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.