When installing car audio, never underestimate the importance of high-quality wires. The two standard types of car audio cables are CCA (copper-clad aluminum) and OFC (oxygen-free copper). They are far from equal. Let's take a look at the difference between these two options.

One of the challenges in choosing a speaker cable for your car is to ensure that it is good enough to handle anything you can throw at it, but not overkill and waste

About CCA wire

The copper clad aluminum wire looks the same as other copper wires on the outside because it is essentially aluminum and is coated with a thin layer of copper. You need to see it from the front to see the aluminum in the center.


It is cheaper than wires made entirely of copper (such as OFC). It is also lighter than pure copper wire.


Compared with wires made entirely of aluminum, CCA does a better job of conducting electricity. Copper coating helps, but it is still not as good as pure copper wire. It is also stronger than pure aluminum wire, but weaker than pure copper wire.


CCA is essentially a major upgrade to ordinary aluminum wire, but it is still a downgrade of OFC. Even for car audio with a limited budget, it is recommended to save money to buy pure copper wire instead of using CCA.

About OFC

Although the idea of ​​oxygen-free wire is called a gimmick in the field of home theater and car audio, some people say that its conductivity is only slightly higher than ordinary copper wire, but the term itself is usually used to describe various quality metal wires. "OFC" has different standards.


In any case, OFC or ordinary copper wire is much better than copper clad or pure aluminum.


If you want to use CCA instead of OFC, it is usually recommended to buy a larger specification, but you should only use OFC cables. You don't want to be stingy with quality on things as important as wires, if you decide to upgrade to a more powerful system in the future, then they are all set up. You don't have to reconnect everything.

Changes in wire quality

The quality of the wire will vary, which will affect its ability to conduct electricity to transmit power and audio signals to your device. Some wires in the automotive electrical system are of low quality when they just leave the factory. These problems can be solved by implementing the "three major upgrades" to change them to 2 or 1/0 specifications. This is important because your car’s backup electrical system is designed to handle very specific loads, and when you start to upgrade audio equipment, it will put more pressure on the wiring, so you need to upgrade to a lower specification. But the meter does not always tell the whole story.


In the final analysis, looking for an OFC line, even if it does not meet the highest standard of less than 0.001% oxygen or the highest standard for any industrial use, it is still a big improvement from cheaper alternatives.

Possible problems with using the wrong wire

Over time, corrosion is a potential problem with wiring, and over time, moisture and weather can seep in. Increasing the high voltage through the wires, especially when using poor quality wires or using the wrong wires for work, is only a problem until things start to go wrong. Corrosion can cause short circuits, which can be catastrophic in some cases. The equipment may be damaged, and if there is no suitable fuse, it may even cause a fire.


If the wire you use cannot withstand the wattage flowing through it, it will start to overheat. In some cases, this is not a big problem because there is a little leeway, but eventually it will start to melt the protective cover around the wires and let the hot wire go through your car.

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