Home Speaker Wire

Written by Serena Berger
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Unless you have purchased a pre-packaged home theater system, your speakers probably did not come with wires. While wires will not improve speakers beyond their potential, they will allow you to get the best possible audio quality out of your purchase. If you have invested hundreds of dollars on speakers, you certainly want them to sound their best--saving a few extra dollars on the wires is not the best idea.

Look at the Gauge of Home Speaker Wires

Among the most noticeable feature of speaker wires is their thickness, or gauge. A lower gauge corresponds to a thicker wire. A thicker wire will carry an audio signal better than a very thin wire. You will, however, have to consider where you are going to be running the wire and how flexible the wire must be when you make your choice.

There are certain situations in which you want to be sure to use low gauge speaker wires. If you have to have a long run of wiring, thicker cables result in a better signal ultimately reaching your speakers. If you have surround sound, there will be multiple yards of wire necessary to reach the rear speakers. The longer the length of wire, the more important it is to make sure there is enough thickness to carry the signal--otherwise it has too many opportunities to dissipate. Any time that your wiring is confined to a single room you should use the thickest cable you can afford, as it results in the best audio performance of your system.

Exposed copper wires are not the most visually appealing element in your home. In a single room, you can tack the wiring near the base of the wall to minimize how noticeable it is. If you are creating a multi-room audio system or connecting outdoor speakers, you might consider running your speaker wires through the walls. If you are going to attempt the wiring on your own, be sure that the wires you purchase meet the electrical codes of your county. Given the risks involved in both installing wires through walls yourself and then having wires out of view, it usually ends up being a better idea to have a professional oversee this level of home modification.

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