The people of Hong Kong love music and singing. However, many underestimate the importance of a good audio cable and assume that all cables are equal. Audiophiles will fully understand that a high-quality audio cable can make or break your auditory experience. Find out all you need to know about audio cables below.
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One of the most important yet often understated accessories, audio cables can determine the quality of sound that is produced. In fact, many stereo aficionados claim that the quality of speaker cables is just as important as the quality of the Hi-Fi components which they are connected to. With so many audio cables available in the market, choosing the right one can be difficult. There are several factors that you can take into consideration the next time you purchase these cables.
Resistance of the Cables
A speaker cable is a wire that is used to connect the stereo system with amplifier sources such as speakers. It generally has three electrical properties – resistance, capacitance, and inductance – with resistance being the most important aspect to consider. To understand how resistance can affect the performance of a cable, you need to know how audio cables work first.
Basically, when your stereo plays music, it reads the digital data from the source and then translates it into an electrical signal to be sent to the speakers. However, the bunch of metal strands in the cable will generate a certain amount of resistance which means that not all of the electric signals is transmitted, influencing the sound quality reproduced by the speaker. Therefore, the sound produced by your speakers is not as true as the recording.
A cable’s resistance is affected by two key aspects: length of the wire and the cross section of the area. In short, the longer the wire, the higher is the wire’s resistance. Another thing to remember is that a thicker wire will have less resistance as its enhanced thickness improves the ability to deliver electric current.
Materials of the Wire
Another factor to consider is the material used to create the metal strands in the cables. Copper is typically the metal of choice due to its low cost and low resistance levels compared to many other metals. However, copper also has its own weakness; the metal oxidises easily when exposed to air. This causes copper oxide to form which will serve as a barrier that weakens the connection between the cable and the speaker. Hence, copper needs to be fully covered and insulated for it to work effectively.
Silver is another metal that has is used to create cables due to its lower resistivity compared to copper. However, they are not as common as their copper counterpart due to its higher cost. If cost is not an issue for you, then speaker cables filled with silver strands are an excellent option to deliver better sound quality.
Terminations of the speaker cables
The terminations at the end of speaker cables aid them to be connected to sources and speakers. Besides providing a solid hold, the right terminations that match your system will also minimise the risks of shorting due to stray filaments of wire touching adjacent binding posts. If you are one who frequently changes audio cables and system parts, you should choose terminations that are easy to use. The most popular terminations today are banana plugs and spade plugs.