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Coaxial Speaker Cable – The Ultimate Guide  

If you’re shopping around for some coaxial speaker cable, you’ve probably noticed that dozens of brands out there have all sorts of claims about what their product can do and how it can improve your system. How do you know which ones to trust and which coaxial speaker cable to get and Can you Use Coax as Speaker Cable or not? 

Coaxial cables are so common that almost everyone has them in their home. They allow the transmission of audio and video signals, and you can use them with multiple devices including speakers, cable boxes, and much more. 

But how can you differentiate between high-quality cables and inferior, low-quality cables? You’ll find the answers to these questions and more in this comprehensive guide on coaxial speaker cable, as well as some tips on choosing a great cable at an affordable price.  

What is Coaxial Speaker Cable? 

A coaxial speaker cable is a cable used to connect speakers to amplifiers or receivers. The most common coaxial cable is the RG-6, typically used for home theater systems. Coaxial cable consists of two conductors, an inner conductor and an outer conductor, separated by an insulator. 

The inner conductor is typically made of copper or copper-clad aluminum, while braided copper or aluminum is used as the outer conductor. The insulators surround the two conductors, which can be made of foam, air dielectric, or solid dielectric. 

Foam is not as durable and will quickly deteriorate over time. Air dielectric tends to have better performance but is more expensive than foam. Solid dielectrics are very durable, but also very expensive.  

The most popular types of coaxial cables in use today include F Type Connector (RG-11), BNC Connector (RG-59), and RCA Connector (RG-58). They differ in diameter and performance. For example, RG-11 has a larger diameter than RG-59, so it has less attenuation and offers higher signal quality, but it’s more challenging to install because of its size. 

These are electronic cables that allow the transmission of radiofrequency signals between devices. Plus, the way it is constructed is the main reason why it is called coaxial. The core of this cable, as well as the woven shield, lies on the same access; thus, they are coaxial. 

Why Use Copper in Coaxial Cable? 

Copper can very remarkably conduct electricity and heat. It is also very ductile, and you can easily draw it into thin wires. Copper’s natural softness makes it much easier to bend and coil than other metals, increasing its versatility. 

Moreover, copper is a relatively inexpensive metal, making it ideal for electrical applications. Plus, copper is highly corrosion-resistant, making it ideal for use in outdoor applications. In the case of speaker cables, the cable will not oxidize as quickly or show wear as easily. 

Finally, because copper is one of the most common metals on earth (it’s present in everything from pennies to computer chips), you don’t have to worry about running out anytime soon. Thus, it is the most reliable option when it comes to choosing a metal for transmission cables. 

What to Look for in a Coaxial Cable?

When shopping for a coaxial cable, you’ll want to consider several factors. First, consider the gauge of the cable. A thicker gauge will be able to carry more power and provide better sound quality, but it will also be more expensive. 

Second, think about the length of the cable you’ll need. However, know that the size and the price of the cable are directly proportional. Thus, the longer the cable gets, the more you will have to pay for it. Third, take into account the type of connectors you’ll need. Most cables come with standard connectors, but if you have special requirements, you may need to pay more for a custom cable. 

Fourth, consider any special features you might need, such as gold-plated connectors or an extra-thick jacket. Finally, make sure the cable is suitable for your application. For example, the use of the same cables is to connect equipment inside a house, while you can use the others outside.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Coaxial cables

There are multiple advantages and disadvantages of using coaxial cables. While the cables are very affordable, you can find them in every household. Plus, they are pretty durable, and the design shields them from electromagnetic interference. 

You can easily install them without any problem and can get a high transfer rate as well as high bandwidth transmission which is impressive and efficient. But with that, they also come with multiple disadvantages. 

Like, if the coaxial cable breaks down or stops working, it will make the entire network break. Plus, even though it is durable, sometimes it can feature a stiff and thick design which can cause problems in installation. 

Different Types of Coaxial cable

There are multiple types of coaxial cables that you can get on the market. They can vary in thickness, purpose, impedance, and types of connectors. Thus, make sure you know which type of coaxial speaker cable you need. 

The two options when it comes to impedance are the 50 ohms and the 75 ohms. The 50 ohms option is mostly used in radios, whereas if you want to use the cable for your household gadgets, the 75 ohms one is the one that you should get. 

Plus, every Coaxial cable has an RG rating which determines the main characteristics of the cable. The RG rating determines the following factors: inner/outer diameter, impedance, shielding, and dielectric type. 

Lastly, you should also know which kind of connector will work best for you. You will get multiple options like BNC connector, RCA connector, SMA connector, F-type connector, and N connector. 

How to Choose the Right Connectors? 

When choosing the suitable connectors for your coaxial speaker cable, remember a few things:

  1. You’ll want to ensure that the connector is compatible with the cable you’re using.
  2. You’ll want to consider the size and shape of the connector.
  3. Lastly, you’ll want to think about how easy it is to connect and disconnect the cable.

