Speaker wire is one of the most fundamental accessories you’ll use for your audio system. It takes the audio signal from your amplifier and passes it to your speakers and can be found in virtually any home with a sound system. This article is going to explain what gauge speaker wire you need and how you can go about selecting the right kind of speaker wire for your home audio system.
Speaker wire, also known as speaker cable, is used to connect your speaker with an amplifier. You will want to choose a speaker wire that fits the requirements of your speakers and amp based on their ohm value. However, different types of speaker wires have different resistance levels per foot.
Therefore, it creates some confusion when deciding what gauge speaker wire you need for installation. You see, thicker wires have less resistance than thinner ones because they contain more copper than thinner ones.
The wire size needed for your install will be determined by the ohm value of both your amplifier and speakers. You must ensure that the resistance level of your wire is equal to or less than that of your components; otherwise, you risk overheating them and causing damage to them over time.
Next, you will need to know the length of your wire to determine how many feet you need. You can measure speaker wire by determining how many watts are needed at a specific distance from the amp. It is essential because this formula determines how long all wires in your system should be based on their ohm values.
The formula is:
Watts = Voltage x Amps
So, say you have a 100-watt amp and a 1-ohm speaker. You can plug it into the formula, and you get 100 watts. Now that you have the watts needed at a specific distance, you can determine how long all of your wires should be by using a simple resistance level converter from ohms to inches.
In this case, it would be 25 feet or .9 meters long because 24 gauge wire has 36 milliohms per foot, and you need to give your speakers 1 inch of slack.
Now that you have the distance, all you have to do is plug it into Ohm’s law!
Watts = Voltage x Amps
So if your amplifier puts out 100 watts, this means that at 25 feet away from your amp, you will have your speakers putting out 100 watts as well. Since 100 x 1 = 100, there is no need for thicker wire! So 25 feet of 24 gauge should be perfect for this application!
Outside of a few exceptions, all amplifiers and speakers follow this formula to find speaker wire size.
Remember the next time you look at amplifier specifications or speaker recommendations to check their ohm value before determining what gauge wire you need!
Choosing the right gauge speaker wire for your application is important, there are many factors you should take into account when making this decision. The first thing you should know is the difference between AWG and American Wire Gauge.
A gauge is a measurement of the diameter of a wire. The lower the gauge number, the larger the diameter of the wire. For example, 24 gauge wire is thicker than 12 gauge wire. AWG is the standard measurement of the thickness of a wire’s insulation.
American Wire Gauge is an older method of measuring the thickness of a wire, but it is still used by some people. The same gauge number for AWG and American Wire Gauge is not always the same size. I hope you enjoyed our important guide on what gauge speaker wire you need.