Spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a speaker system only to have it produce a sound that is tinny and hollow can feel like a waste of money. But before you slap a return label on your speakers and write an angry review, you may want to check your speaker cable. According to some audiophiles, a speaker cable or wire can have as much effect on the quality of sound as your actual speakers. Considering how inexpensive speaker cables are to buy, it’s definitely worth upgrading your current setup.
Speaker wires or cables are used to connect speakers and amplifier sources or receivers. As explained by Cambridge Audio, three things worth looking at when buying speaker cables are resistance, capacitance and inductance. Resistance is the most important, with a low resistance wire allowing more power, and therefore sound, to pass through the cable, providing a richer sound for your listening pleasure. The shorter the physical length of the wire, the less resistance. That means that when it’s time to position your speakers, you need to find the right balance of separating them so that sound in your room is balanced, but keeping the speakers close enough that the wire is not over-extended.
We’ve included three types of CCA or Copper Clad Aluminum wires on our list. By using CCA wires instead of pure copper wires, the price of the wire is reduced significantly. All three wires are also 100 feet in length and can be cut to fit your speaker system, ensuring that the least amount of resistance is involved. For more on our top picks of best speaker cables, check out our list below!
1. AmazonBasics 100ft 16-Gauge Audio Stereo Speaker Wire Cable
With marked polarity on one side of the wire for easy setup and installation, the AmazonBasics 100ft 16-Gauge Audio Stereo Speaker Wire Cable provides a clear connection from speakers to amplifiers or receivers.
Pros: The AmazonBasics wire comes wrapped around a hard plastic spool for easy dispensing and features a white line marking one side of the wire that aids in the installation by helping to distinguish the polarity. The wire is wrapped in a clear plastic jacket that helps to cut down on distortion, while also adding a layer of protection.
Cons: Some customers found it difficult to distinguish between the two wires when stripping them.
2. InstallGear 14 Gauge AWG 100ft Speaker Wire True Spec and Soft Touch Cable
Easily strip wires thanks to color coding and polarity marks with the InstallGear 14 Gauge AWG 100ft Speaker Wire True Spec and Soft Touch Cable.
Pros: The InstallGear uses two colors of wires to make it simple for customers to strip the wires and install their sound system with the polarity easy to identify. The cable is made with True Spec stranded wire and has a soft touch jacket.
Cons: Some customers found that the PVC jacket was not as rugged as with other brands.
3. Mediabridge 14AWG 2-Conductor Speaker Wire
Connect your speakers to an A/V receiver or amplifier using the Mediabridge 14AWG 2-Conductor Speaker Wire
Pros: With the Mediabridge you get 100 feet of high-strand count (0.254mm x 41 strands) copper clad aluminum 14 AWG conductors. The wire is protected with a clear plastic coating and includes markings every two feet to make installation easy. The Mediabridge wire can be paired with banana plugs, spade tips or bent pin connectors.
Cons: Customers note that the Mediabridge wires should only be used for indoor wiring.