Should speaker wires be twisted? You would think twisting your speaker wires will destroy it and affect the sound but that is not always correct.
Twisting speaker wires force the wires to assume the same noise, especially if the receiving device uses balanced input that takes one of the lines, inverts it, and adds it to other lines to cancel the common-mode noise.
To prevent coupling, multiple pair cables typically twist their pairs at different pitches. A more preferable speaker wiring practice is to ensure that the signal and power cables remain separate. If you cannot avoid crossing, ensure to cross at the proper angles.
Can you twist speaker wire together?
Experts confirm that twisting speaker wires together will not result in any problem. Besides, some lines of speaker cables are even twisted to cancel possible signal noise.
The recommended twisting practice is to cross the speaker wires at 90-degree angles. This is, perhaps, the common reason some manufacturers use a third dummy wire along the line.
A third wire in the middle of the line allows the speaker wire manufacturer to obtain a 90-degree angle.
Voltage has little to do with the line and is more reasonable to lower the signal voltage since noise can be induced easily in these types of lines.
A higher voltage signal, such as 8 volts RMS would not have so much noise, so it is okay to twist them.
On the other hand, twisting speaker cables not originally twisted can be susceptible due to the impedance of the cable. For example, a speaker wire with a low impedance can take all the energy from the noise and neutralize it.
A 100 nA induced noise current would typically produce about 4.7 mV noise in input impedance of 47 kΩ. However, the same 100 nA is below 1 µV in an 8 Ω speaker.
The output signal of a speaker is a much higher level than the input signal anyway, so we can expect relatively less noise.
Why do you twist speaker wire?
For some reason, you want to twist your speaker wires or buy twisted speaker wires. Below are the reasons it may be worth it to twist speaker wires:
When you place wires close or twist them together, it reduces the amount of noise that enters or exits the circuit.
But there are claims that speaker wires are not very effective when twisted together. The reason is that a complete cancellation can become the result of destructive interference and common-mode rejection when the two opposite energies align perfectly.
When speaker wires are simply close to each other, they do not completely occupy that same position.
In this case, a nearby circuit will be closer to one of the wires than the other. Also, a passing magnetic field will more likely interact with one of the speaker wires before the other wire.
When there is no perfect alignment between the opposite signals, there will be some cancellation but not always a complete cancellation. The two wires will normally occupy the same position. And this is so that any nearby noise sources or circuits remain at the same distance from each of the wires, which is not possible in the real world anyway.
This objective may be achievable with coaxial cables but expensive to make. The central conductor and outer sleeve will share an axis, which is difficult to terminate and will limit a cable to one channel.
Multiple channel support
Twisted speaker wires will allow the cable to use many channels while keeping the wires in closer proximity and preventing a significant amount of noise.
Twisted wires do not also occupy a similar position but both wires will alternate along the length of the cable. This typically results in the speaker wires having a similar average position.
Nearby noise source or circuit gets closer to one of the wires at some point, and then the other wire at a later point. Although this may be effective, it is not the perfect method.
Twisted vs braided or coaxial wire
Braided speaker wire is normally known as coaxial cable (mentioned in the section above) and they use 2 conductors. Braided or coaxial cables also contain an outer conductor and a center conductor that an insulated shield keeps apart.
Braided cables are also used for several frequency transmissions and are less expensive. For instance, they are used a lot for video connections, video signals, and cable TV between devices like VCRs, receivers, and DVD players.
Twisted wires are also used for speakers, and are commonly used in telecommunications. As the name implies, a twisted wire is twisted and has twisted pairs of insulated wire.
Twisting speaker wires ensures that you have two wires on average similar distance from the source of interference and, thus, are equally affected.
The noise then results in a common-mode signal canceling the receiver when only the difference signal is detected, the latter being the required signal.
How do you twist speaker wire?
This section of the publication explains how you twist speaker wire yourself. You also want to be careful not to damage the wire.
Begin by twisting the positive ends of the two speaker wires together.
Determine the positive sides of the existing wire and the extension and use your fingers to firmly and gently spread the strands apart making up the wire to increase the contact.
There should be an identifying feature on the speaker wire, though not always the case. For instance, one side of the wire could be colored and the other black. Or, one side of the wires could be stamped, molded, striped, or printed, which is the positive side.
You may also be able to identify a positive wire if one side is gold and the other is silver – the gold side is positive.
Make a V shape by interlacing the 2 bare wires through each other at the base. Twist the speaker wires together towards a clockwise motion until you can confirm that they are tightly twisted together.
You want to connect the negative ends of the speaker wires and then the negative sides. Repeat the same twisting process for the negative and positive wires and make sure they are twisted tightly.
