Best Audio Cable Reviews - Auxiliary Audio, Digital Optical Audio, RCA and Coaxial Audio Cables
You’ve just bought the high-definition theater system you’ve always wanted. You get home, get the included cables, connect them to your systems, and you are good to go, right? Not so fast! Poor cables could mean you're throttling the performance of your system! Regardless of how great your mixer, speakers or amps are, only the right cables will guarantee quality sound. Luckily, we have done research on your behalf, browsing dozens of brands to come up with five of the best audio cable brands to give you the experience you’re looking for! By the way, we also have links for other types of audio cables such as Audio Video Cables and more AUX cables — the links are just below this chart.
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What are the Best Auxiliary, Digital, and Optical Audio Cables on The Market?
With this in mind, now you are hopefully aware of what to consider while shopping for an audio cable. We are delighted that our picks will help you find what you are looking for.
Our Top Choice
The Ugreen 3.5mm Male to 2RCA Male Cable with Connector comes with a tiny metal connector and a gold-plated finish to suit your sound needs. It’s compatible with just about every device, including iPhones, receivers, and tablets. Looking for a male to male audio cable instead? Get the Ugreen 3.5mm Male to 6.35mm Male
Ugreen Gold Plated 3.5mm to 2RCA Audio Auxiliary Stereo Y Splitter Cable – Available in 4 Lengths
Professional video and audio connectivity has been Ugreen's focus since its founding in 2009. The company specializes in solutions and products such as multimedia converters that offer service to professionals.
The Ugreen Gold Plated 3.5mm 2RCA Audio Auxiliary Stereo Y Splitter Cable is six feet long and made of soft material that makes it flexible and durable. This cable can be used on your soundcard, connecting it to an available amplifier in a studio setting. It goes for a retail price of $16.99, which is a great bargain for such a product.
Other Ugreen audio cables you might be interested in include:
- 3.5mm Auxiliary Audio Flat Cable 90 Degree Right Angle Compatible for iPhone, iPad or Smartphones, Tablets, Media Players Black 3ft/1m
- 2RCA Male to 2RCA Male Stereo Audio Cable Gold Plated for Home Theatre, HDTV, Gaming Consoles, Hi-Fi Systems, 6ft/2m
- 3.5mm Extension, Ugreen Slim 3.5mm Male to Female Stereo Audio Extension Cable Adapter Gold Plated Compatible for iPhone, iPad or Smartphones, Tablets, Media Players (3ft/1m, Black)
- 16ft 3.5mm Extension, Ugreen Slim 3.5mm Male to Female Stereo Audio Extension Cable Adapter Gold Plated Compatible for iPhone, iPad or Smartphones, Tablets, Media Players (16.5ft/5m, Black)
Check out Amazon’s offer on this product in a variety of lengths, including 3, 6, 10 and 15 feet.
The AmazonBasics Digital Optical Audio Toslink Cable is made to connect audio components, such as sound bars, to a preamp/receiver. It comes with a durable corrosion-resistant connector for optimal sound transfer. Want a male to male RCA audio cable instead? Check out the AmazonBasics 2-Male to 2-Male RCA Audio Cable
AmazonBasics Digital Optical Audio Toslink Cable – Three Length Options
AmazonBasics is a popular brand that started out as a simple venture to build simple solutions for customers. In just a couple of years of experience, the company has mastered the market of product manufacturing with a specific focus on electronics for most home users.
The AmazonBasics Digital Optical Audio Toslink Cable - 6feet is a durable cable with a PVC layer covering on the outer region. The cable also features buffer tubing that enables free streaming without any distortion. For a retail price of just $9.88, you can use this audio cable to get clarity in your sound.
