Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
Best ethernet cable brand 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated December 1, 2019
Best ethernet cable brand of 2018
Following is the list of top three ethernet cable brand of 2018. The rating is based on multiple factors: The 3 metrics ‐ Design, Materials, Performance, and other indicators such as: Popularity, Opinions, Brand, Reputation and more.
Customers need to be careful on how they spend their money on these products. The table below summarizes features, and below you’ll find more detailed reviews of each good.
Test Results and Ratings
|Ease of use||
Why did this ethernet cable brand win the first place?
The material is stylish, but it smells for the first couple of days. I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product. I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch!
Why did this ethernet cable brand come in second place?
I like this product. For such a low price, I didn’t even hope it to be any better. It’s decently made. The design quality is top notch and the color is nice. Seems that the material is good. It has a very beautiful color but I don’t really like the texture. I really liked it. It is amazing in every aspect. It did even exceed my expectations for a bit, considering the affordable price.
Why did this ethernet cable brand take third place?
I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. A very convenient model. It is affordable and made of high-quality materials. It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time.
ethernet cable brand Buyer’s Guide
As the category number gets higher, so does the speed and Mhz of the wire. This is not a coincidence, because each category brings more stringent testing for eliminating crosstalk (XT) and adding isolation between the wires.
Category cable was revised, and mostly replaced with, Category Enhanced (Cat-5e) cable which did not change anything physically in the cable, but instead applied more stringent testing standards for crosstalk.
So how does a physical cable eliminate interference and allow for faster speeds? It does it through wire twisting and isolation. Cable twisting was invented by Alexander Graham Bell in 188for use on telephone wires that were run along side power lines. He discovered that by twisting the cable every 3-utility poles, it reduced the interference and increased the range. Twisted pair became the basis for all Ethernet cables to eliminate interference between internal wires (XT), and external wires (AXT).
There are two main physical differences between Cat-and Cat-cables, the number of twists per cm in the wire, and sheath thickness.
Cable twisting length is not standardized, but typically there are 1.5-twists per cm in Cat-5(e) and 2+ twists per cm in Cat-Within a single cable, each colored pair will also have different twist lengths based on prime numbers so that no two twists ever align. The amount of twists per pair is usually unique for each cable manufacturer. As you can see in the above picture, no two pairs have the same amount of twists per inch.
Many Cat-cables also include a nylon spline which helps eliminate crosstalk. Although the spline is not required in Cat-cable, some manufactures include it anyway. In Cat-cable, the spline is not required either as long as the cable tests according to the standard. In the picture above, the Cat-5e cable is the only one with a spline.
While the nylon spline helps reduce crosstalk in the wire, the thicker sheath protects against near end crosstalk (NEXT) and alien crosstalk (AXT) which both occur more often as the frequency (Mhz) increases. In this picture the Cat-5e cable has the thinnest sheath, but it also was the only one with the nylon spline.
Solid vs. Stranded
Solid and stranded Ethernet cables refer to the actual copper conductor in the pairs. Solid cable uses a single piece of copper for the electrical conductor while stranded uses a series of copper cables twisted together. There are many different applications for each type of conductor, but there are two main applications for each type you should know about.
Stranded cable is more flexible and should be used at your desk or anywhere you may be moving the cable around often.
Solid cable is not as flexible but it is also more durable which makes it ideal for permanent installations as well as outdoor and in walls.
The Monoprice Select Active Series High Performance HDMI Cable is the best choice for long runs, with built-in circuitry that’s more likely to work with all your distantly spaced gear.
For reasons we’ll explain, there is no need to spend more on a basic HDMI cable.
Why you should trust me
In addition to being the A/V editor here at Wirecutter, I also write for CNET and Forbes. I’ve also written for Home Theater magazine, and was the editor in chief of Home Entertainment magazine. My articles have appeared in Men’s Journal, Consumers Digest, Popular Photography, PCWorld, Robb Report, and more. I’ve been interviewed by a wide range of TV and radio stations, including NBC, NPR, and the BBC.
Most important, it has a lifetime warranty. So in the unlikely event it fails, you can get a replacement.
More expensive HDMI cables will not offer any performance advantage over cheap cables.
