Finest speaker wires of 2022

Up to date Aug 31, 2022 9:20 AM

The perfect speaker wire doesn’t need to break the bank to ship a million-dollar sound. Even probably the most inexpensive wire can have your audio system pumping very quickly. Many audio system don’t include wire, nonetheless, which makes purchasing a necessity. So, whether or not you’re simply on the point of construct your system or seeking to increase your current gear, we’ll clarify a number of the jargon and information you towards selecting the right speaker wire for crystal-clear audio.

How we chosen one of the best speaker wires

To pick one of the best speaker wires, we checked out wire materials, gauge, and producer to make sure reliability throughout the board. We checked out over 25 advisable manufacturers, consulted analysis articles, and investigated first-hand consumer evaluations, diving deep into the talk concerning the connection between wire high quality and worth. We additionally checked out our own residence techniques, recommending wires that we’ve got used to offer a private contact. Whereas it’s finally as much as you to find out whether or not you hear a big distinction in audio high quality utilizing explicit wires, every of our picks will present a powerful, sturdy connection for wonderful sound. 

Issues to think about earlier than shopping for speaker wire

There are a seemingly infinite variety of speaker wires to select from, however the actuality is that when connecting the vast majority of audio system most wires are pretty comparable. To be able to choose the best speaker wire for you, it’s vital to think about and perceive the language producers will use to explain them. We’ll stroll you thru phrases like impedance, gauge, and resistance, adopted by some merchandise we stand behind. 

Perform and materials

Speaker wire is used to attach audio system to amplifiers and hyperlink particular person audio system collectively to ship {the electrical} present sign that makes for an correct, energetic sound. Whereas we discuss with a speaker wire as a singular factor, there are literally two independently sheathed conductors (minimal) that join each speaker. These separate constructive and unfavorable strands are usually marked ultimately to point audio sign polarity to allow them to correctly match the identical terminals—designated by + and – or usually coloured pink and black—on each your amp and speaker. This assures they transmit/obtain the proper voltage. 

Customary speaker wires are typically made out of copper, copper-clad aluminum (CCA), and oxygen-free copper. The variations are comparatively minute; CCA is cheaper with barely increased resistance, whereas oxygen-free choices are available a number of grades that counsel increased conductivity or sturdiness. Silver and gold wire can also be accessible, although the distinction in efficacy is, as soon as once more, minimal. Whereas there might be delicate variations in sound—silver (or silver-plated copper) wire might convey a tighter treble and gold a rounder, hotter decrease vary—the nuances aren’t well worth the elevated value besides in probably the most high-end, particularly tuned techniques. Speaker wire is usually insulated by plastic like Teflon or PVC, although some wires are sheathed in rubber (clear casings allow you to see the pink/black polarity, which is usually indicated on the connectors of a preconstructed wire). 


A speaker wire’s resistance is an important specification to think about when purchasing. Low resistance permits the wire to energise extra of the amplifier’s energy to activate the speaker’s voice coil, which is wiring beneath the motive force that produces a magnetic area when launched to electrical energy, shifting the speaker’s cone when launched to a waveform. (If you happen to’re focused on precisely what makes up a speaker, try our primer.) In easiest phrases, extra sign equals cleaner, clearer sound.

There are a number of components that may have an effect on a wire’s resistance, together with size, thickness, and impedance. Impedance is usually listed in speaker product descriptions, measured in ohms (usually 4, 6, or 8). When you don’t essentially want to know the science behind impedance aside from to know it is best to be sure the ohms of your amp/receiver and audio system correspond, know that the decrease the impedance, the extra vital it’s to hunt out a low resistance in your wire. 

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A significant distinction between speaker wires is gauge, or diameter, additionally known as thickness; the decrease the gauge quantity, the thicker the wire. Measurements are primarily based on the American Wire Gauge (AWG) commonplace and you will discover 12-, 14-, 16-, and 18-gauge speaker wire, 12 being the thickest. Typically, thicker wires cut back resistance however are solely essential for sure conditions. When you’ve got 8-ohm audio system and beneath 50 toes of cable run to the amplifier, you don’t want a wire thicker than 16 gauge. If you must cowl an awesome distance, or have low-impedance audio system, a thicker 12- or 14-gauge wire will decrease resistance and make for a extra steady, constant conduit. If you happen to’re uncertain what gauge you want, it’s safer to go along with a thicker choice to keep away from any sound degradation.  

Connectors and wire kind 

Speaker wires can include or with out connectors; it’s as much as you to determine whether or not you wish to buy a bundle or get a uncooked wire spool and individually choose your individual termination. (And for those who’re doing that, don’t overlook to get a wire stripper/cutter.) A banana plug is finest in case your speaker has a binding submit (round sockets), however you’ll want a pin connector for a spring clip terminal (sq. clips that slide up and clamp down on the wire). You should use naked wires for both connection, however they could be a little bit of a ache to regulate.

