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Home Speaker Wire
Speaker Wire Print


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Speaker wire is used to make the electrical connection between loudspeakers and audio amplifiers. Modern speaker wire consists of two electrical conductors individually insulated by plastic. Certain older designs also featured another pair of wires for a powered line to power an electromagnet in the loudspeaker before permanent magnets became economical to produce and use.The effect of speaker wire upon the signal it carries has been a much-debated topic in the audiophile and high fidelity worlds.

Speaker wire, like any other linear electrical component, has three parameters which determine its performance: resistance, capacitance, and inductance. If a perfect wire were possible, it would have no resistance, no capacitance, and no inductance. The shorter a wire is, the closer it comes to being perfect, as resistance decreases as length decreases in all conductors (except superconductors).

Resistance is the property which has the most effect on speaker wire performance, whereas capacitative and inductive characteristics of speaker wire are insignificantly small relative to the loudspeaker itself. Larger conductors (smaller wire gauge) have smaller resistance. As long as speaker wire resistance is kept to less than 5% of the speaker's impedance, the conductor will be adequate for home use.

Stranded speaker wire is more flexible than solid wire, and is suitable for movable equipment. Even with poor-quality wire, an audible degradation of sound may not exist. Many supposedly audible differences in speaker wire can be attributed to listener bias or the placebo effect.