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What is a Coaxial Speaker Cable? Everything you need to know

Speakers are a rather important part of any modern computer. With the amount of media, we consume increasing daily, having a good pair of speakers can make or break your entire experience. 

However, there’s a lot more to speakers than just the speaker units and the subwoofer itself. A good sound system comprises several different components, but the most important of them is the cables connecting everything together. Using low-quality or bad cables can impact the sound your speakers produce, regardless of the speaker unit’s quality. 

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Coaxial speaker cables

Coaxial speaker cables transmit audio signals from an input source (your computer or any other audio output) to an output source (the actual speakers) via RF signals. These cables are not affected by surrounding electromagnetic interferences and deliver clean sound at the speaker’s end. 

The term ‘coaxial’ comes from the construction of the cable itself. The core of the cable is covered with an interwoven layer of copper, and the core and the coating are aligned on the same axis, hence the name. The audio signals they carry cover the entire audio spectrum audible to the human ear plus the lower end of the infrared spectrum, about 20KHz to 300 GHz.

The entire construction of the cable involves at least five layers.

  • The core wire (usually copper)
  • Diaelectric insulator
  • Foil shield (only present on high-quality cables)
  • braided metallic shield (usually made from copper too)
  • Outer sheath (made from plastic or rubber)
What is a Coaxial Speaker Cable? Everything you need to know
General structure of a coaxial cable. | Source: Wikimedia Commons.

It’s important to remember that while coaxial (also called coax) cables offer better audio quality, they do not support lossless audio codecs like HDMI cables, including DTS X, Dolby TrueHD and other lossless audio codecs. 

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Types of Coaxial cables

While the construction of different coaxial cables remains the same, their types are differentiated by the cable’s impedance or the minimum resistance the cable offers to the audio signal passing through. They can be narrowed down to two types.

50Ω coaxial cables

These lower impedance cables are good for radio transmissions mostly. They’re also used for ethernet networks that use coaxial cables. 


75Ω coaxial cables

This is the more common type of coaxial cable that you’ll come across being used with everyday household appliances like TVs and landlines. 

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Why should you use a coaxial audio cable?

There are certain pros and cons to using a coaxial audio cable. 

ProsCons
Less susceptible to RF and electromagnetic interference. A single cable failure can bring down the entire network.
Allows higher frequency applications of up to 50MHz or higher.Requires grounding.
Allows higher data transfer speeds and bandwidth as compared to other cables. Cables are thick, making installation more difficult.
Cheap and durable

Also read: What is DTS 96/24 audio format?

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