If you are getting an image with an HDMI cable, and that image is stable (meaning it doesn’t flicker) and doesn’t show “sparkles” (what looks like snow in the images on this page), then the image is perfect. If you’re getting sound as well that doesn’t drop out (or cut out), then the sound will be perfect.
This includes the resolution and frame rate you desire as well. The cable won’t change the resolution or frame rate, but a defective or poorly made cable might not be able to handle resolutions above 1080p. More on this later, but as mentioned, if it works, it works.
Over long runs (1feet or more), it is more likely you’ll get dropouts or sparkles. Active cables, such as those that feature RedMere active technology (more on that below), will be more likely to get the signal from the source to your TV. These aren’t that much more expensive than passive cables. So if you don’t want to try a passive cable to see if it will work, go for an active cable. More on this in the Long cables/thin cables section below.
It’s possible that a cheap long cable will work. It’s also possible that it won’t. It depends on the gear that’s sending the signal (your Blu-ray player, cable box, or receiver), and the gear that’s receiving the signal (your TV or projector).
No such thing as an HDMI 2.0 cable or a 4K HDMI cable
It’s common to see on current TVs and other A/V gear labels like “HDMI 2.0-compliant.” It’s important to make a distinction here, in the effort of clarity. There is the HDMI cable and the HDMI connection. The cable doesn’t have a number. There are currently only four types of HDMI cables for the home: “Standard Speed” HDMI cables are able to transmit up to 1080i. There is no reason to buy them. “High Speed” HDMI cables can handle 4K resolutions. It’s worth noting that basically no gear actually uses the the Ethernet component of HDMI cables, but the price difference is so marginal that there’s little reason not to get it.
Along the same lines, there is no such thing as a 4K HDMI cable. If you bought a High Speed HDMI cable a few years ago, it should work just fine with 4K. More on this in the next section.
Going through each brand and cable isn’t necessary, as there are only two claims these cables make to justify their prices, and both are easily refuted.
1) Better picture and/or sound quality. As we discussed earlier, this isn’t possible. The only way one cable could make your content look or sound better than another cable is if one of them changed the data flowing across them. If any of the data going across somehow gets changed, the only two possible results at the TV end are sparkles (a pixel dropping out, quite noticeable) or the entire image dropping out. It can’t look sharper (or softer), brighter (or dimmer), more colorful (or muted). This would mean huge aspects of the image have changed, and HDMI cables just don’t work like that.
Other cheap cables
Monoprice sells approximately a billion different types of HDMI cables. Different colors, different thicknesses, and so on. We’ve picked some in this guide we think would work for most people. However, if you want something specific (thinner, for example), go for it. When you plug it in at home, if it works (which it should), then it works perfectly.
Just keep in mind that thinner, cheaper cables, may be less likely to be able to transmit a signal, but if they work, they work.
Science and testing
My many HDMI articles are linked throughout this guide. Each one was heavily researched, including interviews and discussions with the companies that make the HDMI send/receive chips, and with HDMI Licensing, which is in charge of the actual HDMI specification.
I’ve also done hands-on testing, as you can read in the linked articles. If you want additional objective testing, here are a few great sources worth reading.
Ethernet cable it is demonstrably false.
It was already discovered in the 1800s that twisting the wires in a telephone signal will improve the signal strength over a longer length of cable. The CAT-cables have more twists than the CAT-cables—that is why CAT-can carry higher frequency signals.
Shielding: There is what is called a “spline” in many Ethernet cables. It is a layer of sheathing around each twisted pair of wires. This shields the wires, and reduces interference in the signal even more. Sometimes the spline is not used in cables, because it makes the cable thicker, less pliable, and more expensive.
Sheath Thickness: The sheath is the plastic cover that surrounds all eight wires in the Ethernet cable. The thicker the sheath usually means the more protection of the signal from interference.
Screening: Some Ethernet cables have a screen underneath the sheath, for added protection for the signal from electromagnetic interference. The screen is a type of metal foil or braid that surrounds all pairs of wires.
