How to Choose the Right Speaker Wire? Home Theater Basics

speaker wire extension This is a topic that many people are looking for. is a channel providing useful information about learning, life, digital marketing and online courses …. it will help you have an overview and solid multi-faceted knowledge . Today, would like to introduce to you How to Choose the Right Speaker Wire? Home Theater Basics. Following along are instructions in the video below:

” s up everybody. Shana d. Your tech. No dad here.

And i got a great great video for you today. We re going to kick off my home theater. Basics with this video about speaker wire. What size how long and how much so we re going to get into it right after the jump and i m back alright so to start off this series.

I ve decided to take a topic that has been highly discussed online and people have argued about this topic for years. So first things first. Why do we need speaker cable. We need speaker cables to simply connect our speakers to our amplifier or av receiver.

Now you re like doesn t this come with this stuff. No it doesn t your speaker doesn t come with it your av receiver or amplifier. Do not come with speaker wire either there are so many different types of gages lengths brands connectors all that kind of stuff that really there s no reason for them to give it to you unless you get like a home theater in a box. And then you re okay because they usually give you a little bit and from what i hear it s usually enough for your basic setup.

We re talking about recommended links and gauges. So let s start off with the gauge of the speaker cable now what does gauge mean gauge is simply the thickness of the speaker cable and they all have numbers and the numbers actually go from higher number. Which means a thinner cable to a lower number which is a thicker cable here s a little graphic. I found online.

It s shown to scale. But not actual size the speaker cables not that thick but it gives you an idea from 18 gauge to 12 gauge and everything in between on the difference in sizing. So when you re shopping around for speaker wire. You ll see awg right by the number of what size gauge.

It is and awg has set these numbers a standard so you know it s always going to be 12 gauge is always going to be that thick 14 gauge always going to be so thick. So you ll see those numbers and letters. When you re shopping for speaker wire. So why do different thicknesses in different gauge size matter in your home theater.

Basically your amplifier or av receiver and your speaker and your speaker cable complete an electrical circuit. Now the thicker the cable. The less resistance there will be between the amplifier and the speaker. Why is this important the less resistance.


You have the less the amplifier has to work so it s a good idea to have lower gauge. Cable. Especially. When you re talking about longer cable runs 50 feet is kind of like the cutoff.

So if you have to install at most speakers or something like that or surround. Speakers. Where it s like 75 or 100 feet away. You re definitely going to want to get 12 or 14 gauge cable.

The thicker the cable the better for long runs the thicker the cable the better for high power. Let s say you have a 400 watt amplifier going into your speaker s you re going to want the least resistance possible for that signal to get from your amplifier to your speaker. Also if you have speakers that are lower impedance meaning. 4.

Ohms. 6. Ohms. 2 ohms you re going to want to get thicker cable to get the least resistance possible from that amplifier over to your speakers.

That s why you would want to get a 12 or 14 gauge cable. As far as your basic average stuff. 16. Gauge.

Cable is perfectly fine for anything under 50 feet. And especially. If you re going into a speaker that s relatively efficient like something that has an 8 ohm impedance rating now i use clips and all the clip speakers. I have run at 8 ohms.

So i don t have to worry about that i can use 16 gauge cable for all my speakers. I don t but i can so let s get into how much you need well. It s pretty easy you can take a tape measure and measure you know from your av receiver left right for my center channel. I use a relatively small cable.

It s a three foot cable to go for my avr to my center channel. Because they are very close together. I use a four foot cable to go to my left channel. And i use a six foot cable to get to my right channel.


That s usually something that works out well especially. If your center channels in your cabinet. But you know if there s height issues. Then definitely you re going to want something longer you can use string.

I ve heard people use string you can get any kind of like you know kitchen string or whatever tie it to a binding post on the back of your avr. And if you re buying a spool. You know just measure out the length of string leave. A little slack and then maybe add five to ten feet extra for any kind of you know human error.

You know you cut it a little too short that s kind of a problem. But if you cut something a little longer not a big deal so you definitely want to give yourself a little extra cable. So now let s talk about how to connect this wire to either your av receiver or amp. Or your speakers.

You could go the bare wire. Route and back in the day. That s what i always used to do you got to strip the cable stick it in and use it and that s it now the only caveat with that is after time the copper in the cable starts to degrade because you ve got that connection going got that electricity going through and it starts to get like black and dingy and i would often after about six or eight months go in check them out and reece trip them and put them back in i don t have time for that nonsense anymore so i use banana clips. There are a few different types of connectors and then here s a little graphic about it so you ve got bare wire.

