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Choosing Speaker Cable for a Great Home Theater Design

Designing your own home theater involves a number of decisions on the type of hardware you’ll be using and where you’ll be putting it. Do you want your system entirely contained in one room? Do you want it to run to multiple rooms? Do you want it partially or wholly outside so you can listen to music in the back yard on warm summer nights? In many respects, the type of home theater system you create is limited only by your own imagination. Your dreams can be brought back to earth by a source you never considered, though: inferior quality, cheap cable connecting your speakers to your other hardware. Make sure you purchase high quality cable, and make sure it’s the right type of speaker cable for the application where you’ll be using it.

Things to consider when deciding on the specific type of cable you need include the type of copper used in the wire. Speaker wire made from pure copper is vastly preferable to supposedly close alternatives. Pure copper gives wire the ideal ratio of conductivity and low resistance, to make sure your speakers receive the high quality audio they need to pump it out to your eagerly waiting ears.

Companies sometimes market their cable as oxygen free copper. What this means is that the wire contains no iron oxide. Iron oxide damages the level of conductivity the wire has and is best avoided. Purchasing speaker wire made with pure copper can ensure this. Another benefit of pure copper is that it offers less resistance than copper clad aluminum. This can result in reduced sound and reduced sound quality, two things that any home theater owner would like to avoid.

Other variables to consider when choosing your cable include the location you plan on using for the installation of your home theater system. Sometimes a system includes exterior speakers in a back yard, for example, and this requires cable of similar toughness to an outdoor phone cable. Wires need greater protection from corrosion and exposure to the elements, than wires used in home theater systems contained entirely inside the home, and it is important to check on the specifications on the width and construction of the sheathing material around the wires. Other cables rated for interior use may be built to meet a variety of ratings. In-wall cable is built to a standard that allows it to be used, as the name suggests, inside of walls, but it can be applied to other indoor needs.

It’s clear that there are many more factors to choosing cable for your home theater system than would immediately meet the eye. If you’re going to invest a great deal of time and effort into creating the home theater of your dreams, it pays to take just a little more time and make sure that you get crucial details, like the type and quality of connecting cable that you use, down to a T. Then you’ll be able to reap the sonic benefits for years to come.