Coaxial Speaker Cable (All You Need to Know)

Ali Abdaal
Learn all about coaxial speaker cables in this comprehensive guide. Explore their components, types, installation process, pros and cons. Discover how they enhance audio transmission and improve sound quality.

Ever since it was introduced in the 19th century, the coaxial cable has remained at the forefront of audio transmission, standing the test of time against emerging alternatives. For years now, coaxial speaker cables have become the go-to choice for both professionals and enthusiasts, thanks to the superior audio quality they offer.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve deeper into the world of coaxial speaker cables. We'll explore their construction, pro, cons, the different types of coaxial cables, and more.

Table Of Contents

What Is Coaxial Cable?

A coax speaker cable is a type of electrical cable designed for the transmission of audio signals between audio components, particularly amplifiers, and speakers. The coaxial cable consists of an inner metal conductor and woven copper shielding, which share a common geometric axis, hence the name coaxial.

The coaxial cable was first used in 1858, and in 1880, it was patented by Engineer Oliver Heaviside. Since then, the cable has been used in a range of applications, including audio/visual signals transmission, telecommunications, and Wi-Fi systems.

What is A Digital Coaxial Cable?

A digital coaxial cable is a cable that is used to transmit digital or electrical signals between devices. It is designed to transmit high-quality video and audio signals through electricity. However, a digital coaxial cable, despite its name, does not have a digital signal internally.

Inside a digital coaxial cable, you will find a center wire, insulation, a metal shield, and a plastic sheath similar to the standard coaxial cable. Digital coaxial cables are commonly used to connect devices like home speakers, radios, TV antennas, cable boxes, cable TV modems, and more.

Components of Coaxial Cables

Coaxial cables consist of four key components that work together to ensure effective signal transmission and protection against interference. They include:

Types of Coaxial Cables 

There are various types of coaxial cables available today. These cables are grouped based on the cable's RG standards, construction, and impedance.

a. Radio Guide (RG) Standard  

The term Radio Guide was born during World War II. The RG cable was used extensively by the U.S. military for various communication purposes.

Each cable is marked by the letters R and G, and they have a number and another letter. The RG standards are mainly used to tell the cable's characteristics and specifications, such as the outer diameter, impedance, shielding, core wire diameter, and dielectric type.

Cable Type  Impedance (Ohms)  Core Diameter (mm) Outer Diameter (mm) Purpose 
RG-6/U 75 1.024 6.86 Cable modems, satellite TV, cable TV
RG-6/UQ 75 1.024 7.57 Cable TV, cable modems, and satellite TV; It has stronger shielding than RG-6/U
RG-11/U 75 1.63 10.5 Cable modems, cable TV, satellite TV
RG-58/U 50 0.81 5 Ethernet, radio communications, amateur radio
RG-59/U 75 0.64 6.1 HD HQ video signal transmission over a short distance
RG-60/U 50 1.024 10.8 HD cable TV, high-speed cable internet

b. Construction 

Coaxial cables can be classified into different types based on the construction. They include:

Flexible Coaxial Cable

As the name suggests, flexible coax is a type of coaxial cable that offers increased flexibility and bendability compared to other types of coaxial cable. The flexible coax braided exterior conductor is made of fine wires, thus the high level of flexibility.

Unfortunately, the shielding in flexible coaxial cables is typically not as robust as in semi-rigid cables. As a result, the cables may experience signal leakage. This can lead to degraded signal quality or unwanted noise in the audio transmission.

Semi-Rigid Coaxial Cable

Semi-rigid coax is made of a tubular metallic exterior conductor that is durable and more stable than flexible coax. The coax cable's solid outer conductor is typically made of aluminum or copper. When it comes to shielding, semi-rigid coax metallic outer conductor provides excellent shielding properties.

Triaxial Coaxial Cable

Triaxial coax is also referred to as triax cable. The cable consists of two outer conductors: an exterior conductor, which operates as a signal ground, and the other one, which operates as earth ground. These conductors are separated by a dielectric layer.

c. Impedance

Coaxial cables are also classified based on their impedance, and the two most common impedance values for coax include:

50 Ohms Impedance

50-Ohm coaxial cables are commonly used in radio transmission applications and high-frequency digital transmissions. They provide efficient signal transmission and are suitable for applications such as Ethernet networking.

75 Ohms Impedance

75-Ohm cables are widely used in homes and commercial properties. They offer good signal quality and are commonly used in HD TV signals, satellite TV, video surveillance, and cable boxes. 75-ohm cables can actually transmit signals for up to 50 feet.

Can Coaxial Cable Be Used For Subwoofer?

Yes, coaxial cables can be used for subwoofers. You can actually find coaxial cables that are specifically designed for subwoofers. These cables not only offer top-quality sounds but also provide a reliable connection between your subwoofer and audio equipment.

Coaxial cables also have outstanding shielding, making them perfect for subwoofers. In fact, you can also coax cables as speaker cables. However, using coaxial cables as speaker cables may add impedance load to the power amplifier. This can lead to increased resistance in the circuit, causing a decrease in power transfer and potentially impacting the sound quality.

How to Install Coaxial Speaker Cable



Step 1: Measure the distance between your audio source and the speaker to determine the required length of the coaxial cable

Step 2: Grab your coaxial cable stripper and gently strip the outer jacket of your coaxial cable. Be cautious not to damage the inner conductor and the insulation

Step 3: Next, use the wire stripper to carefully strip the inner conductor

Step 4: Attach the wire connector to each end of the coaxial cable. Ensure a tight and secure connection

Step 5: Try to connect one end of the coaxial cable to your audio equipment and the other to your speakers

Step 6: Once the coaxial cable is properly connected, power on your audio equipment and play some audio to test the connection

Pros of Using Coaxial Speaker Cable

Coaxial speaker cable offers several advantages that contribute to their popularity and effectiveness in audio systems. They include:

Cons of Using Coaxial Speaker Cable

While coaxial speaker cable offers numerous advantages, the cable has some limitations and drawbacks that should be taken into consideration. They are:

Final Thoughts

The coaxial speaker cable is a versatile and widely used cable that plays a crucial role in audio systems. The cable features a copper core, a dialect insulator, a woven copper shield, and an outer plastic sheath. If you're looking to enhance your audio experience and achieve high-quality sound transmission, consider trying out coaxial speaker cables. To install the coaxial speaker cable successfully, follow the steps we've mentioned above.

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