If you have been to your local home theater store, you must have been surprised by the extreme names for home theater cabling like ‘mega cables’, ‘uber cables’ and ‘monster cables’! This abundance of boutique cabling has been a topic of debate among audiophiles and home theater owners. So, does cabling make any difference to the home theater experience? Despite the controversies, we will attempt to answer the question of the worthiness of home theater cabling here.
It is essential to understand up front that cabling cannot improve your home theater’s sound quality, just like an electric wire cannot get extra electricity when plugged in. this is a good example since when you listen to music, what you hear is an electronic representation of an acoustic sound. The sounds have been captured and stored onto a compact disc like bugs in a child’s jar; they are copied and a representation is stored on the disc as a series of numbers.
When plugged in, these series of numbers are translated into electronic signals that are sent to the home theater’s speakers to produce the sound you hear. Once you understand this, you can see why poor or good quality cabling makes no difference to the physical sound. It is more like a game of ‘chinese whispers’ where the band gives the message to the CD, the CD gives it to the player which in turn gives it to the wires and the wires give it to the speakers; something of that message gets lost in transition at each step. This is why the message from the band ‘the beautiful sky’ becomes ‘do not cry’ by the time it comes out of the speakers! In other words, the live recording could have been the best ever but what you ultimately hear through those speakers sounds nowhere near that sound!
Good cabling for your home theater will do very little if any change to the signal. Cabling does distort the signal by a very small margin, a small degree. If you still want to know about the best home theater cabling, you can depend on your local audio guru to lead you. It is a personal choice which could depend on your budget.