Beginner’s Guide to Coaxial Speaker Cables

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Technology has constantly been evolving in order to bring us a better quality of sound, this includes anything from speakers, headphones, recording devices, and of course cables, and funny enough, one of the best options available for speakers has actually been around for more than 100 years, this is the coaxial speaker cable.

They say if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and this definitely applies to this technology, as it has been used since the 19th century, more specifically since the 1880s, invented by Oliver Heaviside. However, it was used even earlier than that for transatlantic cable installations. This cabling technology would eventually open up incredible possibilities including TV, the telephone, and computer networks, so it’s safe to say it was a marvelous invention.

Going back to audio, these coaxial speaker cables, or “coax cables”, have always been able to give some of the best audio quality there is, this means that as the recording capabilities evolved, this cable was able to withstand better qualities with the passage of time, but how does this magical technology actually work?

What is a Coaxial Cable?

A coaxial cable is essentially an electrical cable that can transmit RF signals from one device to another. It can transmit analog and digital signals over radio frequencies (from 20kHz up to 300GHz) and they are shielded and insulated.

You might actually know some of these cables as “RCA” or “XLR”, but those are connection types, which means that both of these cables are coaxial cables.

What Are Coaxial Cables Used For?

Coax cables can make a connection between radio signals sent between the transmitter and the desired receiver. For example, when we used telegraphs, the cables that were used were coaxial cables, that way people could send telegraphs over large distances.

After that they made their presence felt at home through HAM radio, television, and audio systems. We now use HDMI but before that, it was coaxial cables that allowed people to get video and audio signals to work with DVD players, VHS, and more.

What are the Components of a Coaxial Cable?


There are several types of coaxial cables, but there are a few essential components that are present in every coaxial cable, so let’s go over these parts so you know what exactly makes a coaxial cable:

Plastic Jacket for Protection

While the exterior has no functions regarding the transference of information or any other use, there is an essential aspect of this protective jacket, which is mainly to protect every other part of the cable and not allow any sort of interference.

Copper Metallic Shield

This protects the signal from the interference caused by the radio waves,

Types of Coaxial Cables

There are various types of coaxial speaker cables and these vary depending on their structure, impedance as well as types of connectors, so in order to understand all the variations that are available for these cables, let’s go over these types based on the different components and uses.


If you want to know what types of coaxial cables there are based on the impedance, it’s simple enough since there are only two, 50Ω and 75Ω cables, the first is mostly for radio communications, while the latter is a lot more common nowadays and are used for TVs, video, and audio.

You can also find other impedances but they’re not as common as the ones we talked about.

Structure and Design

A cable’s design will affect its properties and uses, so it’s another good way to differentiate between the types.

Flexible Cable

This is one of the most common, and it’s basically a cable with a braided exterior conductor made of fine wires. The best quality of this cable is that it’s more flexible than others, however, it’s less resistant to insulation and can also present a few issues when it comes to the signal.

Semirigid Cable

This type of cable is in many ways the opposite of the flexible cable since it trades its flexibility with resistance and protection.

These cables have a metallic coating that serves as a conductor and an extra layer of protection.

The only downside is that it’s not flexible at all, so if you need flexibility this won’t work for you.

Dual Coaxial Cable

This type of cable consists of two cables put together in the same insulating jacket and it’s used to be able to transfer data with more bandwidth.

Twinaxial Cable

This is similar to the previous one but it’s not made out of two cables, instead, it has two conductors in the same exterior conductor.

The function of this cable, however, is the same, more speed with data transfers.

Triaxial Cable

A triaxial cable has two outer conductors separated by a dielectric layer, this way the output conductor can be a signal ground, and the other two function as earth ground.

Due to these alterations, this type provides a better signal as well as protection.


This will mostly define the function of a coaxial cable, and it’s also the easiest way to tell them apart, so let’s go over the most common coax cable connectors.

RCA 10(GHz)

You may be familiar with these types of cables, these are the ones we used to use for TVs in order to have video and audio transmission, they often came with colors in order to know where you should connect them.

While these are obsolete now in terms of technological advancement, they are still out there in the market for a low price if you ever want to enjoy the nostalgic feeling of a 90s TV or play with older videogame consoles.

F- Type (1GHz)

These are the most common connectors today, mostly because it’s used for TV, and antenna cables, so almost everyone with a TV in their home, has one of these cables.

BNC (10GHz)

These connectors are used for video and RF applications, and even though they can support up to 10GHz, the signal may become unstable after it goes beyond 4GHz.

N-Type (18 GHz)

You will find this type of connector near communications and broadcast gear and equipment.

SMA (24HGz)

SMA connectors are some of the most versatile, as they are used for radio antennas, phone antennas, microwave systems, wi-fi, and more.

These used to support up to frequencies of 12GHz, but as the technology advanced, these connectors were able to get up to 24GHz as a limit.

