It is a known fact that speaker wires are ridiculously expensive. So, perhaps you might be wondering “can lamp cord be used for speaker wire”? This is something that a ton of people suggest that you should do if you’re looking for wires to connect to your audio system.
However, is this hack actually safe? And will it even work? Let’s find out.
Can Lamp Cord Be Used for Speaker Wire?
To give you a simple answer, yes. You can technically use a lamp cord as a speaker wire as long as the gauge is the same.
They both have their own advantages and disadvantages. But keeping that aside, you can definitely use a lamp cord in place of a speaker wire. Many people prefer to use this hack as well since lamp cords are so much cheaper. If you don’t want to spend some extra money on speaker wires, you should try it too.
It is worth mentioning that some premium speaker wires are better engineered for more refined sound quality. Whether spending that extra money for a slight improvement in sound quality is worth it or not is all up to you. If you have the budget and the desire for the best sound quality, you should definitely go ahead and get a speaker wire.
But keep in mind, the difference in sound quality may be extremely minimal to the point where most people don’t even think there’s a difference in terms of sound quality.
However, there are some audiophiles that believe that while lamp cords can, in fact, work with speakers, they don’t necessarily provide the same sound quality as regular speaker wires. This may be true in some cases, but so far, we haven’t noticed it for ourselves. And neither has anyone else based on what we’ve found on the internet.
According to some people, there is a challenge with a prize of $5000 for anyone who can tell the difference between a basic lamp cord and most premium speaker wire. Despite so many people saying there’s a stark difference between the two, no one has been able to tell the difference between lamp cords and speaker wire.
This just proves that wire is wire, and there isn’t much difference between a lamp and speaker wire. The only way you could improve sound quality is by getting better audio equipment.
Now, with that said, we should also mention that there are some advantages of using actual speaker wires for speakers.
Since speaker wires are specifically made for speakers, you can straightaway use them on your sound system without making any changes to the wire. This saves you a lot of time and headache. Moreover, they are also available in just about any length you can practically want.
Another thing that we love about speaker wires is that they are perfect for setting up sound systems in concerts and shows. Since speaker wires come in stranded form, they are more flexible and are also easier to maneuver around the stage.
Is There A Difference Between Lamp Cord And Speaker Wire?
Both lamp cord and speaker wire are the same, but with little difference. Both wires come as stranded cables. When you compare both wires side by side, you will see that they both look extremely similar. You will find two insulated cables held together by an insulated jacket. However, there can be variations in terms of insulation.
One of the biggest differences between lamp wire and speaker wire is that speaker wire comes in silver wire, copper wire, copper clad, or aluminum-free copper wire. On the other hand, lamp cords only come in copper wire.
Another difference is that speaker wires come with both ends open or with banana plug tips. Whereas, lamp cord will have one side open and bare and the other side with an electrical switch.
And finally, speaker wires are available with lengths ranging from a few feet to hundreds of feet long, while lamp cords are usually only available in lengths ranging from 6 to 12 feet long.
Besides these differences, everything about the wires themselves is extremely similar.
What Gauge Wire Is Lamp Cord?
Lamp cords come in different gauges. However, most lamp cords are normally 18 gauge since they draw only a small amount of current. But you will also find 12, 14, and 16-gauge lamp cords. If you’re not sure about the gauge of your lamp cord, you can simply strip it off and measure it.
In case you don’t have a wire gauge tool, you can look for another wire whose gauge you know and compare them together.
Speaker wires also come in 12 to 18 gauge, which makes them very similar. The similarities in their gauge make lamp cords a suitable replacement for speaker wires.
Should You Use Lamp Cord
If you have a limited budget or simply don’t want to spend a lot of money on speaker wires, then yes! You should go for it. Lamp cords offer just about the same attributes as a speaker wire and can serve as a cheap replacement.
We recommend this lamp cord, but almost any lamp cord should work fine.
If the length of the chord is not an issue for you, you will not see or hear any difference between a lamp cord and a speaker wire. Just make sure that the wires are connected properly. You also won’t have to deal with any safety issues. If the wires don’t fit well, the only outcome will simply be inferior sound quality.
When you’re setting up a new sound system at home, it can be hard to find a speaker wire that is not stupidly expensive. However, if you’re not willing to spend your money or can’t find a speaker wire right away, a lamp cord is always a great option. Besides being cheap, it is also easily available.
Both the wires have similar properties, and you will have no problem using one in place of the other. The only thing you have to keep in mind is that lamp cords are usually much shorter, so they may not be a great choice if you’re planning to run your wires through the wall.