The Best 12 Gauge Speaker Wire For 2022

Harlan Ellison By, Harlan Ellison
Updated
Best 12 Gauge Speaker Wire
Best 12 Gauge Speaker Wire

The Rundown

1. Best Overall: 12AWG Speaker Wire, GearIT Pro Series 12 Gauge Speaker Wire Cable

We recommend this product cause it has a cable made of copper-protected CCA aluminum, which ensures high sound quality, maximum conductivity, and durability without additional costs. Read Review

2. Best For Price: Amazon Basics 12-Gauge Audio Speaker Wire Cable

The AmazonBasics speaker cable is a great budget option with glowing reviews to back up its functionality. While it may not be state-of-the-art or contain pure copper, it can be done in-home systems.  Read Review

3. Best Quality: InstallGear 12 Gauge Speaker Wire

We recommend this product cause the cable jacket is designed with the installer in mind. The flexibility of this jacket allows for easy routing and has little memory.  Read Review

4. Best Sound Systems: Pyle 50ft 12 Gauge Speaker Wire

This 12-gauge copper wire provides an effortless connection between speakers, amplifiers, or receivers. Thickness is just enough for resistance and current without the risk of overheating  Read Review

If you're planning to install speakers and connect them to an A/V receiver or amplifier, you may wonder what speaker you should use. American Wire Gauge (AWG) refers to the thickness of a cable's wire. Generally, the lower the gauge, the thicker the thread. This means that a smaller speaker has less resistance than a more prominent speaker because the smaller wire is much more comprehensive and conducts current more efficiently.

Not all speaker cables are created equal. You should spend money on high-quality parts if you're installing a professional speaker sound system for professional experiences like a studio or live event. However, most speakers are acceptable if you're setting up a sound system for home or mobile use.

Our team spent about 21 hours researching, sifting, and selecting many high-quality models. As an outcome, We think the Best 12 Gauge Speaker Wire is the 12AWG Speaker Wire, GearIT Pro Series 12 Gauge Speaker Wire Cable. In addition to the other suggestions on this list, which equally deserve your consideration, we have compiled a helpful buyer's guide to assist you in making your decision.

Our Top Picks

You can use this GearIT Pro Series speaker cable with high-quality twisted wires to build this professional speaker audio cable. You can also use this speaker to connect banana plugs, the blade ends, or bent plugs. Connect your speakers to an A/V receiver or amplifier with this GearIT Pro Series speaker cable. 

Moreover, the CCA conductor offers the same signal frequency and reliability in corrosion resistance as copper wire. CCA speaker wire has the advantage of being lighter and more flexible than copper wire. 

TOP Choice #2 Amazon Basics 12-Gauge Audio Speaker Wire Cable
Our Score:
9.7
Amazon Basics

If you're building a home system and don't mind weighing the material contentions of CCA and OFC, this affordable option won't disappoint you. This 16 gauge wire is encased in a transparent plastic sheath with a white line on one side to indicate polarity.

Although this option is not as visible as the color-coded envelopes, you can still understand how the symmetry of each channel is achieved between the amplifier and the loudspeaker. It is compatible with almost all plugs and fits nicely around the plastic dispenser. 

TOP Choice #3 InstallGear 12 Gauge Speaker Wire
Our Score:
9.5
InstallGear

The InstallGear 12 Gauge Speaker Wire is equipped with CCA wiring and provides sound audio transmission. This product is the cheapest option when choosing a speaker. It also has a durable PVC case for easy passage through car panels. 

In addition, it enables a free, comprehensive, and smooth adjustment of the required physical properties of this textile, such as flexibility, elasticity, and impact resistance. This two-tone jacket allows for easy polarity identification, and incorrect polarity can damage your audio device. 

This wire can be cut as desired for unique installation needs; when the plastic wrap is removed, the wire can be left exposed or connected to stereos and speakers using wire crimping tools. 

Furthermore, it is made from a plastic sleeve that surrounds the speaker wire, helping to deliver high-quality, undistorted signals to and from all connected devices. This wire also helps to mark the polarity of the insulation. One side of the cable has a red marking to easily distinguish the polarity and help correctly install stereo systems, surround sound systems, TV home systems, and even in the car.

The mass speakers of CCA are a copper-covered wire construction that ensures high-quality sound. GearIT CCA speaker cables deliver authentic surround sound and a premium wired audio experience without breaking the budget. 

Besides, the thick copper wire and speaker are suitable for most outdoor direct burial sound systems, steel outdoor speakers, rock speakers, pool speakers, subwoofers, tower speakers, radios, and more. GearIT 12 Ga speaker wire copper cables have a colored PVC sleeve for easy polarity identification.

Get the most out of your home audio system with Monoprice's premium pure copper oxygen-free speaker! This speaker has two ultrapure (over 99.95% purity) oxygen-free copper wires.

