Archives For Audio Cables

Today’s Eio post is on audio cables, specifically RCA stereo audio cables.

RCA Connectors

An RCA connector is most commonly used to carry audio and video signals. It is a type of electrical connector, and the acronym stands for “Radio Corporation of America,” which was who introduced the design in the early 1940s to pick up home radio connections.

Wisegeek breaks down the male and female RCA connectors:

“There are two types of RCA connectors that are used together to make solid electrical connections. Female RCA connectors are typically located on devices. These connectors typically protrude from a device and have one contact on the exterior surface and another in the center. Male RCA connectors are typically found on cable ends and contain an outer sleeve contact in addition to a central pin connection. There are also numerous other configurations, such as extension cables that have one male and one female RCA connector, splitters that can connect a monaural output to a stereo input, and converters that include female RCA connectors and a male TRS connector.”

Reducing the Confusion by Color Codes

Because of the many input, output, male, and female RCA connectors, RCA cables are normally color coded to reduce confusion. Normally, RCA connectors have a red and white cables which designate audio signals, and a yellow cable which is for video feed.

Furthermore, some RCA cables come with only audio feed, and their colors are usually red and white. RCA cables with video specifically say they have video included. The trio or pair of jack-connectors is usually found on the front or back panes of most audio/video equipment, like TVs, video game consoles, even camcorders.

Cables To Go 40463 3ft Value Series™ RCA Audio Cable

Make the right choice to connect your DVD player, satellite dish, camcorder, computer, hi-fi VCR or any source with composite audio (left/right) to your TV, monitor or a/v receiver. Ordinary “included in the box” audio cables often use low quality materials with inferior shielding that can result in poor quality. But our RCA cables deliver all the detail you expect from your audio equipment.

The dual conductor is spiral-wrapped with tinned copper, which provides shielding against EMI and RFI interference. The connectors are color-coded for easy installation and identification and provide excellent strain relief.

Connector 1: Two RCA Male
Connector 2: Two RCA Male

Cables To Go 13032 3ft Velocity™ RCA Audio Cable

Don’t let your interconnects be the weak link in your audio system chain! This audio cable offers excellent sound quality because its bonded construction design delivers a neat, easy connection of audio signals. Twisted pair oxygen-free copper wire and foamed PE dielectric are optimized for audio signal transmission. The low-loss 100% foil and spiral-wound oxygen-free copper shielding protects the delicate signals from electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI). Color-coded molded connectors and an ultra-flexible jacket enable easy installation. 24K gold-plated heavy-duty contacts ensure a lifetime of performance.

Connector 1: Two RCA Male
Connector 2: Two RCA Male

Cables To Go 40133 50ft CMG-Rated RCA Stereo Audio Cable With Low Profile Connectors

Audio installations in educational and commercial settings often require in-wall rated cable. Our CMG-rated line was specifically engineered to meet this requirement while overcoming common challenges faced by installers in these environments. Low-Profile connectors (1.41in total depth) save valuable space in the gang box.

  • Black Color
  • 50ft Length
  • RCA Stereo Audio

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Today’s Eio post is on audio cables, specifically speaker interconnect cables.

Speaker interconnect cables can consist of two main types of cables: banana connectors or AWG cables.

Banana Connector

A banana connectors are often used as the plugs on the cables connecting an amplifier to a loudspeaker. The name of banana connectors are derived from the shape of the plug. It is thin on one end, gets thick in the middle, and gets thin on the other side, similar to the shape of a banana. These are used as a single-wire electrical connector to join other wires to the audio equipment.

Cables To Go 29176 10ft 12 AWG Velocity™ Speaker Cable

Get superb performance for any installation! With its ultra-flexible jacket for easy installation, Velocity speaker wire offers precise sound quality for todayÆs audio and home theater applications. This 12 AWG oxygen-free pure copper stranded cable delivers clear audio performance within a wide dynamic range. It minimizes inductance and capacitance to ensure superior sound quality, a clean sound that is true to the source.

