Best Aux Cables: Top 3.5mm Audio Cords For Reliable Audio
The top aux cables for your car and home
TheDrive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.
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.
- Best OverallKabelDirekt Pro Series Audio Aux CordSummarySummaryThis cable features 24K gold-plated, corrosion-resistant connections. It's been tested in rigorous quality-control checks for long-lasting audio quality. Length varies from one to 25 feet, and it comes with an 18-month warranty.ProsProsThis cable is thick yet very pliable. There is no static or interference, and the connection is reliable. It offers high-quality performance and a clean sound.ConsConsThe cable may cut in and out or stop working over time. It may break or loosen at the end connection. It may not fit on a phone with a case.
- Best ValueiXCC Auxiliary Cable with Gold Plated ConnectorSummarySummaryThis cable features dual-shielding, high-quality, corrosion-resistant, gold-plated connectors. Its tangle-free design prevents knots and kinks. It comes with a two-year warranty and is available in 3-, 6-, and 10-foot lengths.ProsProsThis cable is durable and provides a good, clean connection without interference, static, or loss of fidelity. It's thick yet flexible enough to move easily around your vehicle's interior.ConsConsThe metal caps can be unscrewed fairly easily, which may expose internal components. The cord may not fit snugly into certain cell phones, and it may short out.
- Honorable MentionFosPower Audio Aux CableSummarySummaryThis cable has 24k gold-plated connectors to resist corrosion and tarnish. The copper braided and aluminum foil shielding provides flexibility and reduces interference. Available lengths range from 1 to 25 feet.ProsProsThe cable produces a nice clean sound with an excellent sound quality transfer. It's sturdy, thick, well-made, and it fits directly into your phone with the case on.ConsConsThe cable may come loose, and over time it may only work when it's positioned in a certain way. It may break or start crackling after a short period of use.
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 iCable 800 Car Stereo Cable.
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 2019
Best Aux Cable Overall: KabelDirekt Pro Series Audio Aux Cord
This flexible cable features 24K gold-plated, corrosion-resistant connections and is compatible with any 3.5mm aux port. It can be connected to a car stereo, smartphone, Hifi system, laptop, iPod, iPhone, iPad, and other audio-playing devices. It's been tested in rigorous quality-control checks to produce long-lasting audio quality. The cable, which is available in lengths ranging from 1 to 25 feet, also comes with an 18-month warranty.
This high-quality shielded cable is thick without being too stiff, and it is very pliable. There is no hum, hiss, static, or interference of any kind, and the connection is 100-percent reliable. The metal connectors are more durable than plastic, and they add a bit of fit and finish to the appearance. The connection ends to give it an elegant and high-end look. Also, the bottom of the connectors has a "pinch area" for a better grip. Overall, it provides high-quality performance and a clean sound at a great price.
The cable can cut in and out and even stop working after a few months of use. The wire may also break at the end connection or become loose, requiring you to wiggle it to make it work and to get rid of unwanted interference. Another problem is that it may not fit on a phone that has a case on it.
Best Value Aux Cable: iXCC Auxiliary Cable with Gold Plated Connector
This cable features dual-shielding, high-quality, corrosion-resistant, gold-plated 3.5mm connectors. It can be used with smartphones, tablets, and MP3 players to connect to your car stereo. It also works with a portable speaker system and other compatible devices. The flexible jacket is ideal for tight spaces, and its tangle-free design prevents knots and kinks. iXCC also includes a two-year warranty. It's available in 3-, 6-, and 10-foot lengths.
This cable is very durable, easy to use, and produces great sound quality. It provides a good, clean connection without interference, static, or loss of fidelity. The gold plating on the connectors helps prevent annoying static feedback that happens occasionally with some cords. The cord is thick, yet flexible enough to move easily around your vehicle's console. The cable is also small enough to fit into your smartphone without removing the case because it features an extended-length, narrow flange.
One downside is that the metal caps can be unscrewed fairly easily, which may expose the internal components. The tip doesn't fit snugly into certain cell phones, which can cause connection issues. The cord may also short out after a short period of use and have trouble staying in place when connected.
Best Aux Cable Honorable Mention: FosPower Audio Aux Cable
This cable features 24k gold-plated connectors to resist corrosion and reduce tarnish. The copper-braided and aluminum foil shielding provides cable flexibility and reduces undesired EMI/RFI interference. Its polyethylene foam dielectric insulator minimizes signal loss, and the tin-plated copper core reduces oxidation and increases wire life. It's available in lengths ranging from 1 to 25 feet.
The combination of foil and braided copper shielding helps prevent static and loss of signal, and it produces a nice, clean sound with the excellent sound quality transfer. The cable is sturdy, thick, and well-made, the ends are firmly attached, and it fits directly into your phone with the case on. The cable is nice and flexible and is easy to move around without getting tangled or kinked.
One problem is the cable may come loose every now and then. Over time, it may become position sensitive and only work when it's lined up in a certain way. The cable can break or start crackling after a short period of use. It may also fail to lock in properly on some phones, causing it to come loose during rough conditions.
- 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 KabelDirekt Pro Series Audio Aux Cord. It's a high-quality, thick cable that is pliable and reliable. Its durable metal connectors give it an elegant look, and there's no static or interference during use.
If you want a slightly better value, consider the iXCC Auxiliary Cable with Gold Plated Connector.
Let us know your favorites in the comments below.
- RELATEDBest Car Stereos: Upgrade Your Sound QualityTake your vehicle’s entertainment system to the next level with these top car stereosREAD NOW
- RELATEDBest Car Speakers: Get the Best Musical Experience in Your CarGet great music in your vehicle with these top-quality car audio speakersREAD NOW
- RELATEDBest Component Speakers: High-Quality Sound for Your Listening PleasureCrank up the volume and please your ears with these top component speakersREAD NOW
- RELATEDBest 6×9 Speakers: Enjoy Crystal Clear Sound with Banging Bass LinesOur top picks for the best 6x9 speakers for your carREAD NOW
- RELATEDBest 8-Inch Subwoofers: Small But Mighty Speakers That Boost The BassThe best 8-inch subwoofers to give your audio system some much-needed punchREAD NOW