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RCA Audio Cables

What are RCA Audio Cables

A RCA audio cable is a type of stereophonic audio connection that allows audio signals to flow from one device to another. The title “RCA” comes from Radio Corporation of America, the company that originally introduced the design. RCA audio cables have male connectors on both ends, meaning that on both sides they must be inserted into identical sockets. These cables have two connectors on both sides (three if it has video). This is because of the stereo audio capability. Stereo audio creates audio perspective and makes the music sound more authentic, as opposed to mono audio which doesn’t have any perspective and just plays the sound the same on each speaker. The audio connectors sold at Cmple are red and white. The red cable is for the right stereo, and the white cable is for the left stereo. The white cable also supports mono audio in case stereo is not your preference. The black cable is only used in cables that support S-video. RCA is not the most advanced technology and has been around since the 1940s. However, it is still in use today because of its reliability and compatibility with different devices and different connections. For most uses in the common home theater, and for basic audio needs, RCA connectors will most certainly do the job right.

Devices That Use RCA Audio Cables

There is a plethora of devices that use RCA audio cables today (including those that additionally use S-video as a connection component). They are most commonly used with speakers, audio amplifiers, televisions, computer monitors, DVD players, VCRs, game consoles (such as Playstation, Xbox, Gamecube, etc), computer setups, laptops, camcorders, cassette recorders, game cards, and many other pieces of home theater equipment. RCA cables are extremely versatile in terms of their usage.

RCA Cable computer connection

Installation and Removal of RCA Cables

One of the biggest benefits of using RCA cables is how truly easy it is to install them. The male inputs on both sides are large and easy to see and place. You just need to simply unravel the cord and gently insert them until they fit snugly. Be careful not to jam them in too hard because that can possible damage both the cable and the device. When removing the cable, don’t just tug on the cord. Pull out each connector individually by gripping the actual input and pulling it out. That way, you can prevent damage to both the cable and the device.

RCA back panel input

What is an oxygen-free RCA audio cable?

Oxygen-free RCA audio cables uses high conductivity copper that is refined electrolytically to reduce to amount of oxygen to .001% or below. Oxygen-free audio cables are most often used in audio and video signals in audio playback systems and home theater systems. Audio cables that are oxygen-free are classified as high end products. It is claimed that this type of cable increases the conductivity of the wire and impacts other electrical properties and have many advantages for audio signal transmission. Yet conductivity specifications for oxygen-free and non-oxygen-free cables are exactly the same. The only case in which the specifications are different is when using a certain type of oxygen-free copper which is very expensive because all of the silver impurities have been removed. The difference may be slight, but for those who value enhanced audio quality, it may be a valuable tool.

Benefits of Gold-Plated RCA Audio Cables

The benefits of using gold-plate technology on any kind of cable or in anything that has some kind of electrically connection are generally the same. Gold is a very good conductor of electricity, only second to copper which is the best electrical conductor. The reason why gold is used is because it is a high-quality metal that is extremely durable. It is resistant to tarnish and to natural things like dust and dirt. It is also very hard to damage gold because of its strength. That is why RCA cables are gold-plated: because it makes them more durable and therefore last much longer. Gold-plated cables may be slightly more expensive, but the price difference is well worth it when you consider how long you will be using them for.

RCA Cables With S-Video

Firstly most technology today uses something called “composite video.” However, RCA cables sold at use technology known as “S-video.” This type of video signal is short for “Separate Video” and is a four-pin cable connector. S-video is not the highest quality video possible and is certainly nowhere near the resolution of HDMI video technology. S-video is an analog video connection that carries video as two separate pieces of data known as “luminance” and “color.” This type of video connection is found in appliances such as televisions, digital TV receivers, high-end cassette recorders, game consoles, DVD players, DVRs and graphic cards.

rca cable connection

Problems That Can Arise

Similar to other audio cables, RCA cables are susceptible to electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI). These types of interferences are caused by outside sources of electrical and radio emissions. These emissions can cause signal disruptions and can downgrade the quality of the audio. Some sources of these disruptions are broadcast transmitters, two way radio transmitters, paging transmitters, and cable TV. If you can avoid intermingling these transmissions around your RCA cables that would be very advantageous. However, with the increasing use of technology in everyday life, that can be a challenging prospect. Another problem is that the inputs can grow dusty. This can cause actual problems with the transfer of data from the cable and the device but is easy remedied – all you have to do is dust the inputs or just stream air into them (even by simply blowing into them) to get rid of debris. Another problem has less to do with the cable than it does with the device that the cable is being inserted into. After inserting a cable into a device over and over again, the natural wear and tear on the input can impact the signal. The only thing that can be done to avoid this problem is to be gentle whenever you insert the cable and whenever you remove it. Unlike other types of cables, distance has only a very small impact on the signal quality. RCA cables can generally be used over any distance.

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