Are you searching for the Best Studio Monitor Cables for Home Studio then, you’re in the right place because, in this article, you are going to find the best studio monitor cables for the home.
If you’re not sure about choosing the right and best studio monitor cables then, it can be tricky as there are tons of studio monitor out there, but here are some of the studio monitor cables for home. However, the list is not complete though there is tons of it out there; here I have listed a few of them which will be useful for you. So let’s dive into the article, and see what you need to look for when wiring up your new studio monitors.
- 1 Types of audio cables
- 2 Balanced and Unbalanced cables
- 3 Why balanced?
- 4 The Case for Unbalanced Connections
- 5 Types of connectors
- 6 TS and TRS connectors
- 7 XLR Connectors
- 8 Male and Female
- 9 The Three Interface Cables
- 10 MIDI Cables
- 11 Optical Cables
- 12 BNC Cables
- 13 AES/EBU Cables
- 14 Cat5e Cables
- 15 Power Cables
- 16 Cable Organization
- 17 Use Snake Cables
- 18 Use Cable Winders
- 19 Solder Your Own Cables
Types of audio cables
Most of the time for recording or production studio, there are several different types of cables that use for the purpose of passing audio from one piece of equipment to another.
I am sure that you guys are familiar with instrument cables, which connect electric guitars and keyboards to amplifiers, signal processing devices, or directly into the mixer, so those cables are the TS variety. Generally, cables used to record microphones use the XLR type connector.
Balanced and Unbalanced cables
Sometimes balanced and unbalanced cables cause a great deal of confusion where unbalanced cables carry only the positive audio signal and the ground, and balanced cables carry the negative signal. In unbalanced cables have two conductors as the two contact points on either end.
Likewise, in balanced cables have a third conductor with three contact points on either cable end as well where negative and positive signals are out of phase with each other, result as a balanced signal.
In contrast to the unbalanced cables, balanced cable connectors have tons of benefits. Generally, a balance has higher signal-to-noise ratios that make it better suited to applications wherein audio quality is a priority. Whereas the higher signal-to-noise ratio makes balanced connectors more suitable for longer cable runs.
Also, balanced connectors are less prone to electrical interference rather than unbalanced cable. Moreover, balance cable can connect equipment over longer distances as well and helps to reduce buzzes, humming, and crackling in the audio path.
The Case for Unbalanced Connections
Some of the mid-range and entry-level studio monitors are equipped merely with unbalanced input ports that may be of the quarter-inch or even the RCA variety. Hence, mid-range and entry-level studio monitors have to use unbalanced cables.
Types of connectors
Most of the connectors are likely the quarter-inch plugs similar to those used for plugging in electric guitars into amplifiers and effects processors. However, not all quarter-inch plugs are the same, so you have to know which specific purpose each type is intended.
TS and TRS connectors
Basically, quarter-inch plugs come in two varieties that are TS or tip-sleeve and TRS or tip-ring-sleeve. One of a simple way to say the difference between the two kinds is to count the number of contact points or distinct metal surfaces on the plug. Usually, TS connectors have two contact points whereas TRS connectors have three which allows TRS plugs to carry a balanced signal.
Similar to the XLR plugs carry positive and negative signals, so the ground that allows handling of balanced signals. But TRS plugs have three pins that plug into the three holes of a TRS input port.
Male and Female
You have heard of jacks as male and plugs as female, so you have to distinguish male connectors from female connectors by the presence of some sort of protrusion.
The Three Interface Cables
The Three Interface Cables is the one that connects your audio interface to your computer, and almost all the studio must have. So following are the three interface cables.
First, we have a USB which is standard for budget interfaces but when it comes to transferring it has the slowest data transfer. However, it works well for home studios.
The second one is Firewire which is pricier interfaces that offers significantly faster speeds than USB.
Now the third one is Thunderbolt a new and high-end interface that offer unprecedented data transfer rates, but long time back it was seen on dedicated PCIe processing cards.
MIDI Cables are mainly used by electronic musicians as it transfers data between various electronic instruments and related digital devices. MIDI Cables are also uses for communicating various kinds of musical information like notes and velocity.
Usually, in-home studio MIDI Cables run from keyboard/MIDI controller to a MIDI interface that connects to a computer and allows users to control the virtual instruments within your DAW. Nowadays, MIDI cables are not common, because USB cables can transfer MIDI data directly to the computer.
Optical Cables transfers using a series of light flashes it can also carry multiple channels of digital audio through a single cable. It accepts signals ADAT that carries 8 channels at 48 kHz where ADAT is commonly used for sending all 8 channels of a multi-channel mic preamp to the audio interface.
Another signal is S/PDIF (aka TOSLINK) that carries 2 channels of audio where it is commonly used to output your stereo mix from the audio interface to an external source like a cheaper pair of monitor speakers.
BNC Cables is identical to the coaxial cables which are used to connect cable TV with different name and purpose. Usually, BNC Cables is used to sync the internal clocks of multiple digital devices, when two or more are connected. It would not be possible to sync correctly, without BNC cables the digital devices cannot sync correctly.
Otherwise, it will result in misaligned samples and annoying clicks and pops in the audio. However, simple studios rarely use BNC cables, but most of the time the larger studios with advanced signal routing will require them.
Among all the cables in the list, AES/EBU Cables is the strangest studio cables that use the XLR connectors of an analog mic cable for transmitting the S/PDIF signal of a digital optical cable. It is not common with budget recording gear, but most of the time it uses on higher-end interfaces and other hardware.
AES/EBU is an audio signal, not a cable that works with several different connectors like optical, BNC, RCA, and XLR. However, XLR versions are the most popular because of which users associate them with the name. Mostly, it is mistaken for mic cables while using them, make sure to label them.
Cat5e Cables are the same cables that will use with home telephones, but it works great in the studio as well. It is capable for sending both a power source and multiple channels of digital audio via a single line.
It can stretch long distances with extremely low latency times and comprises features which make them perfectly suited to meet the needs of many high-end headphone distribution systems. Usually, some of the advanced systems can send up to 40 channels of audio to a personal mixer with a single cat5e cable.
So we have covered both analog and digital cables now the remaining is power cables. One of the best things about pro audio is that the same one can use for everything. IEC C13 is cable use for virtual computers, to studio monitors, to studio rackmount setups.
Now we are close to the end, and our final topic is an organization I hope it’s not difficult to imagine that for most studios, cable organization is a constant struggle. So following are the 3 tips which help make it easier.
Use Snake Cables
If you’re using too many cables then, snake cable offers the perfect solution for you by combining many individual cables into one. And for the home studios, it has the advantageous, so have a look at it!
It provides dramatically reduce the clutter behind the rack so that the user can make changes without untangling a spider-web of cables.
The second one is that it lets users relocate the inputs of the mic preamp to literally in the room.
Use Cable Winders
Some of the pro studios might not like the idea of using cable winders, but Cable winders can make the tedious job a lot less painful. While using it, users can merely pull it out to the exact length needed then it will lock itself in place. When it comes in retract it, tightly tug at the base then, it will roll automatically.
Solder Your Own Cables
You might have noticed that in pro studios hardly you will see exposed cables because cutting and soldering their own cables users can tailor each one to the exact perfect length for the job.
By going through the article, I hope you can now choose the right and the best studio monitor cables for home. I hope that you guys will find the article informative and helpful in the time of need. So thanks for reading it!