noise affecting the quality of the signal. Shielding prevents hi-fi speaker cables causing interference to other signals close by. Single layer shielding is the standard on most low and mid range cables. This provides the bare minimum of protection, so interference is still fairly likely to occur. Many high quality hi-fi speaker cables are available with double or triple shielding layers. Triple shielding provides a very high level of interference protection and serves to minimise signal loss. Hi-fi speaker cables are also available with individual shielding layers wrapped around core wire pairs. This prevents wires from touching inappropriately, which can further reduce signal degradation. For the very best protection, buyers can choose hi-fi speaker cables that have a single layer surrounded by double or triple shielding layers.

Cable Size for Hi-Fi Speaker Cables

Hi fi speaker cables are available in a number of different sizes, based on the standard wire gauge (SWG) or the American wire gauge (AWG). The longer the length of the cable run and the more power the wire needs to carry, the larger the wire required. The SWG has been used in Britain since 1884. The AWG has been standard since 1857. Using the table below, buyers can establish the size of wire that they require, based on the SWG or the AWG.

Using the table above, buyers can establish the gauge number that is equivalent to a particular wire width. The table gives equivalent measurements in both imperial and metric units, and across both SWG and AWG standards.

Conclusion

Although often neglected and given little consideration, speaker cables are essential components of any hi-fi system. Poor hi-fi speaker cables result in poor sound, even from the very best in speakers and audio systems. Superior audio performance from the best systems can only be achieved with the use of the right hi-fi speaker cables. The size of the speaker cables is an important factor. The larger the cable, the more data that can be transferred, with the least resistance. The shape of the sheath is also important and in some instances, it can increase the durability of the cable. Flat, rectangular sheaths helps to prevent trips and falls. They are of a robust design that can be placed on or beneath any flooring. Choosing the right hi-fi speaker cables prevents signal loss and interference, providing beautiful, evenly balanced sound. eBay sellers offer a selection of hi-fi speaker cables.

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