The use of coaxial cables is widespread nowadays, and they can be found in almost every household. They’re utilized for audio and video transmission, TV antennae, modems, cable boxes, and speaker cables. Coax cables are an important topic, and this article is the perfect resource to learn more about them. The physical and electrical features of coaxial cables, as well as the numerous varieties of coax cables, will be discussed in this article. There are several advantages and disadvantages to the use of a coaxial cable for speaker wires.
What Is Coaxial Speaker Cable?
It is easy to understand that the transmission of radio frequency signals from the source to destinations is accomplished by a coaxial speaker wire, which is an electrical cable. Because of their ability to produce a sound quality that is constant across a variety of professional home audio systems, these cables are progressively being embraced. Radiofrequency has a frequency range of between 20 kHz and 300 GHz. Coaxial speaker cables are similar to RCA audio cables. However, the main distinction is that they carry digital data. As a consequence, they are able to provide more bandwidth and a more stable connection. Compared to normal audio cables, the outside cable has a higher level of endurance and resilience.
If you have a subwoofer or speaker that is 75 cm to 6 meters long, you may use these cables with it. For subwoofers, several coaxial speaker cables have been specifically built for usage. As a result, they provide a safe connection as well as sound quality. Mic cables with 3-pin XLR connectors are standard on most microphones, especially on professional models. Microphone XLR cables are popular because of their low signal-to-noise ratio, making them ideal for usage in studios.
What Does It Look Like?
Cylindrical cables ranging in thickness from ultra-thin to ultra-thick are the most common shape. Copper is the most common core material. However, steel with a copper plating may also be used. A plastic insulator or a series of air-filled spacers are often used to protect the core from the heat generated by the device. Silver-plated braiding or copper wire will protect the core. Most pricey and high-end cables will include two types of shielding, although others won’t.
It’s usually a mix of aluminium foil and copper braid. There are also coaxial speaker cables that have additional layers of shielding than that, going up to a maximum of four. Even while it improves performance and reduces the likelihood of errors, this might impair the cable’s flexibility. When a cable is wrapped with a PVC or other material that is meant to withstand water, fire, UV radiation, or oxidation, the outer layer is known as the “jacket.”
Purpose of Coaxial cables
Using coax speaker cables is a common method of connecting audio equipment. These cables reduce interference and boost signal strength for coaxial speaker wires. An axial speaker cable’s primary function is to transport audio signals between components. An outer shield protects the inner conductor of coaxial wires. There is a copper or silver inner conductor responsible for transmitting the signal. Inner conductors may be protected from electromagnetic interference by the outside shielding of the cable.
Superior noise shielding is provided by the shielded coaxial speaker wire. Because their outer shield cuts off electromagnetic radiation, coaxial wires that have not been insulated are more susceptible to interference from the environment. As a result of this, they are suited for a wide range of applications. For example, if you need to run many wires side by side in a confined place. Coax speaker cables, both shielded and unshielded, should be terminated with the correct connectors for your system.
What Makes It Different from Digital Cables?
Speaker cables for digital coaxial transmissions are made of dielectric materials and have a solid centre conductor. An electromagnetic field is used to transmit the signal through the dielectric substance. A strand centre conductor, on the other hand, is preferable. And a dielectric substance packed with air. Sound waves are used to transmit information. Coaxial speaker cable, on the other hand, has a few advantages over digital coaxial cable. In terms of cost, a coaxial speaker wire is a better choice. Since it is more adaptable, it is also simpler to deal with
Since there is no digital to analogue conversion, the signal transmission is more efficient. For example, in order for a speaker that is linked to a receiver to play digital audio, the audio must first be converted into electrical impulses that can be interpreted by the receiver. The speakers must then turn these impulses back into sound. This step of conversion is omitted when using a coaxial speaker cable. Because it only requires one amplifier, a coaxial speaker cable is significantly more convenient than its digital equivalents, which need amplification at both ends (receiver and amplifier).
Different Types of Coaxial Cable
It is possible to categorize coaxial cables in two ways: either by their construction or their impedance.
Based on construction
There are four main types of coaxial cables on the market, based on their construction:
It is possible to protect yourself against electric shock by using a dielectric. A sort of electrical cable having two conductors that are separated from one another by a dielectric substance is called a coaxial cable for speakers. This type of cable is also referred to as a twin-lead. Plastic or even rubber insulation is the most common dielectric material. Among the various uses for coaxial cable are the transmission of audio and video signals. Additionally, there’s computer networking to consider. In order to use coaxial speaker cables, you must connect the hot conductor wire to the amplifier’s positive terminal.
The amplifier’s negative terminal receives power from the cold conductor wire. When connecting your amp’s cables to your speaker wires, keep all such connections straight for the best sound quality. Consult the handbook if you’re confused about which connection belongs where. Colour-coded connections on contemporary amplifiers make it easier to identify which wire goes where. On your amp, make sure you have a connection for your speakers’ outputs on either the speaker out or out terminals.
