Coaxial Speaker Cables: Everything You Need to Know

The speaker cables that came with your speakers are usually not the best for delivering a great sound out of your favorite speakers. These cables are often made for carrying sound from a receiver to speakers in another room or outside. They will do well with those tasks but often don’t have the same quality as coaxial speaker cables.

Why are coaxial speaker cables necessary?

Whether you’re a professional musician or a home audio enthusiast, you know that the quality of your sound system is only as good as the cables that connect its parts. That’s why it’s essential to choose the right cable type for each application – and in the case of speakers, that means using coaxial cables.

Coaxial speaker cables are designed to carry audio signals with minimal interference, ensuring that your music sounds its best. They consist of two insulated conductors – an inner conductor and an outer shield – surrounded by a dielectric material. The inner conductor is typically made of copper or aluminum, while the outer protection is usually a braided metal mesh.

When connecting speakers to an amplifier, it’s important to use cables that have low impedance so that they don’t cause any loss in signal strength. Coaxial cables have much lower impedance than standard speaker wires, so they can carry audio signals with minimal loss. This means you’ll get clear, powerful sound from your speakers – without cramming up the volume too high.

Another advantage of coaxial speaker cables is that they reject electromagnetic interference (EMI), which can cause unwanted humming or buzzing sounds in your audio signal. EMI is caused by electrical devices like computers and fluorescent lights, so it’s common in households and office environments.

What are the different types of speaker cables?

Speaker cables are available in various types, each with advantages and disadvantages. The most common types of speaker cables are:

  • Coaxial: Coaxial speaker cables are the most popular type of speaker cable. They are made up of two insulated wires (a positive and a negative) that are twisted together. Coaxial cables are very efficient at carrying audio signals and are less likely to pick up interference than other speaker cables.
  • Optical: Optical speaker cables are made of optical fiber that carries the audio signal. Optical cables are very efficient at carrying audio signals and are less likely to pick up interference than other speaker cables.
  • Balanced speaker cables are made up of three wires (a positive, a negative, and a ground). The three wires work together to eliminate any noise the line may pick up. Balanced cables are often used in professional audio applications where noise reduction is critical.
  • Unbalanced: Unbalanced speaker cables are made up of two wires (a positive and a negative). Unbalanced lines are less expensive than balanced cables and more susceptible to picking up interference.

What do they look like, and what do they connect to?

Coaxial speaker cables are typically made of copper wire and have a diameter of around 14 gauge. An insulating layer surrounds the inner core, and the outer jacket is PVC. The two leads are then twisted together to form the cable.

Coaxial speaker cables typically have banana plugs on each end, which connect to the speaker terminals on your stereo receiver or amplifier. You can use bare wire or spade connectors if your stereo equipment doesn’t have banana plugs.

Cable lengths and wire gauge

The length of your cable run will determine the gauge, or thickness, of the wire you need to use. The rule of thumb is that the thicker the wire, the longer the maximum distance you can run without signal loss. For example, if you’re running a long cable run (100 feet or more), you’ll need to use a thicker gauge wire than running a shorter cable run (less than 25 feet).

The most common gauges used for coaxial speaker cables are 16 gauge and 18 gauge. If you’re not sure which one to use, the error is on the side of using a thicker gauge wire (16 gauge) rather than a thinner one (18 gauge).

Generally, it’s best to avoid using fragile Gauge wires (24 Gauge or thinner) for runs longer than 25 feet as they will likely cause signal loss.

How to choose the suitable cable for your needs

If you’re looking to improve the sound quality of your home theater or audio setup, upgrading to higher-quality coaxial speaker cables is a great place to start. But with so many different types and sizes of coaxial cables on the market, how do you know which suits your needs?

Here are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for coaxial speaker cables:

  • The gauge (thickness) of the cable: A thicker gauge cable will carry more current and produce less resistance, resulting in better sound quality. However, thicker lines are also more expensive and more difficult to route through your home theater or audio setup.
  • The type of connectors: Coaxial cables come with either F-type or BNC. F-type connectors are the most common and work with most home theater and audio equipment. BNC connectors are typically found on professional audio equipment and are usually incompatible with home theater gear.
  • The length of the cable: The longer the line, the more resistance it will have. This resistance can cause a loss in sound quality, so choosing a length that is just long enough to reach your equipment to your speakers is essential.

By keeping these factors in mind, you should be able to find a suitable coaxial speaker cable for your needs.


Investing in good coaxial speaker cables is a great place to start if you’re looking for a way to improve the sound quality of your home audio setup. In this article, we’ve covered everything you need to know about coaxial speaker cables, from what they are and how they work, to the different types available and how to choose the right ones for your needs. We hope that armed with this knowledge, you’ll be able to find the perfect cables to take your sound system to the next level.


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