Reposition your router
This isn’t an obvious one to begin with, as most people are quite happy with the router staying put in the living room and branching out from there. However, you’d be surprised to see how effective simply repositioning your router actually is. Take for example the wireless signal from the router. WiFi diminishes greatly with distance and when it has to travel through walls. Ideally the best connected WiFi device is the one that has a direct line of sight to the wireless source, in other words the router. This isn’t always possible in the average home, an open space flat perhaps, yes, but not so much a three-bed terrace. You can plan your repositioning to eliminate as many obstructions as possible, with it being a little higher placed on a wall and maybe in the centre of your home, you may find an improvement in the wireless signal and as such better speeds. Experimentation is the key here, and you may find that if all the WiFi devices are used upstairs, with the wired equipment like a NAS box and Smart TV downstairs, then placing the router upstairs would be a better placement for an improved WiFi reception.
By submitting your information, you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
Please keep me up to date with special offers and news from Trusted Reviews and other brands within the Time Inc. UK Group by email. You can unsubscribe at any time.
We’d also like to send you special offers and news just by email from other carefully selected companies we think you might like. Your personal details will not be shared with those companies – we send the emails and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please tick here if you are happy to receive these messages.
The length of an Ethernet cable is one of most common causes for a slow wired network. There are some differences of opinion regarding the maximum length, but on average an Ethernet cable can transmit data to a maximum of around 300 feet before the signal starts to degrade quite rapidly. Although three hundred feet is quite a distance for a house, you’d be surprised by what you’d see in some homes. A good example was when we traced a problematic cable into a loft space to find it was coiled up to around two hundred and fifty feet before being dropped back down into another bedroom. In that case, snipping the coiled section off and joining the two ends together solved the problem. To keep your wired network trim and speedy, keep your cables as short as possible without putting strain on the cable ends to the device.
Run a cable where possible
A quick and obvious one this, but one that’s often avoided.
Cabling your house isn’t an easy job, most of the time, and we try and avoid it where possible. Using a powerline adapter is an ideal solution to running a cable, but it’s slower and more unreliable. So for the best possible speeds on your home network, spend a bit of time planning out your cabling and neatly run one from one room to the next.
Another aspect of the internet section is the actual software side of your network and internet access. Although a software tweak is often more of a temporary solution, many users have sworn that playing around with various settings within Windows does have an effect on the speed of their internal and internet access. Some of these may work, or they may not. It’s up to you to experiment, but always make sure you’ve got a good working backup before playing around with any Windows settings.
Disable TCP Auto-Tuning
From Windows Vista onward Microsoft included a feature called TCP Auto-tuning, to help improve performance for programs that receive TCP data. It’s a good idea, to some degree, but many users have since reported that by turning the feature off they have noticed an increase in the speed across their home network.
Up your Receive Buffers
That being the case feel free to knock it up to 102to see if it makes a difference. In some cases you might not be able to, but it’s worth a try.
Remove Remote Differential Compression
As has been recently announced, the last public IPvaddress was recently taken and IPvis still on the verge of being adopted globally.This of course doesn’t affect our internal home network, which will use IPvby default – as dealt with the router’s DHCP. However, network adapters still have an IPvenabled by default, and if you’re absolutely sure that your routers doesn’t use IPvinternally, then go ahead and disable it to help speed things up a tad.
Change your browser
Google Chrome – Often considered as the fastest browser currently available, Chrome does a fantastic job of loading up most websites faster than the competition. There’s also a wealth of blocking tools available to help cut down on bandwidth leakage due to adverts and so on.
Opera – Opera is often a forgotten browser, which is a shame as it’s really quite a powerful application with a Turbo Mode to help speed up slow connections. Sometimes the Turbo function works magnificently, other times it doesn’t feel any different to using Firefox or Chrome. It’s worth try, at least.
Admittedly there’s not a huge amount you’ll be able to do with regards to your external broadband and internet connection; that’s at the mercy of your ISP, and you shouldn’t go fiddling around with anything that belongs to them or BT for that matter.
You can have an active part in trying to speed things up though, and these tips should help.
Know your limits
One of the many issues with users claiming a problem with their internet speeds is the misunderstanding of how a maximum broadband speed is advertised.