Unsteady speaker cabling used in coaxial systems In most cases, speakers may be utilized as a form of cable. Semi-rigid coax is often less expensive than other forms of coax. As a result of their ease of use and quick setup, they’re ideal for individuals on a tight budget or a tight deadline. There are some drawbacks as well. The sound quality, for example, is significantly less accurate than rigid coax and can only be used in specialized situations. There are both positive and negative aspects to this product, as well as a few frequent installation issues that might arise. Insulation, braided wire, and an outer conductor cover an inner conductor in coaxial cables. In order to make semi-rigid coaxial cables, we need to strip away the layer made of braided wire and replace it with a layer of flexible insulation.
Where can I get an image of a coaxial cable? Audio and video systems often use triaxial coaxial wire for speaker connections. Triaxial cables come in 75-ohm, 110-ohm, as well as 300-ohm varieties. Most often used in the United States is a 75-ohm coaxial cable. The frequency range of these wires is 20 Hz to 200 kHz in order to enhance the amount of bandwidth available. The wire will need to be thicker and shielded with an extra layer of foil. A thicker gauge could be required if the length is more than 30 feet. Shield quality and frequency ranges. When selecting a coaxial speaker cable, all of these factors should be taken into account.
Foam is the most popular dielectric insulator on the market, although there are numerous more. There are several advantages to using foam, including its light weight and ease of usage. Foam is a low-cost alternative that may be bought at any home improvement or hardware shop. The benefits vastly exceed the drawbacks of this kind of speaker cable. Over time, it will degrade due to the fact that it is porous and will absorb water.
The impedance of a coaxial speaker cable is another important distinguishing property. Unknown features may affect cable compatibility. This symbol shows power transmission and standing waves. In terms of sound quality and general listening experience, our resident audiophiles strongly suggest checking out this section of the article.
Our expert audiophiles may propose 50-Ohm coax wire alternatives as the finest choice if you wish to connect the coaxial speaker cable to equipment used for radio transmission applications or even transmitter antennas. These lines can broadcast high-frequency audio via coaxial Ethernet networks. 50-Ohm digital coaxial cable supplies power and voltage similar to a transmitter’s output. Long-distance transmissions, such as those facilitated by radio transmitters, are therefore possible. Coaxial wires transfer electrical impulses without losing signal strength.
The best speaker cables for home use are 75 Ohms in impedance. 75-Ohm coaxial speaker wire is most likely found in your toolbox if you chance to have one. Additionally, you may link it to cable TV systems, cable boxes, as well as other broadcasts from video devices. Digital coaxial audio cables with this standard impedance metric are often used for AV signal transmission, as is HDMI. In fact, it is capable of transmitting even when mounted 50 feet in the air. Broadcast-quality transmission and reliable signal integrity may be achieved at frequencies between 12 GHz and 3 GHz.
This kind of connection has a low capacitance yet has a lesser likelihood of signal loss than the 50-Ohm variant. However, don’t misunderstand it as a negative thing. In order for 75-Ohm to work with the majority of digital transmissions, it must have this combination: Coaxial speaker wires might be problematic because of the amplifier’s impedance, according to our specialists. It will increase the power amplifier’s impedance load.
Coaxial Speaker Cable Connectors
Coaxial cable connectors protect speaker wire connections while using coax. It simplifies the process of connecting sources to devices. Take a closer look at the wire types mentioned below to get a broad understanding of their structure, the kind of dielectric they use, and the purpose they serve if you are a beginner. Since, there is a strong chance you won’t be able to pick the right one for your digital audio needs.
Bayonet Neil-Concelman (BNC) is the acronym for connections. Televisions, testing tools, radio frequency equipment, as well as radios, are just a few of the electronic devices that make use of these lines. This coax cable connector’s broad range of frequencies from 10 GHz to 4 GHz makes it a favourite of our resident audiophiles. Radiation and losses may result from everything that happens after that. Older computer networks, such as 10BASE-2 Ethernet & IBM PC networks, still employ BNC connections. Despite this, people use it with a variety of coaxial cables due to its ability to maintain a secure audio and video connection.
N-type connections are the best choice if you’re looking for microwave frequencies in the 18 GHz range or below. For those who don’t know, this is one of the world’s first microwave-frequency transceivers. Most people use this kind of coax cable connection in broadcast equipment because it is weather-resistant and long-lasting.
SMA connections are the optimum choice for frequencies between 0 Hz and 24 GHz. Connections are ideal for transmitting high-frequency signals, such as Wi-Fi antenna systems, since they have no issue handling these transmissions. Antenna systems, both radio and mobile, are compatible with this audio receiver component. SMA connections can link microwave systems as well as transmitter antennas.