You ve got pin connectors in the middle you got spade connectors then you have banana plugs. Which is what i use and then you have a you ll banana plug all these are perfectly fine ways to connect your speakers and i do have one pair of speakers. That have banana plugs on one side and spades on the other and in some applications. It is kind of hard to get the spades on the back of the speakers and that s why i like to use banana plugs on both sides now as far as speaker terminals.

There are two types on some speakers you re going to find a spring loaded clip read in the black so if you see this you just push down on the clip. You insert the bare wire or the pin connector and you re good to go. Now. The other way to connect are with binding posts and you get more flexibility with binding posts.

Now with binding posts you can use bare wire. Spade connectors banana plugs and the dual banana plug. So that s what my speakers have and that s why i use banana slugs. The back of my receiver also has binding posts.

So banana plugs on one side banana plugs on the other side. And you can buy them relatively cheap. Now. Let s talk a minute about what i use and why i use it so for the front three channels.


My big clips are p2 atf s and my clips are p450. See these are big speakers and i want to play them loud and they re right at the receiver. So i splurged on 14 gauge wires from sbs. If you guys don t know who sbs is they make some amazing subwoofers for home theater.

They also have their own line of speakers tower speakers center channel surrounds all that kind of stuff. And they also make speaker cable. They cost me about 45 each so you know for the three cables. I spent around 120 bucks.

You know give or take. A few dollars here. And there so i did give them a call and get a custom three foot cable made for my center channel. And then the other tube.

They already had prepackaged and i had them end them in banana plugs on both sides. Now they are 14 gauge. So they are going to give me the least amount of resistance that i could find and the coolest part the part that i love the most is that they re braided and i really have this thing for braided cables right now if you ve seen my other cable video. I ll put a link in the description about it you can see when i got it and when i got my securamax hdmi cables and all my cables are pretty much braided.

Except for my surround sound. Speakers and my animal speakers those three cables are all 14 gauge. Cables and the other reason why i went with this is because i want to add a power amp to those three speakers. Only and this is also going to be beneficial when that occurs.

Because i m going to have a 250 watt amp. That s going to be powering. These three speakers and i want to have shaker cables. So i went with the 14 gauge.

It wasn t breaking the bank. Now you can totally go ahead and go get some audio quests type fours and spend 250 dollars for a pair of cables you can even go up to spend like a thousands of like ten thousand dollars on cables you can do it if you want to and if you have the money and you think it sounds better. Great do it so i went with the sbs sound pass. 14 gauge just because i wanted a little bit thicker cable.

I wanted some custom sizes. I wanted to you know end in banana plugs. And i like the whole braided situation. I think it looks cool that s what i use for my front 3.


Now for my surround sound speakers. I used 16 gauge speaker cable that i routed around pulled up carpet and made it all the way to the other side of the room. Now those end up being about 40 to 50 feet in length. So as far as the recommended gauge for distance.

We re still good and the other part is i would have loved to have used 14 gauge or 12 gauge cable. The only issue is working with the actual cable you have to make these 90 degree bends underneath the carpet. And it s got to be flat. And there are other issues when thinking about getting thicker gauge.

Speaker cable for your surround sound speakers. You got to be able to work with the cable and if you can t then you re kind of like out of luck. If you spent a bunch of money on some well gauge or 14 gauge. Cable.

And you can get them to work to get to your surround sound speakers. So definitely something to think about there as for my at most speakers. I went with the smaller gauge because i had to mount those and they had to go up the wall and across the beam. And i really didn t want to shell out too much money.

I ended up going with some 18 gauge speakers and they work fine. And that s that so just to recap. If you are setting up your home theater system make sure you have the proper gauge for the proper length. And the proper application for your speakers and amplifiers that s really what you got to think about when you re getting speaker cable.

If you really want to spend a ton of money on speaker cable you can. But you really don t need to i m going to put some links for sbs where i got my cables from you can get great low gauge. Speaker cable in big spools for a fantastic price over at moana price comm. So links are going to be in the description.

And that s pretty much it for this video. If you have any questions or want to talk about what cables you have go ahead and leave them in the comments and if you liked this video found it informative go ahead give it a thumbs up and don t forget to subscribe to my channel. Using the button in the middle of your screen once again my name is shauna d. I m your techno dad and i ll see you next time ” .


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