Cables that carry power and then some can be hard to deal with, but new advances in the sound industry have made it easy. Subwoofer cables and RCA cables are 2 types of cables that often confuse people who want to set up their sound system.
Subwoofer cables provide low-frequency bass sound while RCA cables provide high-frequency sound and general amplification. Subwoofer cable vs RCA cable: which one to choose?
- 1 Overview
- 2 RCA Subwoofer Cable
- 3 Subwoofer Cable vs RCA Cable – Key Differences
- 4 Can I Use an RCA Cable for My Subwoofer?
- 5 Can I Use A Regular RCA Cable For A Digital Coaxial Audio Connection?
- 6 The Best RCA Cables to Choose
What are Subwoofer Cables?
Subwoofers typically use RCA plugs to connect and can transmit a signal. However, some manufacturers have added advanced features to RCA cables and called them “subwoofer”.
Subwoofer cable connects amplifiers to the subwoofers and transmits sound signals up to 100 Hz.
Subwoofer cables can also be more powerful and complex than RCA cables, significantly improving sound quality.
They are made from durable, modern materials and better technology. Subwoofer cables, in most cases, are not more than RCA cables but with extra features.
It boils down to the insulation materials used. Subwoofer cables generally use tighter woven fibers to make the shield. It may also use a second foil shield or mesh to increase insulation.
Many people even use coaxial subwoofer cables for extra shielding and longer length.
Types Of Subwoofer Cables
Thanks to the advancement of technology, many subs that are affordable and powerful no longer require RCA cables. 1/4-inch Jacks, for example, are rapidly becoming a standard in consumer-grade audio hardware. Although many people still use RCA cables for audio, this change forces consumers to rely on subwoofer cables.
Subwoofer cables require more complicated conductors and dielectric coating materials than RCA cables.
RCA connections, which are a type of cable that is designed to transport audio and video signals, are commonly used for the subwoofer output connection. A direct wire connection can be used with some older AVRs. The subwoofer’s speaker cable connects directly to AVR’s “Subwoofer Out” speaker port.
You can also find them in different styles to meet your individual needs.
There are three types of subwoofer cables.
Split cables: Designed to connect subs with stereo input. This ensures that both subwoofer inputs receive identical signals, increasing the system’s volume by approximately 3 dB.
Mono subwoofer regular: Useful when inputs are labeled as mono or Low-frequency effects (LFE). To connect mono subwoofers, subwoofer adapters can be used. Although there are many ways to connect subwoofers, most people use the LFE connector.
Stereo phone cables: used in conjunction with a surround sound system or audio amplifier with two pre-outs or subwoofers. Alternatively, you can use two mono subwoofer cables.
What are RCA Cables?
RCA cables were originally designed to transmit a signal from a phonograph to an amplifier. They are much more modern and can be used to connect AV signals from different entertainment systems at your home.
The term “RCA cable” identifies any type of coaxial cable with RCA push-in connectors on the ends.
RCA cables can be used with virtually any AV device. Grounding contacts surround the central contact of the cable connector. This design is known as coaxial. It protects the signal (central) contact from electromagnetic interference. RCA cables are common and can be used to connect audio and video components with completely different qualities.
Types RCA Cables
There are two types of RCA connections that are significant:
Composite RCA Connections
Composite Video RCA is an analog video signal format that transmits single-channel video signals.
Composite video is usually connected with a yellow RCA connector. The red and white connectors generally accompany the yellow connector to connect right and left audio channels. The yellow connector is used for video, while the red and white connectors are for audio.
Composite transmits video signals on a single channel and delivers standard-definition video (480i or576i).
This means that the audio information is combined to form single line-level signals. Composite videos can only be used with the 480i NTSC/576i-PAL video signals.
Component RCA Connections
Another common way to transmit video signals is component video. There are three lines of video: red, green, or blue.
This means that the component analog video information (CAV) is transmitted or stored in three distinct signals. Composite, on the other hand, combines audio data into one movement.
Component video cables, unlike composite, do not carry audio and are often paired together with audio cables. Two audio cables lines are usually used in component cables. They can be black, red, or white. The two red lines can be distinguished by adding color around the wire.
