Last updated: August 11, 2021

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Every time you crush them in your pocket, push them into your bag or hold them on a doorknob, this weakens the headphone cables. Therefore, the cables may break or otherwise become damaged. Since a damaged cable can be easily replaced with a new cable.

Find out what you need to consider when buying a new headphone cable in our article. With our headphone cable test 2021 and our recommendation, you can prepare yourself for the purchase.




Summary

  • Headphone cables are also called AUX cables and connect the sound source to the headphones.
  • It is best to handle headphones with cables gently to prevent breakage.
  • The quality of the cable has a direct influence on the sound quality.

The best Headphone Cable: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying headphone cables

What is a headphone cable?

A headphone cable creates a connection between the audio source and the headphones.
The cable has a direct influence on the sound quality.

. The internationally common plug of audio cables is called a jack plug and has a 3.5 mm diameter.

Plugs that are only suitable for transmitting an audio signal are also called AUX cables. They are compatible with stereos, speakers, iPhones, iPods, iPads, Mac and Android phones and PCs.

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The internationally common plug of audio cables is called a jack plug and has a 3.5 mm diameter.
(Image source: pexels.com / @splitshire)

What types of headphone cables are there?

There are different audio cables. Basically, a distinction can be made between the following types:

Type Property
jack plug 3.5 mm plug
stereo cable jack 3.5 mm to jack 6.3 mm
mono cable jack 6.35 mm to jack 3.5 mm
special with or without remote talk cable, inline microphone or audio control

What alternatives are there to headphone cables?

There is a wide range of headphones with signal transmission via Bluetooth. They are currently a common alternative to wired headphones. The following list can help you decide:

Advantages
  • Better audio quality: Cables provide better sound quality than Bluetooth. However, this difference is becoming smaller and smaller as technology advances

  • Cheaper price: headphones with cables are usually available at a lower price than those with cables
  • No battery: due to the analogue transmission of the audio signal, headphones with cables are not dependent on full batteries
Disadvantages
  • Less freedom of movement: when doing sports or everyday things like washing the dishes or vacuuming, Bluetooth headphones can be more practical
  • Delicate cables: the cables of headphones can be damaged faster or slower, depending on the quality and caution of the user. However, that the cables are strained by frequent use is certain
  • No extension cable needed: Bluetooth headphones usually work without problems over several metres. If you use headphones with a cable, this does not only mean that you have to buy an extension cable. It also means that a tangle of cables is almost inevitable

Buying criteria: You can compare and evaluate headphone cables based on these factors

Quality

The quality of headphone cables can be recognised by two factors. The most important factors are the type of workmanship and the materials used. The following is a list of the two quality characteristics.

Good workmanship: stronger cables and stronger connectors

The nodes are the weak points of the cables. With a flexible cable meeting a rigid connector, friction is pre-programmed. Improvements include fabric or braided cable sheaths, rubber or even machined metal connections between the cable and connectors. This makes the cables more durable.

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The transitions of the headphones are potential weak points. Good workmanship with flexible connectors is important here.
(Picture source: 123rf.com / Popov)

Materials

Headphone cables are made of materials such as copper, silver, gold or rhodium.

The plugs can be solid (the same material throughout) or plated over cheaper metals such as copper. The former indicates good quality. Silver-plated copper wires are also increasingly used as a cheaper alternative to solid silver wire. This also signifies a quality cut-off. Of course, copper remains the most common wire material as it has the highest electrical conductivity of all non-precious metals.

Image source: Waterfield/ 123rf.com

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