The 10 Best 3.5mm Cables
This wiki has been updated 15 times since it was first published in October of 2016. Yes, we're with you -- we also can't wait for the day when handling annoying wires becomes a thing of the past. But if you want options for connecting your smartphone or MP3 player to the audio system in your car or to speakers at home or at work, it's wise to have one or two of these 3.5mm cables around. They come with varying degrees of quality at prices to suit anyone. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
July 06, 2020:
Audio and video cables can be likened to wine. The average person may not be able to note the difference between a cheap 5-dollar box wine and a 1000-dollar vintage Bordeaux in a blind taste-test, but a connoisseur or someone with more taste buds- a super-taster- will be able to tell. In effect, audiophiles are the connoisseurs of the world of sound, and some may even be born with “golden ears” or the ability to hear in a range higher than the average person can.
Regardless of how sensitive your ears are, music falls within normal hearing range, so nearly everybody can appreciate the difference in clarity and frequency-response between average 3.5-mm cables and high-end models that do a better job of sound reproduction.
With that being said, I wanted to introduce some more sophisticated high-end options that afford superior sound clarity, and there’s really no better brand here than AudioQuest, whose cables do an excellent job of providing balanced sound reproduction without unduly highlighting bass, mid-range, treble, or any particular frequency range.
A lot of this has to do with the research that the company does, which leads them to employing specific manufacturing techniques that enhance the sound-reproduction quality of their cables.
For instance, all cables in their ‘Bridges & Falls’ series use foamed polyethylene insulation, asymmetric double-balanced geometry and cold-welding instead of soldering. Along with the AudioQuest Evergreen which was already in the list, I’ve added the AudioQuest Golden Gate, which is the next model up from the Evergreen.
I felt awkward introducing even more expensive models from Audio Quest’s ‘Bridges & Falls’ series, because I believe that the improvement-to-cost ratio begins to diminish beyond the Golden Gate, though many people do feel that those ultra-high-end models are worth the difference. Thus, I’ve decided to add a ‘special honors mention’ to the ‘Bridges and Falls’ series, in case you want to check out those options.
I got rid of the Griffin Technology GC17094, because it had a weak cable, and I also got rid of the Kinps Nylon. Nylon cables are generally more durable, but the issue with the Kinps had to do with sound quality. In any case, both of the replacements I’ve added - the Golden Gate, as well as the SKW Aux - use nylon.
AudioQuest Bridges & Falls Series AudioQuest makes luxury audio cables and accessories, and if you're willing to spend extra for high sound quality, then it might be worth looking at their 'Bridges & Falls' series. All models in the series make use of features like double-balanced asymmetric geometry, foamed polyethylene insulation and the company's metal-layer noise-dissipation system in order to deliver a level of lossless transmission that budget cables simply can't afford to replicate. audioquest.com