For low noise and distortion, each conductor is wrapped by polypropylene insulation. Corrosion-resistant, precision-made 24K gold-plated banana connectors ensure long-lasting sound quality, and enable this cable to deliver a rock-solid connection that provides fidelity and performance far in excess of its price. For price and performance, this is the right solution for connecting speakers to your receiver.

Connector 1: One Banana Male
Connector 2: One Banana Male

AWG Cables

AWG, or American Wire Gauge, is a standardized wire gauge system used in the diameters of round, solid, electrically conducting wire. It has a current-carrying capacity. Wikipedia says this: “Increasing gauge numbers give decreasing wire diameters, which is similar to many other non-metric gauging systems. This gauge system originated in the number of drawing operations used to produce a given gauge of wire. Very fine wire (for example, 30 gauge) required more passes through the drawing dies than did 0 gauge wire. Manufacturers of wire formerly had proprietary wire gauge systems; the development of standardized wire gauges rationalized selection of wire for a particular purpose.”

Cables To Go 38068 6ft 10 AWG SonicWave™ Speaker Cable

SonicWave speaker interconnects are the perfect combination of transparent and neutral, high quality audio reproduction and beauty. 10 AWG oxygen-free copper is constructed from 7 bundles of 18 AWG conductors for maximum flexibility. A 12mm PVC jacket provides the protection your cables need for a lifetime of performance. Two interchangeable connector options (5/16in spade terminals and banana plugs) easily attach to the cables and provide configurations for the most common high-end speaker applications.

Corrosion-resistant, precision-made 24K gold-plated terminals ensure long-lasting sound quality while oxygen-free copper ensures maximum fidelity. SonicWave faultlessly delivers clean power from your amplifier or receiver to your speakers; enjoy maximum performance through advanced cable design, construction and materials. Every speaker placement requirement is unique, so this cable is sold individually to make it easier to buy the cable lengths required for your specific installation.

Connector 1: One Banana Male or One 5/16in Spade Terminal
Connector 2: One Banana Male or One 5/16in Spade Terminal


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Today’s Eio post is on audio cables, specifically 3.5mm audio cables.

Male “plug” on left; female “socket” on right

TRS connector

3.5mm audio cables are more commonly referred to as an audio jack or stereo plug. In technical language, the jack is referred to as a TRS connector (tip, ring, sleeve), which is the typical form of connector used for analog and audio signals. The 3.5mm refers to its size and shape, being 3.5mm or approximately 18 inch.

There are male and female versions of the 3.5mm TRS connector. The male often refers to the plug, the part of the wire that inserts into its female counterpart, which is the socket.

TRS connectors come in a variety of sizes, but the 3.5mm is used in most common, everyday applications. It is the standard size for current earphone, headphone, and audio input connections.

Here’s a male-to-male 3.5mm mini stereo cord: BELKIN F8Z181-06-GLD Mini-Stereo Cable for iPhone Silver

  • Connect your iPhone to portable speakers, sound cards, or home-stereo devices for great sound quality.
  • Chrome-finished connectors and nickel-plated contacts
  • 6 ft. cable
  • 3.5mm plug to 3.5mm plug
  • Silver color

Cables to Go 40582 1.5ft 3.5mm Right Angled M/M Stereo Audio Cable

The 3.5mm right angle stereo audio cable is specifically designed for quality computer audio applications. It connects a PC sound card, MP3 player or any mini-stereo audio device with 3.5mm jacks to a multimedia speaker. This cable features two copper conductors and a drain wire. The conductors and drain wire are wrapped with a braided shield which prevents unwanted EMI/RFI interference. Fully molded nickel-plated connectors provide excellent strain relief for durable use.

Connector 1: 3.5mm Right Angle Stereo Male
Connector 2: 3.5mm Right Angle Stereo Male

Cables To Go 13787 6ft 3.5mm M/F Stereo Audio Extension Cable

Extend the distance between stereo audio devices using the 3.5mm connection, such as CD players, stereos, speakers, PC/TV tuners and other audio devices. You’ll enjoy lasting quality and excellent performance no matter the connection. The cable’s braided shield design prevents unwanted EMI/RFI interference while fully molded nickel-plated connectors provide excellent strain relief for durable use.