There are other AmazonBasics audio cables that are interesting to look at, such as:
- AmazonBasics 3.5mm Male to Male Stereo Audio Cable - 4 Feet (1.2 Meters)
- AmazonBasics 3.5 mm Coiled Stereo Audio Cable - 6.5 feet (2 Meters) Stretched Length
- AmazonBasics 3.5mm Male to Male Stereo Audio Cable - 2 Feet (0.6 Meters)
Amazon also offers the AmazonBasics 6FT (1.8M) Digital Optical Audio Toslink audio cable in different sizes. Choose between the 3.3-foot or the 9.8-foot long cable.
The iXCC RCA Cable Dual Shielded Male to Male Audio Cable is built for multiuse. You can connect it right to your receiver with your smartphone or mp3 player. If you want a different kind of cable that connects male to male, rather than male to RCA, we suggest the iXCC 6-Feet 3.5mm Male to Male Aux Audio Cable
RCA Cable - iXCC 6ft Dual Shielded Gold-Plated 3.5mm Male to 2RCA Male Stereo Audio Y Cable
iXCC is a US-based brand associated with quality. It is known for being part of the top mobile phone and tablet accessories for daily consumers. With a tried and tested approach, iXCC applies rigorous quality assurance standards on all its products, thus securing its reputation for excellence.
Its RCA Cable Dual Shielded Male to Male Audio Cable improves on convenience, as it comes with a multipurpose functionality. This means you can use it with all your devices, ranging from your smartphone to your TV and laptop. This audio cable has a tangle-free design that makes your cable storage task much easier.
This cable's retail price is $19.99, which a great bargain is considering its features. Here are some other audio cables from iXCC you might also like:
- iXCC 4Ft Male to Male 3.5mm Universal Auxiliary Audio Stereo Cable for All 3.5mm-Enabled Devices, Apple, Samsung, Android, Windows and MP3 Player
- iXCC 6-Feet 3.5mm Male to Male Universal Aux Audio Stereo Cable for Smartphones, Tablets and MP3 Player
- [2 Assorted Packs] iXCC 3Feet MFi Lightning to USB iPhone Charge Cable and Male to Male 3.5mm Auxiliary Stereo Audio Cable with Gold Plated Connectors
- iXCC 3Ft Male to Male 3.5mm Universal Auxiliary Audio Stereo Cable Cord for All 3.5mm-Enabled Devices, Apple, Samsung, Android, Windows and MP3 Player
The Anker 3.5mm Premium Auxiliary Audio Cable is four feet long, which is long enough to connect your device to your receiver for quality sound. Anker also makes nylon braided auxiliary audio cable
that’s tangle-free for headphones, iPods, iPhones, iPads, home or car stereos and more.
Anker 3.5mm Premium Auxiliary Audio Cable AUX Cable for Headphones, iPods, iPhones, iPads, Home/Car Stereos and More – Available in Two Colors
Anker was founded in 2009, and has grown to become a big influencer of the mobile power industry. The company's vision is to simplify technology and make it more accessible to everyone. Here is a company that gives freedom to customers, allowing them to break boundaries and try new things.
The 3.5mm Premium Auxiliary Audio Cable from Anker is a true example of simplicity and convenience. It comes with a plug and play functionality that makes things easy to work with. In the package, you get an Anker Premium Auxiliary Audio Cable plus a cool 18-month warranty. At a price of just $14.99, this cable will also include unforgettable customer service.
If you like this audio cable, check out the list of other Anker cables below:
- Anker 3.5mm Nylon Braided Auxiliary Audio Cable (4ft/1.2m) Tangle-Free AUX Cable for Headphones, iPods, iPhones, iPads, Home/Car Stereos and More (Red)
- Anker SoundLine 3.5mm AUX Audio Cable (8 ft) for Headphones, Phones, Tablets, MP3 Players, Car Stereos, Computers and Devices With a 3.5mm Audio Jack
- Anker 3.5mm Premium Auxiliary Audio Cable (4ft/1.2m) AUX Cable for Beats Headphones, iPods, iPhones, iPads, Home/Car Stereos and More (Red)
- Anker SoundLine 3.5mm AUX Audio Cable (12 ft) for Headphones, Phones, Tablets, MP3 Players, Car Stereos, Computers and Devices With a 3.5mm Audio Jack
For those looking for variety, you can get the Anker 3.5mm Premium Auxiliary Audio Cable in red or black.