Just browsing through the various ISPs reveals statements such as ‘up to 100MBps!’.For a lot of users, this literally means they’ll be getting that speed from the word go. However, it’s quite misleading. It’s the Up To part of the statement you need to take into consideration. If, for example, you live in the middle of London then there’s a pretty good chance you’ll have the infrastructure around you to achieve that magical speed. But if you’re living on top of a mountain in Cumbria, there’s only going to be so much the ISP can do to reach you. So while your London based colleague may be paying the same amount for 100Mbps, you’re paying the same for a mere 2Mbps. It seems a little unfair, we’ll grant you, but that’s the way it is. Until the entire country can access the same speed lines we’ll just have to accept the hand that’s dealt to us. The point being here, don’t expect blistering speeds if where you live is only capable of achieving a small percentage of the advertised maximum.
Despite claiming a policy of no limits, many ISPs do in fact monitor your connection to help meter the traffic and better manage it. During peak times, usually between 7PM and 11PM, you may notice a slowdown in your internet. A high percentage of the time you won’t notice a thing, but there are instances where your bandwidth could be throttled.
A new router
Although you can class this solution as an internet networking tip, the router is essentially the key access point where the two networks meet. So we’ll take it in this instance as being an element of the external side of the inertent.
One way in which to speed up your internet access is to buy an upgraded router, one that can deliver a faster base switching speed, in other words gigabit Ethernet as opposed to 100Mbps, one that can greatly improve the wireless connectivity, and one that can support faster broadband connections.
For around £10you can buy a Netgear DGND3700 N600, a fine router that comes with four gigabit Ethernet ports, gigabit WAN port, and utilises a 2.4GHz and 5GHz dual band WiFi setup as well as being able to support the latest DSL technology and internet speeds from your ISP. It’s an excellent router, and well worth spending over a hundred pound for. Alternatively, if you want to avoid any setting up hassles that may come with a new non-ISP provided router, you could always contact your ISP and ask them if it’s possible for you to receive an upgraded router.
The advantage of this is, providing your contract is capable, you can usually get one for a minimal cost – or even free in some cases, and that it often comes pre-setup for your ISPs unique broadband and package setup.
Power off once in a while
Lastly we have one of the more obvious, but often unused, solutions to getting a flagging router back to speed. Most people will leave their router and other means of accessing the internet powered on all the time. While this is perfectly fine, there comes a time when a router can glitch, or the IP address given to it by the ISP isn’t refreshed correctly.
When this happens you’ll usually notice connection issues, and a significant slowdown. Before you go and contact anyone, the first thing you should do is simply power everything off for about thirty seconds, then power it all back up again and test the connection.
Nine times out of ten, a simple power cycle of your router kit will solve any slowdown issues.
The first thing to remember about HDMI is that it is a digital standard. Unlike component video, composite video, S-video, or coaxial cable, HDMI signals don’t gradually degrade, or get fuzzy and lose clarity as the signal fades or interference grows. For digital signals like HDMI, as long as there is enough data for the receiver to put together a picture, it will form. If there isn’t, it will just drop off. While processing artifacts can occur and gaps in the signal can cause blocky effects or screen blanking, generally an HDMI signal will display whenever the signal successfully reaches the receiver. Claims that more expensive cables put forth greater video or audio fidelity are nonsense; it’s like saying you can get better-looking YouTube videos on your laptop by buying more expensive Ethernet cables. From a technical standpoint, it simply doesn’t make sense.
This doesn’t mean that all HDMI cables are created equal in all cases. HDMI includes multiple specifications detailing standards of bandwidth and the capabilities of the cable.
That said, there are cases where higher quality cables and going to lengths to maintain signal quality are important. They just aren’t cases that apply for most HDTV owners. If you’re going to run an HDMI cable for lengths longer than feet, you should be concerned about insulation to protect against signal degradation. It’s not an issue for 6-foot lengths of cable, but as the distance between media device and display increases, signal quality decreases and the more susceptible the signal becomes to magnetic interference. In fact, for distances of over 30 feet, the HDMI licensing board recommends either using a signal amplifier or considering an alternate solution, like an HDMI-over-Ethernet converter. When you’re running up against the maximum length, the greater insulation and build quality of more expensive cables can potentially improve the stability of your signal. However, if there’s a 30-foot gap between your Blu-ray player and your HDTV, you might want to rearrange some furniture. Or just use a technology designed for long distances.