Best Twisted pair for speaker wire
Instead of manually twisting your speaker wires, you should buy factory-twisted wires. You want to invest in a high-quality wire to bring your speaker to the needed optimal performance.
Consider buying any of the following speaker wires:
GearIT 14/2 speaker wire (250 feet) 14 AWG gauge
GearIT knows what you need in a speaker wire,you can have the b est sturdy wires for an uninterrupted speaker connection. Features packed in this twisted speaker wire include the following:
An oxygen-free twisted speaker wire is more resistant to short, durable, and long-lasting. It can withstand corrosion since it has no oxygen and also runs cooler than most other conductors.
This GearIT twisted speaker wire is devoid of oxygen for premium sound complemented by its high-stranded conductors to unleash the genius in your home theater.
It uses copper, one of the best wire materials, so it ensures maximum conductivity and high-fidelity sound quality.
GearIT thoroughly tests this product to make sure it performs at the highest level before you pay to use it. Of course, the goal is to satisfy you.
This twisted GearIT Pro Series speaker wire is a CL3 rated speaker wire for your in-wall installation. You can pair it with spade tips, banana plugs, or bent pin connectors to connect your speakers to amplifiers or A/V receivers.
Mediabridge 14AWG 2-conductor speaker wire (200 feet, white)
Instead of twisting your speaker wires, (which may get damaged anyway), you could purchase a Mediabridge flexible wire. You can bend this wire to fit any connection point, so far that is what your media player needs to perform optimally.
Top-quality features occasioning this speaker wire include the following:
A suitable speaker wire for spade tips, bent pin connectors and banana plugs. This means you can seamlessly connect your speaker to your audio devices – A/V receivers, amplifiers and many others.
An oxygen-free twisted speaker wire resists short, has excellent durability, and is long-lasting. This speaker wire is oxygen-free and can also withstand corrosion since it has no oxygen. It also runs cooler than most other conductors.
Its use of copper, one of the best wire materials, will ensure maximum conductivity and high-fidelity sound quality to keep your audio device and speaker performing at their best. This speaker wire is also thoroughly tested for performance.
Sturdy and flexible
Does twisting speaker wires reduce inductance?
Twisting speaker wires can lower the inductance, which makes it easier for the amp to drive the signal through the wire. It is correct to say that a lowered inductance of speaker cable allows it to sonically leave the way, and thus, introduces less distortion and noise.
Sometimes, in the case of wires that contain current, twisting them will cancel their magnetic fields, reducing the inductance, which also reduces the corresponding voltage drop and the inductive reactance.
Twisted speaker wires help to counteract the inductive effect, and assist lowered emitted electromagnetic emission. This is the reason RJ-45 ethernet cables are twisted pairs. They work well for signal applications to help in the reduction of ringing and emission. They make the wiring appear nice moreover.
Unless used incorrectly, twisted speaker wires will receive and radiate less interference. However, wire signals need to be out of phase. The signal difference at the receiving end is also taken to cancel interference, similarly in each speaker wire.
If the pairs carry a similar signal, this could be a way to reduce interference. Again, twisting wires would typically get rid of radiated magnetic fields.
How do you straighten twisted wires?
The case is different when it comes to untangling an existing speaker wire. You may need an abandoned, empty cable reel for the procedure. The twisted cable will typically take a permanent twist in a direction.
First, sit the reel flat on the floor. Lower the twisted wire onto the reel in the required direction to perform reverse coiling.
Rotate the reel towards its edges and unspool the speaker wire on a straight line. Repeat this step multiple times until the speaker wire takes a straightened shape.
The final step is to lay the speaker cable out straight to kink it. You also have to deliberately twist the entire balance of the cable to completely absorb the kink.
Alternatively, if the day is hot, leave the twisted speaker cable outside under the direct sun for about half of the day. Take the wire and pull it over a pipe in the form of a pulley. Repeat the process, and this time, reverse the sides. Leave it in the sun again and repeat the pipe pulling process.
Oxygen-free copper or copper-clad aluminum wire
OFC (Oxygen-free copper) is better when compared to CCA (Copper-Clad Aluminum). With an OFC speaker wire, the conductivity increases, which means the speaker wire can carry more current to your amplifier.
OFC wire generally lessens the electrical systems, especially when using it to install speaker wire in a vehicle.
Speaking of sturdiness and flexibility, OFC allows for speaker wire twisting without damage. It can withstand corrosion, and other natural conditions it is exposed to within or outside your apartment or vehicle.
Meanwhile, the CCA speaker wire will not absorb heat as OFC would, so buy OFC wire for your speaker.