Best Aux Cables: Top 3.5mm Audio Cords For Reliable Audio
The top aux cables for your car and home
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BY Noelle Talmon / LAST UPDATED ON March 19, 2021
If you want to connect an external device such as your smartphone to the audio system in your vehicle, one way to do so is with a top-rated aux cord. It can be used for a number of electronic devices to play music and other audio files. Check out our aux cable reviews to find the best 3.5mm cable to suit your needs.
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Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Aux Cables
- Listen on the go. If you have a playlist or songs on your Apple, Samsung or other mobile devices that you want to listen to through your vehicle's sound system, the best aux cable for speakers will enable you to do so.
- Ease of use. It's quite simple to play music or other audio files from your smartphone, iPad, or other electronic devices by simply connecting the best aux cord brand into the aux socket of your vehicle located in the dashboard, armrest, or glove box.
- Portability. The best aux cable can be as small as one or three feet in length. It is easy to carry and transfer from one car to another. You can also use these cables around the home, with items such as a personal computer.
Types of Aux Cables
A 3.5mm aux cable is a standard for stereo input and output. It can be used with a compatible jack or auxiliary input to link an audio source to your vehicle's stereo system. This cable can be used with cell phones, portable MP3 players, portable navigation devices, remote mount DVD players, or other electronic devices.
An optical cable sends a raw digital signal, while a standard 3.5mm cable sends a converted analog signal. An optical cable is higher quality. A 3.5mm cable cannot be used in a fiber optic input/output, and a fiber optic cable cannot be used in a 3.5mm input/output. They each require different cables and connectors. Optical cables provide less interference but are more expensive and less common than 3.5mm cables.
Monster Cable Products, Inc. was founded in 1979 in San Francisco by laser-fusion design engineer/audiophile/professional drummer Noel Lee. Lee realized that the gauge and construction of speaker wire had an enormous effect on the sound delivered. One top product is the Monster Aux Cord for Car Stereo.
Anker, based in Bellevue, Washington, was founded in 2011 by "a few ex-Googlers." The company designs technology such as wireless charging, car charging, and portable and wall chargers. Its claim to fame is delivering power "at unprecedented speeds." One popular product is the Anker 3.5mm Premium Auxiliary Audio Cable.
Mediabridge cabling and connectivity products have been around since 1998, and the company began selling products directly to consumers in 2008. The company is based in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and strives to bring affordable technology to its customers. One top product is the Mediabridge Male To Male Stereo Audio Cable.
KabelDirekt is a family business founded in 2010 in Germany with the production of HDMI cables. Before long, it started producing various video and audio accessories to meet consumer demand. One recommended product is the KabelDirekt Pro Series Audio Aux Cord.
FosPower was founded in Woodbury, Minnesota, in 2014 with the aim of providing solutions to people's electronic needs. Its products include Bluetooth speakers, LED lamps, car chargers, and various cables such as the FosPower Audio Aux Cable.
Aux Cable Pricing
- Around $5: Aux cables can be very affordable, but their quality can be wide-ranging. You can find decent products in this price range, but make sure to do your research before you make a purchase to avoid inferior cords.
- $5-$10: The best quality aux cable will typically cost you a little more money. However, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to find one that will be durable and produce a clean sound.
- Over $10: Some premium cables may be a little more expensive, and you can find products that work just as well for a little less money. Also, cords that are longer in length cost more.
Most mid- and high-end products feature gold-plated connectors. The top aux cords will include this feature because it aids in sound transmission. Better connectors improve sound quality and also cut down on electronic interference. Gold plating will make a huge difference when it comes to how your music sounds in your vehicle.
- Materials: Manufacturers use various materials in their cables. Most wires are made of pure copper, but the quality of copper can differ depending on the brand. It's important that you find a product made of top-quality material. Better-made wires will transmit quality sound more efficiently and be more durable overall.
- Oxygen-Free Design: A heavy-duty aux cable includes two wires wrapped in protective foil. Those with more layers of insulation and made of better materials will be superior because they are free of oxygen. A cable with oxygen inside may have issues with static electricity, which can cause interference or signal loss. The industry standard is oxygen-free cables.
- Compatibility: Most electronic devices are compatible with a top-rated aux cord. They typically have a 3.5mm standard port. However, some devices may not have this type of port so you may need to use a different cable.
- Bend Lifespan: The bend life refers to a cable's durability. What it measures is the amount of bend the cable can endure before it starts to wear. At the very least, the most durable aux cord will have a value of at least 10,000. The higher the value, the better.
Best Aux Cable Reviews & Recommendations 2020
- When you're looking for the best cheap aux cord, quality should be a top priority. It will only cost a little bit more money to find a product that will last longer, prevent static, and reduce background noise.
- Purchase a cable that is longer than you think you need. That way, you will have more cable to work with, and you can maneuver it better in your vehicle.
- Avoid damaging a premium aux cable by carefully rolling it up and storing it when you're not using it. This will prolong the cable's life and keep it from breaking.
- Don't yank the cable to remove it from your vehicle's aux port or your device. If you handle the cable in this manner, it is more likely to break down. Gently remove the plug instead.
- There is a difference between an aux socket and USB port. The aux is for connecting your phone or media device, and an aux cable can be used for connecting headphones and other audio equipment.
- Be careful about purchasing an off-brand product. A cheap, generic product is less likely to have the quality you need to produce decent sound and music from your device.
Q: How do I install an auxiliary cable?
A: The single 3.5mm jack aux cable is the most common type, and you simply need to plug one end into your vehicle's aux socket and the other end into your phone or electronic device.
Q: What is the benefit of a shielded audio cable?
A: It blocks interference. A shielded cable surrounds a signal wire and aids in reducing interference from nearby electronics and radio signals. Shielding also prevents crosstalk between cables.
Q: Will an auxiliary cord fit on a smartphone with a case?
A: It depends on both the aux cable and the type of cover you have. Some cables feature narrow end connections that make them slimmer and easier to use with thick covers.
Q: What length of cord do I need for use in my car?
A: Unless you have a really large interior where everything is spaced far apart, a 3-foot cord should be adequate. However, it depends on where your aux input is located. A 6-foot cord is long, but it will be more versatile, and you can always coil up the unused portion.
Q: Does a longer cord affect performance?
A: The length of the auxiliary cord should have no effect on the sound performance. A 3-foot cord should produce the same audio quality as a 10-foot cord.
Our top pick for the best aux cable is the Sabrent 3.5mm Male-to-Male Aux Cable. It's a long, durable cable whose high-quality gold plating leads to a clear, lossless sound. This is an almost totally universal, interference-free cable that’s worth paying a little extra for.
If you’re looking for a better value, consider the AmazonBasics Male-to-Male Stereo Audio Aux Cable.