In case you are working speaker wire between bookshelf audio system or desk screens, you don’t want to fret about wire kind. In case you are hoping to run wire inside your partitions, search for a unit rated CL2 or CL3. In case you are working wire outdoors and/or underground, ensure you search for a wire rated for “direct burial.” 


There’s a lot debate about whether or not costly speaker wires carry out considerably higher than lower-priced fashions. The final consensus is not any; listening assessments and in depth analysis led by audio professionals agree that the standard of your speaker wire will possible be the identical throughout the board. We advocate reaching for a speaker cable that’s solidly in the course of the pricing spectrum; the most affordable cable won’t be constructed to final, whereas the costliest cable might not enhance the standard of your audio. We advocate saving a few of your cash for extra vital items of drugs which have a higher impression in your sound, resembling amps/receivers, interfaces, and extra. 

The perfect speaker wire: Opinions & Suggestions

Finest general: Monoprice 102747 12AWG Speaker Wire

Why it made the reduce: The Monoprice 12-AWG cable is a protected, inexpensive choice for at-home {and professional} techniques. The thick gauge is sturdy and the clear PVC jacket means you may simply establish polarity. 


  • Size: 50 / 100 / 300 toes
  • Gauge: 12 / 14 / 16 AWG accessible
  • Wire Materials: Oxygen-free copper 


  • Respected model
  • Out there in a number of lengths/gauges 
  • Polarity indicator


  • Wire might must be trimmed for at-home techniques 
  • Barely costlier than different mid-range fashions

This 12-gauge speaker wire is made out of 99.95% pure oxygen-free naked copper that creates a low resistance pathway permitting alerts to move via simply. The jacket is made out of clear PVC, which helps you to control the copper wire to look out for any indicators of injury and distinguish polarity. 

Finest for automotive audio: InstallGear 14 AWG Speaker Wire

InstallGear 14-Gauge Wire on a white background

Why it made the reduce: InstallGear 14-gauge wire is thick sufficient to cut back resistance and contains options to make set up straightforward, together with a comfortable, coloured jacket and the choice for included connectors. 

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  • Size: 100 / 500 toes
  • Gauge: 14 AWG
  • Wire Materials: Copper-clad aluminum 


  • Worth 
  • Versatile
  • Coloured jacket makes it straightforward to establish polarity 


  • CCA could also be much less conductive than different supplies 
  • No quick size choices 

This InstallGear speaker wire is especially in style for automotive speaker techniques, but it surely can be used for residence techniques. The twin-colored jacket makes it straightforward to establish polarity and it’s made out of comfortable PVC, so it’s straightforward to maneuver beneath carpets, behind facet panels, and thru small openings (plus you may strip it shortly). You may as well buy InstallGear wires with banana plugs if you wish to simplify issues even additional. If blue and black aren’t for you, InstallGear additionally presents wires with completely different jackets, so you may select your most well-liked colour mixture, together with clear, stable white, and stable black choices.  

Finest for residence theater: MaxBrite 16 AWG Speaker Wire

MaxBrite Speaker Wire on a white background.

Why it made the reduce: The MaxBrite speaker wire comes with options we love, together with markings each 2 toes of wire for simple measurements and a polarity indicator. 


  • Size: 50 / 100 / 200 toes
  • Gauge: 16 AWG
  • Wire Materials: Oxygen-free copper 


  • UL Security Licensed 
  • 200-ft size choice
  • Markings each 2 toes


  • Not accessible in lengths higher than 200 toes

This skinny, 16-gauge wire is a superb choice for low-impedance audio system and shorter cable runs, like from a receiver to the entrance stereo and satellite tv for pc audio system across the TV in a comfy, cozy lounge. The OFC conductors are suitable with most accessible connectors and a visual pink stripe helps to point polarity. There’s a sequential marker each 2 toes, so you may extra simply measure out the required size. Moreover, this wire is UL security licensed for residence and industrial use.  

Finest bi-wire: Monoprice Entry Collection 4-Conductor

Multicolored Monoprice speaker wire on a white background

Why it made the reduce: This Monoprice cable is a dependable four-conductor speaker wire for extra connectivity made out of high quality oxygen-free copper. 


