Most speakers do not clearly indicate what gauge of speaker wire is best. That decision is yours. If you’re building in-wall speakers or in-ceiling speakers, you will also need a specific type of speaker wire known as CL2 or CL3.
If you’re running wire underground, you will need speaker wire that’s rated appropriate and meant for direct burial.
Also, speaker wires are available with and without connectors. Needless to say, it can get complicated. Our part in this article is to highlight a little of the key differences in speaker wire gauges in an effort to aid you in deciding what’s best for your home.
Gauge is A Thickness Measurement
Speaker wire gauge indicates thickness. A 12-gauge wire is larger. An 18-gauge wire is smaller. Thickness plays a key role in the performance of speaker wire. A thicker wire equates to more capacity, more speed, and less resistance.
A thicker wire isn’t always necessary to get an excellent performance, however.
How Far Away Are Your Speakers?
The dynamics of where your speakers are in relation to their amplifier will dictate what type of speaker wire is needed.
A thick gauge – such as 12-gauge – is necessary for long-wire applications. This is because you have less resistance in a thicker wire. The signal can travel further. You can get more power. For low-impedance speakers, this is perfect.
A thin speaker wire gauge – such as 16-gauge – is perfect for shorter distances. In this context, ‘short’ means less than 50 feet.
For the majority of people, a thin speaker wire is fine and will be the most cost-effective wire to choose.
How Much Speaker Wire Do I Need For My Speaker System?
To know how much speaker wire you need, measure it. You can use string, twine, or just about anything. Measure from your receiver to each speaker location. Add a few extra feet which will give you some slack to work with just in case it’s needed.
Now, there is speaker wire with connectors and without. If you buy speaker wire without connectors, you may want to use banana connectors on the ends. Otherwise, you will be attaching bare wire to a home theater receiver which can be a frustrating experience. Banana connectors make the job so much easier.
Lastly, when connecting speaker wire, identify the positive and negative leads. Make sure they get connected correctly. If the connections end up crossed, there either won’t be any audio or it’ll sound unpleasant to the ear.
Find the right gauge. Find the right length. Shop online and save with our speaker wire guide, showcasing different thicknesses and lengths appropriate for home and business use. Buy high-quality speaker wire for your speaker system from PrimeCables.ca.