Hi-fi cables – what are they for ?

Hi-fi cables – what are they for ?


Where am I?

You have arrived at The Chord Company.  We love good music and we love hearing it through good hi-fi equipment.

So what are these cables for?

They are used to improve the performance of a music or home cinema system – in fact, any audio or video device that needs cables to connect them together.

image borrowed from itishifi.com

Something to do with hi-fi then?

Yes, but don’t stop reading just yet. There’s a good chance you’re here because you love music and if that’s the case, then a hi-fi system – a proper musical hi-fi system – is going to make you love music even more.  Could just be the best thing you ever buy.

I thought hi-fi was some strange esoteric hobby?

It’s not.  It’s a means to an end. The best reason for having a hi-fi is for playing music on and the only reason for having a better one is so that you can get more out of your music. And you can, you really can. Regardless of what music you listen to, hear it on a decent hi-fi system and you’ll hear stuff you’ve never heard before, lyrics you weren’t aware of or sometimes something that will just transform a song you’ve known for years. It can be like listening to a new version of something you thought you knew really well. Everybody who loves music really ought to have a hi-fi system.

Don’t they cost a lot of money?

Well they can do but they certainly don’t have to. Shop around and you could pick up a system to play your CD collection on (CD player, amplifier and speakers) for less than £500. The pleasure something like this will give and what it will do to your music collection makes it start to look like a serious bargain. That’s what a hi-fi system’s for. It’s for playing music, it’s for getting more involved, more immersed, more emotional. It’s about having fun. There’s a lot more going on in the music you listen to than you usually get to hear.

The really nice thing?  Spend a bit more and you get a bit more – not just bigger or more powerful, but more out of your music.

I’m collecting vinyl.  What do I do?

You’d be surprised how cheaply you can buy a decent record player and probably very shocked at how much better a decent record player makes vinyl sound.

All my music is on my phone?

Not a problem. There are loads of devices available that let you connect your phone directly to a hi-fi system and boy, do they ever improve sound quality. Get one of these and you can play music from almost anything.  It’s really easy to find equipment with USB inputs on. This way, all the music you may have on your computer can be played back through the hi-fi.  It’s not just louder, its better.  More detail, more involvement.  Such an easy way to start to bring your music to life.

Hi-fi seems really confusing?

We can understand that but there are loads of good hi-fi retailers out there and they’ll help to de-mystify it all for you and actually, as long as you bear your goal in mind, then it’s pretty simple. You just want a system that makes your music sound better. Don’t worry about bass, mid or treble, just think about how your music sounds. Don’t get caught up in jargon; just get caught up in the music.

Almost every hi-fi retailer will be very happy to let you listen to anything you like, so take a couple of bits of your favourite music with you and listen! The only judgement you need to make is better or worse?

Our dealer list is a pretty good place to start. Take some of your favourite discs, your phone or your laptop and go find out what a hi-fi system can do.  Relax and have fun

Nigel Finn




Technical Advice and general hi-fi tips


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2 comments on this post

  1. I couldn’t agree more with many of the points above : yes, it’s not about the gear itself or ‘hi-fi is weird’ (as many musicians claim that I’ve met/read comments from them on hi-fi – which I don’t understand). To me it’s a desire to hear the music as best as I can and you don’t need to spend a vast fortune. My turntable is a modestly priced Rega but has opened up record playing like nothing before. I found a good hi-fi dealer who directed my choices and now listening is much more fun and enjoyable.

  2. Used to be they were to connect all your bits of audio equipment together. Now, in the age of wireless, that is not necessarily the case. I do think, though, that there will be a need for cables for some time to come, especially for those really immersed in good audio reproduction. I have to think this, having spent “HOW MUCH?” on Sarum TA.

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