It’s no surprise that audiophiles will pay top dollar for high-end loudspeakers and stereo equipment. But it may be shocking to learn the extreme prices hi-fi aficionados will pay for cables. The value of high-end audio cables is not without controversy; a simple internet search will turn up many opinion pieces that doubt the efficacy of cables in producing a discernable improvement in audio fidelity. These detractors point to a lack of double-blind testing and scientific support for some claims. Believers, on the other hand, cite their subjective experience when swapping out cables. However, one thing is for certain: each of the following 10 elite speaker cables is a paragon of audio construction and aesthetics.

Stealth Audio Cables Dream V14
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When the word ‘Dream’ is included in a product’s name, the bar has already been set rather high. And while the Dream V14 is not Stealth Audio Cables’s flagship (which is twice its price), it delivers exceptional performance for a more reasonable £11,000. The inner design of the cable consists of four layers of copper wire and four layers of silver wire separated by Teflon insulation with a conductive core. The model also offers some unusual benefits, including solid-silver connectors as well as a sliding ‘tuning collar,’ which moves up and down the cable to affect the properties of the signal traveling through it, ultimately changing the sound. stealthaudiocables.com
 
Skogrand SC Beethoven
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Norwegian cable manufacturer Skogrand names all its cables after famous composers. It is fitting, then, that its SC Beethoven cables are named after the man who is considered by many to be the greatest composer who ever lived. The company’s £18,000 cables (for a 6.5-foot length) command a premium because the copper wires and inner framework used in their construction are scanned to ensure that every component is free from imperfections. Aesthetically, the SC Beethoven models stand out from the pack thanks to their patterned silk sheathing, which is strikingly different from their competitors and perhaps a bit easier to integrate with a room’s existing aesthetic. skograndcables.com

Nordost ODIN 2 Supreme Reference
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Nordost is one of the more well-known audio-cable companies in enthusiast circles. Many of its popular cable models are flat, allowing them to be run under carpets easily, although most audiophiles prefer to display their unique curves and coils in plain view. The ODIN 2 Supreme Reference cables are created using a proprietary Fluorinated Ethylene Propylene (FEP) extrusion process, which allows the individual conductors to use air as its main dielectric rather than some other material. Each individual wire is wound with FEP for additional separation. The cables cost roughly £24,000 for a 3.2-foot pair; additional 1.6-foot stereo increments are about £3,200. nordost.com

MIT ACC 268
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As its name implies, cable manufacturer Music Interface Technologies (MIT) refers to its products as ‘interfaces’ to distinguish them from just another set a fancy set of wires. This elevated aim is most apparent in the ACC 268, MIT’s £64,000 flagship model. The large console box in the centre allows the listener to adjust the articulation of the signal sent to the loudspeakers to accommodate for room conditions, gear changes, or software choices. The circuitry also includes provisions that allow a listener to adjust the sound energy produced by the loudspeaker. Just don’t ask how they do it; it’s a trade secret. mitcables.com
 
Kimber Kable KS 6068
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The name of the product might be unassuming, but the Kimber Kable KS 6068 loudspeaker cables are some of the most exclusive, ultra-high-end cables available. Kimber Kable, a U.S. company known for its braided cable designs, has produced this no-holds-barred product that is very large, and very extreme in specifications. Its price tag is probably the most incredible feature of all: set out to purchase a 30-foot pair, and you will end up shelling out about £66,000. kimber.com
 
 
Alexander Lamascus