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Let me ask you audiophiles and video game enthusiasts a question:
“What do you do to spice up your parties, Saturday night video game sessions, Karaoke nights or those long drives you go on in your cars?”
Even with all the Bluetooth, WiFi, Vintage Speakers, and the internet, sometimes it doesn’t go according to plan, does it? These gizmos often have performance issues like dull audio, lack of clarity in sound, and weird noises.
People actually go out and spend hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars fixing these things.
What if I say, “I could cut down 90% of your expense without compromising the performance?”
Simple! Use RCA Cables with your equipment. Although these babies came in the stereo they are not yet obsolete. Even in the age of HDMI and Bluetooth, male and female RCA Cables are still a thing.
These cables can power up anything from a music system to your car stereo. Best RCA Cables can do wonders for your old TV too! All you need to do is to know where to find them.
This little piece will serve as your beacon when it comes to finding these products and putting them to good use.
What Is an RCA Cable?
To put it simply, these cables are what you’ll find with old VCRs, TVs, and even with some of the modern pieces of equipment. These things carry analog audio and video signals from one end to another. These cables connect the receiver and the sender directly. So, people indeed have less chance of
At each end, you have one connector. If you are using it for audio, there is one set of the connector at each end. One is for the left port and other is for the right port. Cables with these connectors are called “Component.” For AV cables, another one is added to the mix. These RCA cables are called Composite Cables.
Now, don’t mix these babies with Coaxial cables. These two are cousins. The look similar. Yet, coaxial cables carry digital signals, not analog (More on this later).
Why Would I Need an RCA Cable for Car Audio?
Boast about HDMI all you want folks but these cables do have their uses. HDMI cables may be the “Trendier” version of the two; yet, when it comes to connecting subwoofers with your “Car Audio System,”Component RCA is the order of the day.
The composite cables do wonders when connecting your dad’s TV with amplifiers or the camcorders with the TV. Bear in mind RCAs are for bridging short distance connections only. Room to room connection should be just fine.
Pairing camcorders with TV or PC speakers is a bit tricky. Why? Well, people complain about the signal quality of these cables when used with some old camera or camcorders. What they don’t tell you is that they use low-price camcorders that have only one jack (a combination of video and audio). It results in the poor output.
With good ones, however, you get three ports (two for audio and one for video). These allow you quality pictures with great sound quality. All the while, staying within the budget.
How to Pick the Best RCA Cable for Audio by Yourselves?
Although I did my research and toiled hard to come up with the list above, there’s every chance that my recommendations won’t “Wow” you. I don’t plan on leaving you stranded. Instead, in this section, I plan on arming you with the necessary knowledge to make sure you choose the “Right” cable for your endeavors.
Which “Type” High End RCA Cables are You Purchasing?
People who are new to RCAs might mix up a few things. The “Type” is an example to go with. Whenever a vendor shows you a cable or you find one online, it is either a composite or a component cable.
If you are buying RCAs for your car audio system, you, my friend, need a component cable. For connecting sound system with TVs or Camcorders, you need “Composite” cables.
When buying one, check if it is a “Male” or a “Female” cable too. Don’t end up buying a male cable (which you can plug into things) when you need a female (which is often plugged into ports) one
Judge the Quality of the RCA Cable by the Shielding
Shielding is an act of masking the wires inside a cable. It protects the insulation. When choosing a cable, make sure to take into account how many layers of shielding it has. The more the better.
Shed a few more bucks if you have to but ensure better shielding for RCA cable you want to buy. Good RCA Cables have multiple layers that protect the cable’s insulation from outside damages and interference. Proper shielding ensures an uninterrupted flow of signal from point to point.
In this case, length of the cable (which I’ll get to in a moment) plays a key part. Make sure to buy one with short to medium length. Medium length cables have better shielding and can carry the signal efficiently.
The Length of These RCA Cables is Important
No matter what brand of RCAs you use and how good the quality of the cable is, there’s no use if one end falls shortly after connecting to your TV. You won’t hear any sound if you are unable to reach and connect the other end with a speaker.
Case and point: Always make sure the cable is of sufficient length. Good RCA Cables come with a length of 3 feet (minimum) to 15 feet (maximum). Measure the distance between equipment to equipment and get a cable that covers the distance.
People often buy oversized cables and cut them down to size. Don’t do it. It may result in you compromising on the quality of the output. Instead, do the opposite. I always keep some extra room so that the cable is flexible enough and I can maneuver it if need be.
