It's one of the most hotly debated topic in the audio community: How much do cables affect a home theater system's performance? Audio cables have historically fallen on one of two sides. On one side, you have the elitist products that are sold with outlandish promises about performance to justify exorbitant prices most people shouldn't, wouldn't or couldn't consider. On the other side, you have the most basic and feature-less Point A to Point B cables made with the cheapest possible components that keep your system from reaching its true sonic potential.
Speaker and interconnect cables should serve two key functions: to pass the audio signal with absolute purity at full fidelity and to reject interference that can add noise to the signal. A high-quality cable allows your system to perform at its best, while remaining faithful to the source material. It can elevate the quality of the audio output by revealing tighter, better defined bass and exquisite imaging, while improving transient response, dynamic resolution and accuracy, across the frequency spectrum. The enhancement from cables is often described as an added depth or complexity to the sound.
When considering cables, it's paramount to look at the quality of the materials, the physical design, and the engineering processes used during assembly. A recipe for great speaker or interconnect cables includes:
Achieving signal purity and rejecting interference does not require pseudoscientific technology stories. With SVS SoundPath Speaker and Interconnect cables, you get all the performance, technology, and build quality you'd expect from the world's finest cables, at a fraction of the price. You also get the benefit of our Sound Experts support to answer questions about concealing cables, bi-amping, banana plugs versus spades, and any other challenges that might confront you.
Speaker and interconnect cables perform a very important role so it's worth looking for quality from a name you trust, but it's not worth overpaying for what could amount to minimal or nonexistent improvements in sound quality.
Debunking Audio Cable Myths
The audio cable debate has also generated a number of myths that have continued to circulate through the years. To clear up some of the misconceptions, we've compiled a list of fictions and truths to help you make the best decision possible when sorting through the great audio cable argument.
Audio cables have no effect on the performance of your system
Low quality speaker and line-level component connections can be susceptible to different forms of interference and other signal degradation, which has been proven to add noise and affect audio signal quality. Replacing it with properly shielded, high quality cables lets your system perform to its full potential by not having unwanted influences playing any type of role.
Rare Materials and prohibitively expensive engineering techniques are required to make premium audio cables
If cables are meticulously engineered with proven design principles and high-quality materials, you can achieve the same level of performance at a fraction of the cost of the mega-expensive cables.
Exotic braiding of audio cables enhances performance
Many cable manufacturers use twisted conductors in their cable touting their ability to reduce crosstalk and interference noise, but there is no conclusive evidence to support the claim that intricately braided wires within a cable improve performance. The purity of the cable's conductive materials and its ability to reject interference have a much more profound effect on performance
Break-in of cables is necessary for optimal performance
This myth is much more subjective as many people claim there are perceptible improvements in sound quality after speaker and audio cables have had time to "break-in" over the first hundred hours or more. Even so, there is no scientific evidence to support an improvement in sound quality and certainly it's not worth paying for break-in as an added service or feature.