Are you looking for in-wall speaker wires and want to know if 12 gauge is right for your project? You will see a lot of information about the various types of speaker wire online, and this can be confusing if you are not a professional audio/visual contractor. However, with some general advice, you will understand what differentiates 12 gauge speaker wire from all the others and know how to use it for installing in-wall speakers.
Is 12 gauge speaker wire worth the cost?
You will see it advertised on websites that 12 gauge speaker wire is a high purity copper that is free of oxygen. This means that it has the best sound quality for something like a home audio system. On the other hand, it is extremely expensive because it has thick copper wire. The market over the past two years has driven up the price of copper and this has been passed on to speaker wire customers. Despite the cost, as a rule of thumb it is better to use 12 gauge for in-wall installation as opposed to thinner 16 or 18 gauge.
Building codes prefer 12 gauge
When you are installing wires behind a wall, your local building codes may apply. In general, they will restrict certain types of in-wall speaker wires in favor of others. More often than not, it is the 12 gauge that has the in-wall rated insurance approval. If you have any doubts, you can always consult an electrician or audio visual professional first.
Can you install 12 gauge speaker wire yourself?
Before you start drilling into the wall, you will want to make sure that your property manager approves of the project if you are not a homeowner. You will also want to take the time to find all of the electrical wiring and outlets with an electronic stud finder. In other words, you do not want to drill a hole in the wall through an electrical wire that you cannot see. Otherwise, installation is made easy with the appropriate tools. In particular, a long thin wooden dowel from a hardware store that has a magnet glued on the end is perfect for threading the speaker wire from one hole to the other.