Take A Look at the Connectors at Each End
Many of us are hung up on the cables so much that we tend to forget there are two ends of a cable equipped with connectors. These two ends go into different ports of two devices. One must take a good look at what they are made of to ensure top-notch signal flow.
You’ll find connectors made of various materials including silver, nickel, copper, and gold. Among these, silver is the most popular and is widely used by most brands. Silver coated conductors ensure good output of audio and video signals. Yet, they are prone to corroding and damage over time.
Looking to guard against corrosion? One can buy Nickel plating. These are somewhat better than silver at resisting corrosion. But I’d advise people to go for “Gold” plated connectors. And make sure it’s as much pure as possible. Pure gold transmits the signal well. I can vouch that it’s better than nickel and it’s not susceptible to corrosion like the silver connectors.
How Much Are You Willing to Pay for a Good RCA Cable for Turntable?
Let’s get one thing straight. Your deal will get sweeter as you pour more sugar into it. You’ll find pricey ones to be higher in quality. Better priced products come with better shielding and are prone to less of an interference when transmitting audio or video signals.
But be careful in putting more money into the purchase. Sometimes, you might not need the pricey pieces of cables to get the job done. You can get the best RCA Cables in as little as 10 bucks. With a decent design, good enough materials, and length to its advantage, a 10-buck RCA wire is more than useful.
Quick Video Review of Top-Rated RCA Cables for Audio
Best RCA Cables for Audio for Purchase This Year
These wires are pretty cheap and you can get them pretty easily from any electronics outlet or online. But picking just about anything doesn’t guarantee that you’ll have the high-quality RCA cables that you want. To assist you with that, here’s my list of top models that are cheap yet reek of quality
RCA Cable, iXCC 6ft Headphone Adapter – Cheap RCA Cable for Car Audio
iXCC gives the users the privilege of dual shielding (a rare case for RCA cables I must add). Another thing to note is the gold-plated connectors at each end of the wire. These are significantly better than the “Silver” plates we commonly see. It results in virtually no interference when using it with audio devices.
This is, unless you know, a “Bi-Directional” cable. It means you’ll be able to transmit “Stereo” signals. Also, this variety of cable is male-to-male. Differentiating two parts is no problem with the common color scheme of red and white at each end denoting positive and negative leads.
This little thing features a “Triangle-Free” design. When storing a moderately lengthy cable, it makes all the difference. You don’t have to take off the covers of your iPads, Smartphones, or speakers when unplugging and storing this piece of cable.
On top of that, each connector comes with a comfortable grip for easy plugging and unplugging. The attention to detail is something to be marveled at. The fact that you are getting a 2-year warranty with this “Under $10” product is just the icing on the cake.
Why Recommend This Product: Okay, you get a cable that’s cheap. Yet, the moment you see double shielding, you KNOW that this is the kind of quality you are looking for. Everything from hooking it up to storing it is easy. Also, the gold-plated connector will impress users who are looking for a quality accessory.
Audioquest RCA Cables Review – Best Quality RCA Cables
Why am I referring to this as an upgrade? Well, Evergreen Audio Interconnect comes with Long Gain copper conductors (Keyword: Conductors). This will bring down the signal loss and give you a clean audio whenever you are up for some music to your ears.
Before you frown your eyebrows, these are different from standard copper OFHC conductors. By the way, OFHC means Oxygen Free High Conductivity if you are curious.
Another thing that contributes to the superior sound experience is Polyethylene insulation. It is foamed. The insulation allows sound to flow quickly. It has Noise-Dissipation System in place. This prevents sound distortion and hollowness of the audio you are playing.
The 3.5mm plug is gold-plated as usual. In this cases, the connectors are cold-welded as well. These are rustproof. To further sweeten the deal, you get fabric sleeves that don’t go bad quickly. Also, more wire gauge is always a good thing. If you ask me, it’s worth the money you pay.
What Do I Think: It’s pricy? Sure. But I don’t mind recommending a product that negates audio distortions through gold and copper plated jack and connectors. The fiber sleeve and air-filled insulation give this thing durability, stability, and a definite edge over some of the top brands.
AmazonBasics RCA Cable Reviews – Who Doesn’t Know AmazonBasics?
Users can connect these things in any order to the left and right port of your amplifier or subwoofer. People won’t have the difficulties distinguishing one part from the other as AmazonBasics did red and white color coding on these cables. Given the quality of the existing one, I’d have liked a composite connector too!
