Audio Advent 2021 Day 10: Why your HiFi needs good quality mains cables

Without power, no electrical component will work: it flows through your system making your speakers' drive units move, your disc spin and the pixels appear on your TV. In essence, it is the life-blood of your HiFi or AV system, and it needs to be looked after.

What we see and hear is quite simply formed by electricity in varying frequencies, so feeding your system with high quality mains is of paramount importance to the overall performance of your system.


The ordinary black power cables that come with all components are made of the lowest quality materials and could have been made for your computer or kettle, or any one of a number of components; very little attention was paid to the fact it was going to be used with a high performance piece of audio electronics. The key components of a mains cable are the copper wire, the PVC coating (the dielectric), and the terminals inside both the plug end and the input that goes into your component. The general cost of one of these cheap cables is less than £1, so we can rightfully assume that the manufacturers aren't using the highest quality materials!

Our high-quality mains cables from Chord on the other hand, feature silver plated contacts with silicone damping to minimise vibration between the top and bottom section of the mains plug, plus dual-layer high density braid shielding to insulate the copper wire from any outside interference. Simply holding one in your hand it is obvious where the extra money goes. 

Another big problem with mains cables is Radio Frequency (RF) noise. We live in a world of mobile phones, tablets, broadband, portable house phones and even the cross talk between other components, which all produce large amounts of RF. So many of the high performance mains cables we sell feature high quality shielding to help combat this RF noise problem. After all, if you reduce the interference of the signal entering your system, you will reduce the interference of the sound leaving your system. This means more detail, more accurate rhythmical timing, and hearing the music the way the artist intended.


So here at Expressive Audio we take mains seriously and recommend that a good quality mains cable from Isol-8 or Chord can make a substantial improvement to your HiFi at every single component level. From as little as £135 for an ISOL-8 IsoLink Wave Mains Cable, up to a Chord Signature ARAY Power Cable at £600.


IsoLink Wave Mains Cable:

ISOL-8 IsoLink Wave Mains Cable

Chord Signature ARAY Power Cable:

Chord ARAY Power Cable


If you have invested serious money in your HiFi or home cinema system, then looking at your mains cables is a very good place to start. If you don't believe in mains cables and you think it's all just smoke and mirrors, then please come and visit us at our Lincolnshire showroom and have a listen, or get in touch to find out about borrowing some of our cables to try in your system at home and see what you think for yourself.

We also believe in taking things a stage further than this, so be sure to read our other blog all about mains conditioning

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