The Monoprice Premium Stereo Male to 2RCA Male 22AWG Cable is a retractable cable made to produce quality sound for home audio systems. It comes with a heavy-duty coaxial for every conductor. If you are interested in a male to male cable that offers similar quality,but want to avoid excess wires getting in the way, take a look at the Monoprice Retractable Audio Cable
Monoprice Premium Gold Plated Stereo Male to 2RCA Male 22AWG Cable – Available in Wide Variety of Lengths
Monoprice was founded in 2002 as a company that enables simplicity and fairness in day-to-day technological choices. It has established a reputation for having great customer service while delivering quality products. The company offers about 6000 affordable and excellent types of electronics to home users and professionals.
Its Premium Stereo Male to 2RCA Male 22AWG Cable is great for connecting your phone or MP3 output to your audio system. This audio cable will change your sound output for the better, as it has shielded conductors that prevent EMI and RFI interference.
For a price of $6.43, you can start to enjoy the compatibility that this audio cable offers. If you like this brand, some of its other audio cables include:
- Monoprice 106272 10-Feet Optical Toslink with 5.0-Meters Outside Diameter Audio Cable
- Monoprice 101447 3-Feet Optical TosLink 5.0mm OD Audio Cable
- Monoprice 102681 3-Feet High Quality RG6 RCA CL2 Rated Digital Coaxial Audio Cable
- Monoprice 1.5ft 22AWG 5-RCA Component Video/Audio Coaxial Cable (RG-59/U) – Black
This audio cable is available in two item packages with different lengths to suit different users.
Audio Cable Buying Guide: How to Make Sure You Get the Right Cable for the Job
Ever been so excited to watch that favorite movie after getting yourself a brand new LED TV
with the expectation that, together with your home theater system
, you would have nothing short of an IMAX experience? Imagine all that thrill being cut short abruptly by irritating, wheezing sounds from your sound system. You can save yourself from such disappointment by going for an audio cable that seamlessly integrates your systems to give you quality sound.
Most of the time, we go for audio cables without much concern about key features that guarantee us the quality we all long for. That is why you find many people with a stack of audio cables scattered all over
due to frequent replacements. Choosing the best audio cable for your devices not only gives you an optimum sound reward but is also more reliable.
Video: Understanding Audio Cables & Connectors
Easy tips to understand audio instrument and speaker cables and connectors. | Courtesy of Kennis Russell
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Audio cables vary in prices depending on type, material used, and compatibility with various devices. Regardless of this, price should be the least of your concern while looking for the ones that meet your needs. Although there are cheaper ones, most of them are moderately priced.
Generally while shopping, you will find that audio cables are priced from $5 to $20. The trick is to keep away from the very cheap audio cables because they may not give you the optimal sounds you desire. Instead, we recommend that you prioritize on the superiority of the features. For instance, one with a multipurpose functionality will cost you more because it lets you enjoy a benefit you can’t get from the cheaper options. That is why we recommend that you stick to those on the higher end.
The variation of features makes each audio cable distinct from the next. Depending on the purpose and variety of your devices
, you need to be well-versed with information for you to find the cable that best suits your needs. Here are other features for you to consider while picking an audio cable:
- Type - Whether auxiliary Y splitter, male to RCA coaxial, auxiliary, digital optical audio or male to male ones
- Length - Comes in different lengths, usually ranging from 2 feet to up to 15 feet. Go for one that best suits the arrangement and spacing of your devices
- Thickness - Thickness translates to durability of your cable but more importantly, it also has an impact on sound quality
- Compatibility - The more the number of devices that you can connect using your cable, the better for you
- Material - They are made of different materials. The softer ones are more flexible and durable
- Coating - Some are gold coated while others are PVC layered for durability
Construction and Design
No one wants to keep running to the store just because the previous cable broke! That is why thickness of an audio cable is an important consideration. You can determine this by feeling its weight. Of course the thicker ones will feel heavier unlike the lighter, thinner ones. The thinner it is, the more durable and break-resistant it is.
