Gadgets: Untangling Audio Cable Choices

You have a lot of choices in audio cables for connecting devices to get the best sound and performance. As a shopper, I've had this discussion with store employees who often tell me, there is no difference between them.

Well, I'm here to tell you first hand from experience there is a difference.

The site, explains how audio cables transmit sound and the importance of audio cables – they provide the connection and the route by which the signal is transmitted.

You can read more about it if you want, but there is a difference. You might not need the best, but there is a big difference from the top-of-the-line to the bottom.

I recently tried a few cables from tech brand Austere's new portfolio of home theater accessories, including audio and video cables.

As described by Austere, the HDMI-certified cables maximize home theater experience, three lengths including active HDMI at 5.0 m for optimal visual and audio performance.

The Audio cables have pure gold connectors, LinkFit connectors and grounded shields to reduce audio distortion.

I don't berate a product in this space, simply because I don't feel like one user should have that much effect on a single product. But, I was thrilled when Austere sent me an audio optical cable to test. I've gone through a few over the past year that connected my wall-mounted TV to a soundbar. One came included with the products and a store brand replacement was offered when I told them about my issues. Neither has delivered what I wanted.

So, I unboxed the optical cable sample as fast as possible and got it connected outside the wall to quickly sample. A few weeks later it's still hanging outside the wall and ready to go on the other side since performance has been perfect.

The optical WovenArmor cable made with Kevlar is flexible and can take some bending and curves and still perform like new (unlike other optical cables I've tried, which must remain straight). The Pure Gold connectors fit into my TV and soundbar securely without fear they will come loose.

The new line of cables includes connecting subwoofer cables, Audio Interconnect Cable, Banana Adapters, HDMI, and more choices are on the way. But if you understand one thing, there is a difference.

Prices vary by the type of cable and length, the 6.6-feet optical cable as tested is $39.99, the 16.4-feet V Series Subwoofer Cable is $79.99.

- Gregg Ellman