Dodocool USB-C Charging Hub
For laptops that support only USB-C the Dodocool USB-C charging hub is a neat gadget that allows you to add on four full-size USB 3.0 ports that can handle data transfer at up to 5Gb/s, and still charge your device via the USB-C input at the bottom.
The Dodocool is a great-looking device, available with a gold or grey matt aluminium outer casing. It feels well made and is easy to use, with no drivers required.
Ucouso USB-C Hub with RJ4Gigabit Ethernet
But while Wi-Fi is convenient it’s not always the fastest, and if you use your MacBook or MacBook Pro in one place for a while then sometimes a wired Ethernet connection makes sense.
Ucouso makes a varied range of multiport USB-C adapters and hubs, including one that includes three old USB ports and an RJ4Gigabit Ethernet port at one end. It also sells a cheaper hub with only the Ethernet port.
OWC USB-C Dock
One of the unavoidable facts about the USB-C MacBook is the lack of ports. But, if you’re here, you probably don’t mind and have taken the plunge anyway. If you love the portability of the MacBook but also want the option of full-on ports and desktop usability, then the OWC dock is the best product on the market.
It’s designed to bring easy compatibility and maximum productivity to what is a limited laptop in some ways. The dock needs mains power to run, but it’s worth it for the pay off. You get full USB-C power to your machine, as well as (wait for it) USB Type-A ports, USB-C port, SD card reader, HDMI with 4K support, Ethernet port, audio port and a USB-C computer link port. So, a lot.
It allows you to connect a plethora of devices of all ages to your brand new laptop, as well as connect it to a display via HDMI. This is thankfully compatible with DisplayPort and can manage 4K options, so if you want you use your MacBook at home or in the office with four or five things plugged in, this is the option to go for.
It’s a tad complicated to set up and only comes with cables (power and USB-C to USB-C) but as long as you only use it at one workstation it’s the best all-out solution we’ve used.
Syncwire Nylon-Braided USB-C to USB-A Cable
Cables are one of the classic accessories where people like to save money – especially after they look at the prices Apple itself charges for replacements.
Unfortunately, being a cable cheapskate can sometimes be a false economy – you save money on each cable, but they break and require replacing so often that it doesn’t really work out any cheaper in the end. Luckily, Syncwire’s nylon-braided cables are impressively solid, without breaking the bank.
The nylon jacket will resist damage from moisture or bending, without sacrificing any flexibility, and it supports data transfer speeds up to 5Gbps, and charging output up to 3A.
Apple USB-C to Lightning Cable
Apple will have its reasons, but if you have an iPhone and a MacBook or new MacBook Pro, you can’t plug in your iPhone to your laptop. Even the latest iPhone ships with a Lightning to USB-A cable for old connections.
So, one of the only options is a USB-C to lightning cable like this. Once you take the hit, you’re likely not to need another iPhone to MacBook cable for a while.
Belkin 3ft Cat 5e Cable
The company makes different sizes, so if you need a longer one, don’t fret. Something that I noticed since using this cable is that I have a full WiFi signal on my phone now when I would only ever have a couple of bars and it was always dropping.
It seems the signal from my router is actually better as well. A short cable makes a nice traveling companion since it doesn’t take up a lot of room in my laptop bag and is just the perfect size for hooking up in hotel/motel rooms. I actually like using this in my entertainment system in my living room; the small size doesn’t clutter up the space.
Belkin Micra Digital 15ft Cable
This is another great product that gives you speeds of up to 1000 Mbps with universal RJ4connectors so it can be hooked up to any device.
I was very impressed with how flexible the PVC cable jacket was; I had to twist and bend it to get it to run along the wall. I’ve had a lot of issues with cables slipping out when moving my laptop around, but this sturdy little thing stays put for sure.
Buyers should be aware that it has a rubber cap on the end which can be a little hard to push, so people with limited hand use might find it a challenge, but otherwise, I like how it protects the end. This is a sturdy piece of equipment that should last a long time and be well worth your money.
RiteAV Cat50ft Cable
This was my first Cat cable after using 5e for so long and I was truly impressed. Not to mention the price! Getting such a better cable for so cheap was definitely a plus for me. When the cable is straightened out, it supports up to 1gbs.
