The best AUX cable

Cell Phones & Accessories

If you’re using multiple AUX cables in close proximity to each other, use cables with different colors of casing, so you can easily tell the cables apart.

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AUX cables

Nearly everyone these days owns some sort of portable electronic device, such as a smartphone, an MP3 player, a tablet, or a laptop, and if you want to play it through an audio receiver or car stereo, you’re going to need an AUX cable. When connected between an input and output device, an AUX (short for “auxiliary”) cable converts a digital audio signal to analog and carries it between the two devices.

Since even high-quality AUX cables are relatively affordable (and low-quality AUX cables can result in aggravating audio distortion and degradation), there’s really no reason not to buy the good stuff.

Although it may seem like all AUX cables are the same, there are differences among them that you should understand before making a selection. This shopping guide will help you understand the factors that differentiate AUX cables, and we’re even making some recommendations at the end, including our favorite, the MillSO Audio Cable, which offers a high level of performance.

What to know before you buy an AUX cable

For those who often carry AUX cables with them while traveling, durability is extremely important. You don’t want an AUX cable that cannot handle being tossed in a backpack or purse.

The AUX cable should have some rigidity to it to prevent a kink forming in the cable that could damage the wiring inside. If the wiring inside suffers damage, you may notice crackles or other kinds of audio glitches.

A little bit of rigidity also indicates a thick casing that will be resistant to cuts or tears. However, if the cable casing is too rigid, you may not be able to maneuver it in tight quarters to make connections.

As a final consideration regarding durability, if you will be placing the AUX cable in place and leaving it there for weeks or months between stationary objects, you don’t need a cable sheath that’s as rigid or thick as you may need with an AUX cable that you’ll be carrying with you and constantly using it to connect different mobile objects.

What to look for in a quality AUX cable

Beyond durability, here are some of the key differences to consider among various models of AUX cables.

Length

Length is a key feature to consider with your AUX cable. Pick a cable that’s too long, and you will pay more than you need to pay. Additionally, a longer cable will have the risk of tangling on other objects in the area, creating problems.

But pick a cable that’s too short, and it will be essentially worthless, because it cannot connect the devices you want to use. So, if you have a question about length, always go with a slightly longer cable than you think you’ll need.

Connector quality

Connectors at the end of the AUX cables should have gold plating on them for the best-possible quality. Cheaper AUX cables may not use gold plating on the connectors.

Gold plating protects the connectors from scratches better than other materials, while also resisting corrosion that could cause the AUX cable to fail prematurely. The transmission of the signal from the original source will occur with less interference when gold plating is in use.

Grip

The grip is the section of the AUX cable that sits just behind the connector, giving you a place to hold the cable securely as you’re plugging a connector into a socket. Grips that are too thick may hinder your ability to fit the AUX cable into a tight spot.

How much you can expect to spend on an AUX cable

AUX cables are a low-priced item. Longer cables will cost more than shorter cables. Expect to pay $5 to $12 for cables up to 15 feet in length, while longer cables may cost $10 to $20.

AUX cable FAQ

Do longer AUX cables have poorer audio quality than shorter cables?

A. They all should maintain a good audio quality, regardless of the length. Selecting the right cable length is more about distance between devices than audio quality.

Do AUX cables also carry electrical power?

A. No. The cables will not charge your mobile devices. They only carry audio signals.

What’s the best AUX cable to buy?

Top AUX cable

MillSO Audio Cable

MillSO Audio Cable

Our take: Sharp looking AUX cable that includes high-density shielding to yield an excellent level of performance.

What we like: Uses 24-karat gold-plated connectors for improved sound. Ranges of lengths available between 6.6 feet and 33 feet.

What we dislike: Cable feels a little stiff. Above-average pricing.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top AUX cable for the money

KINPS Auxiliary Stereo Audio Cable

KINPS Auxiliary Stereo Audio Cable

Our take: Even though it has a below-average price, the audio quality from this set of cables is adequate for most use cases.

What we like: Uses a flat design that resists kinks that can damage the cabling over the long run. Has gold-plated connectors.

What we dislike: Limited to 10-foot length option.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Mediabridge Audio Cable

Mediabridge Audio Cable

Our take: It’s a little pricier than some others, but it has the strong audio quality that will make it worth the price.

What we like: High level of compatibility with varying devices. Offers some extremely short cable lengths to fit unique situations.

What we dislike: Casing on the cables may not hold its integrity in tough conditions.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Kyle Schurman writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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