Coaxial speaker cable or RG-6 can connect loudspeakers to amplifier/receiver systems and as interconnects between high-end audio components. Depending on the quality of the thread you choose and the installation methods you employ, it may be possible to get performance that rivals some expensive audiophile speaker wires. This article will detail the various options and considerations to help you make an informed purchasing decision when it comes time to buy a coax speaker wire for your system.
What is Coaxial Speaker Cable?
The word coaxial comes from the word ‘coax,’ which means to use coaxing or persuasion to get someone to do something they don’t want to do. It is a cable used to transmit radio waves and has been used for over 100 years. It is also known as an RF (radio frequency) cable and is used in many electronic devices. Coaxial cables are often made of copper wire but can also be made of silver or other metal alloys. They are usually covered with plastic insulation so that the cables don’t short-circuit on each other.
The Benefits of Coaxial Speaker Cable
One of the most common questions we get from customers is whether the coaxial cable can be used for speaker cables. The answer is yes – with a few caveats.
The first caveat is that if you’re using standard (i.e., inexpensive) RG6 or RG59, you’ll need to use a larger diameter speaker wire than the wire gauge used for video and audio applications to handle higher currents and voltage drops.
The second caveat is that if you’re using RG6 or RG59, it’s essential to know that they are not rated for in-wall installation due to their PVC insulation, which doesn’t provide adequate fire protection in this application and can create toxic fumes during a fire.
Pros and Cons of Coaxial Speaker Cable:
- Thick conductor (almost 14AWG)
- Very low induction
- Suitable impedance for speaker wire
- Better sound quality than the standard parallel speaker wire configuration.
- Allows higher data transfer speeds and bandwidth as compared to other cables.
- They are more expensive than regular speaker wires.
- They are heavier and less flexible than regular speaker wire
- It takes much longer to run and hide the speaker cable
- The cable’s capacitance is higher, which could result in some instability issues, especially when using long lines.
- The cables are thick, making installation more difficult.
The entire construction of the cable
The entire construction of the cable involves about five layers.
- The core wire (usually copper)
- Diaelectric insulator
- Foil shield (only present on high-quality cables)
- braided metallic shield (traditionally made from copper too)
- Outer sheath (made from plastic or rubber)
What Does It Look Like?
Coaxial cables have a simple cylindrical shape. Their thickness and color may vary, and their structure may be more or less complex, but every coaxial cable has four key elements. Those four elements are:
- Core conductor
- Dielectric insulator
- Metallic shield (usually woven copper)
- Plastic jacket
For Audio/Video applications, coaxial cables are made with 75-ohm balanced lines, which should not be confused with the single conductor or unbalanced lines. 75-ohm flat bars use two conductors in a dual configuration to provide active two-way impedance matching. The center conductor is connected to a source (amplifier) and must be at 0V.
Different Types of Coaxial Cables
Below, you can find a list of the most common types of coax cable and their characteristics.
|RG-6/U||1.024mm||6.86mm||75Ω||Cable TV, satellite TV, cable modems|
|RG-6/UQ||1.024mm||7.57mm||75Ω||Same as RG-6/U but with better shielding|
|RG-7||1.3mm||8.13mm||75Ω||Same as RG-6/U|
|RG-8/X||1.47mm||6.1mm||50Ω||Same as RG-8/U|
|RG-11/U||1.63mm||10.5mm||75Ω||Same as RG-7 but with lower losses|
|RG-58/U||0.81mm||5mm||50Ω||Amateur radio, radio communications, Ethernet|
|RG-59/U||0.64mm||6.1mm||75Ω||HQ HD video signal transmission over short distances|
|RG-60/U||1.024mm||10.8mm||50Ω||HD cable TV|
Why should you use a coaxial audio cable?
Audio cables are used to transmit signals from one place to another. This can be either between two audio devices or the output of an audio device and an external input. Most commonly, these cables are used to connect a speaker to a sound system or amplifier. Three types of lines are typically available for this type of use: unshielded wire, shielded wire, and coaxial cable. Which should you choose?
The unshielded wire is the cheapest cable type, but it also tends to pick up interference that will produce unwanted noise in your signal. Coaxial cable is not cheap, but it offers the best shielding against interference, making less noise than unshielded wire but more than shielded wire.
What Types of Connectors Are Used for Coaxial Cables?
The following are various types of connectors for coaxial cables:
- 7/16 DIN
5 Best Coaxial Speaker Cables in 2022
There are the 5 best Coaxial Speaker Cables in 2022:
Amazon Basics Digital Audio RCA Compatible Coaxial Cable
One of the most common types of speaker cable is a coaxial cable. A coaxial cable consists of a central conductor (usually copper) surrounded by insulation and a braided metal shield. This type of cable is called coax for short. The outside diameter of this type of wire is usually about 0.25 inches, which makes it slightly larger than other types of wire. Still, the size and shape make it an ideal choice for high-frequency signals that need to be sent long distances without interference from electrical or radio waves.
Mogami GOLD RCA-RCA-03 Mono Audio/Video Patch Cable
Coaxial speaker cable is trendy in the world of audio and video. Coaxial speaker cable has been around since the 1940s, but it was in the 1990s that it became a staple in home theatre installations.
