Coaxial Speaker Cables: A Complete Guide
The use of alternative coaxial cable is required by every home theatre system in order to establish a secure connection for audio and visual signals. And while this electrical cable is well-known for its superior sound quality, did you know that it can be used for a variety of other things? Join our resident audiophiles as they dissect when and how to use a coaxial speaker wire to assist you with your regular audiovisual demands in this in-depth examination of the product.
What is a Coaxial Cable?
Before delving deeper into the various applications of a coaxial cable, it is necessary to understand the conventional description of this speaker wire. You might not realise it, but coaxial cables are commonly utilised to transmit RF signals. This special speaker wire can handle high-frequency digital transmissions and lower audio output ranging from roughly 20 kHz to 300 GHz via a coaxial connection. However, unlike RCA cables, coaxial cables transmit digital signals over analogue.
If you look closely, as our team did, you’ll discover that these speaker cables have an inner conductor and woven copper shielding that is symmetrical along one axis. The term “coaxial cable” was coined as a result of this unusual core wire design. Coaxial cables have long been an integral component of any 20th-century home audio system. Coax cables have been recognised to give higher bandwidth and increased endurance when compared side by side with a normal audio cable since they were invented in the 1880s.
How Does it Differ from Digital Coaxial Cables?
For those inexperienced with the various speaker cables, the terms coax cable and digital coaxial cable may be perplexing. That is acceptable. We are here to clarify. To begin, despite the fact that a coaxial digital connection is not digital on the inside, it provides more efficient signal transmission via electricity. The digital coaxial audio cable serves the same purpose and is constructed similarly to coaxial cables, which means that it has an enough impedance to resist electrical current. Additionally, digital coax cable has an insulation-coated central wire, a plastic casing, and a metallic shield.
For sound equipment nerds like us, digital audio coaxial cable is the favoured choice due to its wide electrical frequency handling. Apart from transporting digital audio signals, you’d be amazed to learn that the coaxial digital audio cable is quite compatible with cable boxes, cable TV modems, runners, satellites, radios, and television antennae, among others.
Components of Coaxial Cables
This type of coax cable, like the typical digital coax cable, has four known parts in its construction. Before you buy coaxial cables based on your needs, our audio experts want you to know these things. There is a core copper conductor wrapped in dielectric insulator at the end of this speaker cable. It looks like a simple speaker cable at first. There are a few options for insulators on coaxial cables, like foam plastics, solid plastics, or air spacers.
It all depends on what kind you bought. A braided strand made of copper would be right next to that, too. As you can see, this part of the coax cable has been called the shield. With this part, the audio equipment can keep money from being lost and improve its performance.
If you can obtain coaxial cable wires with four layers of shielding on the market, our experts advise against making the cable thicker than it already is. Last but not least is a plastic jacket for this speaker cable. Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) is the most common material, however it all relies on the cable’s intended use.
Types of Coaxial Cables
Regardless of how many wires you’re dealing with, reading the RG standard is the best course of action when it comes to a coaxial cable installation. Core coaxial cable diameter, outside diameter, and where it’s most typically used are all indicators of a speaker cable’s compatibility.
Radio Guide Standard
|Cable Types||Core Diameter||Outer Diameter||Purpose|
|RG-58/U||0.81mm||5mm||Radio Communications, Ethernet, Amateur Radio|
|RG-59/U||0.64mm||6.1mm||HD/HQ RF video transmission (short distance)|
|RG-8/X||1.47mm||6.1mm||Amateur Radio Transmitters|
|RG-6/U||1.024mm||6.86mm||Cable TV systems, Satellite TV, Cable Modems|
|RG-6/UQ||1.024mm||7.57mm||Cable TV, Satellite TV, better shielding capacity than RG-6/U|
|RG-7||1.3mm||8.13mm||Satellite TV, Cable Modems, Cable TV|
|RG-11/U||1.63||10.5mm||Cable Modems, Cable Television, Satellite|
|RG-60/U||1.024mm||10.8mm||Cable Televisions, Cable-connected Internet|
There are many different types of coax cables, but flexible ones are the most common in the market. The braided cable design of this speaker wire sets it apart from the rest. Even though it’s known for its versatility among coaxial cables, our staff doesn’t recommend this alternative because it’s susceptible to signal leaks.
To ensure long-term durability in coaxial connections, we recommend that you use Semigrid speaker wire rather as a standard speaker wire. With a pipe-like construction and a metallic exterior that acts as a conductor, you can be confident that this speaker cable has consistent impedance and excellent shielding qualities. Keep in mind, though, that it may not be as adaptable as the previous type we outlined earlier.
In addition to the Triaxial coax cable, which offers enhanced shielding and noise resistance, there are various coaxial speaker cables to choose. In contrast to other types of speaker wire, this one is made up of two conductors. The first is used for signal grounding, and the second is used for earth grounding.
Coaxial cables, which are utilised in dual-wired installations to save you both time and money, are also available. These are the most common speaker cable kinds that are used with television antennas, satellite dishes, and cable television systems.
The impedance of each coaxial speaker wire is another important characteristic that distinguishes it from the others. This function has an audible impact on sound quality, thus our resident audiophile highly recommends that you pay close attention to this section of the article.
If you’re looking for a speaker cable to utilise in radio transmission applications or transmitter antennas, 50-Ohm wire options are the best advice our resident audiophiles can provide, according to their experience and expertise. In addition to high-frequency audio transmission, these wires have the capability of supporting Coaxial Ethernet Networks.
