Audio Video Cables are required to make the various audio and video electrical connections between your hi-fi separates and home cinema separates, to make a fully connected hi-fi or home cinema system. Generally, audio video cables should be kept as short as is possible, as losses in audio and video quality can occur in even the best performing audio and video cables.
Audio cables are used for transmitting analogue audio signals, and are available with RCA phono, XLR, or DIN terminations. XLR connections are also known as balanced connections, which are better where long cable runs are necessary, as the system is better able to reject induced hum and noise. Un-balanced connections are made with RCA-phono plugs and DIN connections, and are good for cable lengths up to about 6m. As such, they are ideal for connecting all of your audio sources, such as a turntable or CD player.
Subwoofers are usually connected to your AV receiver or integrated amplifier using a single (mono) length of un-balanced audio cable terminated in RCA phono plugs - common lengths are 1m, 3m, 6m or 10m.
Digital audio cables come in two distinct types - optical cables and coaxial digital cables. Both types can be used equally well, but optical cables can be superior as the ground circuit is broken when connecting two hi-fi or home cinema separates, which eliminates the possibility of hum or noise.
USB cables connect your computer or NAS drive to your DAC, enabling the digital music data to stream to the DAC for decoding into stereo analogue outputs, which can then be passed onto your hi-fi amplifier.
Video cables are almost universally terminated with HDMI connector, the replacement for SCART. HDMI cables carry both digital audio and video signals, in addition to control and handshaking signals. The latest HDMI leads comply with version 1.4a, which means they can transmit data fast enough to cope with 3D video, ethernet and audio return channel, which makes wiring up your blu-ray player, AV receiver and TV or projector much more straight forward.
Speaker cables can be had in lengths from 1m upwards, and we can terminate the in banana plugs, Airloc or bare wire. Speaker cables for stereo hi-fi systems should be purchased in matched lengths for best possible sound quality. Both single wire and bi-wire loudspeaker cables are available, and can be wired 2 to 4 or 4 to 4 banana plugs for either bi-wiring or bi-ampling your loudspeakers.
Finally, mains power cables have additional screening and better quality plugs and sockets to improve the mains supply to your system.
Latest reviews for Cables
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A Great Little Upgrade
I didn't want to spend too much on a mains cable upgrade for my Rotel RA10 amp, so the C-Power looked like a worthwhile option. Having burned in for 24 hours, I was really surprised at the extra detail the RA10 was presenting.