  • Size: 100 / 250 toes
  • Gauge: 12 / 14 / 16 / 18 AWG
  • Wire Materials: Oxygen-free copper 


  • A number of gauge choices 
  • Extremely rated 
  • 4 conductors 


  • Costly
  • Shorter cable lengths are unavailable

The place the opposite merchandise listed right here have two conductors for a one-to-one connection, this wire accommodates twice as many. Extra conductors can be utilized for bi-amping, which is a characteristic in some audio system that individually energy drivers devoted to particular frequencies. The Monoprice bi-wire organizes 4 coloured conductors encased in a white, CL2 rated PVC jacket, permitting you to hyperlink the devoted high- and low-frequency amplifiers along with your speaker whereas solely stringing one size.

Finest for outdoor: GearIT 14 AWG Outside Speaker Wire

GearIT Speaker Wire on a white background

Why it made the reduce: This GearIT wire is our high choice for out of doors use as a result of it has a UL CL3 score and is permitted for direct burial. 


  • Size: 50 / 100 / 250 / 500 toes
  • Gauge: 10 / 12 / 14 / 16 AWG
  • Wire Materials: Oxygen-free copper 


  • A number of gauge choices 
  • CL3 Ranking
  • Sturdy 


  • Somewhat dear
  • Sheathing might be difficult to chop

If you wish to run your speaker wires underground, you’ll want a wire designed for direct burial to maintain you and your connection protected. This wire from GearIT does simply that, with an additional black, UV-resistant PVC jacket to maintain issues safe. This outer jacket additionally has sequential markings each foot for extra correct measurement approximations. Every wire has a color-coded jack contained in the outer layer for polarity identification. This wire can also be permitted for in-wall set up and pairs simply with most connectors. 

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Finest worth: AmazonBasics 16AWG Speaker Wire

Amazon Basics speaker wire on a white background.

Why it made the reduce: The AmazonBasics speaker wire is a superb budget-friendly choice with glowing evaluations that espouse its performance. Whereas it will not be high of the road or characteristic pure copper, it can get the job completed for at-home techniques. 


  • Size: 100 toes
  • Gauge: 16 AWG
  • Wire Materials: Copper-Clad Aluminum


  • Cheap
  • Extremely rated 
  • Versatile


  • Polarity might be more durable to establish

In case you are placing collectively a house system and don’t care to weigh in on the CCA versus OFC materials debate, then going with this inexpensive choice gained’t lead you astray. This 16-gauge wire is wrapped in a transparent plastic jacket, with a white line down one facet to point polarity. Whereas this choose isn’t as seen as color-coded jackets, you’ll nonetheless have the ability to inform find out how to set up every channel’s symmetry between amp and speaker. It’s suitable with virtually any connector and is neatly wrapped round a plastic dispenser. 


Q: Are high-end speaker cables value it? 

Excessive-end speaker cables should not essentially well worth the funding, particularly when there are different areas of your sound system that might profit from an improve. So long as you choose a low-resistance speaker wire that may assist your system, it’s unlikely that you just’ll discover a distinction in your music when supported by an costly cable. Nevertheless, this can be a hotly debated subject and a handful of audiophiles really feel otherwise. In the end, all that issues is how your materials sounds to your ears; for those who check out a number of cables and spot a distinction, go along with what sounds finest. 

Q: How a lot wire do you want?

You want as a lot speaker wire as you’ve distance between audio system and the amplifiers. For max accuracy, place a string or rope alongside the wire’s meant path, then measure its size. We advocate including a few inches on both finish, simply in case you want a little bit of slack. Speaker wires might be simply trimmed with a wire cutter, however you may’t add wire to a unit that’s too quick. Keep in mind, in case your cable run is longer than 50 toes, you’ll wish to choose up a thicker 12 or 14 AWG wire. 

Q: What kind of wire do you want?

You want a copper, silver, or copper-clad aluminum wire designed to conduct and carry electrical energy. If you wish to run your wire inside a wall or underground, you’ll want one that’s particularly rated CL2 or CL3. If you’d like tremendous straightforward set up, buy a wire that comes with the suitable connectors preinstalled, although utilizing naked wire shouldn’t be harmful and also will work properly. 

Ultimate ideas on choosing one of the best speaker wires

The perfect speaker wire will effectively join your system, ship the suitable quantity of electrical energy, and assist in correct audio replica. Whereas there are a lot of cables on the market, in most conditions it’s vital to recollect to not overthink this buy and go along with a mid-range choice that can go well with the wants of your amp and audio system. The wire ought to possibly be 5% to 10% of your system’s funds. In fact, for those who’re an audiophile prepared to check the bounds of every kind of wire, it is perhaps value it to conduct a take a look at of your individual with higher-end supplies; nonetheless, many people gained’t discover the distinction between premium speaker wires and extra inexpensive choices as a lot as we’ll discover the distinction between music and no music. Simply ensure you perceive the correct size you want, line up your terminals and polarities appropriately, and also you’ll be able to pump up the jams very quickly.