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How Do I Choose the Best Home Theater Speaker Cable?

By G. Wiesen
Updated May 17, 2024
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To choose the best home theater speaker cable, you should consider different aspects of your system including the type of connectors you might need and the lengths of cable you require. You should typically look for cable that is an appropriate gauge, based on the distance from your amplifier to your speakers. Different amplifiers and sound systems can use various connection methods, so you should choose wire with connectors that work with your system. You should also look for home theater speaker cable and wires that are shielded for greater quality and use materials that improve performance.

Home theater speaker cable is used to connect an amplifier or similar component in a sound system to one or more speakers. One of the first things you should consider when choosing this cable is the length of wire you need to connect the speakers to your amplifier. You should try to keep it as short as possible, without sharp bends that can weaken the signal, and all of your front speakers should be connected by about the same length of wire.

Once you know the length that you need, then you can choose an appropriately thick home theater speaker cable. Thicker wires have a lower numerical gauge, while a higher value indicates thinner wire. If your speakers are fairly distant from your amplifier, then you should choose a thick cable.

You should also look at the types of connections that you may have on your amplifier or sound system. There are different types of terminals that wires can connect to, such as spring clips and binding posts, and you should choose a home theater speaker cable with connectors that can easily attach to your system. Some sound system companies also use non-standard terminals and connectors, which require special types of cables. If you have such a sound system, then you should use the appropriate home theater speaker cable for your manufacturer.

Different types of materials can also be used in a home theater speaker cable, so you should choose the best one for your particular needs. The connectors at the end of the cable should be a highly conductive material, such as gold, to ensure the highest quality sound. You might also look for cable that includes shielding to prevent external signals and energy sources from negatively affecting the sound signal traveling through it.

If you plan on running your home theater speaker cable and wires through the walls of your room, then you should ensure you follow any safety codes and requirements in your area. In the US, for example, you typically need to use Class 2 (CL2) or Class 3 (CL3) wire as designated by the Underwriters Laboratory (UL). This ensures that the cables you choose are safe for use inside your walls and do not create a fire hazard.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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