Selecting a speaker wire for home theater is becoming harder day by day. Because there is no clear guide on the internet that will hold you by hand and will help you to pick the right one. A lot of guides will puzzle your mind rather than solve the problem for you. So, what is the best speaker wire material?
As a general rule of thumb, the best speaker wire material for conductivity is copper and the best for both the conductivity and the budget is pure copper wire. The silver conductivity is slightly higher than the copper. That’s why it can’t bring noticeable change in the sound.
Keep reading to know about all the wire materials that are used by home theater owners. Also, there are many marketing tricks that brands use that raise costs but provide no actual value. By reading this guide, you will know all about these marketing tricks and can choose the right wire for you.
Don’t forget to check the results of the poll that I have conducted in a Facebook group at the end of this guide. You will know what others are choosing.
OFC wire Vs CCA Vs Aluminum Vs Silver Coated Vs Pure Silver Vs Pure copper. (Comparison)
In this guide, I will compare them all in two categories. The first is the conductivity and the other is the price. Because these two categories will decide which is the right wire and which one is worth it to bring to your home theater.
The guide is simple and has simple tables that can be read at a glance. You will get your desired knowledge within seconds of looking at the tables.
|Wire Material||Conductivity Rate at 20 centigrade|
|OFC (Oxygen-Free Copper)||100|
|CCA (Copper-clad Aluminum)||64|
|Silver Coated Copper||102|
Silver has a higher amount of conductivity rate. But it doesn’t mean that I recommend going with the silver wire.
The conductivity is slightly higher than the copper wire. This amount of conductivity effect on the sound can’t be noticed unless you deliberately want to notice the difference with the help of an SPL meter.
The SPL meter can measure the difference but a newbie to an intermediate home theater owner can’t sense the difference. The pro users can sense the difference but still, that difference is not that much to pay extra money for.
Point to ponder: The sound is produced for humans not SPL meters. That’s why I think accordingly.
If you want to have the best sound possible then you can use this extra money on the acoustics of the theater room. That acoustic treatment will refine the sound of the speaker and the difference will be so high that even newbies can sense the difference.
So, if you have the money then spend it where it can make a bigger and more noticeable difference. Once a wise man said what? Do you know? Nothing! He just stared at me and went home. It is not necessary that a wise man will talk every time. Lol! You can use your mind too to make decisions.
Know the difference between the cheap Vs expensive HDMI cables. I have compare them in a few categories.
Price (Results obtained from research)
|Wire Material||Price per foot (14 Gauge Wire)|
|OFC (Oxygen-Free Copper)||$0.44|
|CCA (Copper-clad Aluminum)||$0.37|
|Silver Coated copper||$0.56|
The clear winner here in the price is the copper because it is delivering stunning conductivity along with longevity at this price.
The copper wire can last for almost a lifetime if it is taken good care of. Many brands are manufacturing pure copper wires for speakers. You will find it hard to search for pure silver wire.
While I was researching for this guide. I found out that it is very hard to find a pure silver wire. I found it nowhere on the 1st page of google to check its price and length.
This means that brands know that consumers are not buying silver wires so why manufacture them? That’s why if you want to use silver wire. You won’t find it so easily as pure copper wire.
Also, the 100 feet of silver wire will cost you $237 while the pure copper will cost you just $39. Silver wire is a luxury because it can give you a noticeable difference at this price.
How the know the HDMI cable you are using is ARC enabled? I have made this guide very simple.
Final Verdict (Which is the best?)
|Pure copper||The lower price of $0.39 per foot|
|Pure copper||Higher conductivity rate of 100|
While the OFC is better in conductivity, it is more pricey than copper wire.
You can use the remaining budget you would have burned on the silver wire on the acoustics of your home theater.
Install acoustic panels all around the theater room and you will love the sound after that. The acoustic panels are more worthy to install than the silver wire. Read my this guide to know about the myths of home theater acoustic panels. You will know more than your friends about acoustic panels.
The Aluminum wire is very cheap but has very low conductivity ratings. This conductivity rating is not making it an alternative to copper wire to choose.
Just search for a speaker wire on any online shopping site. The wires that will show up are usually copper wires and are fine to be used with your speakers. Don’t stress out about choosing the best wire material or wire for your speakers.
Yes, remember to buy the wire of a reputable brand. You will have more chances to have the best wire.
Keep reading to know the results of the poll I have conducted in a Facebook group.
If you got FREE money from your Dad. Which wire material will you choose for your home theater? (FB poll)
|Silver coated copper wire||1%|
|oxygen-free copper wire||1%|
The poll was open to add your own options. That’s why somebody adds pure gold to it too. He is right because I told them you don’t have to worry about the price. You just keep the sound quality in your mind.
But going with a gold wires is a stupid idea. Even if you are a billionaire, you still need to spend this money on something else, not on speaker wires.
Simple copper wires are the best. You will have the best of the best audio possible. You will love the audio once you have calibrated the speakers and subwoofer along with the acoustics of the room. The acoustics and calibration is more important than guessing for the material of the wire.
Does long speaker wire affect sound quality?
The sound is affected not only by the length of the speaker wire but also the width of the wire. You can use low gauge wires for the speakers that are close to the receiver and you must use higher gauge wire for the speakers that are away from the receiver.
The width and the length of the speaker wire goes hand in hand with each other when it comes to the quality of the sound. Read my this guide. What gauge wire to choose for home theater? I have given you values in a table to use what length and width of wire for what ohms. It is a simple guide that will clear your mind instantly looking at that table.
Is Twisted speaker wire better?
The twist of the wire is not important. It has no effect on the sound whatsoever. The important metrics are the composition of the wire, the length, and the width of the wire. Focus on those that will give you the best sound on a budget.
The twisted wires will contribute to bigger size. This is because the separately fished wires come in a flat form nowadays that look aesthetically pleasing and can be managed better.
This was my opinion read more about it from this quora discussion.
Is braided wire better than solid?
The braided wires are good only if there are a lot of wires and electronic devices in your theater room and those wires and devices are very close to each other. Otherwise, avoid the braided wires because it will raise the budget of the home theater.
You can use braided wires when the front speakers are 1-2 meters away from the receiver and you want to ensure that there is less electromagnetic interference among the wires.
Watch this youtube video to know more about the wires.