Connector 1: 3.5mm Stereo Male
Connector 2: 3.5mm Stereo Female

TRIPP LITE P310-004-R Retractable 3.5 mm Stereo Audio Cable

Tripp Lite’s Retractable Mini-Stereo Cable is ideal for portable solutions such as laptop external speakers, MP3 and more. Two 3.5 mm Male stereo connectors extend to a total of 4 feet. Retractable design extends easily and retracts automatically.

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Today’s Eio post is on audio cables, specifically Pro-Audio Cables (XLR, TRS, RCA).

XLR Connector

One of the primary electrical connectors used in professional audio, video, and stage lighting equipment is the XLR connector. They are used for lighting control, low-voltage power supplies, and other applications, and are associated with balanced audio interconnection.

For its design, they are circular and have between 3 and 7 pins. They are available in four main styles, including male and female versions in both cable and chassis mounting designs. According to Wikipedia, “the female XLR connectors are designed to first connect pin 1 (the earth pin), before the other pins make contact, when a male XLR connector is inserted. With the ground connection established before the signal lines are connected, the insertion (and removal) of XLR connectors in live equipment is possible without picking up external signals (as it usually happens with, for example, RCA connectors).”

Eio’s catalog carries an array of XLR connector cables. Some are dual XLR to XLR cables that come in male or female, or with different amounts of pins.

Cables To Go 40057 1.5ft Pro-Audio XLR Male to XLR Female Cable

Use this XLR to XLR cable to connect unbalanced sources to balanced XLR inputs. This pro-audio cable is made from 22 AWG twisted pair audio cable under an aluminum foil shield and 60% copper braid for maximum shielding from noise. The highly flexible 7mm PVC jacket reduces the risk of the cable kinking and damaging the conductors.

Bright nickel plating on solid brass connectors resists wear from reconfiguring and moving equipment from one venue to another. Spring strain relief on the 1/4in plug and a chuck strain relief inside the XLR reduce the effects of age on the solder joints and contacts.

Connector 1: XLR Male
Connector 2: XLR Female

Pyle PPSN821 20 Ft. 8 Channel XLR Male to XLR Female Snake Cable

Other XLR cables connect to TRS cables, mainly in 1/4 inch size. We will discuss TRS cables in a future post.

Cables To Go 40041 6ft Pro-Audio XLR Female to 1/4in Male Cable

Use this XLR to 1/4in cable to connect microphones and balanced sources to unbalanced inputs. This pro-audio cable is made from 22 AWG twisted pair audio cable under an aluminum foil shield and 60% copper braid for maximum shielding from noise. The highly flexible 7mm PVC jacket reduces the risk of the cable kinking and damaging the conductors.

Bright nickel plating on solid brass connectors resists wear from reconfiguring and moving equipment from one venue to another. Spring strain relief on the 1/4in plug and a chuck strain relief inside the XLR reduce the effects of age on the solder joints and contacts.

Connector 1: XLR Female
Connector 2: 1/4in Male

Cables To Go 40063 1.5ft Pro-Audio 1/4in Male to 1/4in Male Cable

Use this 1/4in to 1/4in cable to connect unbalanced line outputs to unbalanced line inputs. This pro-audio cable is made from 22 AWG twisted pair audio cable under an aluminum foil shield and 60% copper braid for maximum shielding from noise. The highly flexible 7mm PVC jacket reduces the risk of the cable kinking and damaging the conductors.

Bright nickel plating on solid brass connectors resists wear from reconfiguring and moving equipment from one venue to another. Spring strain relief on the 1/4in plug reduces the effects of age on the solder joints and contacts.

Connector 1: 1/4in Male
Connector 2: 1/4in Male

Finally, our other XLR cables connect to RCA adapters. We will also discuss RCA  cables in a future post, so look for it soon.

