CCA vs Copper Speaker Wire: Which One to Choose?

If you want your speakers to sound their best, you might think of investing in high-quality wiring.

But you might get confused while picking one for your speakers. You might think, “Which one to buy from cca vs copper speaker wire?”

CCA has higher resistance than pure copper. It uses a thin copper layer over an Al core. Many CCA wires have thin copper layers. Tightening a connection can strip the copper and reduce connectivity. However, copper wires cost more.

So, which one is worth the penny? Should you spend money on wires for your speakers?

I will tell you that in this article. Read on.

Pros and Cons

Before starting the article, let’s see the pros and cons of each speaker’s wire.

CCA Speaker WireCopper Speaker Wire
Pros:The Heat Dissipation of CCA speaker wire is great.

CCA speaker wire is very well valued.
Copper speaker wire has less resistance.

Copper speaker wire is more durable.

Superb audio quality.

The wires can snap easily.

Lossless audio quality can be harmed.
Copper wires can get heated soon.

It is expensive.

CCA vs Copper Speaker Wire: Quick Comparison!

Both speaker wires are good from their own perspective. However, to get a quick concept, let’s look at this table,

Aspect CCA Wire Copper Wire
Heat DissipationBetter Relatively Less 
Resistance2.327 x 10-8 Ω m 1.724 x 10-8 Ω m
ConnectivityConnection Might Snap-offBetter Connectivity 
Audio QualityQuality Drop over distanceLossless
Price $10-$34$17-$53
Product LinkCheck Price on AmazonCheck Price on Amazon

Now, let’s continue with the discussion.

Scoreboard of CCA speaker wire vs Copper speaker wire

CCA vs Copper Speaker Wire: Detailed Comparison!

Cables and speaker wires are examples of costly and overhyped audio accessories.

A “magical” speaker wire or audio cable can cost hundreds of dollars; is it worth the investment? Does it affect the audio quality when listening at home or in the car?

You might get confused about deciding which wire to buy, just like choosing between 12 and 10 pa speakers.

We promise to explain everything in plain English. Let’s continue with the detailed discussion for elaboration.

Heat Dissipation:

Heat dissipation is an overlooked factor, which many people don’t even understand. 

Heat is produced when current flows through any conductor, not just copper wire. In this process, the energy stored in the conductor is converted from its electrical form to heat.

It is a phenomenon known as “power loss.” What determines how much heat a substance can dissipate is its specific resistance (resistivity).

CCA or Copper Clad Aluminium wires are better at heat dissipation. Hence, the wires don’t heat up like pure copper wires. 

In the worst cases, pure copper wires heat up very fast and may even melt the soldering and glue. The heat dissipation of copper speaker wires is worse than CCA wires. This will definitely end up in a loose connection and poor sound quality. 

Even your subwoofers may rattle due to poor heat ventilation at high volumes.

Winner: The winner will be CCA wires for their better heat dissipation rate. It does not heat up as much as the copper wires.


Wire resistance is very important in terms of sound quality and performance. It is directly related to the thickness of the wire.

Wire thickness affects the resistance. Thinner wires have more resistance than thicker ones. This adds a dampening effect to the sound. This affects the overall sound quality negatively.

In the case of resistance, CCA wires tend to have higher resistance. This is due to the mix of aluminum and copper in the wire build. 

CCA has a substantially greater resistance than pure copper. This is because it uses a thin layer of copper over an Al core. To achieve the same resistance as copper, you will typically need wire that is 1-2 gauges larger.

On the other hand, copper wires have much less resistance than CCA wires. This is due to pure copper wires having the best conductivity among wires. This makes pure copper the best conductor. The sound quality is lossless on copper wires.

Winner: The winner of this section will be copper wires. They provide the least amount of resistance compared to the CCA wires.


Connectivity is another major factor in terms of wires. You will always want a wire that is easily connectable everywhere. Here the copper wires outshine the CCA wires.

