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Cheap Speaker Cable

Updated on February 1, 2011

The real deal

Greetings and welcome to another audio-related hub. Today I will try and give a personal breather on audio speaker wires—in particular, cheap speaker cables. As you probably already know, there has been an age old debate regarding cheap cables and high-end speaker cables since audio equipment manufacturers released insanely-priced wires that promise to deliver unparalleled sound.

I for one am not a constituent of these luxurious items, and I have been involved in my own silent quest against it. In this hub I will try my best to explain why the cheaper alternative, suffice to say, should not be snubbed.

First and foremost, what I consider a cheap speaker cable still comes with respectable quality. It might not be cheap to the exact definition of the word, but relative to thousand-dollar cables, what I am talking about is literally cheap. I believe in quality and I have my own minimum standards for it, and I also believe in adequate pricing.

Here’s my short take

Say a thousand-dollar cable is made from better materials (as it should), I do not think anything that resembles a wire can be priced as such. In any case, unless I guess if it’s made of gold (which some are), or are miles in length. With that said, a high-end speaker cable is still not priced adequately to its materials. Say the manufacturing process also takes weeks and special skills, thousands is still a little too steep.

Talking about sound quality is my favorite point of argument when it comes to cheap speaker cables. A high-end cable, no matter how better it is at conducting electricity, still could not deliver better sound that is within ratio of how much it is priced. A $1,000 cable does not sound ten times better than a $100 cable. The truth is, even if it does sound better, it simply cannot be that good.

Above I gave a little benefit of the doubt to high-end cables, but the truth is, in my personal opinion, it takes alien ears to be able to tell the difference. Nature and evolution simply cannot produce way-better ears that can tell the difference. The ultimate scandal-exposing activity is the blind test. Tests have shown that people simply cannot tell the difference between an expensive cable and a cheap cable. If I could, I would challenge all constituents of high-end cables to a blind test.

A cheap speaker cable, so long as it adheres to some standards that include build quality and a little aesthetics, is best in my book. In here comes some common sense—if you are to buy cables made of really thin strands and is of obvious sub par quality, then you are taking the term cheap a little too literally. Cheap does not always have to be poor in quality. Cheap is relative, and relative to the insane cables of today, any manufacturer that honestly priced their cables, at least in my opinion, should be considered cheap.

I personally have not spent more than $100 for a speaker cable. If you want to know what your options are, below are some adequately-priced good audio cables. As you can see, you need not spend an arm and a leg to experience quality.

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