Monster Speaker Wire – Is It Worth The Price?

Monster is the most recognizable name in audio cable/wire industry, so much so that the brand name has today come to be synonymous with top-notch performance (at a price!). It is the brand of choice for audiophiles and musicians who want only the best performance from their music instruments and speaker setups. But is this price really warranted? Are premium speaker cables and wires actually of any use? Learn more in this article.

The entire range of Monster’s products are terrifyingly expensive, enough to make your wallet run away in fear and never come back. For instance, a 500ft spool of Monster Cable S14-2-DB EZ500 direct burial speaker cable costs $750. That is more than a dollar a foot! The cost of the cable alone would be more than that of most speakers. Another Monster cable retails for $120 for 2 meters, whereas the generic, unbranded variety will not cost you more than $2.

But is this price justified?

Yes and no.

The performance of a speaker system (and while we are at it, a TV/DVD/Blu-Ray player/Guitar/etc., since Monster makes cables for all sorts of devices) depends on the resistance in the speaker circuit. The lesser the resistance, the better the performance. This circuit includes not just the internal circuitry of the speaker, but also the external wiring used to connect the speakers together with the audio input. For years before Monster and other high-performance wire manufacturers came on to the scene, ordinary copper wire – stranded or sold – was used for this purpose. And it served the purpose quite well. Copper offers very low resistance and allows for signal transfer without much loss.

The problem arises when the signal volume is large (i.e. a lot of data has to be transmitted), or when the distance it has to be moved is quite a lot. Under these circumstances, ordinary copper wire simply fails to perform. That is why over long distances, you would have to use thick, heavy-duty wiring. High end manufacturers even use gold plating to boost the performance of the wire over long distances (since gold offers a much lower resistance than copper).

What Monster cables and other high-end manufacturers do is to enable lossless transmission of data over long distances. If you are running the speaker wire from your bedroom to your porch, you will find the performance of Monster cables to be far better than ordinary copper wire. Similarly, for larger volumes of data, such as that required to make a HDTV work at high resolutions (1080p or 720p), you will see a noticeable difference in performance with higher-end cables.

The difference in performance is audible (or visible) enough to even an untrained ear (or eye). But that doesn’t mean you should always use high-end cables. In fact, if you don’t have the latest 42″ LED TV or a $2000 home theater system, there is really no need to buy anything more than standard copper cable. For lower end system, ordinary cable is more than adequate.

So don’t blindly buy the most expensive cable you can find at your local electronics store. In most cases, you really won’t need it. But if you’ve just sunk in $2000 for a home theater system, complete with a $1500 LCD TV, then it would make sense to invest in the best cable you can afford. The difference in quality will be quite noticeable. Moreover, you would also safeguard your entertainment system against any future changes in technology.

All in all, Monster speaker wires and cables do deliver better performance, but only with a high-end system. For other speakers/TVs/etc. stick to your regular copper wire.