Coaxial Cables Explained: What You Need to Know About Coaxial Speaker Cable

Whether you’re looking to replace or upgrade your current speaker system, understanding what type of connection you need is essential. In this article, we’ll give you an overview of coaxial cables – what they are and how they work – so that you can make the right decision for your home entertainment setup.


If you’ve ever shopped for speaker wire, you’ve probably seen coaxial cable options. Coaxial cable, or “coax,” as it’s often called, is a type of electrical cable that has an inner conductor surrounded by an insulating layer and an outer conducting shield. The term “coaxial” refers to the fact that the two conductors are concentric, meaning they share the same axis.

What is Coaxial Speaker Cable?

A coaxial speaker cable is a type of audio cable that is used to connect speakers to amplifiers or other audio devices. The term “coaxial” refers to the fact that the two conductors (the inner and outer wires) are arranged in a cylinder around a common axis. This arrangement provides superior electrical performance compared to other types of audio cables, making coaxial speaker cable the preferred choice for high-quality audio applications.

There are two main types of coaxial speaker cables: shielded and unshielded. Shielded cables have an additional layer of insulation around the inner conductor, which helps to reduce electromagnetic interference (EMI). Unshielded cables are less expensive but are more susceptible to EMI.

Coaxial speaker cable is typically made from copper or aluminum and is available in a variety of gauges (thicknesses). The thicker the gauge, the better the electrical performance but also the more expensive the cable. For most applications, a 16-gauge cable is sufficient.

When choosing a coaxial speaker cable, it is important to consider the length needed as well as the impedance of both the speakers and the amplifier. Most home theater systems use 8-ohm speakers with an amplifier that has an input impedance of 10k ohms or higher. For longer runs, it is recommended to use thicker gauge cable (14 or 12 gauge) to prevent signal loss.

Benefits of Using Coaxial Speaker Cable

When it comes to speaker cables, there are many different types and designs available on the market. However, one type of speaker cable that is often overlooked is coaxial speaker cable. Coaxial speaker cable offers a number of benefits over other types of speaker cable, making it an ideal choice for many applications.

Coaxial speaker cable is composed of two conductors, an inner conductor and an outer conductor, which are surrounded by an insulating material. The inner conductor is typically made of copper or aluminum, while the outer conductor is typically made of braided copper or aluminum. This construction provides several advantages over traditional speaker cables.

First, coaxial speaker cable is much less likely to suffer from electromagnetic interference (EMI). EMI can cause problems with audio quality, as well as introduce noise into the signal. By using a coaxial design, interference is greatly reduced.

Second, coaxial speaker cable has much better electrical properties than traditional speaker cables. The dielectric material used in coaxial cables has a very low loss factor, meaning that it does not absorb as much energy from the signal as other materials do. This results in less distortion and better sound quality.

Third, coaxial speaker cables are much easier to work with than other types of speaker cables. They are flexible and can be routed easily through tight spaces. Additionally, they are less likely to kink or twist when being installed.

Types of Coaxial Cables and their Characteristics

Coaxial cables are available in a variety of sizes and styles. Each type has its own set of characteristics that make it well-suited for specific applications.

RG-59: This is the most common type of coaxial cable. It is thin and flexible, making it ideal for running through tight spaces. RG-59 is also relatively inexpensive, making it a good choice for budget-conscious shoppers. However, its thin gauge means that it is not suitable for long runs or runs with high levels of interference.

RG-6: RG-6 is thicker than RG-59 and can handle longer runs and higher levels of interference. It is also more expensive than RG-59.

RG-11: This type of coaxial cable is the thickest and most expensive option. It is best suited for very long runs or runs with extremely high levels of interference.

How to Install and Connect Coaxial Speaker Cable

If you’re looking to improve the sound quality of your home theater or audio system, upgrading to a coaxial speaker cable is a great option. But what is a coaxial speaker cable and how do you install and connect it? In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about coaxial speaker cables so you can make the best decision for your needs.

A coaxial speaker cable is a type of audio cable that uses two inner conductors (a positive and negative conductor) surrounded by an insulating material and an outer shield. The inner conductors are typically made of copper or silver-plated copper wire, while the outer shield is made of braided copper or aluminum. Coaxial cables are often used in home theater and audio applications because they can carry high-quality audio signals with minimal interference.

When installing a coaxial speaker cable, it’s important to use the correct gauge (thickness) of wire. The thicker the wire, the better it will be able to carry the signal without losing quality. For most home theater applications, a 16-gauge wire is sufficient. However, if you’re running long lengths of cable (more than 50 feet), you may need to upgrade to a 14-gauge wire.

Troubleshooting Tips for Coaxial Speaker Cables

If you’re having trouble with your coaxial speaker cables, here are a few troubleshooting tips to help you get back on track.

First, check all of your connections to make sure they are secure. If you’re using banana plugs, make sure they are inserted fully into the binding posts. If you’re using bare wire, check that the connections are tight and free of any fraying or damage.

Next, check your amplifier or receiver to make sure it is set to the correct input and output levels for your speakers. If everything looks good there, move on to checking the actual speaker wire itself.

Look for any breaks or damage in the insulation. Also, check for kinks or bends that could be causing interference. If you find any damage, replace the speaker wire.

Finally, if you’re still having trouble, try moving your speakers around to see if that makes a difference. Sometimes interference can be caused by something as simple as a nearby appliance or piece of furniture.


Coaxial cables are an essential part of any audio setup, and it is important to understand what they are and how they work. By understanding the basics of coaxial cables, you can be sure that you have the right cable for your system and ensure that your audio setup sounds great. With a little bit of research, you can find out which type of coaxial cable will best suit your needs and help take your sound system to the next level!

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