Best Budget Audiophile Power Cables – Reviews and Buyer Guide
Have you ever had a conversation with a friend where you point out how bad the ambient music was, and they barely noticed? I bet they told you the audio was fine, or it actually is great (duh!). What a bummer! They are not even aware that the best budge audiophile power cables can make a difference in the audio quality!
It's a pity that not many people are particular with pristine audio quality and setup. It would be nice to talk to a friend about the technicalities and intricacies of listening to music and audio recordings! Anyhow, at least you've got a friend in me! I, myself, am an audiophile, and I could have an endless conversation about frequency, amplitude, wavelength, and how we could appreciate them!
It might take forever to talk about these details! However, we could discuss a more pressing concern of yours. Which is the best audiophile power cable, you ask? I've narrowed down the best among the best to save you time and guide you which one fits your criteria.
Take a look at this summary, and we'll dive and scrutinize each one later.
Audiophile Power Cables Comparison Table
The Best Budget Audiophile Power Cables 2019
1. WAudio Hi-End HifiPower Cord
WAudio is a company handled by Prolight Concepts Group Ltd. From a large selection of audio paraphernalia that Prolight manages, WAudio is one of the most affordable. Although they are advertised to be affordable, the quality and make behind every product is superb.
Prolight has been in the business quite long and has been producing audio equipment under different names. WAudio is one of the brands that specialize in manufacturing cables and snakes.
This thick nylon braided cable has a thickness of 17.55mm. Because of the black nylon with red stripe braiding, the wire appears to be a little thicker and heavier than most of the same type. Inside the nylon, braiding is another thick PVC jacket followed by braided copper. To make sure that there is no electromagnetic interference, the manufacturer added another mylar foil to house the stranded copper cables inside it.
This cable runs 2 meters long (6.6ft), which is quite long for a power cable. If your device is a bit from a wall socket, this can solve your problem! This is also ideal for speakers and other HiFi devices where you will be running the cable on the ground.
- The cable length and durability make it ideal to be run on the floor.
- It has a mylar foil and braided copper shielding that nullifies interference from other devices.
- This product comes with a 30-day moneyback guarantee.
- The red and black stripe pattern increases the visibility of the cable.
- The quality of material and craftsmanship is excellent.
- This audio power cable is thicker and heavier than most similar devices.
- For simple setups near wall sockets, 2 meters of wire is unnecessary.
2. Pangea Audio AC 14SE MKII
Pangea Audio is a company published in the United States. This company is based in Michigan and has dealers all across America. Although they may not be as popular as the top brands, they are known to offer affordable prices for their products. Pangea Audio also holds two other audio equipment brands, Record Doctor and Vincent Audio, that are also known for good quality.
This AC power cable measures .6meter or about 2feet. It has an outer layer of black braided nylon with specks of blue for visibility. To decrease interference, they used individually insulated strands of copper wire conductors known as Litz conductor. To further reduce noise, the core cables are insulted with silver-plated copper. To top it off, the plugs are made coated with gold plating for excellent conductivity.
- Pangea Audio equipped this cable with noise and interference shielding technology.
- The blue specks on the black nylon braiding make it easily visible.
- The gold-plated plugs have a higher conductivity rating than others.
- This audio power cable is lightweight and easy to carry around.
- The ribbed pattern on both plug ends makes it easier to plug and unplug.
- This may not be the best cable for outdoor applications since its short.
- For a 2 foot AC power cable, this can come as expensive.
3. SKW Audio Power Cable
SKW Farreach Electronic Co., Ltd., is a Chinese company based in Guangdong. You may not have noticed it, but many stuff comes from China. Electronic devices, clothing apparel, and many more are being manufactured and distributed from China throughout the world. SKW is a known manufacturer of high-end cables for audio and video applications that comes with good quality.
