10 Best Speaker Wires In The Market: Buying Guide In 2023
It’s common to think that all speaker wires and cables are the same. In this alternative guide, you will know the best speaker wires that suits you the best.
Speaker wires can help your home, home theater, or car audio system sound better. We use the word “may” because the audiophile community is divided on how much your speaker cable affects the sound of your system. Some people claim they can’t hear a difference, while others claim they can.
Based on our testing of a few sets of speaker cables, we’d recommend focusing your efforts on upgrading your source components (CD players, turntables, etc.), DAC (digital-analog converter), and speakers or headphones first. You can worry about upgrading your cables once you are satisfied with your audio system — at least for the time being.
What Exactly Is a Speaker Wire?
Speaker wires are commonly used to connect a woofer and speakers to the rest of the audio system. They send sound from a receiver to speakers. Depending on the power of the speakers and receiver, wires can be used in a variety of devices. Assume you want to upgrade your car’s audio, which is when speaker wires come in handy.
On the other hand, a good 5.1, 7.1, or even a regular set of stereo speakers could benefit from an upgrade with a set of decent-quality wires, which will vastly improve overall sound fidelity. The standard audio cable, made mostly of copper with some protective housing on top, will deliver the signal from the sound source to the speaker with little to no impedance, interference, or audio distortion.
Nowadays, music lovers and analog sound enthusiasts have many options for improving their home or car Hi-Fi, so we recommend you read our review of the best car speakers to enjoy the beauty of admired tracks while driving and in-wall tracks & in-ceiling speakers for your room.
Alternatively, rectangular speakers have become nothing more than a stereotype, so we recommend purchasing round in-ceiling speakers to save space while still providing a beautiful sound. Furthermore, the 2.0 speaker system will be an excellent addition to your laptop or PC. It will allow you to fully appreciate gaming, music, and movies.
How did we choose the best speaker wires?
To find the best speaker wires, we considered wire material, gauge, and manufacturer to ensure overall dependability. We examined over 25 recommended brands, read research articles, and analyzed first-hand user reviews, delving deeply into the debate over the relationship between wire quality and price. We also examined our home systems and recommended wires we used to add a personal touch.
While it is ultimately up to you to determine whether you notice a significant difference in audio quality when using specific wires, each of our recommendations will provide a strong, sturdy connection for excellent sound.
Reviews and recommendations for the best speaker wires
There is considerable disagreement about whether expensive speaker wires outperform lower-cost models. The consensus is no; listening tests and extensive research conducted by audio professionals agree that the quality of your speaker wire will most likely be consistent.
We recommend choosing a speaker cable in the middle of the price range; the cheapest cable may not be built to last, and the most expensive cable may not improve the quality of your audio. Our suggestions allow you to save money for more important gear that impacts your sound, such as amps/receivers, interfaces, etc.
Things To Know About Speaker Wiring
It’s common to think that all speaker wires and cables are the same. After all, the speaker wires’ primary function is to ensure that sound is transmitted from your audio interface device to your speakers. It is true for both the most expensive and the most affordable options.
Even though they all perform the same basic function, they are not the same. Many manufacturers use specific terminology for speaker wire and what to look for.
We’ll review just a few below so you know what to look for when deciding which speaker wire to buy.
Speakers with a Low Impedance
Impedance, which is measured in ohms, is a term that is frequently used in speaker descriptions (4, 6, or 8). In essence, impedance directly correlates to the resistance your wiring should have. The lower the impedance, the lower the resistance of your speaker wire.
It is since the ohms of your amplifier and speaker should be the same, with too much or too little on either side potentially causing distortion and interference, lowering the sound quality.
10 Best Speaker Wires In The Market
In setting up a top-notch audio system, the speaker wire is one of the most important components. Your other high-quality equipment is wasted without a reliable connection between your amplifier and speakers. That’s why investing in a top-quality speaker wire that can deliver clear, distortion-free sound is crucial.
This section has compiled a list of the best speaker wires on the market. From pure copper options to durable, outdoor-friendly choices, we’ve got you covered. So whether you’re setting up a home theater, car audio system, or outdoor sound system, you’ll find the perfect speaker wire on our list.
1. Austere III Series Speaker Cable
When it comes to outfitting your home audio system with speaker wire, you deserve the best. That’s where Austere III Series Speaker Cable comes in. This premium option is made from 100% oxygen-free copper and coated in SoftTouch, a custom material that’s flexible, durable, and easy to work with. Plus, Austere’s copper has been refined to resist corrosion, so you can trust that this speaker wire will stand the test of time.