This male to male RCA cable facilitates quality audio feed when you are listening to songs, doing karaoke or partying with your friends. The shielding and wire materials cancel out any interference and any chance of a scratchy audio. Manufacturers put in long hours to bring the signal loss to a minimum.
As the previous piece of wire on my list, this too comes with a gold plated connectors. These connectors, as you know, conduct signals better than silver or nickel-made ones. Also, gold plating prevents these connectors from going bad due to corrosion anytime soon.
This 8-inch AmazonBasics RCA Cable provides the users with the 1-year warranty as the backup if anything goes wrong. This is nothing short of astounding for a cable under 12 dollars. Add to that you have as many as three size options when it comes to flexibility. It’s just awesome!
Why Am I Behind this Product: AmazonBasics is a reputed brand when it comes to performance. There’s no denying the quality of the Aluminum sheet used inside to increase signal speed and strength. All in all, It’ll be a good purchase for the people. I am sure. I can pick out a good product when I see one.
Mediabridge 3.5mm Male to 2-Male RCA Adapter Reviews
As it happens, portable devices like Smartphones or iPads often have bulky cases. I know plenty of normal models that would fall off in such cases. Yet, with the unique beveled shape and a Step-Down design, Mediabridge RCA cables (all three size options) stay connected to your devices.
As with most products on my list today, you get dual shielding with this one too. Just in case if you are curious, this model features an aluminum shield and a steel shield over it with braided copper. On top of these two, manufacturers put soft PVC-made jacket to make the handling easy.
Aluminum and “Steel-Copper” hybrid shielding works to transmit the audio signals quick and without any loss in quality. Copper conductors help to minimize the gain of the sound to provide a crisp audio. The soft jacket on top makes for greater maneuverability when dealing with tight spaces.
Now, the connectors are metal-based and polished to be rustproof. Also, there’s a gold-plated 3.5mm jack that goes into the mobile devices. These contribute to the good audio quality people receive with this wire. Since it connects to mobile devices, you can adjust the equalizer on the go as well.
Don’t think that you can’t recharge your mobile once the battery dies. You can. All you need is a separate cable for recharging the machine.
Why Buy This: You mean, besides for the low price and a solid construction? I’d say the performance. Also, the size options. People have three sizes to choose from. One can buy a cable as much as 25-feet long. For a cable meant for the Smartphones, mp3s, and the Apple family, it is a blessing. The longest cable maintains supreme quality signal flow for its size as well.
Better Cables RCA Cables Reviews – Award Winning Cables for Turntable
Better Cables grabbed awards for the design and functionality in terms of delivering clear audio. Let me tell you, it can satisfy hardcore audiophiles and music enthusiasts.
Want something better than copper at conductivity? You’ve got Silver! Better Cables utilizes this highly conductive metal in coating the conductors. For the record, it is better than gold as well as copper when it comes to carrying sound signals in a quick and efficient way.
That being said, the manufacturers made the connectors with copper. While silver quickens the signal’s traveling rate, copper takes out the “Kink” in the sound. As a result, the users get crystal clear sound whenever they connect stereo systems, DVD-Audio players, SCAD, and CD players.
One element that plays a crucial part in carrying the sound is the Nitrogen injected insulation this wire uses. Nitrogen is the main thing that mixes up with the air. Injecting it means the sound will travel quickly. This is a masterstroke on part of the manufacturers to come up with the idea.
Better Cables RCA Interconnects use braided shielding. In fact, it is 95% (That’s a huge percentage) braided. This does extremely well in nullifying RFI and EMI interferences. You can practically make out the shielding by looking at the cable. Despite using such a hard shield, it is incredibly flexible.
Why You Should Absolutely Buy It: Believe me, I can point to a quality cable when I see one. This is “It.” Ignore the price for a moment and focus on Nitrogen shielding, copper/silver blend for maximum clarity in sound, and the braided shielding. On top of that, the design remains simple and flexible. This is a cable that reeks “Quality and Style.” Get this. You won’t regret spending a single dime.
Fosmon A1602 RCA Splitter Reviews
Unlike component RCA cables that we saw earlier, this set features a third cable and a port for the composite variety as well. Hence allowing users smooth video signal transmission. Splitter has three female ports on each of the three slots.
Let me tell you, there’s no compatibility issue here. Fosmon A1602 splitter goes well with anything and everything that basically takes in these cables. There’s no need for external power either. Just plug the cables in the splitter and you are done.