Additionally, this extra resistance increases the impedance of your speakers and can negatively affect the sound. In order for the wire not to have an audible effect, the total resistance of the wire should not be more than 5% of the lowest impedance of your speakers. Using Pure Bare Copper speaker wire ensures that the full load of the amplifier stays as close as possible to the impedance curve of the speakers. 

The Kord Speaker cable is wrapped in highly flexible blue PVC with a black polar stripe on one side of the round cable profile. 
 Kord Ultra Flex Speaker cable is a standard side-to-side extra large speaker cable. Thanks to the Kord series speaker cable, the Kord series speaker cable is very flexible.

Moreover, the side-by-side profile allows easy installation under the carpet or around baseboards. The cable is finished with a translucent matte blue ultra-flex PVC sheath and has a black polar stripe on one side. 

  • Length: 30 Feet | 99.9% Pure Oxygen-Free Copper
  • 12 Gauge (AWG) True-to-Spec Elite Series Car Audio Speaker Wire
  • Ultra Flexible and True to Spec Color Coded (Blue/White) Soft Touch Jacket with Matte Finish
  • Tinned Outer Coating for Ultimate Corrosion Resistance
  • Multi-strand Wire Design - 0.15mm x 189 Strands - Delivering the Best Current Transfer for Exceptional Performance
  • ❤100 SATISFACTION GUARANTEE: High-quality and ending with a commitment to 100% user satisfaction. Buy Risk Free with our 100% money back guarantee no questions asked!
  • ❤ PERFECT FOR ANY POWERFUL LOUDSPEAKER: The stereo cable features black and blue colored male connectors at each end with spring-loaded lock release latches. Accurate and dependable twist lock latching system "Quick Lock", being capable of carrying high current. Perfect for high power loudspeaker application: stage monitors, house speaker, and subwoofers etc.
  • ❤ 50 FT. 12 GAUGE: This 50 ft. 12 gauge Premium 1/4 to 1/4 Inch Speaker Cable gives you sufficient allowance to move around for energetic on stage performances yet still provides ultimate audio delivery.
  • ❤ PROFESSIONAL QUALITY & CONSTRUCTION: The speaker cable is made of Premium PVC-85P and Copper Wire, making it soft lightweight but very durable for a very long time. The audio cord is made with Industrial Grade Construction and delivers premium performance without noise, static, or buzzing, you will never be regreted of buying that.
  • ❤MADE TO LAST: The speaker cable performs well every time as if it was first time. Excellent wear- resistant feature makes it can withstand being tugged, stepped on, twisted, pulled, and dragged. With good elasticity and toughness, they are very flexible, and coil up easily.
  • Comes in Spool of 25 ft.
  • Bullz Audio Professional Platinum Edition Speaker Cable
  • Ultra Flexible and high current
  • 12 Gauge AWG
  • Oxygen Free Cable for maximum signal transfer
Product Images, Product Titles, Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API

What to Look For in the best 12 gauge speaker wire

Perhaps as a customer, you may be looking for a best 12 gauge speaker wire that may provide you with just what you want, such as being environmentally friendly, freely selected, and so on.

In this section, we will discuss with you the buying guides and main factors to consider when planning to buy the product from e-commerce websites, so that when the time comes to make your final selection, everything would be laid out in front of you.

Wire Material

Any speaker wire's wire material is made up of the conductor metal contained within its wire cover. Copper is a common choice for speaker wires due to its low cost and high conductivity. Copper can oxidize if it is exposed to oxygen, which can cause higher resistance. Copper is still the most efficient conductor of speaker wires. Although gold can conduct well, it's quite expensive so most people don't consider buying speaker wires with this metal.

Connectors And Wire Type

You can get speaker wires with or without connectors. It's your choice whether to buy a bundle or a raw wire package and choose your termination. If you do that, make sure to purchase a wire stripper/cutter. If your speaker uses circular sockets, a banana plug will work best. However, a pin connector is required for spring clip terminals (square-shaped clips that clamp onto the wire and slide up). Although you can use either bare or plated wires, they are difficult to manage.
You don't have to be concerned about the wire type if you run speaker wire between desk speakers or monitors on bookshelves. You should look for units rated CL2 and CL3 if you plan to run wire within your walls. You should only use wire that is rated for direct burial if you plan to run wire outdoors and/or underground.

Gauge

It is also known as the cross sectional area of the wire. The wire gauge is often also known as its thickness. You should be aware that speaker wire is generally thicker if it has a lower gauge than the other. Two acceptable gauge standards exist: the American Wire Gauge and the Standard Wire Guage. You should purchase a lower gauge speaker wire if you plan to place your speakers more than 50 feet from the amplifier. This will allow you to keep your resistance low.

Length

The measurement of the system is an important part in selecting speaker wire. However, this step has far greater impact than just visual appearances. The length of the wire will affect how resistant it is. Even though the effect isn't usually noticeable at long distances, it can significantly reduce sound quality. The longer wires can pick up interference from radios and static, which could affect a listener's enjoyment.

