When you're setting up a home theater or audio system, an important decision you'll make is what type of speaker wire to use. Many different gauges of speaker wire are available, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. One popular option is a 12 AWG speaker wire. Dive into the pros and cons of this cable and find out when to use it to achieve high-fidelity sound.
What a 12 AWG Speaker Wire Can Do
12 AWG wire is a type of electrical wire frequently used to connect speakers to amplifiers. It comprises two or more conductors, which are usually made of copper and insulated with a plastic coating. This gauge is relatively thick, meaning it can carry more current than its thinner counterparts.
Pros of Using 12 AWG Speaker Wire
Using 12 AWG wire offers several advantages. First, these wires are incredibly durable and can withstand significant wear and tear, making them an ideal choice for car audio systems.
Second, they can carry substantial current without losing much power, making them well-suited for high-power speakers such as subwoofers.
Lastly, because 12 AWG wire is not as stiff as other gauges of wire, routing it through walls is relatively user-friendly.
Cons of Using 12 AWG Speaker Wire
Using 12 AWG wire comes with a few downsides as well. To start, the cost is an important factor. Because 12 AWG is among one of the thickest gauges of wire commonly available, it's more expensive than thinner gauges. Moreover, thinner gauges can be more easily manipulated in corners than 12 AWG. If your project requires maneuvering through very tight spots and obstacles, 12 AWG wire may be inconvenient.
Furthermore, 12 AWG speaker wire doesn't perform as well as thinner gauges when carrying high frequencies. As a result, there may be better choices for speakers specializing in high-frequency sounds, such as tweeters.
When To Use 12 AWG Speaker Wire
So, when is the best time to use 12 AWG wire? Here are a few guidelines to consider:
- • For speakers that require a lot of power, such as subwoofers
- • In car audio systems where durability is important
- • When you have low-impedance speakers
- • For long wire runs up to 150 feet
- • When you're comfortable working with a thicker gauge wire
By following these guidelines, you can make an informed decision on whether 12 AWG speaker wire is the right choice for your audio system. Remember, always consult an audio expert if you're unsure about which gauge of wire to use so sound quality is never compromised.