What is the Difference Between Digital Optical and Coaxial Digital Audio Cable

This might be one of the main reasons you are reading this article at all, maybe you heard from someone that coaxial ar superior, or maybe you want to make sure you don’t spend more money than you have to for a very small improvement in audio quality.

In order to help you understand as much as you can about the difference between these two cables, let’s go over the most important features and characteristics.

The most obvious one is that they look very different, from the connectors to the cable, it’s a whole different idea.

When it comes to optical cables, they don’t have a solid copper core, it has optical fibers that transmit light instead of electrical signals, but why is this important? well, cables that transmit electrical signals are able to get a greater bandwidth, and in theory, get better quality.

However you should know that the difference in quality is not that big, so if you don’t have a trained ear like someone that tends to work with music or the like, then maybe you won’t even notice the difference.

The other clear difference is that optical cables tend to be a lot shorter, which may or may not be a problem depending on the space you are working with, that said they are also less resistant.

Can You Use a Coaxial Cable for Speakers?

Short answer: Yes, you can use coaxial cables for speakers. There are even some brands that sell coaxial cables specifically for speakers, but you don’t need coax cables to use your speakers; you can just use regular cables speaker wires and it will be mostly the same experience.

There are a few differences though which can include:

The Good

  • Low induction
  • Better sound quality due to high-speed data transfer capabilities
  • These cables are some of the most resistant on the market
  • They are easy to set up
  • Great resistance against interference

The Bad

  • Less flexibility
  • Capacitance is higher which can cause some instability issues
  • They are more expensive
  • If you are one of those “cable management” lovers, you’ll find it a lot harder to conceal them

The big problem really comes down to the price, since you are not getting that much of a different experience but you are paying a lot more for a coax cable. However, if you do have the money to spare, you can try it out, a lot of people have said that the audio quality does improve by using coax cables, but in the end only you will know the difference once you listen.

Best Coaxial Speaker Cables

If you want to purchase a coaxial speaker cable to take your audio quality to the next level, then you should consider some of these options.

Amazon Basics Digital Audio Coaxial Cable

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This is one of the best standard options if you want to get a coaxial cable. This will provide great quality without interference and it’s compatible with any type of HDTV, Blu-Ray, and DVD devices, and of course speakers.

This cable is 4 feet in length, and we can guarantee that this will be more than enough for your needs.

It’s very easy to set up and provides the upgrade in quality that you’re looking for, it’s resistant, and it minimizes energy consumption.

FosPower Digital Audio Coaxial Cable

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This cable has male-to-male connectors and you can use it for any type of port available. You’ll be able to connect devices such as DVD players or CD players to your sound system to get high-quality audio as well as more common uses with TVs and such.

It has polyethylene foam dielectric insulation and PVC jacket and copper braided shielding. The only downside would be that it’s a bit shorter than the Amazon Basics cable as well as having loose fitting on RCA connectors, other than that it’s another great option that excels in every aspect that makes a coaxial cable great.

KabelDirect Coaxial Cable


If you really want your coax cable to give you the best quality possible, this will deliver thanks to its 75-ohm impedance, which will allow you to get clear sound from your speakers.

You’ll be able to connect your analog or digital audio kit and enjoy a durable and resistant cable for your needs.

However its downside is that the signal will degrade over time, so don’t plan to use this one for a very long time.

DIY Coaxial Cable

If you are a fan of DIY things, you can even make your own coaxial speaker cable, although it’s not as easy as you want it to be.

Thankfully there are a lot of videos on the internet that teaches you how to do it. This however can be complicated and even dangerous, so if you like to learn about the process and find it fun to a certain degree then go for it, if not, you are better off saving a bit of money and buying one for any use that you have in mind.

If you want to make it yourself, you can also have an idea about the process with these instructions:

  1. First, you should measure the distance between the receiver/amplifier and the speaker. Make sure you do it twice so there is no confusion with the exact length and you don’t cut it too short.
  2. Then proceed to remove the plastic layer that protects the cable with a knife, but remember to leave enough room to add the connector. This could be anywhere from half an inch to a little less than two inches.
  3. After this, you can unwind the braided shield from the cable and twist it into its own wire-like end to make the black connector.
  4. Cut and remove the insulator from the cable slightly above where you removed the plastic protective layer and shielding. Be careful not to damage the core. This creates a “red” connector.
  5. Repeat the previous steps from 2 to 4, for the other side.
  6. Connect the exposed speaker core wire to the red connector on the speaker and the red connector on the receiver.
  7. Connect the twisted braid shield to the black connector on the speaker and the black connector on the receiver.

If you want to watch a video to have some help along with these instructions:


KáCsa Audió


Coaxial cables have been around for a long time due to their high level of quality and reliability, which is why they can offer a better quality of audio and more durability over the years, even if they are a bit more expensive than other options.

These cables are also still used for a variety of things, so even if you really weren’t familiar with the name, you must have seen and used some of them in your life, Whatever it may be, you now know a lot more about coaxial cables, their components, some of the best options on the market and even how to make them, just make sure to follow the instructions of a professional if you are going to follow the DIY route.