For gamers that find WiFi is too slow and inconsistent for their gaming systems, this is a great choice. It seems to work very well no matter what type of gaming system you own.
Plugable USB-C Triple Display Dock
The Plugable USB-C Triple Display Dock (UD-ULTCD) is the best pick for early adopters who need a dock. It works with the newest standards, like USB Type-C for charging and external displays and supports 4K monitors. We didn’t like that it’s locked into vertical orientation, but you can’t argue for great performance and support for three displays at the same time.
Actually yes! Thanks to Loxone Tree, you can reduce the number of cables that need to be run within the home. Loxone Tree is a free-form wiring topology which allows you to connect devices on a room by room basis, rather than wiring individual devices back to a central point like you would in a star wiring topology.
Meet Loxone Tree
Loxone Tree offers full flexibility for designing the wiring of your home. The Tree Extension has two ‘branches’ and up to 50 Tree enabled devices can be connected to each branch, allowing you to create a free-form wiring structure that’s suited to the size of your home and tailored to your needs.
Become a Loxone installer!
Loxone offers an unparalleled opportunity for companies that are active in the smart home industry to grow their business. We offer dedicated training courses, free technical support, customer demonstration facilities, networking and education events and much more.
Discount For Selected New Products
Loxone Gold Partners are entitled to a 50% discount, and Loxone Platinum Partners are entitled to a 100% discount on selected new products. Quantity will be determined per product. Valid for three months from the launch of a product.
Special Project Discount*
Upon completing the full Expert Training Course (part 1, part & project days) and being awarded Silver Partner Status, your company will be awarded two Special Project Discounts of 25% each, valid for the company and the employee that attended the initial training. Each discount can only be applied against one order.
A Loxone Showroom is a great way to demonstrate the power of the Loxone Smart Home to your customers. If you choose to open a public showroom, we will be on hand to support you as you plan it.
A discount is also available to those Partners meeting the criteria. Read more here.
Listing On The Loxone Website
Therefore, only Silver, Gold and Platinum Partners will be listed on the map. Please note that if you are inactive for more than 36days, or fail to reach your Partner requalification criteria after 1months, your listing will be automatically removed.
Using steel or aluminum instead of copper
Copper-clad-steel or copper-clad-aluminum is a classic method manufacturer use in order to save money.
It consists of using an aluminum or steel core instead of costly copper, which causes high attenuation and poorly signal. In the long run, network speed will be affected.
Using re-ground plastic
RJ-4connectors that don’t pass the quality test at the factory and turn out as rejected can be re-ground back to pellets and added to the plastic used to make new connectors.
This process is legitimate, but it can have bad consequences when too much re-ground plastic is used because it lowers combustion rating. If the connector body has yellowing or foggy plastic, it means that low-quality plastic was used in its making.
Another thing manufacturers have been doing with connectors is to replace the nickel and gold parts on the metal contact with “gold flash” or “selective plating”, materials that corrode quickly.
Copper Cabled Networks
You might guess that the main difference between copper and fibre cable is how they transmit information. One uses an electrical transmissions and the other uses light. Fibre cable is made up of two different types, Single-Mode and Multi-Mode, and the main difference between these is distance.
We’re here to help
Audio cables can seem like a simple thing in concept, until you set out to buy one and realize you didn’t know how much you didn’t know. Although they may be the least exciting components in your stage rig or studio setup, they are some of the most important.
So here is what you need to know, in plain English, to make sure you’re getting the best cable for your gear and your purpose.
An instrument cable connects a guitar, bass, keyboard, or other electronic instrument to an amplifier or preamp that’s intended for direct connection of an instrument. Instrument cables are designed to carry low-voltage instrument signals, and most often have 1/4″ phone plug connectors. Depending on the location of the output jack on your instrument, you may want a male jack with a straight or right-angle connector. In deciding how long a cable to buy, keep in mind that longer cable runs are more prone to picking up interference.
This Livewire Advantage Series instrument cable has straight 1/4″ phone connectors, quality soldering for low noise, and comes with a lifetime guarantee.
Browse the complete selection of instrument cables at Musician’s Friend.
