OPINIONS VARY: Are expensive cables a waste of money?

Matthew Sparkes (The Daily Telegraph) writes: Manufacturers claim cables costing thousands of pounds per metre can offer better sound and image quality. Are we failing to get the best from our equipment by using cheap cables - or are high-end leads a waste of cash?

You always get a free cable in the box: a phono interconnect with a CD player, an HDMI lead with a Blu-ray device... But should you use it?

Speak to a shop salesman, audiophile or home cinema geek and they’ll tell you that they’re not worth bothering with; they’re a weak link preventing the best picture or sound quality. If you want true quality, you need to spend hundreds or thousands of pounds on high-end cables.

Others will tell you that spending just a few pounds on a well-constructed lead will suffice. That as long as it isn’t shoddily made, the signal will whizz through with little or no degradation, thanks to the laws of physics.

So who’s right?

We have spoken to cable manufacturers, engineers and psychologists, and conducted our own listening test, to get to the bottom of this controversial issue.

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