With a 50-foot spool available in either 14 or 12-gauge sizes, there’s an Austere III Series Speaker Cable for every application. We recommend the 12-gauge option for projects requiring cables up to 20 feet, which is perfect for most music-listening rooms, home theatres, or cars. And if you’re setting up a surround-sound system, you may need two spools to complete the job – especially for 7.1 or Dolby Atmos setups.
But here’s the real cherry: Austere stands behind their III Series Speaker Cable with a lifetime guarantee. If anything goes wrong with the wire under normal use, Austere will replace it. So go ahead and invest in the best – your ears (and wallet) will thank you in the long run.
- Made of copper
- 14 gauge thickness
- 50 feet in length
|Constructed with pure copper wire||Higher price point|
|Custom shielding material|
|Comes with a lifetime guarantee|
2. GearIT 14/2 Speaker Wire
When setting up an outdoor audio system, you need a speaker wire that can stand up to the elements. That’s where GearIT 14/2 Speaker Wire comes in. The positive and negative wires are shielded by a single PVC layer, protecting against water and other outdoor hazards. And once you get the wire to where it needs to go, cut through the PVC layer to reveal the inner wires – both of which are covered in additional shielding material.
While GearIT 14/2 Speaker Wire is designed for outdoor use, it can also be used indoors. Just be aware that the thick, dark PVC shell may be more noticeable when used inside, so we recommend using it for wall-mounted speakers where it won’t be as visible. And with four different gauge sizes and a 200-foot spool available, GearIT has you covered no matter what your outdoor audio system needs. Whether installing two speakers or more, this speaker wire has you covered.
- Made of Copper-Clad Aluminum
- 14 gauge thickness
- 100 feet in length
|Thick shielding material||It may not be aesthetically pleasing if used indoors|
|Comes in a long spool||Not made entirely of pure copper|
|It can be used for both indoor and outdoor applications.|
3. Amazon Basics 16-Gauge Speaker Wire Cable
When setting up your first audio system, you want a speaker wire that’s reliable, affordable, and easy to work with. That’s where Amazon Basics 16-Gauge Speaker Wire Cable comes in. This frill-free option is made from copper-clad aluminium and features clear plastic shielding to prevent signal distortion. Plus, the outer coating is thick enough to withstand nicks and scratches, so you can trust that this speaker wire will last.
One of the standout features of Amazon Basics 16-Gauge Speaker Wire Cable is its thin gauge size. At just 16 gauge, it’s easier to snake around furniture and other obstacles without drawing too much attention. Just be aware that this speaker wire is not designed for outdoor use – if you have an outdoor audio project, you’ll want to look for a different option.
But it’s hard to beat Amazon Basics when it comes to value. A 100-foot spool of this speaker wire will set you back less than $100, making it a budget-friendly choice for any home audio project. So, if you’re looking for a reliable, affordable speaker wire option, Amazon Basics 16-Gauge Speaker Wire Cable should be at the top of your list.
- Made of Copper-clad aluminium
- 16 gauge thickness
- 50 feet in length
|Available in extremely long sizes||Only suitable for indoor use|
|Thin and easy to work with||Not made entirely of pure copper|
|Affordable price point|
4. InstallGear 14-Gauge Speaker Wire
If you’re upgrading your car’s audio system, you need a speaker wire that can stand up to the demands of the road. That’s where InstallGear 14-Gauge Speaker Wire comes in. This durable and flexible wire is coated in a soft touch jacket with a “low memory,” meaning it bounces back if bent rather than retaining its contorted shape. This makes it easy to route through tight spaces in your car. And while the PVC jacket is tough enough to withstand the rigours of automotive use, InstallGear says it’s also easy to remove when it’s time to strip the wire.
But here’s the best part: all of the features that make InstallGear 14-Gauge Speaker Wire a great choice for your car’s audio system can also be applied to indoor sound systems. Remember that this speaker wire is not designed for outdoor use, so keep that in mind when planning your installation. And if you want to buy one spool and be done with it, InstallGear offers a 500-foot option for under $75. So, if you want to boost your car’s life and resale value, consider installing a new audio system – and remember to pick up a spool of InstallGear 14-Gauge Speaker Wire while at it.
