Most types of audio equipment are set up in a modular way. That means that they are individual components which have to be interlinked. Therefore, interconnecting components are important. Picking bad-quality connectors can severely impact the performance of your equipment. This post is dedicated to helping you figure out which connectors to buy for your audio equipment.
Regardless of whether you are setting up power amplifiers or a Blu-ray player, having high-quality connecting cables are crucial for the performance of you components. Analog audio connectors are especially important because the sound is transmitted in analog format. Connectors which are corroded can cause degradation of the audio. That is because the corrosion will introduce a resistance between the connector and their receptacle. That resistance will change the sound. Therefore, I recommend always purchasing analog audio connectors with plated jacks. These could be nickel plated or gold plated. Either one of these materials will be okay because they both are noncorrosive.
However, aside from picking audio connectors with suitable jacks, it is also important to ensure that the material of the actual conductor has low resistance. Manufacturers sometimes substitute copper with aluminum due to the lower cost. However, aluminum poses a greater resistance than copper. Also, make sure that the in the connecting cable has a sufficient number of individual strands. Sometimes strands can get damaged while you are twisting cables. Having enough strands in the cable will reduce resistance and also improve performance.
Digital audio connectors are easier to select because they don’t usually impact the sound unless they are made of very poor quality. When choosing an optical connector, make sure that the jacks fit tightly into your equipment. News jacks can cause dropouts in the signal. If you are picking a coaxial digital cable, I still recommend picking a cable with plated jacks although this is less critical than with analog audio connectors. The sound is not directly affected by the quality of the cable but poor cables can cause dropouts.
Speaker cables also crucial because they directly impact performance of your speakers. Depending on the length of the speaker cable and the wattage with which you are driving you speakers, pick suitable gauge cables. Don’t save money by picking cable which is too thin. Very thin cables can overheat and also reduce efficiency of your amplifier. Usually speaker cables are unshielded. That typically works because they don’t pick up a lot of noise in most environments. However, if you do have a high-interference environment, you might consider purchasing shielded cables because they are less likely to pick up stray noise from other electronic devices. Such noise can result in degradation of the audio.