Are RCA Cables Better Than Coaxial?

Are RCA Cables Better Than Coaxial?

There’s only a fine line between a digital coaxial cable and RCA cables, frankly, these two look very similar to each other you won’t be able to tell the difference when looking at these two cables. Nonetheless, Coaxial and RCA cables have unique differences and key uses that set them apart. But, which is better, RCA cables or Coaxial cables?

Coaxial cables are better than RCA cables. Coaxial cables work straight out of the box well with all digital devices than the RCA cables that require an analog to digital converter to plug into computers or smart devices. Unless you want to use legacy audio devices, Coaxial digital cables and HDMI cables are more popular and easier to use in recent days than analog RCA cables.

Though Coaxial cables are not a single cable for both audio and video, they deliver superior video quality, surround-sound audio quality, 3D support, and more than when using countless wires needed when using RCA component connections.

What Is The Difference Between A Coaxial Cable And RCA Cable?

A glance at digital coaxial cables and RCA cables, you will notice how their connectors look-alike to that of an RCA connector. But, how different are coaxial cables to RCA cables?

The main difference between Coaxial cables and RCA cables is the file format that these two cables transmit. Coaxial cables transmit digital data files, which allows it to plug into any computer or digital device without requiring a file converter. RCA cables, on the other hand, transmit analog signals instead of digital files. This means RCA cables can broadcast to digital devices but will require an analog to digital file converter to connect to digital devices.

Coaxial connectors look strikingly similar to those on RCA; however, the digital coaxial cable is thicker than a typical audio cable. And that’s because it uses the same type of shielded coaxial cable you use to connect your television to your cable box.

In a nutshell, RCA cables transmit analog or files that are not compatible with digital gadgets. Coaxial cables transmit digital-ready files that allow Coaxial cables to be plugged directly into a computer, Audio-Video Receivers, or other digital devices.

With that kind of shielding and solid core conductor, the coaxial cable is able to transmit the signals at a long distance with low attenuation and magnetic interference. A coaxial cable also has multiple channels whereas with RCA there is no multiple channels.

What Is A Coaxial Cable?

This is a type of cable that is used to transmit digital signals. They use an electric connection in order to transmit these signals. A coaxial cable can be used for video data. Audio data and in transmission lines for radiofrequency. A coaxial cable has a central wire that is insulated. It is then wrapped by a metal shield and a plastic casing. 

Coaxial cables are different from ordinary coaxial cables because they have a better shield and are protected from electromagnetic interference. They are also capable of handling very high frequencies.

One downside of coaxial cables is that they are not able to support lossless formats since their bandwidth is not very large. Therefore, you won’t be able to hear Dolby True HD, DTS HD master Audi, and DTS X surround sound with this cable. However, it is still able to support DTS and Dolby digital surround sound. 

What Is An RCA Cable?

RCA cable works in almost a similar way as the coaxial cables. However, they have a few differences. An RCA cable is cheap and transmits analog audio signals. Hence, you cannot connect your RCA cables directly to a computer or any digital device. 

RCA cables give you hear video and audio output. RCA cables are very important and have so many uses nowadays. They can be used to connect your devices to output devices including speakers, stereos, TV, and more.

There are so many different types of RCA cables. It is essential that you understand the different types since they can help you to decide which cable go connect to your device. 

Composite video RCA cable: This type of cable transmits non-digital video signals. Information is it carried in a single signal. However, the signals it transmits are low-quality signals since it has to combine three different signals into one.

Component RCA cable: This cable has three video lines that is red, green, and blue. They have superior quality and the video signals they provide are of high quality. These RCA cables are also compatible with HDTV. 

Why Coaxial Cables Are Better Than RCA

Coaxial cables are still being used nowadays while RCA cables have declined in terms of usage. Some of the reasons why coaxial cables are still being used today include: 

Price: Coaxial cables come at a cheap price. Producing these cables is very cheap. They are a very good option if you are looking for a long-distance connection and budget-friendly cables. 

Easy to install: Installing coaxial cables is a very easy process. These cables are also a good choice if you want a long-length cable for your devices. 

Capacity: These cables have a good capacity. Coaxial cables can transfer large amounts of data. 

Shielding: Coaxial cables are generally thicker than RCA cables. They have shielding and a core that is thicker. This helps to deal with interference. Therefore, they have less interference than RCA cables. 