- Made of Copper-Clad Aluminum
- 14 gauge thickness
- 100 feet in length
|Thin and flexible wire||Not made entirely of pure copper|
|Soft Touch PVC jacket for easy routing|
|Fits easily into car speakers|
5. Mediabridge 14AWG 2-Conductor Speaker Wire
Mediabridge is a well-known brand in the electronics accessories industry, with 15 of their products ranking in the top 20 highest-rated products on e-commerce platforms. Their commitment to quality is evident in their speaker wire, which is suitable for use with Klipsch speaker wiring diagrams.
This speaker wire is 200 ft long and features a multi-twisted 2-conductor design made of 14 AWG oxygen-free copper with 105 strands. It is tough yet flexible, making it ideal for delivering undistorted sound performance. The abrasion-resistant jacketing allows for easy installation, even through trusses, drilled holes, and other obstacles. Plus, the sequential markings at 3 ft intervals make setup a breeze.
But what sets this speaker wire apart is its high-strand count oxygen-free copper conductors, color-coded for easy polarity matching and suitable for custom installations. No wonder this speaker wire is the best choice for your speakers.
- Made of high-quality Copper (99.9%)
- Compatibility with spade tips, banana plugs, or bent pin connectors
- Suitable for connecting speakers, A/V receivers, amplifiers, and other sound applications
- ETL and CL2 certified
- ROHS compliant
|Made from high-quality copper (OFC)||Shorter than stated|
|Features a multi-twisted 105-stranded 2-conductor design||Not UL listed|
|14 AWG and 200 ft in length for custom installations|
|Tough yet flexible, with markings every 3 ft for easy installation|
|ETL listed and CL2 certified for added safety and reliability|
6. SinLoon 14AWG 10m Cable Wire
SinLoon is a rising brand in the internet economy, known for its commitment to customer satisfaction and technology innovation. Their speaker wire is a prime example of this, designed for use with speakers and perfect for a variety of settings, including homes, cars, auditoriums, schools, churches, and businesses.
This 14 AWG cable wire is 10 m/33 ft long and easy to connect to speakers, amplifiers, and receivers. Its thickness is ideal for resistance and electrical flow, ensuring excellent conductivity. It can be used with banana plugs, spade tips, or bent pin connectors and is marked on one side for easy polarity identification.
But what sets this speaker wire apart is its ability to reduce distortion and impurities, resulting in high performance and the best audio experience. It’s made of high-quality copper, minimizing the risk of overheating. Audiophiles and casual listeners alike will appreciate the top-notch quality of this speaker wire.
- Designed to reduce distortion and impurities for high-quality audio performance
- Provides the best audio experience
- ROHS compliant
|Made from 99.99% pure copper||A plastic smell may be present upon opening the packaging.|
|Features a long cable length of 10 m/33 ft|
|Provides high quality, undistorted signal and supports power ≤350 Watt|
|Ideal for use with digital audio, stereo speakers, and home theatres|
|Designed for easy installation and durability|
7. MaxBrite 16 AWG Speaker Wire
This thin, 16-gauge wire is ideal for low-impedance speakers and shorter cable runs, from a receiver to the front stereo and satellite speakers around the TV in a cozy, comfortable living room. The OFC conductors are compatible with the most available connectors, and a visible red stripe aids in determining polarity. Every 2 feet, there is a sequential marker to help you measure the required length. Furthermore, this wire is UL safety certified for both residential and commercial use.
- Length: 50 / 100 / 200 feet
- Gauge: 16 AWG
- Wire Material: Oxygen-free copper
|UL Safety Certified||Not available in lengths greater than 200 feet|
|200-ft length option|
|Markings every 2 feet|
8. Monoprice Access Series 4-Conductor
Whereas the other products on this page have two conductors for a one-to-one connection, this wire has four. Additional conductors can be used for bi-amping, a feature in some speakers that separately power drivers dedicated to specific frequencies. The Monoprice bi-wire is composed of four colored conductors encased in a white, CL2-rated PVC jacket, allowing you to connect the dedicated high- and low-frequency amplifiers to your speaker while only stringing one length.