The term “patch cable” generically describes any cable that links various components together. They often are quite short in length and may be used in a PA or recording setups to interconnect gear, or to link effects pedals to each other in a signal chain. They may have balanced or unbalanced conductors (discussed above) depending on their purpose, and can have various kinds of connectors including XLR, 1/4″ phone, TRS, or RCA.
The right-angle 1/4″ connectors on these Six-inch Livewire patch cables makes them perfect for connecting effects pedals in a signal chain.
Mic cables are shielded and balanced and typically have an XLR male connector on one end and an XLR female connector on the other. Some microphone cables have a TRS, mini plug,or USB connector on the delivery end for plugging directly into a computer sound card, DAW, or digital recording device. In addition to connecting a microphone to a sound system, mic cables are often used as longer, balanced patch cables—for example connecting a mixing board to powered speakers. They can also be used for D.I. connections between an instrument and a mixing console as well as for lighting effects with DMX control capabilities.
Top pro studios rate Mogami Gold Neglex Quad Mic Cables highly for accuracy, quietness and tough construction.
Browse the entire Musician’s Friend assortment of microphone cables.
A speaker cable is an unbalanced cable, and usually has a much heavier gauge conductor than a patch, instrument, or mic cable. Speaker cables need bigger wires because they carry much higher voltage signals. They can have 1/4″ phone, banana clip (also called MDP connectors), binding post (as commonly found on consumer stereo amplifiers), or Speakon connectors.
This Livewire Elite 12-Gauge Speaker Cable has a 1/4″ phone connector on one end and a Speakon connector at the other, for securely connecting a head amp to a speaker cabinet.
Browse the entire Musician’s Friend selection of speaker cables.
The Livewire Elite Speakon Cable offers a secure connection, twist- and tangle-resistant design, and high-quality conductors that keep your signal noise-free.
XLR connectors have three pins for the positive, negative, and ground. They are most commonly used on microphone cables, but you will also see them used on balanced patch cables and with DMX-enabled lighting equipment.
The Monster Cable Studio Pro 2000 XLR Microphone cable uses Time Correct technology for the ultimate in detail and soundstage imaging.
Digital Audio Connectors
Below are some of the most common digital audio cables and connectors required for linking digital mixers, recorders, preamps, and DAWs (digital audio workstations).
A word of caution: In many cases, digital gear uses cables that resemble their analog XLR or RCA counterparts. While these connectors may look the same, the cables are often designed for different resistances, and are not interchangeable with their analog look-alikes.
Browse Musician’s Friend’s entire selection of digital cables and connectors.
Musical Instrument Digital Interface cables allow electronic instruments to communicate with peripheral devices. They don’t transmit actual audio, but by signaling every aspect of a musical performance—the note, how long it is held, the velocity of the attack, etc.—MIDI technology defines the sound in the receiving module.
MIDI cables can also communicate control functions to software and synthesizers, so you can control sound and tones with a remote control surface.
The Rocktron RMM900 Cable carries MIDI commands from a footcontroller to any MIDI-compatible gear via a 7-pin MIDI jack.
USB (Universal Serial Bus) cables have become standard for connecting everything from printers to digital audio gear. USB cables have Type A, Type B, Mini-A, Micro-A, Mini-B, Micro-B, or Type C connectors at one end, and a device-specific connector at the other. USB cables can also be used as a power source for some devices. The latest version, USB 3.0, is significantly faster than USB 2.0 and can make a difference in minimizing lag during performances and studio playback of complex material.
For critical audio applications such as recording and DJ work, a premium-quality connector like the Oyaide Neo d+ Series Class B USB Cable ensures stable performance.
There are three types of FireWire connectors: 4-pin, 6-pin and 9-pin. The 4-pin connector, or FW400, transfers data at 400 Mbps (megabytes per second). The slightly larger 6-pin connector has the same transfer rate, but also supplies DC power. The 9-pin connector, or FW800, transfers data twice as fast and also supplies power.
The METRIC HALO Firewire Cable has a standard 6-pin connector on each end, so it can transfer data and also supply power.
