AudioQuest Rocket 22 speaker cable review

A flexible, refined-sounding speaker cable Tested at £20/m / $32/m

AudioQuest Rocket 22 review

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

The Rocket 22 is a flexible, well-balanced cable that should work well in a wide range of systems


  • +

    Refined and informative character

  • +

    Aids an authoritative sound

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    Flexible configuration options


  • -

    Tough competition

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We are careful never to pre-judge the result of a review, but in the case of AudioQuest’s Rocket 22, we had solid grounds for high hopes. This speaker cable is the step-up option to the excellent Rocket 11 – the one that broke Chord Company’s formidable stranglehold to win our Accessories Award in 2018.


AudioQuest Rocket 22 build

The 22’s design mirrors that of the cheaper model, but uses higher quality copper conductors with a polished outer surface that’s claimed to give a ‘sweeter’ high frequency performance. The conductors use strands arranged in concentric layers, where each layer spirals in the opposite direction to the one below it. 

AudioQuest Rocket 22 tech specs

Flat No

Diameter 15mm

Directional Yes

Biwire No

This configuration is claimed to reduce unwanted interactions between the strands and so lower distortion. 

Each pair of conductors is then twisted to improve rejection of external interference. There are four pairs of conductors per channel, and while our sample of the cable was terminated to be single-wired, the construction opens up the Rocket 22 to be bi-wired too.

The cable also uses AudioQuest’s Noise Dissipation System, which is essentially specially designed layers of shielding that reduce the impact of RF (Radio Frequency) interference and EMI (Electromagnetic Interference).

While this is a chunky cable, it’s also extremely flexible and shouldn’t cause any issues when installed. It’s available in two colour options – black and white.


AudioQuest Rocket 22 compatibility

The ’22 isn’t a cable you should judge on an initial quick listen. Straight out of the packaging it sounds a little thick and murky, obscuring low level dynamics and some higher frequency detail behind an unusually smooth and full-bodied presentation.

But given a few days of use, the Rocket’s sonic presentation opens up considerably. We use it as part of our reference stereo set-up – Naim NDS/555PS streamer, Gamut D3i/D200i amplifier and ATC SCM 50 speakers – as well as with Naim’s Uniti Star and a pair of Dynaudio Special 40 speakers with consistent and pleasing results.


AudioQuest Rocket 22 sound

In both systems, we enjoy a spacious and refined presentation, one that sounds noticeably larger scale than when we substitute talented cheaper alternatives such as the Chord Company RumourX.

The sound is impressively detailed, uncovering low-level information and arranging it in a stable and cohesive manner. All that detail isn’t overtly highlighted either; here it exists in an even-handed delivery without emphasis. All of this makes for an easy-going balance that makes the Rocket 22 suitable for a wide range of systems.

Despite its civilised nature there’s still enough in the way of dynamic punch and rhythmic drive to allow the sheer energy and attack of Nirvana’s Nevermind shine through. We play Tchaikovsky’s Marché Slave Op.31 and the Rocket helps our systems render pleasing large-scale dynamics and deliver plenty in the way of authority to the sound.

We originally reviewed this cable back in 2019, and at the time it cost £20/m (around $32/m) but the price has gone up significantly since then, but despite that it remains a capable choice.


The Rocket 22 continues the fine work of its Award-winning sibling and, in a suitably talented set-up, the performance difference  between the two is significant enough to justify the sizeable difference in price.


  • Sound 5
  • Compatibility 5
  • Build 5


What Hi-Fi? Awards 2019: Accessories

Best speaker cables

Read our AudioQuest Rocket 11 review

What Hi-Fi?

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, Reading 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.

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