RCA cables distribute audio and video signals in many electronic devices such as amplifiers, CD players, DVD players, Blu-ray Disc players, A/V receivers, and televisions. Furthermore, these cables are available in various lengths depending on your need. The most common type of RCA connection is the mono plug with two conductor pins (the other type is called a stereo jack).
The gold plating on this Mogami cable will make your sound clearer and give your picture more definition.
KabelDirekt – Digital Coaxial Audio Video Cable
Digital coaxial cables are the medium for routing audio and video signals. These cables have a characteristic impedance of 75 ohms, which is in the middle of the range for digital cables. The coaxial speaker cable has a solid conductor that runs down the center (hence its name) with an insulating material surrounding it. The dielectric comprises polyethylene or polypropylene, which helps control energy flow through the cable, minimizing distortion and interference. This type of cable is often used as a carrier for high-definition video. Digital coaxial cables are also used for interconnecting audio equipment, like amplifiers or receivers, to speakers or televisions.
AudioQuest Carbon Digital Coax Cable
AudioQuest Carbon Digital Coax Cable is an excellent option for people who need a durable, high-quality cable that’s not too expensive. For the price, it is a perfect choice for individuals looking to customize their home theatre system or for those who need a durable cable that can withstand the wear and tear of everyday use. While it may be more expensive than other models on this list, AudioQuest Carbon Digital Coax Cable offers several features that make it worth its higher price point. The first is that AudioQuest is made with oxygen-free copper to prevent corrosion and extend the life of your cables.
Monoprice 102681 3-Feet RG6 RCA CL2 Rated Digital Coaxial Audio Cable Black
Monoprice 102681 3-Feet RG6 RCA CL2 Rated Digital Coaxial Audio Cable Black coaxial speaker cable is made of high-quality materials to ensure that it can perform well over a long period. This coax speaker cable features a sturdy design perfect for connecting audio equipment. The low-loss insulation minimizes interference, ensuring crisp, clear sound quality. The jacket also adds durability, making this coax speaker cable the ideal choice for any audio enthusiast.
Chose the right Coaxial Speaker Cables for your system
The coaxial speaker cable is a small, durable, versatile cable used in many different applications. It features a straightforward, symmetrical design that can be used to transmit both digital and analog signals. The connector at each end is typically male (or female) as opposed to the more common banana or dual banana cables, which usually have female connectors at both ends. The coaxial cable has a cylindrical shape with an inner conductor surrounded by an insulating material and then covered with a layer of copper shielding. This design means the signal quality remains high even when the cable is bent or twisted—ideal for use in areas where space may be limited.
Is Coaxial Speaker Cable Worth It?
Cable is something we have taken for granted in our lives, and it has become a necessary evil that we have to use to make everything work. There are so many cable types out there, and you may need to know what cable you need for your device. Let’s look at the coaxial speaker cable, a variety of audio speaker wires used to connect an amplifier or receiver to a loudspeaker or other device in an audio system. Let’s look at some benefits and drawbacks of using this type of wire. Is this type of cable worth it?
What is Coaxial Cable Used For?
The same conductors are used in coaxial cables; the difference is that the coaxial cable has an insulating layer between the two conductors. Due to their design and construction, these cables have a lower capacitance, making them better suited for high-frequency data transmission. Coaxial cables are sometimes called coax for short.
Can I Make a Coaxial Speaker Cable on My Own?
It is possible to make a coaxial speaker cable on your own. You will need to purchase a length of RG-58 Coax Cable, which can be found at most electronics stores, and some wire strippers. Strip about 5/8 of the insulation off the end of the cable and then strip about 5/8 from one conductor. Then strip about 1/4 from the other conductor and twist it tightly around the one you robbed. Twist this two together tightly, but don’t pull too hard, as you could break the cable. Once you have wrapped both strands around each other five or six times, twist them tightly once more and trim off any excess wire with your wire cutters so that it’s neat.
What is Coaxial Digital Audio Cable?
The coaxial digital audio cable is an electrical connection composed of two insulated copper wires, one to carry the signal and the other to be the ground. This cable has been used since the early 20th century and is typically used for connecting an antenna or cable TV to a television set. Coaxial speaker cables have become popular with audiophiles because they preserve the frequency response more effectively than other speaker cables. When choosing a coaxial speaker cable, look for one with low capacitance and high dielectric strength.
Can Coaxial Cable Be Used as Speaker Cable?
The short answer is yes, and coaxial cable can be used as speaker cable. Coaxial cables are made up of an inner conductor surrounded by a cylindrical shield of another conductor. The outer conductor protects against external interference and prevents electromagnetic waves from escaping the cable and interfering with other devices nearby. The insulator separating the two conductors is typically a plastic material with a dielectric constant of 3.1-3.5, which is perfect for audio applications.
The two conductors in this design allow the signal to be transmitted without degrading during its journey from one end to the other, making it ideal for use in long-distance phone lines or even as speaker wire.
Coaxial speaker cables are designed for high-end audio systems and are critical in sound transmission. Coaxial cables consist of two separate wires and an insulator, or dielectric, that separates them. The two wires carry the electrical signal from one end to the other, with one wire carrying a positive voltage and the other holding a negative voltage. One advantage coax has over different types of speaker cables is that it does not produce electromagnetic interference (EMI) or radio frequency interference (RFI). Another advantage is that it has low capacitance, making it more resistant to distortion than other types of speaker cables when power is running through it.
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