However, Coaxial cables also have one disadvantage. They make use of an electrical connection to transfer data. This can lead to noise interference. The noise affected by these cables is less than that affected by RCA. 

Differences Between Coaxial And RCA Cable

Coaxial cables and RCA cables are very different especially in the way that they are used. The following are the differences between those two cables:


Digital coaxial cable is made of better shielding than that of the RCA cable. A digital coaxial cable has extra shielding. This very important and it helps in preventing interference of signals. Therefore, signals are transmitted with less interference. 


When it comes to the bandwidth, the coaxial cable is also a winner. The digital coaxial has a bandwidth of 750 MHz. This ensures that it is able to transmit high-quality video signals and audio signals.  

An RCA cable has a bandwidth of you to 6 MHz. This good for single analog channels. When an RCA cable is connected over long distances, you may experience interference in the signals. 

Mode Of Signal Transmission

One of the main differences between the RCA cable and coaxial cable is the mode in which they transmit data. The RCA cable transmits analog signals whereas the coaxial cable transmits digital signals. 

The coaxial cable does the transmission in almost the same way as a computer does. On the other hand, the coaxial cable transmits the analog signals as voltages. These voltages represent the pictures. 


This is one of the main factors that most people look for when looking for the cable to use. If you are looking for a cable that is budget-friendly and good for long-distance communication, then go for the coaxial cable. 

What Are The Benefits Of Using Coaxial Over RCA

Audio Quality

This is the most common reason for choosing coaxial cables over RCA cables. The audio that is delivered by the coaxial cables is of higher quality. Coaxial also delivers video signals in good quality. This is because the signals transmitted are digital in nature. 

Extra shielding

Coaxial cables have a better design. They are sturdy and have a design that helps in protecting the signal from being affected by noises. They make use of aluminum shielding which provides extra protection to these cables. 

Digital Coaxial Cable Issues

There are some cons of using digital coaxial cables too. 

Electromagnetic interference: This is the main problem that is faced by digital coaxial cables. They can be affected by electromagnetic interference and this can affect the sound. 

Fiber optic cables: Coaxial cables are now being replaced by fiber optic cables. These cables come at a cheaper price and have a larger bandwidth as compared to the coaxial.

Are RCA Cables Still Used?

Today, RCA cables have been largely replaced by HDMI cables. However, that does not mean that these cables are not used. These cables are still being used in many other devices. They are mostly used with Camcorders. 

It is very possible to still find some RCA cables today. You can easily use these cables when they are available. With most camcorders, you will notice that they have three jacks. 

This separates the kind of signals that are entering and leaving the drive. This ensures that the video goes through one channel and the other two are for audio. 

This is very good as it ensures that the quality you get is high. 

There are also some lower-end camcorders. These only have one jack that is used to transfer the signals. This leads to low-quality signals. 

What To Look For When Choosing A Coaxial Cable Or An RCA Cable

There are so many factors that you need to consider when you want to choose the right cable between a coaxial cable and an RCA cable. 


You need to consider the material that is used to make the cables. Consider if the connectors are made of silver, copper or gold. 

RCA connectors can be made from gold, copper or silver. The connectors that are made of gold are pricier as compared to the connectors that are mad of copper or silver. These connectors also do a great job at preventing oxidation that the other too. 

Length Of The Cables

The cable length can affect the quality of the signal. Therefore, make sure you choose a cable that has a good length and it should not have an effect on the signal quality. 


When choosing cables, use a cable that is well shielded. Cables that are well-shielded help to offer protection from interference. Cables that have extra shielding even do a better job at offering protection. 


Coaxial cable and RCA cables are very common connections for video and audio signals. RCA cables are now being replaced by HDMI cables. However, some devices still use these connections. Coaxial cables on the other hand we used in most devices.

They are a better choice between the two because they have extra shielding that helps to prevent interference. The interference that is affected by these cables is less than that affected by the RCA cables. RCA cables transmit signals in analog form and are more prone to interference. 

Eddie Mcfarren

Eddie Is no stranger to technical writing after spending years in Networking, IT Infrastructure management, and online content marketing. He is an avid researcher, Software and apps dev tester who spends hours solving problems behind the scenes. Get in touch with him via social media and you can email him via

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