Skip to main content

Best audio cables

The analogue information coursing between your source and amplifier is complicated – and there's an awful lot of it. So connect them wisely – because, like every component in your audio chain, your audio cables can make a significant difference to the sound your system ultimately delivers.

We've rounded up the best audio cables currently out there, catering for all budgets. So whether you're watching the pennies or splashing the cash, these audio interconnects can make the most of your hi-fi's potential.

Chord Company C-line

Few audio cables at this price can compare to this talented Chord pairing.

Specifications

Type: Analogue interconnect
Terminated: Yes
Length: 1m

Reasons to buy

+
Helps tie instruments together
+
Aids dynamics and musicality

Reasons to avoid

-
Nothing at this price

This is Chord displaying once again an understanding of what makes hi-fi great, with an entry-level interconnect that never loses sight of what matters: the musicality of your system. It also helps enhance your system's detail levels, making for an entertaining and informative listen.

QED Profile

A cheap yet extremely cheerful pair of interconnects.

Specifications

Type: Analogue interconnect
Terminated: Yes
Length: 1m

Reasons to buy

+
Tight sound
+
Good detail
+
Impressive dynamics

Reasons to avoid

-
Nothing of note

Despite its über-budget price tag, the Profile punches above its weight, helping to deliver a tight sound that’s uncluttered and airy. Detail levels are surprisingly good for the money too, and the well-made Profile also shows ability with its handling of dynamics.

Chord Company Clearway Analogue RCA

These cables help your system deliver all the dynamism it's capable of.

Specifications

Type: Analogue interconnect
Terminated: Yes
Length: 1m

Reasons to buy

+
Helps with detail and timing
+
Aids openness and dynamics
+
Work well with wide range of systems

Reasons to avoid

-
Nothing

Having spent time using the Clearway, we found it really quite unsatisfying to listen to the same songs with anything else of a similar price. The price tag might weigh heavy on many listeners’ wallets – and the cheaper C-Line remains a class leader we can still get behind – but for those who can justify the outlay, the Clearway is brilliantly capable of letting you hear where your money has gone.

QED Performance Audio 40

A pair of interconnects that deliver heaps of detail and impressive agility.

Specifications

Type: Analogue interconnect
Terminated: Yes
Length: 1m

Reasons to buy

+
Spacious, clean soundstage
+
Bags of detail

Reasons to avoid

-
Tough competition

These QED cables promote a wide-open soundstage, both vertically and horizontally. They help vocals sound full-bodied and weighty, but with lots of breathing space above them, too. Put simply, if you covet space and detail with sure but nimble footwork and heaps of insight, consider your search for an audio cable complete.

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.


Read more about how we test