There are many aspects to speaker wire that inexperienced buyers oftentimes forget to consider prior to making their purchase. The journey to ensuring that you are getting the right speaker wire for your hi-fi setup ultimately begins with knowing what differentiates the different categories.
Resistance is the most important specification of a speaker wire. Low-resistance, as an example, allows more amplifier power to be transmitted to the speaker. There are three factors that make up resistance. Firstly, there is conductivity with measures how easily electricity can flow along a speaker wire. Secondly, there is length which does affect the resistance of a cable. Double the length of the speaker wire and double the resistance, meaning that the longer the cable is, the better the resistance needs to be in order to get the same level of sound. Thirdly, there is thickness. The resistance of a wire also decreases as its thickness is increased.
There are numerous charts online, including here, where one can compare the different wire gauge numbers compared to length and electricity load. Through a chart like this, one can determine the limitations of the speaker wire appropriate for their setup.
Most speakers do not come with their own speaker wire unfortunately which puts the responsibility on the consumer to ensure that they are making the right selection. What you want to pay attention to is a speaker wire’s AWG number, otherwise known as its designation from the American wire gauge system. The lower that a gauge number is, the thicker and less resistance is in the wire.
Any time that you are transferring power into a low impedance load such as a speaker, the main thing you want to keep in mind is what we mentioned at the beginning of this article – which is resistance. Finding a cable with low enough resistance is a necessity. By buying a cable that does not meet your resistance standards, you will see losses in signal quality potentially to the point where it just sounds like a wash. Depending on how you intend to develop your audio, running cables longer in length may be more appealing though this does evidently depend on the quality of the electronics involved, the quality of the speakers, the neutrality of the room, and the sensitivity of the listeners.
To reach the maximum potential of your hi-fi setup, keep these tips in mind when selecting the right speaker wire for your setup. Beyond that, we encourage you to browse Prime Cables’ selection here to get a grasp on what might work for you.