The Unsung Hero of Sound Systems: The Importance of High-Quality Audio Cables in Your Sound System

Picture a passionate music-lover discussing their prized setup. They’ll effusively praise their speakers, amplifier, preamplifier, and source— and rightfully so, every box is an important element of a sound system. But there is a critical component that rarely gets the recognition it deserves. A silent hero: the audio cable.

Before you dismiss the notion of cables as inconsequential, consider the impact of subpar cables: diminished signal integrity, muddled sound, and a collapsed soundstage. In contrast, put high-quality cables in your system and you will be rewarded with enhanced clarity, spatial imaging, and tonal balance. Introducing reputable, well-engineered cables, like Nordost’s, can truly unveil the full potential of your equipment and transform your listening experience from ordinary to extraordinary.

Choosing the right cable involves understanding key design elements like impedance, capacitance, and signal speed. It’s about finding a balance between neutrality and sonic enhancement!

In the pursuit of audio perfection, every element matters. Just as a symphony orchestra requires each instrument to harmonize flawlessly, a sound system relies on meticulously chosen components—including, yes, the humble audio cable—to achieve symphonic brilliance. So, the next time you’re fine-tuning your setup, remember the silent hero that brings it all together: the audio cable.

Still not convinced about the importance of the mighty hifi cable? Get more information HERE

Questions and Answers (June 2024)

Our product specialists receive questions on a daily basis about Nordost products, their applications, and hifi in general.  We decided to take a minute to share some of those questions here so that everyone can get the answers they are looking for!

Q: Do Leif 3 Cables sound good alongside their predecessors? 

A: Nordost’s Leif 3 Cables share the same basic design philosophy as all of our cables, and therefore have a cohesive sonic signature. This ensures Nordost customers that they can use their Leif 3 cables alongside any of Nordost’s previous or current lines of cables and continue to upgrade their cables as needed without drawbacks. 

Q: Are there any sonic differences between the QBASE 15/10amp and a QBASE 20/16amp models? 

A: Yes, because of the difference in construction between the two models, there are slight audible differences. The QBASE 20/16amp version, which uses an IEC C-20 option has both larger traces as well as heavier gauge internal wiring, in order to support higher current. Similar to a power cord, when you use heavier gauge conductors, there will typically be better sonic performance.  

Q: Why do cable companies recommend a minimum power cord length of 2 meters? I have seen this said at Nordost and elsewhere, but I have never understood why. 

A: A huge consideration in cable construction is how the conductor resonates. There are several factors in that equation, but one of them is the conductor length. The resonant properties of materials change, in part, due to the length of the materials. A 2m cable (where the conductors are cut to a 2m length) will resonate in more of a broad-banded fashion and sound a bit smoother than a 1m. 

Q: Because of space constraints on my audio rack, I am thinking about stacking some components. Can I place a QX4 unit on top of a QKORE that is supported by Sort Kones? 

A: Technically you can stack units that are on Sort Kones, as long as the weight of the combined units is under the recommended weight (each Sort Kone can support 100lbs). However, it isn’t recommended. You should try to avoid stacking components on top of one another while using Sort Kones, because it will minimize the effect of the Sort Kones.

The Absolute Sound Reviews the QBASE Mark III

Neil Gader has been a long-time supporter of our cables, so he was very interested in delving into the world of QRT with one of our new AC power distributors. In the most recent issue of The Absolute Sound, Neil Gader focused his attention on the QBASE Mark III. Throughout his listening sessions, he found the sonic results of the QBASE to be “immediate and consistent” when it comes to its revealing and resolving nature and was especially impressed by the timbral details and low-level information the QBASE provided.  

Neil dubbed the QBASE Mark III an easy recommendation, calling it “restorative, bringing to light low-level details and micro-dynamic shifts that have been obscured”. 

You can now see Neil’s QNET Review on the Reviews Page of the Nordost website or read it in its entirety here: Nordost QBASE Mark III AC Distribution Unit: The Incrementalist

Upcoming Dealer Events (Summer 2024)

MSB Cascade DAC Event at Audio Video Integration

AVi proudly introduces the brand new MSB Cascade DAC to the United States for one week only.

From Monday June 10th through Saturday June 15th.

Special event with Nordost: Thursday June 13th

Reservations strongly recommended:  RSVP HERE

10am – 5pm

Audio Video Integration

647 Francisco Blvd E

San Rafael, CA


Entertainment Technology Open House 



Invite Only

Reach out to store for invite: (914) 242-8881

Entertainment Technology

309 N Bedford Rd.

Mt Kisko, NY 10549

Nuts About Hi-Fi Event

June 21, 2024

3:00pm – 7:00pm

9960 Silverdale Way #3
Silverdale, WA 98383

Audio Vision San Francisco – 25th Anniversary Event

Oct 25 – 27th

7:00pm – 11:00pm

Audio Vision San Francisco

1628 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94109

Nordost at High End 2024 in Munich – Recap

A month out from High End in Munich, and we are still beaming from the results of the show! This year Nordost surprised show-goers with the exciting introduction of our Leif 3 series – the next evolution of our entry-level product lines. Consumers were thrilled to see a refresh of our White Lightning, Purple Flare, Blue Heaven, and Red Dawn power cords, analog interconnects, and speaker cables, which have been a benchmark in the hifi industry for over 3 decades! 

Nordost was ever-present as always, this year at High End. Our cables were featured in over a dozen amazing systems, with partners such as Raidho, VTL, dCS, Hegel, Moon by Simaudio, Stenheim, and our incredible German distributor, Audio Reference. And, as always, we were included in some of the rooms deemed ‘best-of show’ by well-respected industry reviewers. It’s always an honor to be selected to exhibit alongside these giants of the hifi industry, who have their pick of cable brands, and we are thrilled to have made fantastic sound with them all, once again. 

For those of you who were unable to visit High End this year, we have put together some of our favorite pictures for you to enjoy, right here! 

Nordost Room

Audio Reference Room

dCS Room

VTL Room

Raidho Room

Scansonic Room

Moon Room

Hegel Booth

Stenheim Room

Nordost Playlist – June 2024

Nordost products are designed to allow you to enjoy your favorite performances as they were intended to be heard. All of us here are passionate about great music, and want to share our passion with you. Each one of us has our own style… We listen to a wide variety of artists and genres but, in a way, we appreciate them all. We thought that we would share a few of the songs on our own personal playlists with you each month. Some may be classics, some may be brand new, some may not even be to your tastes, but we hope that there is something here for everyone.

Here are some of the songs that we will have on rotation this June.

You can now listen to our monthly playlist here:  TIDAL  | SPOTIFY  |  QOBUZ

  1. Goya Soda – Christine and the Queens – Chris 
  2. Queen Mary – Francine Thirteen– Queen Mary 
  3. Two Hearts (Lawns) – Terri Lyne Carrington, Ravi Coltrane, Samara Joy – New Standards Vol. 1
  4. Warriors – Too Many Zooz – Subway Gawdz 
  5. Lost On You – LP – Lost On You 
  6. Moon Meets the Sun – Our Native Daughters, Amythyst Kiah, Rhiannon Giddens, Allison Russell – Songs of Our Native Daughters 
  7. Toada – Claudio Nicci, Viktoria Mullova, Matthew Barley, Carioca Freitas, Paul Clarvis – Stradivarius in Rio 
  8. Prologue – Leonard Bernstein – West Side Story (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) 
  9. Lou’s Tune – DARGZ, Moses Boyd – Lou’s Tune
  10. 4:00A.M. – Taeko Onuki – MIGNONNE (Mastered by Bernie Grundman)