A home cinema is an excellent solution for the home, but often there are problems connecting such equipment. This article discusses some options for how to select and connect a cable for a home theater, and what you need to know to do this.
To connect a home theater, you will need 2 main types of cable:
- fiber optic (optical).
The task of the speaker cable is to bring an unverified sound to the loudspeaker, because without high-quality components, the sound can be deformed, and as a result, a sound with various noise effects is heard at the output.
This option is divided into several subspecies:
The balanced cable is used for the XLR connector, it includes negative, positive and ground wires. Such a cable may consist of one or more balanced wires.
The asymmetric version of the cable is also called “ground” by specialists. So that the quality of the signal that this cord transmits is not low, do not use products longer than 3 meters. And also a good transmission is determined by a screen that covers the main core.
A parallel cable consists of 2 parallel wires and a plastic sheath - general insulation. The design allows you to further protect the product from possible external damage.
Twisted cable is most often used to connect external devices, and home theater is no exception. The twisting of conductors, which is used in the design of such a cable, allows minimizing signal quality loss when laying over long distances, while improving connections, and sound loss is reduced to zero.
A twisted cable is connected to the connector, which is labeled with the English letters HDMI. Often, such markings can be found on the rear panels in home theaters.
Coaxial cable has increased protection due to the fact that its design contains insulation (external polyethylene) and external conductor (screen). It is used to connect to the RCA connector (can be used both as a video cable and as an audio cable).
And also the speaker cable can be multi-core, that is, contain two or more cores. This option is divided into the following categories, depending on the design:
The first category of multicore cables is characterized in that the cores in them are arranged longitudinally and in parallel. This allows the signal to maintain the required quality and provide the necessary resistance to the cable.
The rope structure is an improved concentric design. Due to this structure, this category of cables has the high flexibility that is so necessary when connecting to a variety of external devices.
The latter option is quite rare, because due to its internal structure, similar to a web, such a cable is subject to the influence of reflected signals. This leads to its rapid failure during frequent operation.
As for the optical (or fiber optic) cable, it is based on a fiberglass element or a steel cable surrounded by optical modules. It is designed to transmit optical signals. Such a cable has several advantages over a copper signal conductor.
- High signal quality due to data transfer speed - optics have this indicator at a height.
- There are no extraneous noise or sounds during transmission. This is achieved due to the complete protection of the product from the electromagnetic field.
This cable is classified by application. Distinguish:
- for internal laying;
- for cable ducts - armored and unarmored;
- for laying in the ground;
- with a cable;
Among the companies manufacturing cable products, one can distinguish a number of well-known companies.
- Acrolink The company is the only distributor of Mitsubishi Cable Industries, which, in turn, is a global manufacturer of highly purified copper conductors.
- Analysis-Plus. This American manufacturer surprises with the excellent quality of its products. After all, it is not without reason that he is trusted by such eminent brands as Motorola and NASA, as well as MIS of New York, Bonart Corporation of Taiwan and Stryker Medical.
- AudioQuest The organization is engaged, in addition to the production of acoustic cables, also in the manufacture of headsets, converters and some accessories for audio and video equipment.
- Cold Ray The company organized production facilities in Latvia. From there, its products are distributed worldwide. Among the many units of goods, it is worth noting not only speaker cables, but also connectors for them. For the most part, the organization manufactures cables from copper and silver-plated copper.
- Kimber Kable. This American manufacturer makes quite expensive products, which differ from analogues in the presence of unique geometry and the absence of a screen. The internal structure of such a cable has weaves, which guarantees high quality products. Despite the high price of the product, the product was loved by those who listen to music.
- Klotz. This German brand specializes in the production of professional accessories for audio, video and stereo systems. Its products are used in cinemas, stadiums, radio stations - wherever high-quality sound is needed.
- Neotech Cable. This company, originally from Taiwan, specializes in the production of cable products, which differs from its analogues in a patented composition. The fact is that UP-OCC silver and ultra-pure oxygen-free copper are the basis of the speaker cable. The production of such conductors occurs at ultrahigh temperatures - this approach allows one to obtain long single crystals in conductive elements.
- Purist Audio Design. To manufacture its products, this company uses not only oxygen-free and single-crystal high-purity copper, but also an alloy of copper, silver and gold. This technology involves the use in the manufacture of cryogenic cable insulation.
It is worth noting other companies that have earned their right to be leaders in the production of acoustic cables.
Among this list are companies such as The Chord Company, Transparent Audio, Van Den Hul and WireWorld.
As for the optical cable, it is necessary to indicate two Russian manufacturers who deservedly got into the top manufacturers:
- Samara Optical Cable Company;
- Elix Cable.
How to choose?
As for the acoustic cords, in this case, professionals advise paying attention to the thickness and length of the cable itself: the thicker and shorter it is, the better sound quality. After all, thin and long counterparts have greater resistance, which negatively affects the sound quality. For this reason, it is important to position the speakers and amplifier as close to each other as possible, unless, of course, we are talking about a twisted cable. It should be noted that when connecting , it is unacceptable to leave the cable taut or, conversely, so that it is folded into rings on the floor.
However, this is not the only indicator of quality. This parameter is also affected by the material from which the product is made.
For example, a material such as aluminum has long been outdated due to its fragility - it is easy to break it. The most common option is oxygen-free copper. Such copper does not oxidize (unlike the usual variety) and gives a high-quality sound, however, the cost of a product made of this material is almost twice as expensive as that of aluminum.
It is worth noting a number of materials from which acoustic cables can be made:
- various combinations.
As for the home theater, in this case, manufacturers advise using a copper multi-core cable with a cross section of 0.5-1.5 square meters. mm
Do not forget that any cable, whatever its quality, should be insulated. Not only the durability of the product itself, but also its protection from external influences depends on the quality of insulation. As insulation, materials such as Teflon or polypropylene are usually used. This is due to the fact that such components conduct electricity poorly.
- Color spectrum. This indicator is not so important. However, if you want to slightly embellish the image of the home environment, then you can use a cable of a wide variety of colors.
- Connectors Clips can be included. However, cheap cable options are usually sold without them. As for the optical cable, in this case, you should not take such a product with a margin, because with a strong bend, data transfer may stop, and as a result, a person simply will not receive the required signal. For this reason, before buying, you need to know the exact length of such a cable for connection. With the right choice of product there should be a very small margin: 10-15 cm.
Connection using an optical cable should occur in a port with a name that contains the word Optical or the designation SPDIF. You can also find a port called Toslink.
To connect the speaker system, you need to connect one connector with the inscription to the red terminals, and the other (without the inscription) to black. Otherwise, you can hear rattling or a distorted sound from the speakers.
See how to choose an speaker cable.