When shopping for speaker wire, you will come across some terms you should understand in order to get the right wire for your application.
Standard speaker wire comes in several thicknesses, or gauges. Typical sizes are 12-, 14-, 16- and 18-gauge. The lower the gauge number is, the thicker and more expensive the wire. Thick wire (12- or 14-gauge) is best for higher power over longer wire lengths (50 feet or more) and low-impedance speakers (4 or 6 ohms). Thinner wire, 16- or 18-gauge, works best in shorter lengths to a speaker that’s 8 ohms.
Like most products, speaker wire costs less when bought in bulk rolls. NavePoint offers rolls of 100, 250 and 500 feet, with the two longer ones costing about half as much per foot as the 100-foot roll. Being able to cut custom lengths also allows you to have shorter cable runs, which enhances sound quality.
Number of Conductors
Standard speaker wire comes with either two or four conductors on each end. Most speakers each have two connection terminals and thus use two-conductor wire. If it has four terminals and your amplifier accommodates bi-amping, you can use four-conductor wire. Four conductors allow the speaker to be bi-amped − split into two sections, with the mid- and high-frequency drivers on one set of terminals and the low-frequency driver on the other set. Alternatively, four-conductor wire enables you to connect remote volume controls to your sound.
2 Other Considerations
For in-wall applications, speaker wire must have a fire-resistance rating of either CL2 or CL3.
Last but not least, a word about quality: Buy the best wire you can afford, because once it is installed inside walls and above ceilings it can be difficult to replace.
We hope this helps you narrow down the type of speaker wire that’s best for your application. Remember, 12-gauge wire is thicker than 18-gauge wire and carries more power for longer distances. Whether you need two conductors or four usually depends on whether your speakers have two or four terminals. And if there is any chance the wire will be installed in-wall, get the highest quality you can afford.
You might start your search for speaker cable right here. NavePoint offers bulk speaker wire in four gauges and three lengths and with two or four conductors. For any additional help or advice on what product is best for you, contact the NavePoint sales team!