SKW and its team carefully thought of the design of this product. You may be impressed just by looking at this product's elegant finish. The 11AWG cable is wrapped with a silver nylon braiding that reinforces the strength of the cable. The plugs are made with sophisticated transparent plug casing with gold plated pins. The length of this cable, 2meteres, will allow you to power your device even when you are a bit far from a wall socket. With the length of this cable, it is ideal for a small studio setup.
- The stylish appearance is pleasing to the eyes.
- SKW reinforced the cable with nylon braiding for superior durability.
- The length of the cable, 2meters, makes it suitable for small audio equipment or studio setup.
- This product's endpins are coated with gold for superb conductivity.
- This is quite expensive but still a little cheaper than the top brands.
- The light color they chose for the nylon braiding makes it easy to harbor dirt.
4. Viborg HiFi Audiophile Power Cord (Most Affordable Cable with manufacturer’s guarantee)
Viborg is a city in Denmark. However, this brand is not really from the City of Viborg. Viborg is a brand manufactured by Shenzhen Maizhuoyi Industrial Co., Ltd., in China. This is another Chinese brand that exports electronic devices and accessories globally. This company is established in 2009 and since has been delivery good quality service and excellent warranty coverage.
Straight up, this power cable is plain and simple. It measures about 1.5meters, almost 5ft, and feels durable to hold. The black nylon braiding with red stripes increases its visibility in dimly lit studios or backstage. The cable is 17mm thick and is tear-resistant. The wire cores are individually insulated and further covered by a braided copper to shield from interference. There is nothing special about the end plugs aside from the gold-plated pins that enhance conductivity.
- The overall gauge of the cable is 17mm, which translates to thick insulation and shielding.
- Viborg's power cord is durable and visible even in dim light.
- This cord comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- The company backs this product with one full year of warranty.
- For its price point, this product comes as affordable.
- This product may not be long enough for studio and backstage applications.
5. AudioQuest NRG-2(Most Reliable Audio Power Cable)
AudioQuest has been in the market for 40 years and has garnered decades of experience to be an acclaimed company. For so many years, they have been leading and revolutionizing cable designs for different audio and video applications. William Bill, the founding father of AudioQuest, had started and built his road to success two years after setting up his small audio shop in 1978. Today, the company has grown and diversified from cables to many other audio pieces of equipment.
AudioQuest's' NRG-2 is an AC cable that powers up most devices using IEC sockets. This audio power cable is made with green, black, and blue scale pattern that increases the visibility of the cable in dim-lit rooms and setups. The cable is superbly built with topnotch materials and high-grade conductors. The wires are soldered to a one-piece plug that makes sure that the connections are secured. The plugs are sturdy, durable, and can withstand a beating.
- AudioQuest company is a well-known manufacturer of audio cables and a trustworthy brand backed by four decades of operations.
- The wires are soldered to a one-piece end plug that makes it sturdy, durable, and tear-resistant.
- The green, black, and blue scale pattern makes it easily noticeable.
- The conductors are made from long-grain copper that boasts reliability and conductive superiority.
- There is no denying that with quality comes a high command for price.
The cable is quite heavy.
Audiophile Power Cables Buyer’s Guide
One of the things that strike us immediately, in many cases, is the overall appearance of products. Sometimes, vanity prevails over functionality. At all costs, resist buying the prettiest looking cable audio cable! Although looks and appearance is a plus, the overall functionality matters most.
Hi-fi audio power cables are usually made with multiple layers of shielding and insulation to reduce possible signal interference, be it electromagnetic or radiofrequency. Many people claim that regular cheap IEC power cables will work just fine and there is really no difference between using expensive hi-fi cables. However, this is inaccurate.
With all the layers of copper shielding, mylar shielding, Litz conductive shielding, individual core wire PVC insulation, and PVC insulation, you cannot discount that hi-fi cables do work. These layers of shielding and insulation ensure that any electromagnetic or radio frequency interference will be kept at bay.