- Length: 100 / 250 feet
- Gauge: 12 / 14 / 16 / 18 AWG
- Wire Material: Oxygen-free copper
|Multiple gauge options||Expensive|
|Highly rated||Shorter cable lengths are unavailable|
9. eXtreme Pure Copper Speaker Wire
The Hi-Fi audio listening experience should not be limited to a dedicated listening room or space. Most people prefer to listen to their music while driving. If you’ve recently installed or plan to install premium speakers in your vehicle, you’ll need high-quality speaker wires to go with them.
The eXtreme speaker wire is an excellent choice for audiophiles who demand the best listening experience possible, including in their car. It is a 14-gauge copper-stranded speaker wire with a PVC jacket for insulation. They brag about how this product was made in the United States, and the branding even features an American flag.
- Brand: Extreme Consumer Products
- Compatible Devices: Speaker
- Color: 250 Clear Count
- Unit Count: 1 count
- Item Weight: 0.01 ounces
|Great value||The lengthier cable has more interference|
|Performs better than cheaper options|
|The best option for automobiles|
10. RCA AH100R Speaker Wire
This is it if you’re looking for the cheapest 100ft cable with decent quality. The RCA AH100R is the most affordable decent option we could find for under $10. It is not a bad cable for the price, especially for budget setups.
This speaker wire is not made entirely of copper but is CCA (copper-clad aluminum). However, it does not claim to be pure copper wire, so they are not deceptive in its marketing. In any case, the average user may not notice the difference. However, experienced ears will tell you you can find much better performance elsewhere.
It’s a 24-gauge speaker, so it’s not the thickest wire available. Even the packaging is straightforward. However, if you have limited space or need to hide wires properly, this could be a blessing in disguise. Aside from that, there’s not much else to say. It is the most affordable option on this list and will suit most people well.
- Brand: RCA
- Connector Type: USB 3.0
- Compatible Devices: Speaker
- Color: Multicolor
- Connector Gender: Male-to-Male
|Budget option for cheaper speakers||Decidedly subpar performance|
|Good insulation||Not pure copper|
Considerations Before Purchasing Speaker Wire
There appear to be an infinite number of speaker wires to choose from, but in reality, most wires are fairly similar when connecting most speakers. To choose the best speaker wire for you, you must first consider and comprehend the terminology used by manufacturers to describe them. We’ll review terms like impedance, gauge, and resistance before showing you some products we believe in.
Types of connectors and wires
Speaker wires can be purchased with or without connectors; it is up to you to buy a package or a raw wire spool and select your termination. (Don’t forget to get a wire stripper/cutter if you’re doing this.) A banana plug is best if your speaker has a binding post (circular sockets), but a pin connector is required for a spring clip terminal (square clips that slide up and clamp down on the wire). You can use bare wires for either connection, but they can be difficult to manage.
You don’t need to worry about wire type if you’re connecting bookshelf speakers or desk monitors. If you want to run wire through your walls, look for a unit with a CL2 or CL3 rating. If you’re going to run wire outside or underground, make sure it’s rated for “direct burial.”
The gauge, diameter, or thickness of speaker wires varies greatly; the lower the gauge number, the thicker the wire. The American Wire Gauge (AWG) standard is used for measurements, and 12-, 14-, 16-, and 18-gauge speaker wires are available, with 12 being the thickest. Thicker wires generally reduce resistance, but they are only required in certain situations. You only need a wire thicker than 16 gauge if you have 8-ohm speakers and less than 50 feet of cable running to the amplifier.
A thicker 12- or 14-gauge wire will lower resistance and provide a more stable, consistent conduit if you need to cover a long distance or have low-impedance speakers. If unsure what gauge you need, go with a thicker option to avoid sound degradation.
Material and function
Speaker wire is used to connect speakers to amplifiers and to connect individual speakers to deliver the electrical current signal that produces an accurate, energetic sound. While we refer to speaker wire as a single entity, each speaker is by two independently sheathed conductors (at a minimum).
These separate positive and negative strands are usually marked in some way to indicate audio signal polarity so they can properly match the same terminals—designated by + and – or typically colored red and black—on both your amplifier and speaker. It ensures that the correct voltage is transmitted and received.
Copper, copper-clad aluminum (CCA), and oxygen-free copper are speaker wire’s most commonly used materials. The differences are minor; CCA is less expensive and has slightly higher resistance, whereas oxygen-free options come in various grades that indicate higher conductivity or durability.
