What gauge speaker wire to use for subwoofers and home theatres

Are you setting up your home theatre or subwoofer and wondering what kind of wire to use in it? Don’t worry, many people have this confusion in their minds. All of us have to start somewhere right, maybe it would be from this article. We are going to look at what kind of gauge speaker wire to use for your home theatres or subwoofers. 

The easiest choice:

If you are someone who loves to play full-range music in your house or your car then an 18 gauge speaker wire is the best size for you to use. It has the right balance between price and power handling capacity. It is a great choice for up to 50W power handling in cars and 100W in your house. 

What type is the best?

If you are looking for the best quality gauge speaker wire then go for genuine copper speaker wire because it has high electric conductivity. Specifically ask for genuine copper speaker wire, because many shops will sell you copper-clad aluminum as it will reduce their cost. Copper-clad aluminum gauge speaker wires also have low electric conductivity. Be specific when you ask for it. 

What if you are buying for a higher power? 

Most of the time an 18 gauge speaker wire is sufficient for most of the use cases in home theatres and subwoofers, but in case you want a wire that has better power handling capacity then you can go for a 16 gauge speaker wire. It is an excellent choice for higher power systems and also comes at longer lengths. 

Also Read: 8+ Best Underseat Subwoofers you should Buy-in 2021

Selecting a gauge speaker wire:

gauge speaker wire

You don’t need to spend a lot of money on buying a gauge speaker wire if you know what you are doing. But if you don’t then don’t worry, that’s why we are here. Selecting a gauge speaker wire depends basically on three things:

  1. Your speaker or stereo or amplifier’s power output
  2. The ohm rating
  3. The length you need

So keep in mind that, but what does gauge speaker wire actually mean?

Speaker wires do not come in the same sizes and nor they all have the electric handling capacity. Most of the gauge speakers wires follow the American Wire Gauge standard which assigns a number to each type of wire depending upon the size and power handling capacity. But what do the numbers mean? Let’s take 12 AWG, here the wire has more copper wires or more conductors. With 18 AWG wires, there are less number of copper wires or conductors. So in simple words, lesser the number more the number of conductors and more the numbers lesser the number of conductors. 

But why does it matter so much? Because it follows the same rules, and even measured in the same AWG, as the regular power wires. So the gauge wire matters because it should match the power capacity of your speaker to get the best experience possible.

Solid wire vs stranded wire

Solid wire vs stranded wire

Solid wire is the worst possible wire you can use for your audio systems or speakers because it is, as the name says, very hard and has only one conductor. We need something flexible for our speakers, that is the reason you must always go for stranded wire. Stranded wires are made up of 16-20 copper wires and are also very flexible to use. Most of the time solid wires are used for home and industrial wiring so may be you don’t want to waste the leftover solid wires and want to try it, never do that. 

But why so? Why stranded wires over solid wires?

Solid wires are used only for one time purposes most of the time. They are strong and once the wiring of your house is completed, you are not going to keep changing it. That’s not the same case with speaker systems and setups is it? You may change it occasionally according to your desire. So having a flexible and a comparatively weak wire is a great choice for such uses. 

What is the correct size of gauge speaker wires?

The best size of gauge speaker wires completely depends upon you. If your setup is going to be all over the house with a huge setup then you may require a lengthy wire. If the setup is going to be short and sweet, then a shorter wire would be good. 


In this, we have seen the basics you need to know about gauge speaker wires. Just remember that if you don’t understand and are just going to set up your home theatre, then an 18 gauge wire is perfect. Look at the package of your system for information about the wires to be used. You can also call an electrician to help you set it up. And remember, always go for stranded wires.

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