So, what's the point of getting a hi-fi cable? To get rid of all the potential frequencies that may interfere with your circuit. Now, before you go and get one, here are some tips that you may want to consider to fit your criteria.
Cable length may not fit your general criteria because it may vary according to your needs. For one, if you will just replace or upgrade your stereo's cable, there is no need to get 2 meters of hi-fi cable. On the other hand, if you will be using the cable for a studio setup to power your mounted speakers, you may want longer cables.
In a different setup, let's say a stage setup, you will never know when you will need long cables to reach that extension cable or wall socket.
So, before getting one, make sure you know how long of a cable you need. To be safe, you can always opt for a longer cable and coil it to a cable organized to keep them tidy. The only downside to this is the price. Longer hi-fi cables are, of course, more expensive than the short versions.
Nylon Vs. Cloth Braiding
Most hi-fi cables and most heavy-duty high-end cables are fitted with braided nylon. Of course, this is more durable than cloth. It is wear-resistant and can resist being stepped on without damaging the wire inside.
However, it significantly increases the total weight and thickness of your cable. If you are using it at home with personal devices, this may not be really a problem.
Although, if you are using this cable for commercial applications like setting up PAs or stages, you may want to lighten your load. For professional audio technicians who haul lots of cables and audio equipment, the weight of your cables may matter. Braided cloth outer cover is a lot lighter than nylon braiding.
For permanent applications at home, weight may not matter that much of an issue. Since you won't be unplugging your device from the IEC port, this may not really be a problem.
But, if you are a technician setting up and packing up audio equipment for a living, weight matters. Not only does it add more load and bulk on your carry-on stuff, but it can also potentially wear-out your IEC pins faster.
The hanging weight can be an unnecessary weight for your IEC pins and can loosen them easily. Of course, if you are an audio technician, you know that this can shorten the lifespan of your device.
The price point is highly subjective and dependent on how much you perceive the value of the audio power cable. If you think that fifty bucks are inexpensive for a two-foot cable, a hundred bucks for a 6feet cable may be a reasonable buy.
One thing you may want to consider if you are willing to spend hundreds of bucks is the brand and quality of make. As long as the quality is excellent, you trust the brand, and you are willing to spend a lot, then go for it!
The length of the warranty is another thing you may want to consider. Most often, the duration of the warranty reflects the confidence of the manufacturer. Longer warranty period means that they are confident that their product will function well in the specified time period, and they are willing to replace it and take responsibility in case it fails.
Sometimes, confident companies even offer a 30-day moneyback guarantee. This is another gauge of how sure manufacturing companies are with their products. In case you are not satisfied with it, you can mail it back to them for a refund.
Audio power cables range from cheap, to affordable, to expensive, up to insanely expensive! Nevertheless, they do the same thing. It powers your audio device to bring music. However, depending on the materials and quality of make, your device can have some signal interference. Now, to make sure that your audio device is working at its best, upgrading your audio cable can make sure that you get the most out of your audio player.
But before you rush, consider these few things first. Price is one primary concern. You don't want to be spending a lot on an instrument that would fail easily through time. The length should be considered and should match just how much you need. The price is commonly directly proportional to the length. You will be spending more on longer cables. So, if you don't need something that long, go for the short version.
Weight should be considered, especially if you frequently plug and unplug the cable from the device. Plugging and unplugging could wear out or loosen the pins, which shortens your device's life.
One last thing is the braiding that covers up the cable. This material increases the durability of your cable, which can make it last really, really long.
Among the selection above, AudioQuest's cable has the sharpest edge. Well, to start with, AudioQuest is the oldest company among the rest and has the longest experience in the industry. That alone means that they know what they are doing. Although it is a little more expensive than the others, you can be assured that their quality is superb.
If you don't have that much budget on you and you still want one of the best budget audiophile power cables, Shenzhen Maizhuoyi Industrial Co., Ltd., offers you an audio cable under one of their brands, Viborg. It has a reasonable price for its length.