Another problem is that many wires have a thin copper covering. It is so thin that it might be stripped when a connection is made. This results in poorer connectivity. Dissimilar metals can also lead to poor connections over time.

The copper wires don’t suffer from these issues and offer better connectivity overall. It does not snap like the CCA wires. It is also compatible with all sound devices.

Winner: Copper wires will have the upper hand in this section. It offers better connectivity than CCA wires.

Warning: CCA wires have a bad reputation for being delicate. In some cases, if you tighten the wire roughly, it might snap off. 

Pro Tip: Try using tapes or cable management tools to keep CCA wires together. That way the wires won’t break down easily.

Audio Quality:

This is the most important thing to consider while choosing a wire for your speakers. After all, you are buying a wire for the best possible sound quality.

The copper wires simply outmatch their competitors here. But, do copper wires improve sound quality?

Yes, copper wires do improve the overall sound quality. The lossless transformation of digital to analog audio can be done through it. So, the end result will be more satisfactory than the CCA wires. Thus, the copper wires will have better sound than the CCA wires.

CCA wires have a big disadvantage here. Its quality drops over distance. This adds a dampening effect to the sound. Also, some of the sharp details are lost due to quality drops.

The copper wires don’t have this issue. It has lossless sound quality. Hence, it is preferred by professionals and seasoned users alike. But this comes at a higher cost.

Winner: The copper wire will rule this one for its superior audio quality. But it comes at a cost, though.


Price is the single most dictating factor in any choice-making process. It can singularly alter the decision.

Pricewise, the CCA wires are cheaper than pure copper wires. This is because of the cheap price of aluminum. 

But this comes at a disadvantage. The audio quality drops over distance. Also, the connectivity is a major concern as there are multiple instances of it snapping off. But the heat dissipation is better than that of copper wires.

Winner: The CCA wires will win this one for their cheap price range.

Positive and Negative wire connection
Source: Rolling Stone

So, Which One is Better?

Both wires are good and widely used in the industry. The difference between CCA and copper wires may be hardly noticeable. However, there is some stuff that sets them apart like the OFC and CCA cable differences.

Pricewise, the CCA cables are way cheaper than the copper wires and may seem like a good choice. But it has many disadvantages, like high resistance, quality drop, and connectivity issues. 

Let’s see some of the CCA cables for your speakers.

If you are on a budget, you can use the CCA wires. They won’t perform awfully but will lack premium quality.

If price is not your concern and you want quality sound, pick the copper wires. They will be pricey, but they will deliver top-notch sound for your speakers. Below some of the best copper speaker wires are listed below.

  • Another great copper speaker wire is KabelDirekt – Pure Copper Stereo Audio Speaker Wire. You can check the price on Amazon.

Copper wire, despite being better, isn’t immune to any troubles. Here is someone sharing issues they faced with copper wire.

Copper Speaker Wire
Source: Cambridge Audio

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

What is a CCA Speaker Wire?

Aluminum wire with a copper coating is known as “CCA” wire. This wire is made of aluminum and has a tiny layer of copper on it. It may look identical to ordinary copper wire upon first inspection. Despite its low price, aluminum is only approximately 60% as conductive as copper.

What Happens If the Speaker Wire is Too Thin?

Using a wire that is too thin will only cause problems if you run too much current through it. The wires might melt, which will in turn cause your amplifier to malfunction. If the wires melt and fuse, it will create an open circuit with no load. The amplifier will be quite ruined.

Is Higher Gauge Speaker Wire Better?

A stronger amplification signal can be carried via thinner speaker wires. Consider the distance between the speakers and the amplifier. Also, you can consider an A/V receiver when deciding on the wire gauge to utilize. Speakers can be wired with 16-gauge wire for short distances.


That will be all about cca vs copper speaker wire. Hopefully, you will understand which one is better for you.

Regardless of the type of wire, make sure you connect them properly for the best audio output. Also, don’t forget to maintain them from time to time.

See you soon.

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