If you’re thinking about upgrading your audio equipment, headphones, amps and speakers are the first things that will come to mind. However, quality cables are a critical part of any set-up, since it’s a vital link between the amplifier and the source. The audio cable carries the signal between pre-amplifier and power amplifier as well, and it’s much like a highway that sound must travel through. If it’s full of bumps and holes, you’re going to notice that.
Cheap, old or damaged audio cables can be, in fact, responsible for a lot of distortions and loss of signal, but if you choose the right ones, you’ll feel your sound crispier and clearer as your electronics breath freely. We filed a short list of the best interconnects currently available on the market for all budgets to help your hi-fi reach its full potential. Let’s have a look at the best audio cables in 2017 to fully enjoy listening your favored songs.
- Dragon Audio Cables
Many audio cables for handheld devices do not achieve the same level of quality of the interconnects used for other types of devices. That’s especially true for stock cables, which often underperform even in optimal conditions, and add a “wooly” texture to high-end portable media players.
Dragon Audio Cables are an unique gem that brings top-level audio quality by lifting that opaque barrier that weighs down every sound. Custom-built by Moon Audio, they come in three different versions to enhance three different qualities of sound. The Black Dragon are manufactured with copper stranding intermixed with Kevlar to provide additional warmth and clarity. The Silver Dragon aim at providing you with finer and cleaner top ends to add an airy enhancement to your audio. Blue Dragons are the happy medium between the other two and represent the entry level with more neutral tones.
- Chord Clearway Analogue RCA
The Chord Clearway Analogue RCA is a genial re-design of the Award-winning C-Line stereo interconnect, that improved in every possible way. Sporting the same Tuned ARAY conductor geometry technology, this cable is even more transparent. Insulation has been upgraded to FEP, and the conductors are now a heavier gauge oxygen-free copper. Sadly, the price has also been tripled from its predecessor.
It excels in terms of timing, detail, dynamics and spaciousness, and it’s flexible enough to suit a lot of different configurations. If you’re looking for a superior cable to liberate all your system’s potential regardless of its price, look no further than the Chord Clearway Analogue RCA.
- Chord Company C-line
At just about $35, the Chord Company C-Line is simply the best you can find at this price tag. All but a budget cable, this interconnect has no rivals in terms of pure enjoyment thanks to the huge lift it will bring to any hi-fi system. It aids dynamics and musicality while tying instruments together so well, that it won the Awards in 2016.
The high-grade copper conductors and high density foil shielding used to manufacture this cable are much higher in quality than the standard cables on the market. The C-Line emphasizes the character of your music while adding detail and size to the soundstage. If you don’t want to spend almost $100 for a Clearway Analogue RCA, the C-Line is the best choice.
- QED Profile
Even cheaper than the C-Line QED Profile is relatively cheap analogue interconnect that easily claims the title of leader among the budget cables. A great upgrade from your basic interconnects, it can lift your sound quality by providing you with tight, uncluttered performance. The sound is detailed, airy as the dynamics and tonal integration are handled amazingly well. For this incredibly low price you will be hard pressed at finding better cables.
- Supra USB 2.0
If your system is hooked up to an external DAC, finding a great USB cable can make all the difference. The Supra USB 2.0 is a terrific performer that comes at a budget price tag and punches well above its weight. Don’t be swayed by its cheap and unimpressive look, though. Behind that apparently weak plastic, a tremendous performer is well hidden. The sound is relaxed and extremely detailed, with no loss of timing you should expect from a budget cable.
Knowing that you can trust a reliable cable will make your experience in listening music much more enjoyable. You do need to throw away all your money on a top-quality cable when for under $100, you can find a high-end cable that will let you fully enjoy your favorite music as it was intended to be heard.