The best subwoofer cable makes a significant difference in sound quality, in particular, in low frequencies. It ensures their balance with highs and mids that is crucial for both acoustic and home theater systems. A weak signal passes through them, reducing noise and interference before being enhanced with the amplifier. High-quality cables ensure pure audio signals in full fidelity.
Insulation, metal stranding of wires, capacitance, and tons of other factors determine the cable’s quality. The descriptions below deal with quality items with different lengths, shielding, connectors, and other parameters. The following reviews helps choose the product that boasts flawless performance and is relevant to the connected equipment and the amount of wiring.
Subwoofer Cable Reviews
Mediabridge Ultra – best rca cable for subwoofer
This item is an 18-gauge and 15-feet RCA cable for a subwoofer to hook up a passive subwoofer to a powered speaker/receiver. This cable doesn’t go directly into the subwoofer. It provides a single male-to-male connection for the LFE input on the amplifier section on the majority of all home theater subwoofers. This wire is also compatible with a stereo receiver, sound system, or other audio components with RCA ports. Models with other jacks’ types need an adapter.
The gold-plated RCA-to-RCA connectors prevent them from reaction with chemicals in most environments. It is a well built, having PVC housing and a good double shielding to eliminate hum in a sub.
Once being installed, the Mediabridge subwoofer cable makes sound rich, crisp, sharp, and clear without interference, fuzz, lines, and other shortcomings. The connectors fit snugly using a well-built grip. Besides, a cable doesn’t fall out of the connector on its own. It has an average thickness of 0.28 inches that allows it to be flexible enough.
The cable is made of nitrogen-injected foamed polyethylene dielectric material that effectively strengthens signal transfer, providing a deep, smooth, and dynamic performance.
- Although this cable is not rated as an in-wall subwoofer cable, it can be used in the walls in practice.
- This unit features the optimal impedance of 75 Oms.
- This wire is not suitable for older subwoofers with binding posts or spring clips.
- The cable capacity is high (56.5 pF/ft) which is typical of such a long wire.
This unit is a 23-gauge 2-Male to 2-Male RCA audio stereo cable for a subwoofer, meaning its ability to improve both high and low frequencies. So, there is no need to buy another cable for the second sub.
This subwoofer audio cable is designed for home-entertainment and Hi-Fi systems. It is made with gold-plated full-metal connectors to prevent corrosion and has OFC inner conductors that are 100% copper. Both features contribute to good electrical connections and sound quality. The wire is flexible and has a secure snug fitting RCA plugs. The ends are well made and held on tight to the connectors. At the same time, one can pull them off without applying a physical force. This feature prevents RCA jacks from damage.
This item might be plugged into any type of equipment with an RCA jack, but it doesn’t fit devices with digital output. For this purpose, an active digital-to-analog converter (DAC) is required.
This home-theater subwoofer cable helps produce seamless performance with no audible distortion or latency.
- It’s possible to pull the wires apart to make two separate subwoofer cables thanks to the lack of molding or any type of binding on the ends.
- The item is color-marked in red and white to avoid confusion while hooking up right and left channels.
- The cable’s ends are too large and require space behind the equipment as they stick out quite a lot.
- The distortion appears while moving the cable.
AmazonBasics PBH-19092 – best coaxial cable for subwoofer
This long and 18-gauge shielded coaxial cable for a subwoofer fits any equipment with RCA jacks. Besides, it’s compatible with digital, composite, and S/PDIF video interfaces to output audio over short distances. However, it is not suitable for some devices (for example, VIZIO products) because of too large connectors of 1.75 inches.
This 50 ft subwoofer cable has golden-plated connectors to enhance the cable’s resistance to corrosion. The unit is flexible enough thanks to high-quality PVC housing. High-quality dielectric insulation saves the signal’s velocity, and aluminum shielding increases the cable’s durability. The connectors are designed with a copper-clad steel split-tip center pin to ensure the required pressure between a cable and a device, resulting in a strong signal. The cable is thick (0.53 inches) but flexible at the same time.
- This item can be used as a video cable for a backup camera.
- The cable supports LFE and works well when a Dolby or DTS encoded audio track sends. The discrete content to a sub.
- The cable fits only powered but not passive speakers.
- The conductor is made of copper-clad steel that is more suitable for high-frequency signal applications rather than for subs.
This 25-feet stereo home subwoofer cable is designed to transfer left/right (digital and analog transmitting) audio signals from a wide range of devices, including AVR, Blu-ray players, DVDs, etc. The cable consists of two parts. They run in parallel as a single unit with dual four RCA male plugs total. One can separate them into two sub cables to use for specific applications by pulling the loose ends apart.
The connectors are sealed making it’s impossible to replace them. They are full metal that makes them durable and the 24k gold coating prevents rust. Copper core wires feature double shielding to eliminate interferences and hum.
The subwoofer cable does its job reducing a ground loop hum even if a large amount of wiring is used.
- The cable features a low capacitance of 18pF/ft.
- It doesn’t overheat during continuous work.