Cables To Go 40056 50ft Pro-Audio XLR Female to RCA Male Cable

Connector 1: XLR Female
Connector 2: RCA Male

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Today’s Eio post is on Audio Cables, specifically S/PDIF Cables.

S/PDIF Cables

S/PDIF stands for “Sony / Philips Digital Interconnect Format” cables. This is a type of digital audio interconnect cable, mainly used for small consumer and everyday audio equipment use. It outputs audio over reasonably short distances, using either coaxial cables with RCA  connectors, or fiber optical cables. These also are able to link up with home theater systems.

According to Wikipedia, “A common use for the S/PDIF interface is to carry compressed digital audio as defined by the standard IEC 61937. This mode is used to connect the output of a DVD player to a home-theatre receiver that supports Dolby Digital or DTS surround sound. Another common use is to carry two channels of uncompressed digital audio from a CD player to a receiver. This specification also allows for the coupling of personal computer digital sound (if equipped) via optical or coax to Dolby or DTS capable receivers. This only supports stereo sound, unless the personal computer supports a surround sound encoding such as Dolby Digital Live or DTS Connect.”

Our Eio catalog carries many forms of S/PDIF cables.

Length differences

Here’s a 12 foot cable: Cables To Go 29116 12ft Velocity™ S/PDIF Digital Audio Coax Cable

The Velocity digital audio cable is a great upgrade to the cables typically included with consumer electronics products. The low-loss 75 Ohm oxygen-free copper center conductors and foam dielectric provide high quality digital sound and performance. The 100% aluminum foil and dual OFC braid shields protect against unwanted noise and interference.

Robustly constructed molded connectors attach to an ultra-flexible jacket, and enable easy installation and identification. The 24K gold-plated, durable connectors ensure long-lasting quality; fully molded connectors provide excellent strain relief.

Connector 1: RCA Male
Connector 2: RCA Male

Here’s a 100 foot cable: Cables To Go 29729 100ft SonicWave™ S/PDIF Digital Audio Cable

The Sony®/Philips Digital Interface is the ôred bookö standard for digital audio signal transfer. A S/PDIF coaxial cable can carry linear PCM or multi-channel Dolby® AC-3/DTS® digital content. The SonicWave digital audio cable features proper characteristic impedance, fast frequency-independent signal propagation and effective shielding against EMI/RFI. This interconnect uses smooth, flawless, large cross-section silver-plated OFC as the signal conductor.

A nitrogen-foamed PE insulation exhibits extremely low dielectric constant. Cu Shielding Technology™ provides three layers of shielding: two 80%+ OFC copper braids and one 100% overlapped Mylar® foil. Precision design and manufacturing ensures the characteristic impedance of the cable assembly remains 75 Ohms, +/- 5 Ohms.

Precise soldering techniques using expensive silver solder create increased electrical integrity, maximum signal transfer, long term reliability, and guarantee performance under the most demanding conditions. The Flexcable™ ultra-flexible PVC jacket enables easy installation, and resists binding and kinking which can cause errors in the signal path. This high performance S/PDIF digital cable is also ideal as a premium, extended length composite video cable for especially demanding video applications!

Connector 1: RCA Male
Connector 2: RCA Male

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Have you been bitten by The Hunger Games bug? Did you watch the movie, and are now dying to read the books?

If you’re like me, it’s difficult to find time to read a book, let alone an entire trilogy. Combined, the Hunger Games saga exceeds 1,000 pages!

That’s where the beauty of books-on-tape comes in. Yes, that is books read aloud and recorded onto CD’s, mp3s, or other digital media files. You can now listen to your favorite heroine Katniss Everdeen on your iPod or smart-phone while you commute to work, wash the dishes, cook dinner, or work out at the gym!

With EIO’s latest sale, the Belkin 2.6 ft retractable USB Cable for iPhone & iPod (with free shipping!) can load your audio-book files quickly and smoothly onto your audio device. Download the tales of Panem and District 12 and get listening!