Let’s count which things you can pair with your TV using this device and the cables. You can pair VCRs or DVD players that are lying around your house. Don’t forget video games! You can play games while pairing the console with your TVs with this splitter. Set-top boxes and HDTVs can also be tempered with.
That’s not to say you can’t use it for just the audio. You can! In this case, the composite video inputs shouldn’t have any cables plugged into them. One can even plug these with the HDMI adapters.
Wondering how to switch between the three devices you’ve paired till now? Well, you don’t have to unplug any one of the three. There’s an input switch that can be moved from left to right. Slide it next to a number corresponding to the connected device you want to power. The switch can be operated with one touch.
Why Bother with This Product: Let’s do a head count, you are getting cables (above average quality) and a splitter at a price below $10. The splitter can hook up “Three” devices with your TV. Operating the product is a breeze and the combo enjoys raving feedback from users. Do you need more reasons to get this package first thing the next day? No? Just as I thought!
25Ft RCA M/Mx3 Audio/Video Cable Gold Plated Reviews
Naturally, the users will have length options while buying this piece of cable. Feel free to choose between 3 to 100 feet long (Yes, you heard it: 100 Feet!) of cable that matches your needs.
Don’t think for a second that the cable won’t be able to deliver. It does! The cable delivers an impressive video output in the form of RG59. This allows you to hook up the PS2 or PS3 that you may have in addition to the standard TV or DVD players. Even the 100-foot cable sits at a price of fewer than 20 bucks.
I am outright calling it the best RCA video extension cable there is. It is fully shielded to cover for video and audio distortions and sound losses. On top of that, it comes with Gold plating. The gold plated connectors prevent rust from harming the hardware and the wire itself.
Make no mistake, this IS flexible and super handy when you are working with distance. To my surprise, even at 25-feet, there were no distortions of sound or video quality. You can even test this with any of your cameras that have RCA output.
This is optional but you can actually get a separate RCA control box with four ports manage different connections if you choose to pair up multiple devices.
Why You “Absolutely” Need to Buy It: If you are looking for a flexible cable that offers multiple length options, this is the one to go! This one works really well for the price. You also have the option to buy an RCA switch controller box should you choose to. The whole package wouldn’t even cost you 35 bucks!
RCA Extension Cable by KabelDirekt Reviews
KabelDirekt is anything but “Just another Product.” This thing comes with “Female to Male” extension (rare on my list) for audio (subwoofer and stereo speakers) and video.
The jacket, in this case, is made of PVC and durable at that. You can take it through bare floors of your house and stingy places like the bookshelves. One can connect speakers with amplifiers at a maximum distance of 25-feet. It is flexible. Don’t worry about maneuvering.
My knowledge dictates, Oxygen-free copper that’s used in conductors of this cable deliver top-notch audio and video performance due to minimal RFI and EMI disturbances.
The quality of the cable is unmatched when it comes to the materials. The manufacturers even applied bi-directional bending that ensures the cable doesn’t break because of the tension resulted from it folding.
The conductor utilizes copper in the making. It fastens the signal’s path making the sound and video crisp as well as clear. One good thing about it is the connector is gold plated. At this point you know what gold plating does, don’t you? It prevents rust from invading these cables.
Then you have the double-shielded mechanism responsible for crystal clear sound. With 18-month warranty, this is a cable that’s foolproof in every way (except maybe natural calamities, those are extreme punishments).
Why Go for This Brand?For two reasons in my opinion. The actual cable that smells “Quality” from a mile away. And the 18-month extensive warranty that covers all the damages this little thing can encounter. Every feature is covered within this spectrum.
FosPower RCA Audio Cable Reviews – Best Car Audio RCA Cable
These two aspects keep the cable connected even when people use an iPhone or an Android with a bulky case that tends to fall over. The “Split Tip” design allows this male to male cable to fit snugly in place.
The wire has a copper core with tin put in there for good measure. This allows the signal strength to be much higher than its competitors. The fact that there is Tin with Copper into the mix, you have less oxidization and greater wire life.
Double shielding with Aluminum and Braided Copper ensure that you get crystal clear audio without any interference from EMI or RFI and humming noises.
There’s Gold plating done on 3.5mm jack. As always, it’s great at preventing rust from taking over the cable. Further enhancing the durability of the RCA cable is the flexible PVA jacket. It helps people to maneuver through tough spots without harming the cable itself.