- The unit is flexible enough for turns and bends.
- One end of the cable lacks markings, making it challenging to understand whether it is for R or L channels.
- This item can’t connect two subs in series since one of its ends connects to the receiver and the other one connects to the back of the subwoofer.
The subwoofer cable review cannot disregard this directional 16.4-inch RCA to RCA audio cable for subs and audio/video components, meaning to plug it into a subwoofer and the reverse arrow side out of the AVR. It does its job well, rejecting both electromagnetic and radio frequency interferences, as well as providing subtle low-frequency activity coming from the subwoofer.
This mono subwoofer speaker cable is remarkable for its 5-layer insulation and multi-functional center conductor made of high-purity copper. It is very flexible and not vulnerable to cracking. The unit also features low resistance that signal encounters while passing through the wire. A strong anodized aircraft-grade aluminum covering protects its 56-strand shield. Its double shielding consists of metal mesh and foil. The sub cable has a cotton coating, and the center connector and the outer ring are covered with 24k gold.
- A cable makes the bass sound naturally without a feeling that it appears from any particular direction.
- The connectors fit securely in the AVR, subwoofer inputs, and are easily pulled out.
- It’s sold as one mono cable, unlike most competitors do. To get a pair, you should buy one more.
What Features You Need to Consider Buying a Subwoofer Cable?
Is a subwoofer cable just an RCA cable or it has any distinctive features to consider while choosing the proper unit?
Cable with thicker shielding and those soldering and crimping at both ends decreases noise and blocks interferences, providing clear sound. If shielding is poor, a cable might soak in the slightest noise produced by other electric home appliances. So, even if a device features a clear sound, the latter will lose its quality because a cable transmits all interferences to a sub together with the sound.
Try to choose the shortest possible cables, as the longest wires have the smallest gauge. It’s also necessary to consider the amplifier’s current draw. For example, a 10-gauge 3-feet cable matches the 65-Ampere amplifier. One can find the wire size calculators on the Internet. However, they are relevant to copper wires only.
The best subwoofer cable usually has a controlled impedance of 75 Oms for digital audio work. This feature allows getting more acoustic output per amplifier’s watt.
RCA vs Coaxial Cables: Differences and Similarities
There are two common types of digital audio connections between subwoofers and other components of the acoustic system. One of them needs RCA and the other requires coaxial cables. They are similar to each other but initially have different functions. The RCA cables are primarily designed to transmit analog signals and the coaxial cords broadcast digital one.
RCA cables are mostly used to connect audio and video devices. Coaxial cords are indispensable for Radio Frequency (RF) applications. Besides, digital coax cables sometimes use RCA connectors on the ends along with, for example, F or BNC connectors.
If it deals with a subwoofer or speaker cable, the difference between RCA and coaxial wires is more about quality rather than construction. It means that the coaxial cord is shielded and thicker than the usual RCA cable. Besides, it is more expensive; that’s why some users try to replace it with the cheaper unshielded RCA cable for digital connection. However, common audio cable (RCA) cannot provide a bandwidth that would be wide enough to ensure powerful signals over long distances. Besides, other electrical appliances in the house will interfere with the sound. Note that this flaw doesn’t apply to short cables. For example, 3-feet RCA and coaxial cables might provide the signal of the same quality.
Passive subs reproduce low-frequency sounds in an audio track, but they lack the built-in amplifier and need an external amp or AVR. Passive units should be hooked up to the front left-right speaker connections on the receiver (along with the front L/R speakers) with short speaker wire to get power from that active unit.
Many external receivers come with the dedicated subwoofer inputs on the back input/output panel for the RCA connection. That’s why the manufacturers often label the RCA cords as subwoofer ones. In this way, they claim that the unit is specifically tested with amplified subs, which have a few of their own nuances (such as being particularly susceptible to 60 Hz interference from nearby power cables).
Since the cable is short, it makes no difference whether to use coax or RCA connection. However, it’s crucial to use shielded and heavy gauge cabling to ensure less noise and distortion.
Capacitance is the amount of energy that two connectors of the RCA cable to speaker wire for a subwoofer stores between them. Low capacitance is meaningful to avoid its impact on low frequencies produced by a receiver since high capacitance overpower an amp/AVR and can disable it over time. So, a user should choose a unit with the lowest possible pF/ft (Picofarads per foot). It’s possible to measure this parameter precisely with the aid of a multimeter. Besides, items with low capacitance are usually short, have thick insulation, and small conductor diameter.
The cables connectors’ material is silver, gold, or copper. Besides, there are cheaper and lighter copper-clad aluminum (CCA) products on the market. Many other low-cost cables are made of nickel, zinc, and tin.
Some users prefer costly silver cables, hoping they will improve the sound quality. It’s only true about high frequencies. Since a sub can produce frequencies under 120 Hz, the cheaper copper cable will be quite enough. Nevertheless, silver units feature a decent resilience to oxidation, resulting in a longer lifespan. The most expensive gold cables can completely prevent oxidation, but they lack electrical conductivity.