By feeling the cable, you can also tell whether the material used will serve you longer or not. Those that feel hard and brittle are definitely vulnerable to breakage. Moreover, you should also opt for gold or PVC coated ones because beyond being reinforced, their softness makes the cables more durable.
Do not forget that the length is also a major factor when it comes to choosing an audio cable. They come in a wide range - from as short as 3ft to as long as 15ft to give you freedom of organizing your devices as you see fit. You do not want to go for a rather short one because excessive tension may cause the cable to break and see you running back to the store soon. Well, we all don’t want that!
Video: How to Connect a Soundbar to a TV with HDMI, HDMI ARC, Optical, Bluetooth, etc.
How to set up a soundbar for a TV with different audio cables. | Courtesy of Jonah Matthes
Performance and Ease of Use
Having the right audio cable can mean all the difference for you. If you want to experience optimum quality of your sound systems, all you need is to go for the right type for your purpose. That is why they come in different types including auxiliary Y splitter, male to RCA coaxial, auxiliary, digital optical audio or male to male.
Sometimes, it is cumbersome to have an audio cable for each device yet they are not all in use at the same time. Compatibility with various devices gives you room to switch your cable from to the other. Since most of the audio cables are compatible with multiple items, you don’t need to buy many for each, and this saves you that expense.
Everyone wants to save money. Imagine choosing a cable that meets your needs only to have it split because it got tangled with others in your house! Spare yourself from this by adding cable ties to your tool box. With these, you can professionally secure your wires and nothing will stop you from enjoying quality sounds anymore.
Don’t forget that to stabilize the quality of the sound, some of the audio cables comes with shielded conductors. It is a feature that spares you the agony of EMI and RFI interferences
, which leaves you with a poor sound quality.
Get the Best Audio Cable of 2021!
You don’t need to get the most expensive cables to enjoy the quality of sound you desire, but it's best to go with a well-known brand. That is why we have gone out of our way to bring you the best audio cables that are popular and known for quality. We have also included different types, to ensure you don’t leave empty-handed. Go ahead and utilize your home system to the fullest with quality cables.
Our Top Choice
Ugreen 3.5mm Male to 2RCA Male Cable with Connector
AmazonBasics Digital Optical Audio Toslink Cable
iXCC RCA Cable Dual Shielded Male to Male Audio Cable
Anker Premium Auxiliary Audio Cable
Monoprice Premium Stereo Male to 2RCA Male 22AWG Cable
Audio Cable FAQs
What is an optical cable?
An optical cable is a standardized fiber optic connection commonly used for home theater equipment. It is commonly used on home theater systems, LCD TVs, and game consoles. A single optical cable can support up to 7 channel surround sound. Since it transmits audio in terms of digital signals, its sound quality is better than that of the auxiliary cable. If you are looking for an optical cable to buy, we have reviewed some of the best.
How to use a virtual optical cable?
You can use a virtual optical cable to transmit digital audio quality on CD players, DVD players
, mini disc players, and Divx players. Also, the cables can provide connections for digital signal processors, DAT players, PlayStation 2 & 3, and Xbox.
How to connect an optical audio cable to a TV?
To install an optical audio cable, start by removing the plastic connectors from the audio tips. Then connect one end to the TV (source device) and the other to the receiver. It’s that simple and easy. You can now kick back, relax, and enjoy high-quality audio. For more information, we have a video in our buying guide demonstrating different methods for connecting a soundbar to a TV
What color is the audio cable?
The color of an audio cable varies from one manufacturer. For that reason, some have made their grey and others black.