Some people prefer to solder their cables together because they find this the easiest option. Others like swapping out different cables without having to cut them off first. There’s no one best way; the choice is yours. But to choose the right one, first, you need to know about your options; for that, continue reading below. 

Types of connectors for Coaxial cables

BNC Connector 

If you want to use the cable for the frequency of about 10GHz for RF and video applications BNC connector is the one for you. However, keep in mind that it will provide a stable connection only up to 4 GHz, after which the loss in signals will increase. 

N-Type Connector 

If you want to use the cable for the frequency of about 18GHz for RF applications and for transmitting lower microwave frequencies, this might be the one. People mostly use them for communication equipment. 

SMA Connector 

Capable to work with frequencies up to 24 GHz, you can use this connector with mobile and radio antennas, microwave systems, and much more. 

F-Type Connector 

Handling the frequency up to 1 GHz, F-type connectors are the most common type of connectors you can see in most households. They work perfectly for TV and antenna cables. 

RCA Connector

Handling the frequency of up to 10 MHz, you can mostly use this connector for audio and video transmission. This is another type of connector that you can find pretty easily in most households. 

Choosing Your Length of RCA Cables 

Depending on the size of your room and how you want to set up your speaker system, you’ll need to decide on the length of your RCA cables. Here are a few things to keep in mind: The cable run length will determine how much signal loss you’ll experience. The longer the run, the greater the loss. 

Moreover, if you’re running your cables under the carpet or through walls, you’ll need to account for that extra length. It’s always better to err on the side of too much cable than too little. 

You can always trim down the excess, but it’s a pain to try and splice in more if you find yourself short. For most people, 12-14 feet is probably a good length. If you’ve got long runs (say 20 feet), add another foot or two for good measure. That way, you don’t realize halfway through your installation that you don’t have enough wire. 

How To Hook Up Your Speakers with RCA Cables? 

Before you can enjoy the wonderful world of sound that your speakers can provide, you need to know how to hook them up properly. RCA cables are the most common type of speaker cable, and they’re pretty easy to use. Just follow these simple steps, and you’ll be up and running in no time! 

Find your TV or receiver’s red and white audio ports. Plug the red RCA cable into the red port, and plug the white RCA cable into the white port. On the other end of each RCA cable, there will be a red and white connector. 

Plug these into the corresponding inputs on your speakers. Make sure to connect the left channel (white) with the left input on your speakers, and likewise for the right channel (red). Connecting an input wire with another input wire will result in both outputs getting mute. 

When connecting wires, make sure you twist both ends clockwise before clipping off any excess wire. That’s it! You’re ready to rock and roll. 

How are Coaxial cables different from regular speaker cables? 

Coaxial speaker cables are to carry a signal with minimal interference. They have a conductor in the cable’s center surrounded by insulation and a shield. The shield helps to prevent electromagnetic interference from affecting the signal. The result is a more transparent, more accurate sound making them stand apart from regular speaker cables. 

What are the benefits of using Coaxial cables? 

Coaxial speaker cables offer several benefits over regular speaker cables. They provide better sound quality, they’re less susceptible to interference, and they’re easier to install. Additionally, they are more durable than other cable types. 

You’ll find that your amplifier will have many fewer connections if you use coaxial speaker cables instead of traditional ones. This cable is the best option for connecting your speakers to your amplifier.  

Do I need a power cable with my coax cable purchase? 

If you’re looking to purchase a coax cable for your home audio system, you may also be wondering if you need a power cable. The answer is: it depends. You’ll need a power cable if you’re using the cable to connect an amplifier to passive speakers. 

However, you won’t need a power cable if you’re using the cable to connect active speakers to an audio source. Here are a few other things to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to purchase a power cable with your coax speaker cable:  

  • The length of the run: The longer the run, the more likely you need a power cable. 
  • The gauge of the wire: The thicker the wire, the more likely you need a power cable. 

Are all coax cables equal, or is there a quality difference between them? 

There are different grades of coaxial cable, with the best quality cables made from thicker copper wire and multiple strands of copper wire. The dielectric material (the white insulation between the wires) can also vary in quality, with better cables using materials like foamed polyethylene or Teflon. Generally speaking, the thicker the cable and the higher the quality of the dielectric material, the better the sound quality will be. 

When using a coax speaker cable, do I need to unplug unused channels on my amplifier? 

Many believe they must unplug unused channels on their amplifier when using a coax speaker cable. However, this is not necessary. This is because the impedance of the coax speaker cable is much higher than that of the amplifier, so there is no risk of the amplifier being damaged by the high impedance cable. 

Additionally, the capacitance of the coax speaker cable is much lower than that of the amplifier, so there is no risk of damaging the amplifier by the low capacitance cable. In other words, leaving unused amplifier channels plugged in and connected to your speakers is safe.   

Conclusion 

In conclusion, when it comes to speaker cables, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Your cable type will depend on your specific needs and application. However, we hope that this guide has provided you with the information you need to decide which type of coaxial speaker cable is right for you.

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