14 vs 16-Gauge Speaker Wire

You may be in requirement of buying an external speaker to connect with your TV or computer. But the issue, in this case, is most of the speakers nowadays don’t come with built-in speaker wires. So, it may confuse you a bit, but no worries, as you can use the other third-party speaker wires for the connection task.

Things can get a bit confusing in this part when you are into the dilemma of which speaker wire to buy. People typically get puzzled between 14 vs 16-gauge speaker wire because of the lack of information. But not anymore, as you will have proper guidance after going through the discussion below.

Comparison Between the Key Points of 14-Gauge Speaker Wire and 16-Gauge Speaker Wire

Getting familiar with the key points of these two speaker wires will help you to understand things better:

Content  14-Gauge Speaker Wire16-Gauge Speaker Wire
The Thickness of the WireThe diameter is 1.6mmThe diameter is 1.3mm
ResistanceLower resistanceA bit higher resistance than 14-gauge
Impedance Rating4,6, and 8 ohms4,6, and 8 ohms
Distance between the speaker and sound sourceUp to 40 feet for 4 ohms Up to 60 feet for 6 ohms Up to 80 feet for 8 ohmsUp to 24 feet for 4 ohms Up to 36 feet for 6 ohms Up to 48 feet for 8 ohms
Audio SignalThe audio signal won’t be degradedThe audio signal will be a little degraded
PricingComparatively higherComparatively lower

14 vs 16-Gauge Speaker Wire – The In-depth Discussion

From the key points of both 14 and 16-gauge speaker wires, you indeed have gathered some crucial information. Now, it is time to take that information level a bit higher with the in-depth discussion about both these speaker wires given below:

16-Gauge Speaker Wire

14-Gauge Speaker Wire 

The 14-gauge speaker wire is also known as the 14 AWG speaker wire, as AWG represents American Wire Gauge. Generally, for speaker wires, the less the number before the gauge is, the thicker the wire will be. It has a 1.6mm diameter, making it thicker than the 16-gauge speaker wire.

As this 14-gauge speaker wire is thicker, it comes with lower resistance. And because of the lower resistance and broader space, it is easier for the electrical and audio signal to flow. As a result, the audio signal flowing through this wire will not be degraded. The 16-gauge speaker wire is capable of handling power up to 2400 watts.

Based on the speaker type, the impedance rating of this speaker wire is 4,6, and 8 ohms. The impedance rating and the maximum distance between the speaker and sound source are interconnected. For example, if the speaker you use is a 4-ohm one, the maximum distance between the speaker and sound source is 40-feet. 

When your speaker has a rating of 6-ohm, you should keep the speaker and sound source distance within 60-feet. You can also use a speaker, which is an 8 ohm one, and connect it with a 14-gauge speaker wire. If that’s the case, you need to keep the speaker and sound source distance less or equal to 80-feet.

You are always advised to keep the distance within the indicated range. Otherwise, the sound fidelity of the speaker you are using will be reduced, which is directly proportional to the distance increase. Because of all these good features, the price of this 14-gauge speaker wire is higher than the 16-gauge one.

16-Gauge Speaker Wire

As we have learned above, the more the number before the gauge is, the less thick the wire will be. This 16-gauge speaker wire comes with an overall diameter of 1.3mm, which is 0.3mm less than the 14-gauge speaker wire. Because of this lower thickness, this speaker wire is relatively narrow.

As this speaker wire is narrow, it is comparatively more resistive than the rival 14-gauge. So, it will be harder for all kinds of audio signals to pass through this 16-gauge speaker wire. If you ask how many watts can 16-gauge speaker wire handle, the answer is 1200 watts, but you should keep it within 800 watts.

You can use the 16-gauge speaker wire with speakers with an impedance rating of 4,6 and 8 ohms. The speaker and sound source distance should be within 24,36, and 48 feet for these impedance ratings. However, the Price is comparatively fewer than the 14-gauge speaker wires.

14 vs 16-Gauge Speaker Wire

14-Gauge Speaker Wire VS 16-Gauge Speaker Wire – Which One to Choose

Both the 14 and 16-gauge speaker wires are nicely compatible if the speaker is 4,6 or 8 ohms. The 16-gauge speaker wires cost less money than the 14-gauge ones. If the distance between your speaker and the sound source is short, and you aren’t a heavy user, you can go for the 14-gauge speaker wire.

Though the 16-gauge speaker wires will cost you more, there will be a bunch of benefits. First, lower resistance of this wire will ensure higher sound quality as the audio signal won’t be degraded. You will also be able to use these speaker wires to the longer distances compared to the 16-gauge speaker wires.

Along with all these, the 14-gauge speaker wires are for heavy usage, and they will serve you for a more extended period.

Final Thoughts

Based on your necessity, you can go for any of the 14-gauge or 16-gauge speaker wires. But if you strictly make a comparison of 14 vs 16-gauge speaker wire, the previous one is the clear winner. Though the price is a bit high, the best possible service from every section is highly ensured.

But that doesn’t mean the 16-gauge speaker is not capable of serving you. If your budget is low and strict, the 16-gauge speaker wire is enough to deal with your usage. On the other hand, if budget is not a problem and you don’t want to compromise with the quality, you must go for the 14-gauge speaker wire.

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