Q&A: Are premium speaker cables a ripoff?


Basically, no.

As long as a speaker cable has enough copper to it that it doesn’t cause issues with damping factor, nothing else really matters.

You can use a 12 gauge extension cord from home depot, cut off the ends and use that nice thick copper and have a great speaker cable that is going to deliver identical performance to some hyper expensive bullshit.

Note: Some expensive “audiophile” speaker cables actually introduce other components that affect the sound. Now, I personally think this is a horrible thing, because we want our cables to not impact the sound at all. But if you want to do that because reasons, you can easily get the same effect by shoving the leads for that same component (usually a capacitor) through the insulation of your home depot extension cord. You do you bo.

But for people actually interested in accurate sound, just use the largest gauge cable that will fit in the terminals that you have. For in-home speaker cable distances (and amp sizes), that’s all there is to it.

Indeed, of all the cables used in home audio, speaker cable matters the least. Other cables generally have a couple of electrical characteristics that are somewhat important. Speaker cable only has one and it’s super simple to deal with. Speaker cable deals with pretty high currents and voltages that are largely immune to the sorts of things that might impact a line (or even more so, mic) level signal.

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