F-type connections are the most common in the market because they are ideal for antennas as well as satellite and cable TV. Although readily available, the sole drawback is that this coax cable connection can only accommodate frequencies up to 1GHz. However, conventional F connections are cheap, so everyone may afford them. Several TV apps will be able to use it since it still meets performance requirements. F-type connectors are available in 50-Ohm and 70-Ohm variants as well.
RCA connections are an additional popular choice to keep in mind. No wonder RCA cables can tolerate frequencies up to 10 MHz; they’re well-known for both audio and video connections. It is still widely available, despite being the industry’s oldest form of connection. If you are unable to get an RCA connector on the market, you might use a cinch connector. It is a kind of coaxial connection. RCA connections in a powered subwoofer will be ideal if you want to utilize coaxial cable in a home theatre system.
There are many different kinds of equipment that need connectors. Because of this, tiny coaxial connections are a lifesaver for small-form-factor applications. Using it with antennas and PCBs is a perfect match. This connector’s electrical capability is capable of handling up to 6 GHz of bandwidth. The majority of the time, telecommunications, radio, & GPS systems use these coax cable connections. Additionally, it’s available in 50-Ohm as well as 70-Ohm versions.
With TNC, you get a threaded version of BNC, which is effectively the same thing. However, when it comes to dealing with microwave frequencies, our staff prefers TNC connections over BNC. Only a 50-Ohm version of the coax cable connection exists. However, it has the ability to operate up to 11GHz. Screw coupling and high-quality threaded design, which BNC lacks, are largely responsible for these high frequencies.
Coaxial Speaker Cable: Pros and Cons
- There is less noise and interference when utilizing coax cables as opposed to standard twisted pair cable systems. Compared to ordinary speaker wires, coaxial cables provide a more consistent performance and superior sound quality over short distances. The shorter length may be a disadvantage, but the thicker conductor and lower induction rate make it a better choice than RCA audio cables.
- Mogami cables’ impedance load is ideal for speaker wire. Coaxial speaker cables in stereo systems should give better sound quality than optical digital connections.
- Professionals choose these cables because of their durability and ability to deliver superb digital audio.
- The icing on the cake is that coax cables are more affordable. In today’s market, these brand choices are widely available, and as a result, most of these possibilities are now affordable. Due to its low cost and high signal quality of video and audio, this connection is ideal for audiophiles on a small budget.
- Otherwise, installing coaxial wires is a breeze. Inexperienced audio users will have no problem connecting this connection to their devices due of its easy design.
- We’ve gone through the benefits in detail, but there’s a drawback to every gain. Coaxial speaker cable, however, is not an exception to this rule. When using this method of transmitting audio signals, there is a possibility of producing electrical noise that some people may find annoying. If there is a problem with the cable, everything will stop operating. Therefore you should preserve it intact.
- Coaxial setups do not provide compatibility for common sound technologies like DTS-HD Master Audio, despite the fact that these cables are well-known for significantly improving the quality of audio connections. The speed may fluctuate from time to time if you use it a lot or for long periods of time.
- If you like to use lengthy cords, you may have to worry about the wires being unstable. Make careful to measure the length of cable you need before deciding on a length for your installation. It’s also important to keep in mind that RF signal leakage might occur at any point throughout the connection.
- Disturbances are inevitable when you’re transferring audio signals at high rates of use when managing broadband connections might also result in a speed shift.
- Thick, rigid coaxial cables are also available in a variety of configurations. Because of this, it may be more difficult to attach the cable. It’s also impossible to prevent signal loss during transmission if you want to extend the duration of your video. The only thing you can do is verify the cable or connector’s capability.
Is It Worth It to Use Coaxial Speaker Cable?
Is it really worth it to utilize a coaxial cable as speaker wire, despite the fact that you can do so? Are there any auditory advantages to using a coaxial speaker cable as opposed to a standard speaker wire? In our opinion, the price difference and the inconvenience are not worth the difference in quality. We don’t believe it’s worth it. There are others that disagree with this assertion. Nevertheless, Some users said that switching from 14-gauge speaker wire to Mogami cables improved their sound systems in a substantial way. Try them out and see whether they work for you before deciding on a course of action.
Can I Make My Own Coaxial Speaker Cable?
If you want to make your own coaxial wire for your speaker, you may do it by following one of the numerous DIY instructional videos as well as articles available online. However, keep in mind that some lessons are much superior to others. Some are so brief that they omit crucial information, while others are so lengthy that they bog you down with infinite detail. It’s possible that making a coaxial wire for your speaker at home won’t be worth your time and effort. If you really want to attempt to make it on your own despite the fact that it will probably be a lot of additional effort for very little result, then you should absolutely go ahead and give it a go.
We really hope that this in-depth look into the coaxial speaker cable has been beneficial to you. Even if you don’t intend to utilize a coaxial cable, understanding the differences between it and other kinds of cables for your speaker or other equipment is essential knowledge to have. Please let us know if we omitted any relevant information or if you found this article to be useful.