Because of their unique features, component RCA cables can achieve a higher resolution than other composite video cables.
RCA Subwoofer Cable
RCA Subwoofer Cables are standard RCA cables with higher quality and more suitable materials. You will notice that 60Hz is the most common level of household electricity, and this can often cause annoying hums in speaker systems. Two reasons could be the cause.
Induction into the speaker cable is caused by other wiring or equipment.
A ground loop allows the hum at 60Hz to travel along with the shield of the coaxial cable.
Humor is greatly affected by the frequency range of a subwoofer. Extra shielding can reduce hum caused by induction if the RCA cable that is connected to a subwoofer has been added. It doesn’t work with ground loops. It is recommended that you use an AC input isolation transformer in this situation. It should be of some assistance.
Subwoofer Cable vs RCA Cable – Key Differences
You have probably been searching the internet for the best pieces of equipment to invest in your sound system. You have likely stumbled onto the debate of using a more recently designed subwoofer cable as compared to a more standard RCA cable.
These cables are often used for the same purpose, but they differ in establishing a high-quality connection between subwoofers and receivers.
An RCA cable connects a Subwoofer to a Receiver with an audio signal sent to the standard left, right, and center channels via a coaxial connection. Subwoofer cables typically contain the same wiring but have additional shielding to reduce AC hum and improve sound clarity.
It cannot be apparent which one will produce better sound quality than the other. You might start by checking the specifications of your subwoofer/receiver to determine if it is worth your investment.
Subwoofer cables are specifically made to connect the receiver to the subwoofer. Since the subwoofer captures and reproduces low-frequency sound signals, the cable used for connecting the two pieces of equipment must transmit a clear signal between them.
This is a matter of wiring and coating.
A subwoofer cable is more common than an RCA cable. However, the shielding or coating that is applied can reduce speaker hum.
It is frustrating to set up your entire speaker system and then hear the hum or buzz of your speakers.
You might consider testing your options before deciding whether to use an RCA or subwoofer cable.
You don’t need to replace the RCA cable you used to connect your receiver to your sub.
If your RCA cabled connection does not produce a clear audio signal and is causing humming, it may be time to get a subwoofer cable.
Can I Use an RCA Cable for My Subwoofer?
You may still be unsure if the subwoofer cable with its more shielding and specific design for use with a Subwoofer is as good as an RCA cable.
Although an RCA cable may not deliver as clear an audio signal as a subwoofer cable, it can still connect to a receiver.
Make sure you check the specifications to ensure the cable connects to the right and left audio channels. Most RCA cables come with a digital viewing connection.
You will find that many video cables have an impedance different from what your subwoofer needs. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that the Ohms ratings between the cable (and the subwoofer) are equal. The RCA cable can be used to connect to the subwoofer.
Although it may not provide the same audio quality as the subwoofer cables, the RCA cable can still deliver high-quality audio for low-frequency audio signals.
Suppose you’re unsure whether a subwoofer or RCA cable is best for your sound system setup. In that case, it is best to review each device’s specifications and choose the highest quality cables to suit your audio requirements and budget.
A subwoofer cable is a good choice, but one RCA cable might be better.
Can I Use A Regular RCA Cable For A Digital Coaxial Audio Connection?
Digital coax transmits electrical signals. You might feel tempted to use an analog RCA audio cable to make a digital link because of its cost. This is a bad idea. Traditional RCA cables are not shielded and don’t have the same bandwidth as coaxial cables.
The Best RCA Cables to Choose
While many cables can greatly increase sound quality for a home stereo system, they are also quite costly. The copper core bass conductors are covered with a second wire network, which aids in the transmission of low-frequency signals. This makes the sound more dramatic and crisper. You can buy an average audio cable of good quality if you’re not a music fan and don’t have to use expensive equipment. AmazonBasics Subwoofer Cable is your best choice.
The cable is sturdy (equipped with RCA connectors that are corrosion-resistant) but also manages its functions well (carries low-frequency signals, providing excellent sound and bass). Its length is another advantage. AmazonBasics Subwoofer Cable is available in many lengths. This cable has a great subwoofer sound and is very affordable.