Speaker cables with an impedance of 75 Ohms are the most suitable for use in a domestic setting. 75-Ohm coaxial speaker cable is most likely what you’re looking for if you happen to have one sitting around in your toolbox. It can also be used to transmit video signals from cable television systems and other visual devices.
Coaxial Cable Connectors
When you connect speaker wire cables to a device, there are connectors made to protect these connections. Make sure you read on below to get a sense of how important it is. If you’re a beginner, it’s likely that you can’t choose one that meets your needs for digital audio.
Bayonet Neil-Concelman is the name of the connectors that say BNC. These wires are usually used in TVs, radios, testing instruments, and other radio-frequency and TV equipment. Besides being easy to use, our audiophiles like this connector because it has stable frequencies from 10 GHz to 4GHz. However, anything after that could cause radiation and damage.
If you want to use microwave frequencies that range from about 18 GHz down to the lower end, N-type connectors are the way to go. It is also used by a lot of broadcast equipment.
SMA connectors are the optimum choice for frequencies between 0 Hz and 24 GHz. This audio receiver component is compatible with radio and mobile antenna systems. Microwave systems are another area where they come in handy.
F-type connectors are by far the most commonly seen in the market, as they are well suited for TVs and antennas. But there’s no need to be concerned. Despite its availability, this connector can handle frequencies of up to 1GHz.
Not all pieces of equipment that require connectors are the same. So, if you need one to accommodate applications with limited size or space, micro coaxial connections can come in handy. It’s intended to work well with antennas and PCBs.
Threaded Neil-Concelman (TNC) choices are similar to BNC but exist in a threaded version. When working with microwave frequencies, however, our staff would prefer TNC connectors rather than BNC.
Pros and Cons of Coaxial Cables
Coax wires are less susceptible to noise and interference than standard twisted pair connections. Our testers had a terrific time working with it despite the fact that it was only a short distance away. It has a thicker conductor and a lower induction rate than RCA cables. If you acquire Mogami cables, you’ll discover that their impedance is well suited to the needs of a speaker wire. Because it has a higher bandwidth than an optical connection, customers should expect superior sound production from this wire.
These cables are also commonly utilised in professional settings due to their great durability and ability to withstand the demands of various situations. Audiophiles on a restricted budget will profit from this because they are relatively economical without sacrificing quality.
Every advantage has a drawback. Unfortunately, coax speaker wire is not an exception. The use of this type of audio signal transfer may generate unpleasant electrical noise. While these cables are known for significantly improving audio connection quality, coaxial configurations do not enable popular sound technologies like as DTS-HD Master Audio.
If you use it frequently and extensively, you may notice that its speed fluctuates from time to time. The wire length might cause instability, and long-distance installation can easily incur additional costs due to the cable’s thickness. It is also important to understand that signal leakage might occur at any time during the connection.
Coaxial vs. Optical vs. HDMI Cables
When comparing optical and coaxial speaker wires, our resident audiophiles can guarantee that the latter sounds superior. Coaxial communications have 192 kHz bandwidth against 96 kHz bandwidth for optical digital connections.
However, due to the unavailability of optical fibre and coaxial wire to support lossless audio formats, they are similar. On the plus side, optical connectors can be directly connected to the DAC of an AV receiver, as they prevent noise from the source device from entering the circuit. Additionally, these connections offer uncompressed PCM audio channels.
In comparison to coaxial and digital optical lines, HDMI offers unmatched bandwidth. These sorts of audiovisual cables are capable of supporting the latest sound formats, ranging from Dolby True HD to DTS Master Audio. The same holds true for video formats, which are compatible with 4K Ultra HD resolutions and a variety of HDR settings..
Is a Coaxial Speaker Cable Better Than an RCA Cable?
Although RCA cables and coaxial speaker wires seem similar and are frequently used interchangeably, they have somewhat different characteristics that you should consider. Apart from the fact that coaxial cables are bigger than RCA cables, coaxial is favoured due to its compatibility with 5.1 channel audio via a single cable. You may not be aware, but this configuration is not possible with RCA cords. Additionally, coax cables offer an advantage over RCA cables in terms of impedance. Our experts determined that coaxial cables normally have a 75-Ohm impedance, whereas RCA cables have a 50-Ohm impedance.
Above all, coaxial speaker lines support a broader frequency range. As a result, there is no doubt that its component is compatible with a variety of audiovisual applications.
FAQ – Coaxial Speaker Cables
Can Coaxial Cables Be Used for Subwoofers?
Yes, this type of audio wire is suitable with subwoofers. Indeed, there are speaker cables developed specifically for woofers that provide superior sound quality and an uninterrupted connection. All you need to do is obtain a wire stripper or a sharp utility knife and carefully remove all existing connectors on your subwoofer before beginning to connect a coax cable. With no specific impedance requirements, any form of coaxial cable will work. As you may be aware, subwoofers require shielded wires, therefore it’s a good idea to consider using coax cables for these connections.
Is a coaxial speaker wire audiophile-grade?
Yes, a coaxial cable is suitable for transmitting audio. Apart from standard speakers and subwoofers, coax wires can also be utilised as microphone cables due to their ability to transmit low frequencies with a high noise ratio. Additionally, you can rely on our digital audio cables to maintain safe connections.
Conclusion – Coaxial Speaker Cables
Coaxial speaker cables are plentiful on the market nowadays, and it won’t be long until you come across one while shopping for home theatre equipment. And now that you’re familiar with how coaxial cables function, our resident audiophiles strongly advise you to prioritise your audio needs and take your time making any purchasing decisions.