Silver and gold wire are also available, though the difference in efficacy is minor. While there may be subtle differences in sound—for example, the silver (or silver-plated copper) wire may convey a tighter treble and gold a rounder, warmer lower range—the nuances aren’t worth the extra cost except in the most high-end, specifically tuned systems. Although some wires are sheathed in rubber, most speakers are insulated with plastic, such as Teflon or PVC.
The resistance of a speaker wire is the most important specification to consider when shopping. Low resistance allows the wire to energize more of the amplifier’s power to activate the speaker’s voice coil, wiring beneath the driver that produces a magnetic field when exposed to electricity, causing the speaker’s cone to move when exposed to a waveform. (If you’re curious about the components of a speaker, check out our primer.) In simple terms, more signal equals cleaner, clearer sound.
A wire’s resistance can be affected by several factors, including length, thickness, and impedance. Impedance, measured in ohms, is frequently listed in speaker product descriptions (typically 4, 6, or 8). While you don’t need to understand the science behind impedance to know that the ohms of your amp/receiver and speakers should match, know that the lower the impedance, the more important it is to look for low resistance in your wire.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions about the best speaker wires.
How much wire do you require?
You’ll need as much speaker wire as there is between the speakers and the amplifiers. Place a string or rope along the intended path of the wire, then measure its length. We recommend adding a couple of inches on each end if you need some wiggle room. You can easily trim speaker wires with a wire cutter, but you can only add wire to a short unit. Remember that if your cable run is longer than 50 feet, you should use a thicker 12 or 14 AWG wire.
What kind of wire do you require?
A copper, silver, or copper-clad aluminum wire must conduct and carry electricity. If you want to run your wire through a wall or underground, you’ll need one rated CL2 or CL3. Purchase a wire with the appropriate connectors preinstalled if you want super easy installation, though the bare wire is safe and will also work well.
Is it worthwhile to invest in high-end speaker cables?
High-end speaker cables are only sometimes worth the investment, especially if other aspects of your sound system could benefit from an upgrade. You’ll unlikely notice a difference in your music when supported by an expensive cable if you choose a low-resistance speaker wire to support your system. However, this is a contentious issue, and many audiophiles disagree. All that matters, in the end, is how your material sounds to your ears; if you try out a few cables and notice a difference, go with the one that sounds the best.
What is the price of the speaker wire?
Quality speaker wire can range in price from $15 to $75 per spool in 50- or 100-foot lengths.
What is the difference between positive and negative speaker wires?
So you don’t mess up your speaker’s polarity, the speaker wire is typically divided into two strands with a different-colored cover denoting whether it’s positive or negative. The spool of the speaker wire may also indicate which stand is positive and which is negative.
Is it necessary to solder connectors?
If you’re daring, you can solder connectors to the ends of your speaker wire to make it into a cable.
What does speaker wire resemble?
When you cut open the outer shielding of the speaker wire, you’ll see dozens of ultra-thin orange strands.
Which 14 gauge speaker wire is the best?
The Monoprice Access Series 14 AWG speaker wire is among the best for audiophile speakers and high-end installations. It’s a 14 gauge AWG CL2 rated 2 conductor speaker wire made of high-purity, oxygen-free bare copper.
What speaker wire size do I require?
However, almost any speaker wire will suffice if you simply install a home or mobile sound system. The best speaker wires are available in various gauges; as the AWG (American Wire Gauge) number decreases, the wire size increases. A 12 AWG wire, for example, is larger than an 18 AWG wire.
Which speaker wire is best for home theater systems?
One of the best speaker wires for home theater systems and high-end audio speakers is the Mediabridge 14AWG 2-Conductor speaker cable. You can quickly connect your speakers to amplifiers or AV receivers using this 2-conductor speaker wire.
The best speaker wire will connect your system efficiently, deliver the correct amount of electricity, and aid in accurate audio reproduction. While there are many cables available, it’s important to remember not to overthink this purchase and instead choose a mid-range option that will meet the needs of your amp and speakers.
The wire should cost 5% to 10% of the total cost of your system. Of course, if you’re an audiophile eager to test the limits of each type of wire, using higher-end materials may be worthwhile; however, many of us won’t notice the difference between premium speaker wires and less expensive options as much as the difference between music and no music. Ensure your terminals and polarities are properly aligned, and you’ll be ready to pump up the jams in no time.
We hope you found our article on the best speaker wire. Please feel free to leave your comments in the section below if you have any questions or suggestions. When we can, we’ll respond to you. For more details, visit our website headphoneblogs.com!