Outdoor speakers: need special wire?

I’m going to be mounting a pair of Polk outdoor speakers this weekend. They’ll be on a covered porch that’s otherwise open to the environment. The wires will be relatively modest runs, but no more than 20 to 30 feet.

I don’t have time to save up for Pear cables, so will have to settle for somethign from Monoprice.

Do I need to worry about shielding of any sort?

Is this a case where ‘oxygen free’ wires really are warranted?

Are gold-plated connectors worth the extra ten cents here? If so, how do I connect the wires to the connectors? Use heat-shrink tubing?

If you’re running the wire from inside, you’ll at least need insulated wiring that’s compliant with wiring code. That should be sufficient for being outside as well.

I used regular in-wall speaker wire when I installed in outdoor speakers twelve years ago, and have never had a problem. My speakers are under the ends of a little 2 foot deep by 8 foot wide overhang, but otherwise exposed. They’re out there all winter (in Michigan). They’re a decent gauge, 10 I think, but I’d have to check tonight.

The “in-wall” designation has to do with the insulation’s fire rating, not the wire’s metal alloy. I doubt that’s relevant.

ETA: The in-wall rating helped when I later had part of our basement finished. The fire inspector was concerned that the wire was basically lamp cord until I showed him the spool it came off of.

ETA2: I bought it at Radio Shack.

As I understand it, it’s a temporary install protected from rain that has to last a weekend. I usually think of standard zip (lamp) cord for speakers (18 awg). If you want some extra something or other, try finding some 16 awg. I wouldn’t bother with anything special for a temporary work for a weekend setup.

Oops, sorry. I mean this weekend I’m going to install a pair of speakers out there and leave them out permanently.

The amplifier and source (probably a remotely controlled android device) will be comfortably in the den; the speakers will be on a covered porch that’s at least 10’ deep and 30’ wide (speakers will be in the center).

For 20 or 30 foot lengths you’ll want to use thicker wire than you might use for a 6 foot run inside the house.

Do I need to worry about shielding of any sort?

Nope. Just make sure that the insulation on the wire can stand up to weather. Check the temperature specs of the insulation and try to keep the wire out of direct sunlight as UV from the sun can degrade the insulation over time.

Is this a case where ‘oxygen free’ wires really are warranted?

The term “oxygen free wires” makes me giggle. No, you don’t need them.

Are gold-plated connectors worth the extra ten cents here?

Are the terminals on the speakers gold plated? You don’t want to mix gold and tin. Over time you end up with a non-conductive layer forming between the two which degrades the connection.

Heat shrink tubing does not make good electrical connections. Connectors generally crimp or solder to the wire or are attached by screws. For outdoor use, crimp connections work better than soldered connections. Over time, the dissimilar metals in soldered connections combined with thermal expansion and contraction will cause the connection to loosen up and fail.

If the connections are not gold plated, you will have corrosion problems in any exposed wire. Heat shrink tubing can be used to cover the bare wire after you’ve crimped on the connector.

OK, I don’t know my wire gauges very well. It’s 16 gauge wire.