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Your Ultimate Guide to the Different Audio Cable Types

Published March 24th, 2021 by Audio-Ultra

Whether you have just bought a new home stereo system or have invested in brand new gear as an A/V professional, having the right audio cable types at your disposal is absolutely crucial.

'Your audio cable quality and type will play a critical role in the sounds that you are able to create. In addition, investing in the right audio cables now will save you time, stress, money, and downtime well into the future.

However, if you are new to the world of A/V, you might not be aware of the differences between audio connectors. Although many cables look the same, the function and output they provide will differ massively.

With that in mind, here is your essential guide to the most common audio cable types you need to know about. 

1. Power Cables 

No matter what your electrical infrastructure consists of, you will need quality power cables to ensure all of your equipment runs smoothly. You might think that the power cables you choose will not make a difference, but this could not be further from the truth.

Generic power cords do not provide sufficient resistance for high-quality audio equipment. You will want to invest in specialized power cables that aid contact resistance and provide solid connectivity. 

2. Interconnects

Interconnect cables are common audio cables that are still immensely important to your A/V setup. Interconnects connect the 'line out' of the signal source to the 'line in' of the amplifier.

The most common interconnects are XLR cables, which are 3-pin cables that are also commonly referred to as microphone cables. XLRs are hugely popular because they have locking connectors that are designed to prevent them from being accidentally unplugged while they are in use.

You can also chain multiple XLR cables together incase a single XLR cable is not long enough for your audio setup. Another popular interconnect option is RCA cables.

These are commonly referred to as aux cords and are better suited to personal audio setups, rather than industrial setups. These are simple, two-jack stereo cables that are cheap and easy to use. 

3. Digital Cables 

You will also need digital cables if your A/V setup is not solely analog. If you need to connect your audio stream to any type of computer or digital device, you will want to invest in quality digital cables.

One of the most popular options for this is ethernet cables, namely so-called Dante cables that allow you to connect stage boxes or snakes to a digital mixer.

Another essential type of audio grade cables is the USB cable. These allow you to connect your audio interface directly to your computer. If you work in digital, USB cables are a cheap essential. 

4. Speaker Cables 

Finally, do not forget about your speaker cables. Most speakers do not come with a speaker cable. It is up to you to decide on the right gauge to connect to your speaker setup.

The most common options are banana connectors and spade connectors. Banana connectors are the best options for home A/V setups, as you do not have to mess around trying to connect exposed wires to your speakers.

Spade connectors are a bit more fidgety but are typically better suited to industrial A/V setups. 

Invest in the Right Audio Cable Types Today 

Knowing the right audio cable types for your A/V setup is essential if you want to produce and deliver the best results. Fortunately, we have got you covered. To invest in the right audio cables for your A/V setup today, make sure to shop our extensive product lines today.

 


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