Capacitance

Capacitance is the capacity of conductors for retaining very little electricity. When electricity travels through conductors, small amounts of electricity are retained along the length of each wire. It can cause adverse reactions if there is an excessive buildup of electricity in these conductors. This can lead to an increase in resistance and damage to your speaker. You can reduce the likelihood of excess capacitance by using shorter speaker wires.

Resistance

Before you purchase any speaker wire, you must first look at its resistance. A speaker wire with a lower resistance means that the amplifier is able to send more power through the coil. Because speaker wires of this type have low resistance, they are shorter in length and thicker. It can cause a dangerous audible effect if the resistance exceeds 5% of the loud speaker's impedance.

Price

It is a matter of debate whether higher-priced speaker wires are better than those at lower prices. There is general agreement that speaker wires of higher quality will perform better than lower-priced models. This conclusion comes from extensive listening tests, as well as research by audio professionals. The best speaker cables are those that fall in the middle price range. While the least expensive may be more durable, they will not have a greater impact on the audio quality. You should save some money on more important gear, like amps and receivers or interfaces.

Inductance

Inductance is the resistance that results from a change of electrical current. Inductance is a property of all conductors, including speaker wires. You might encounter resistance more frequently if your speaker wire is used in an area where electricity voltage fluctuates. To minimize resistance, it is best to use speaker wires of a lower gauge.

FAQs

How Much Wire Do You Need?

As far as distance between speakers and amplifiers, you need the same amount of speaker wire. To get the best accuracy, run a string along the intended route of each wire and measure it. For those occasions when you might need some slack, we recommend that you add a few inches to either side. You can trim speaker wires with a wire cutter but cannot add any wire to an unbalanced unit. If your cable runs over 50 feet you will need to buy a 12 or 14 AWG thicker wire.

What Type Of Wire Do You Need?

A copper, silver or copper-clad aluminium wire must conduct and carry electric current. You will need a wire that has a CL2 or CL3 rating if you plan to use your wire underground or inside walls. You can make installation super simple by purchasing wire with pre-installed connectors. However, bare wire will still work just as well.

What Happens If You Wire A Speaker Backward?

Don't worry. You won't damage your speakers. You can only reverse the speaker's polarity if you connect your speakers backward. The speaker will pull when it is supposed to push, and vice versa. You may not notice any difference in the sound quality if you flip the polarity of both speakers. You will hear a difference in sound quality if you only reverse the polarity of one speaker.

Which Wire Is Best For Speakers?

High-end cables made with silver conductors have lower resistance, and therefore will result in lower power losses. What is the real issue? Can you tell the difference between an inexpensive pure copper speaker cable or a more expensive audiophile speaker speaker cable? The difference will be hard to hear for most people. You can make a difference by buying a speaker wire with a smaller gauge (10 or 12 AWG), and a copper conductor.

Are High-end Speaker Cables Worth It?

A moderately priced speaker cable of 12 to 10 gauge with a copper conductor is not much different from a high-end, expensive speaker cable. You don't need to purchase high-end speakers cables unless your goal is to be an audiophile.

Is Thicker Speaker Wire Better?

For long distances, we recommend thicker wire. Use the thickest possible wire for your application. A 12 AWG instead of 16 AWG is not going to make a significant difference in sound quality over short distances. If you have an existing 16 AWG wire you do not need to purchase a thicker one. Although the improvements in short distances can be measured, they cannot be heard.

How Do I Know Which Speaker Wire Length To Buy?

There are many benefits to using shorter speaker wires. To use smaller wires, you need to minimize space between the amplifier and speakers. You should also ensure that your speaker wires are the same length.

Are High-end Speaker Cables Worth It?

It is not worth spending a lot on high-end speakers cables, particularly if there are areas in your system that would benefit from an upgrade. It's not likely that your music will be affected by expensive cables as long as it is low-resistance. This is an important topic that's being heatedly debated and some audiophiles have different opinions. It doesn't matter what your cable sounds like to you. If that happens, then go for it.

Conclusion

In summary, the best 12 gauge speaker wire is the one that will provide you with exactly what you want. Provided that you are not satisfied with the models listed above, we propose Cableague 12AWG Speaker Wire for you. 

If you are unclear about how to select an item for yourself or someone else at any time in this post, please let us know! Our team of professionals is always pleased to help you find the best match.


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About Harlan Ellison

Harlan Ellison

Harlan Ellison is a writer and audio equipment enthusiast. He's particularly interested in home theater HiFi audio, and he has been the editor of The Audio Critic since its inception. Harlan is known for his sharp wit and scathing critiques, but he also has a great love of music and audio gear. When he's not writing or editing, Harlan can be found listening to music or watching movies with his wife.

Read Harlan's full bio