Why Am I Recommending This:This cable is easy to set up and use, unlike most cables that are available. You have multiple size options, a flexible design and superlative insulator that do the job efficiently. Plus, the price is extremely cheap when you look at it. A good buy for the money.
KabelDirekt RCA Stereo Cable Reviews – Best RCA Cables for Subwoofer
For example, the cable is exclusively suited for home theater system, amplifiers, subwoofers, and other speakers. You get the same range in terms of length with 3 to 25 feet. Copper Core (Oxygen-free) makes for quick signal transmission with little to no signal loss.
It’s easy to use with left and right connectors of any speaker or home theater system. 24K Gold plating on connectors, as you know, makes the connectors rustproof. Plus, it makes sure that you get quality audio each and every time.
As with most cables on this list, this one is a “Two Channel” cable. You can play stereo sound with minimal distortion. One has to thank the Hi-Fidelity connection that it provides. It’s got PVC jacket that helps it to get through toughest of spaces out there.
Manufacturers have Iconic double shielding is in place. This prevents RFI and EMI disturbances and humming noises.
Why Would You Buy It?KebalDirect is one sought after brand because of the quality it offers. What I like about the brand is that it guarantees the quality we yearn for in RCA cables. Everything comes well packaged too. This is a well-rounded cable that has a nice price tag to be affordable.
RCA Cable 101 – Things No One Will Tell You
Now that you know which are the best cables in the business and can choose your own variety if need be, let’s move on to answering some nagging questions. After all, there’s nothing better than knowledge and more knowledge about this stuff.
How Do I Connect HDMI Cable to RCA?
At this day and age, you should find HDMI cables and devices that are compatible with it easily. Yet, there are certain brands that have audio, video or camcorder devices that are compatible with RCA cables only. Call them “Old Relics” if you would.
Point is: If you want to use HDMI cables with them and vice versa, you’ll need to find a way to interconnect RCA cables to HDMI ones.
All that’s needed is an HDMI connector. Users will need to connect one end of the connector with a power source and plug in HDMI cable at a port of this hub.Then, connect the RCA end of the hub to your speakers, TV or any other audio system.
Can I Turn My Speaker Wires into RCAs?
Yes, people can achieve that feat. Believe it or not, converting your speaker wires to these cables will give you the performance boost in many cases. Also, you’ll have an extra piece of wire to work with. One can do this in five steps.
- You need to determine the length of the wire first. Cut the wire to a size suitable for your endeavors
- Next thing to do is to strip off the insulation from the wire. Expose the wire’s insides.
- There are plenty of RCA jackets available on the market. Buy two and slide the wire’s positive lead inside one of the jackets. Make sure the lead goes into the center part of the connector. You’ll do well to melt some part of the wire with iron soldering to keep it in place.
- Now, connect the RCA tab with the negative lead of the wire. Solder and melt a part of the wire to fit it in place and then slide the jacket or over the wireafter it cools down to some degree.
- The users will have to repeat the process in previous two points for the other end of the cable too.
Can You Explain the Difference Between Coaxial Cables and RCAs?
If I remember correctly, I’ve been saying all along that RCA cables are for simpler devices. These carry analog signals from the device to device. The Coaxial cables carry digital signals instead. But this is only the “Tip” of the iceberg. Let’s dive a bit deeper.
RCA cables are poor man’s coaxial. Normally, the wires inside the cable transmit the signal. You have an aluminum foil acting as the “Shielding” that I keep going on about. The shielding is thicker in case of the coaxial cable than it is for the RCAs. Same is the case for the insulation of the wires.
In addition to protecting the cable from interference, the shielding strengthens the signal and increases the transmission rate. But the differences don’t stop there. With Coaxial cables, you can pair modern TV sets with Subwoofers or speakers over “Long Distances” without worrying about signal disruption.
Good insulation and shielding make Coaxial cables pricier than the best RCA cables out there (sometimes). You may have to shed as many as 30 bucks or more to get a quality cable.
Can’t I Just Use RCA Cables in Place of Coaxial Ones?
Technically, you can. But take my advice, don’t. Why? Well, the shielding is weak in case of RCAs. Coaxial cables are accustomed to handle higher bandwidths. But RCAs can’t handle that kind of load. As a result, you might hear sound shattering.
On top of that, there’s a curse of distance that I mentioned earlier. RCAs don’t do too well with long distances. You can only use these cables for 3 to 15 feet before sound distorts. Coaxial cables, on the other hand, carry digital signals. Thus, they are ideal fits for long distance pairing.Related Reviews