Optical Cables and Connectors
Optical cables transmit digital audio as pulses of light, which make them almost completely immune to interference. They are surround-sound capable, but can’t handle higher-resolution formats such as those on Blu-Ray discs.
Livewire Elite Optical Data Cable feature premium, heavy-duty fiber-optic cable with Toslink connectors for ADAT “light pipe” optical connections, audio interfaces and recording equipment.
The Sony/Philips Digital Interface Format (S/PDIF) outputs audio over shorter distances. These connectors use either optical or coaxial cables. Coaxial cables are similar in quality to optical cables, but less common. They use RCA connectors, but these cables are not interchangeable with analog RCA cables.
Bayonet Neill-Concelman connectors were originally designed for military use, but are now commonly used on video and audio testing equipment. The bayonet-style connector is used with miniature and subminiature coaxial cables in radio-frequency equipment and video gear.
This Hosa RG 5Cable has a male BNC connector on each end for video or Ethernet connections.
The Tascam Digital Interconnect Format is an unbalanced proprietary format connector that sends and/or receives up to eight channels of digital audio. The bidirectional connection means that only one cable is required to connect the eight ins and outs of one compatible device to another.
All audio cables with the exception of speaker wires and optical cables are shielded to protect the signal from interference that causes noise. The shielding is most often a wire braid that surrounds the insulator for the center conductor(s). The purpose of shielding is to protect the signal from sources of noise, such as radio transmissions, AC power cords, fluorescent lighting, rheostat dimmers, and some appliances. When you hear radio chatter through your amp, it usually means that the shielding around your amp’s gain components is inadequate, but your instrument cable’s shielding can also be the problem. Good shielding blocks interference and also may serve as a ground.
The most common is the braided shield. Small wire strands are braided to form a sheath around the insulation of the signal-conducting wire. This type of shielding is flexible and durable. Onstage mic and instrument cables are constantly being bent, pulled, and stepped on, and braided shielding holds up best under these conditions.
Serve or Spiral-Wrapped Shield
Another type of shielding is the spiral-wrapped or serve shield. This sheath is formed by wrapping a flat strip of wire strands around the center wires in a spiral. The serve shield, while it lacks the tensile strength of a braided shield, is more flexible than a braided shield because it stretches when the cable is bent. It is less resistant to radio frequency (RF) interference, because it is actually a coil and has inductance. It is also easier to manufacture so cables using serve shielding are usually less expensive.
The foil shield is a Mylar-backed aluminum tube that terminates at a copper drain wire. It provides 100% coverage, but since aluminum is a poor conductor of electricity, it also interferes with signal transfer. Foil shielding is inexpensive and easy to make, but it is also fragile and breaks down easily with repeated flexing. It is best used in small patch cables and stereo cables that don’t move much once they are connected.
Even the best cable will eventually fail, and the more you use your sound equipment, the faster you will go through them – especially if you’re taking it on the road. A cable tester is a simple tool that verifies intended signals are working, and no unintended signals are being carried. If you have a problem with your system, a cable tester can quickly help you determine what and where the problem is.
The Galaxy Audio Cable Tester quickly and easily tests XLR, 1/4″, 1/8″, Speakon, stereo RCA, and DIN (MIDI) cables, making it an essential tool for musicians and sound engineers.
Browse the Musician’s Friend selection of cable testers and other audio test equipment.
Snakes are essentially bundled sets of cables. Stage snakes may contain microphone, patch, or speaker cables and are used for two-way connection between the stage and mixers and other PA equipment. They have a fan of connectors on one end, and a box on the stage end that houses a panel of connectors. In shopping for a snake, the length and the type of connections are the main considerations. There are also audio snakes for studios that bundle various cables needed for connecting studio components.
Very ruggedly built with Neutrik D connectors and serious strain relief on all cables, the Pro Co StageMASTER 12-Channel Snake has 1sends and returns.
Explore the complete selection of audio cable snakes at Musician’s Friend.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your ethernet cable brand wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of ethernet cable brand
- №1 — Aurum Ultra Series – High Speed HDMI Cable
- №2 — AmazonBasics RJ45 Cat-6 Ethernet Patch Cable – 50 Feet
- №3 — AmazonBasics RJ45 Cat-6 Ethernet Patch Cable – 14 Feet