The effect of audio cables to a system’s performance has always been a hotly debated topic in the audio community. There are those who fall for high-end products that promises outlandish performance in exchange for exorbitant prices. On the other hand, there are also those who opt to get the most basic and feature-less Point A to Point B cables made with the cheapest possible components that keep your system from reaching its true sonic potential. Isn’t it possible to get quality audio cables at a reasonable price? It is, actually. All you have to do is know exactly what to look for in audio cables.
Two of the main functions of audio cables are (1) to pass the audio signal with absolute purity at full fidelity, and (2) to reject interference that can add noise to the signal. You know an audio cable has high quality if it lets your system perform at its best, while still remaining faithful to the source material. It also enhances your sound experience by adding depth or complexity by revealing tighter, better defined bass and exquisite imaging, while improving transient response, dynamic resolution and accuracy, across the frequency spectrum.
Use this checklist when scouting for audio cables:
- silver plated copper wire that is micro polished to a mirror finish
- expanded polyethylene as the insulation material in direct contact with the conductor
- a minimum quality of insulation of either PTFE or Teflon™
- minimal amount of metal around the connector contacts (more metal results in more noise pick up among other issues)
- good high frequency shield, normally a braid in conjunction with an overlapping foil, fabricated to the highest possible standard
If you are still unsure of the quality of audio cables you want to install, it will never hurt to consult professionals.