How to Choose the Right Speaker Wire for Your Sound System?

Not all sound systems come with speaker wires. You might have noticed that your home theater has audio output terminals to connect to an external speaker. But such connectors are not included in the delivery box.

It’s upon you to buy speaker wires if you need to enhance your sound system with an external speaker other than the in-built speakers that come with the system. Some music systems like amplifiers do not come with any speaker at all.

You can look for the required cables, interconnectors, and other devices to set up your system. However, purchasing speaker wires is not easy as some cable manufacturers don’t follow the required standards, or you may not know the suitable wire for you. Here are some considerations when purchasing speaker wires for your sound system.

The Thickness of Speaker Wires


Thick wires offer less resistance to the flow of current; therefore, the thinner the wire, the higher the resistance. Sound travels through the wire in the form of electrical signals; therefore, the same rule applies, depicting that thicker wires are the best. The thickness of electrical wires is determined in units called AWG. The higher the AWG units, the thinner the wire. And since thick wires are the best, a customer should go for speaker wires with lower AWG units. But obviously, thick wires have a higher price than thin ones.

The Length of the Wire

Long wires mean that the electrical signals transmitting sound must go a long distance before reaching the terminal. Much of the electrical energy is lost along the way; therefore, measuring the distance between the receiver and the speaker is vital to buy only the required length. When the distance is quite long, go for thicker wire because they have a lower resistance; likewise, a slightly thinner wire can be suitable if the distance is shorter.

The Electrical Conductivity of the Wire


Some materials conduct electricity at a higher rate than others. The electrical conductivity of any material is determined by the number of free electrons in its structure. Copper metal has 2 electrons responsible for electrical conductivity while aluminum has 3. But copper has a higher elasticity–the ability to withstand bending and stretching without breaking. Long-distance transmissions require speaker wires with higher electrical conductivity and elasticity.

The Resistance of the Speaker

Some speakers have a higher resistance than others. Resistance is measured in units called ohms (Ω) and is generally indicated at the back of the speaker. A speaker with a higher resistance requires speaker wires with less resistance, like the thick ones. Likewise, one can buy speaker wires with slightly higher resistance for speakers with low resistance since the cost is a factor.

The Durability of the Wire


If the manufacturer is not keen on manufacturing, some oxygen may be trapped inside the insulator. With time these speaker wires react with the trapped oxygen since heat accompanies the transmission of electric currents. The reaction forms an entirely different compound which leads to the corrosion of the wire.


For anyone planning to buy speaker wires, it is essential to consider some crucial factors, such as the durability of the wire, the resistance of the speakers, the electrical conductivity of the wire, length, and thickness.