Cabling Plus is your #1 source for premium high performance speaker wire. We offer a complete line of 12 AWG, 14 AWG, and 16 AWG speaker wire to support any professional audio or surround sound speaker installation. Our speaker wire is made with the best materials on the market to deliver the highest quality sound and performance. Professional installers and home owners all over the US put their trust in speaker wire distributed by Cabling Plus.
Use only the best Speaker Wire for your audio system!
Speaker wire is a vital component of any high performance audio system. It is the pipe that delivers the sound between your audio speakers and audio amplifier. Speaker wire is the staple of any high quality home theater or commercial audio system installation. The most common speaker wire types come in different gauges (AWG) to support different distance between the speakers and audio components. The gauge refers to the thickness of the cable. The most widely used gauges of speaker wire are 12 AWG, 14 AWG, 16 AWG, and 18 AWG cable types. Using the right speaker cable type and gauge can be the difference between a high performance audio system, and an under- performing audio system.
Choosing the right gauge of speaker cable for your installation could be the most important decision you make. The speaker gauge describes the thickness of the speaker wire with the lower gauge number meaning a thicker cable. So a 12 gauge speaker wire would be much thicker than an 18 gauge speaker wire. Internally, a speaker wire is made up of numerous small copper strands that are put together in a jacket to create the measurable thickness or gauge of the wire. The thickness or gauge of wire you need will be determined as you start to evaluate the length of cable runs you have between your speakers and your amplifier. The reality is that as an audio signal travels over the wire it experiences resistance which causes power loss. This signal loses power every inch it travels from the speaker to the audio components. This means that the most pure audio signal would be realized the closer the speaker is to the amplifier. If you do not install the right gauge of speaker wire to support the distances you are trying to deliver your sound, the end result will be a weaker signal and poor sound quality.
For best results we recommend the below distance guidelines for buying audio cable:
- Less than 60 feet: 16 Gauge Wire
- 60 to 180 feet: 14 Gauge Wire
- More than 200 feet: 12 Gauge Speaker
Most quality speaker wire products will have their certifications or rating characteristics clearly marked on the cables jacket. If you are installing speaker wire in the wall it is important that the speaker wire you choose has a CL3 rating. This proves that the cable has been tested and has passed safety tests administered by the Underwriters Laboratory (UL). A CL3 rating means the speaker wire is permitted for in-wall installations. Another common certification is a CMR rating. A CMR rating as it pertains to wire and cable means that particular cable is approved to be installed between floors in non-plenum areas in commercial applications. We recommend that you always install the speaker wire type that supports and follows your local building codes.
At Cabling Plus we know the importance of having the best quality speaker cable at the best price! We offer premium high strand speaker wire in 12, 14, and 16 gauge options. All of our speaker wire is constructed with 99% oxygen free copper (OFC), and is UL rated, CMR rated, and CL3 rated for in-wall installations. If you need assistance in choosing the right speaker wire for your project, pick up the phone and call us today! We have wire and cable experts on staff ready to assist you!
Why is the speaker wire gauge so important?
The gauge or AWG (American Wire Gauge) of a speaker wire is important because your audio signal will weaken every foot it travels away from the amplifier. Using a thicker gauge of speaker wire is the best way to combat this signal loss. By using a thicker gauge of wire you are giving your signal a bigger highway with less resistance to travel. If you do not account for this resistance or signal loss the end result will be underpowered speakers that will not perform to their fullest potential. In the wire world the lower the gauge number means the thicker the gauge. So a 12 gauge speaker wire would be much thicker and have more copper content than a 16 gauge speaker wire.
How do I connect speaker wire to my speakers?
Attaching your speaker wire to your speaker is very simple. All audio speakers feature simple to use binding posts on the back of them that allow you to easily attach wire to them. The first thing you want to do is prepare your cable. You can use a standard cable stripper and cut the wire jacket back about an inch so you have nothing but the copper strands exposed. Then you can slide the exposed copper right into the speakers binding posts. Once the copper is in the binding post you can turn the screw or knob on the binding post which will cause it to tightly clamp the wire. Some binding post allows you to do this with your fingers or they have a screw down mechanism that calls for a screw driver for tightening. A speaker will have two color coded (black and red) binding posts on them that will match the colors of the two conductors in your speaker wire.
What is the most popular speaker wire gauge used?
The 16 gauge audi wire is the most commonly used speaker wire that we offer. It is also the smallest gauge speaker wire recommended for both home theater and surround sound system installations. The 16 gauge speaker wire is ideal for supporting cable runs up to 60 feet long.
When do I need a 4 conductor speaker wire?
Most installers use a 4 conductor speaker wire when they are running wire between a volume control and the amplifier. This will allow you to support two speakers in a single cable. It is also not uncommon to run two separate 2 conductor speaker wires in this same application. But a 4 conductor speaker wire will have all four conductors color coded so you can easily verify which conductors are for which speakers. We offer 4 conductors speaker wire in 12, 14, and 16 gauge option. So you are covered for any distance requirements.
Does strand count really matter?
The answer is yes and no! For sound system applications the truth is that the higher strand count does increase the quality of sound. The problem is that the human ear most likely would not be able to hear the difference. This has been tested many times in a lab using expensive test equipment. The strand count really makes a difference in the cables flexibility. Most professional installers use the highest strand count cable they can find because it is the most flexible, which make it easy for them to install in the walls, ceilings, or as they dress the cables into a rack or entertainment center.
Does Cabling Plus offer in-wall rated speaker wire?
All of our audio cable products are CL3 rated for in-wall installations. There is never any confusion if you are using the right speaker wire when buying it from us. All of our speaker wire comes standard with UL, CMR, and CL3 ratings. We recommend that you always follow your local building coded and install in-wall rated speaker wire when the installation calls for it.
What kind of copper is in your speaker cable?
All of our speaker wire is made with high strand count oxygen free copper. We only offer speaker wire that is made with the best materials, and manufactured to the highest standards. The oxygen free copper will ensure you have a long lasting corrosion free speaker wire. All of our speaker wire products are made with 99.999% Oxygen Free (OFC) Copper.
Can speaker wire be run next to other cables like Cat5e, Cat6, or coaxial cables?
Sure Can! You can run any low voltage cables next to each other. The interference starts happening when you run low voltage cables next to high voltage cables. So it is important to properly manage all your cables and wires in any residential or commercial cabling applications. Since Cat5e, Cat 6, and CATV coaxial cables are low voltage you can run them right next to each other.
What are the 3 most important things I should look for in a speaker cable?
The top 3 things are copper type, jacket type, and gauge. The copper type is important because you want to use the best quality copper available. The jacket type is important because you want the speaker wire that is rated to support your application. The gauge is important because you want to make sure you power your speakers adequately enough so you get the best sound quality from them. Look for these 3 important factors and you should have success. Remember! The price has nothing to do with the quality!