Music is my first love, and don’t ask about the second one cause it’s a secret.
Anyway, once I put on my cousin’s headphones to listen to music as my own one was making some weird noise.
I was surprised that my all-time favorite song was sounding way more lively with his headphones.
I immediately started researching to find the difference.
Though I found a number of reasons behind it, one thing was totally unexpected.
And, you know what it is?
It’s the damn cable!
Yes, you heard it right.
So, do headphone cables make a difference?
The answer is, they do.
Hey, don’t get lost in wondering how headphone cables matter in terms of sound quality.
I am here for you to give all the details that you need to know.
Facts of Headphone Cable That Influence The Sound Quality
Audio quality varies based on some parts of the cables. They are as follows.
- Materials of the cables
- Cable length
These terms look confusing to understand.
It’s okay. I am going to explain everything to make it easy-peasy for you.
So, let’s go for it.
1. Material of the Cables
Cables are made with plastic or rubber coating. But, the main element is the wire which is underneath the layer.
Usually, four types of wire are used in headphone cables. They are:
Let’s see how they influence the audio quality one by one.
a) Copper Cables
The copper cable gives you a warm and textured sound.
However, it doesn’t give you smooth sound and delays transmitting the audio to your headphones.
It is commonly used in headphones and is cheaper than the other cables.
Most of the headphone cables have three wires. The red wire colored is the right channel, the green one is the left channel, and the bare one is the ground.
b) Silver Cables
The second most common material of cable is silver.
The sound quality of silver is sharper and cleaner than the copper one. It’s also faster at delivering sound to your earphone.
So, if you compare silver cable vs copper cable, the winner is undoubtedly the silver one.
c) Gold Cables
The sound of gold cables is much richer and heavier than silver and copper.
If you love to hear the deeper, heavier sound, the gold cable will give you the best experience.
But, gold is expensive and not as popular as copper and silver wire.
Now, can we have both silver and copper mixed?
Theoretically, combining these two will create effective audio.
So, here comes the hybrid.
d) Hybrid Cables
Hybrid cables are made of copper wire with a silver coating.
The sound quality of this cable is sharp and crispy.
I think we humans are good at combining things like, ‘pineapple on pizza!’
And, some people even like it.
Till now, you knew that the cable material had an impact on the sound.
Let’s move on to learn about cable shielding.
2. Shielding of Audio Cables
The primary function of a headphone cable is to transfer sound from one end to another end.
Shielding is another component that protects the wire and keeps any unwanted noise from entering into the audio signal.
In general, cable shields are made with copper stands. It also performs the function of grounding.
So, with proper insulation and shielding, the wires will be less vulnerable to unwanted noise and interference of sound signals.
Do you know that cable length can also affect the audio quality?
It’s okay if you don’t know. Take a look at the next section for details.
3. Cable Length Can Make a Difference Too
There are headphones with long and short cables. I was surprised when I found out that audio quality varies with cable length.
a) Long Headphone Cable
Long wire can easily pick up the noise and frequency because of higher resistance. Moreover, the long cable can easily be tangled.
As a result, you will experience frequent signal drops.
Cable length with two or three meters is good and doesn’t affect the sound quality.
A question may pop into your mind that, are shorter headphone cables better?
Let’s find the answer in the following point.
b) Short Headphone Cable
Headphone cables are vulnerable to noise because of the weak voltage. As the sound goes through the conductor, it loses the smoothness of the audio.
So, the shorter your headphone cable is, the better your sound quality will be.
Some people need to have a longer headphone cable.
If you are a musician, DJ, or sound manager for the stage, you need long cable headphones.
In that case, the material of the headphone cables can help you to minimize unwanted noise.
A high-quality copper-made headphone cable can slow down the signal loss.
Musicians use a high-powered audio source that is compatible with a long wire.
What about using an extension cable?
Go ahead cause I will let you know about it now.
c) Extension Cable
You love to wander around a lot while watching a movie and listening to music.
And now you are thinking about having an extension cable for your headphones.
Then, do extension cables reduce quality?
Let me inform you that the sound quality will be affected by the extended wire. The bass waves maybe a little less, and there will be a delay of sound too.
However, you can get a high-quality extension cable to eliminate the bass problem, which will be a little bit pricey.
Till now, you knew that cable materials and length affect the sound quality.
But, there is another important part which is the audio interconnector.
They also influence the audio quality.
Want to know how? Then check out the part below.
4. Audio Interconnectors
Most of the audio interconnectors are made with a combination of:
- Gold plating
These metals are used to resist corrosion effectively.
If the connector uses proper shielding, then it will pick less noise while transferring the sound.
An ideal audio connector boosts the sound quality of the headphone.
There is another part of the connector that can influence the sound is the solder point.
If the solder point breaks, you will surely experience a less desirable audio tone and signal drop.
“Nothing but Money is sweeter than Honey.”
You do agree with it. Right?
Let’s see if money can satisfy you to achieve aesthetic sound.
Do Expensive Audio Cables Make a Difference?
The expensive cable from reputed brands is always better than your general headphone cable and lasts longer.
So, it’s true that expensive cables make a difference.
The primary purpose of the cable is to transmit all frequencies to the speaker. Some expensive headphone wires use purer conductor material to increase the sound quality.
Some Audiophiles say that they feel a massive difference of sound between the expensive and cheap wire.
Yet, some people said that they didn’t notice a huge difference.
Anyway, opinions vary from person to person.
And, if you want to purchase a headphone with better wire within your budget, I have a solution for you.
Silver and copper mixtures cable performs better in sound conductivity than cheap copper wires, and they are budget-friendly too.
Wait! Don’t go anywhere!
It’s not the end.
As your well-wisher, I would like to help a little bit more to choose which cable will suit you the most.
So, move on to the later segment for that.
How to Choose the Best Wire for Headphones?
The process of finding the best headphone wire depends on your preference.
First, what type of sound do you like?
Do you love to listen to music at a high volume?
Then, the silver cable is best for you because it transmits high-frequency sound with more power.
If you love the textured and heavy sound, then go for the gold cable.
And, if you want to hear a more dynamic sound, then hybrid will be best for you.
In the end, copper is the best option for you if you are on a tight budget.
And, you know what. Copper isn’t a bad option at all.
And, of course, I will suggest using an ideal long wire to avoid the signal drop.
We are at the end of the discussion. Now, let me ask you a question.
Do headphone cables make a difference?
Hey, don’t you know the answer already?
Yes, now you know every detail about it, and I hope it will help you a lot.
Finally, have a good day.