Difference Between RCA and Coaxial Cables

RCA and Coaxial cables are two common types of cables used for audio and video connections. RCA cables, also known as phono cables, are generally used for analogue audio connections, whereas coaxial cables are used for digital audio and video connections.

Read this article to find out more about RCA and Coaxial and how they are different from each other.

What are RCA Cables?

RCA cables are used to connect analogue audio and video connections. It is also referred to as a phono cable or a cinch cable. RCA cables consist of two or three cables, each of which has a connection on one or both ends. A circular metal ring with a small pin in the centre defines the connectors.

The Radio Corporation of America popularized the use of the RCA cable in consumer electronics in the 1940s. The RCA cable is commonly used for connecting analogue audio and video connections, such as a turntable, cassette player, or CD player, to a stereo amplifier or receiver.

RCA cables come in a variety of lengths and qualities, with varying levels of shielding and signal quality. Gold plating is used on some RCA cables to improve conductivity and reduce corrosion. Twisted-pair construction and other features designed to reduce interference and noise may also be found in high-quality RCA cables.

What are Coaxial Cables?

A coaxial cable's central conductor is normally made of copper or a copper alloy, and it is surrounded by a dielectric insulator, which is typically made of plastic or foam. The shield of a coaxial cable is typically made of braided copper or aluminium foil and surrounds the dielectric insulator. The outer jacket is a protective covering that provides insulation and protects against environmental factors.

Coaxial cables are commonly used for high-speed data transmission in applications such as cable TV, internet connections, and satellite communications. Because of their large bandwidth and noise-reducing qualities, coaxial cables are also extensively used for audio and video connections, including digital audio and video.

Coaxial cables come in a variety of types and sizes, with different levels of shielding and impedance. RG6, RG11, and RG59 are some of the most common types of coaxial cables, with RG6 being the most extensively used for residential and commercial purposes.

Difference between RCA and Coaxial Cables

The following table highlights the major differences between RCA and Coaxial Cables −


RCA Cables

Coaxial Cables

Connector Types

RCA connectors

Coaxial connectors


Analog audio and video

Digital audio and video


Shorter transmission distance

Longer transmission distance


Low Cost

High Cost


Lower bandwidth

Higher bandwidth


Limited shielding

Good shielding

Signal Quality

Lower signal quality

Higher signal quality


75 Ohm

50 or 75 Ohm


In conclusion, the decision between RCA and coaxial cables depends on the application and the type of signal being transmitted. RCA cables are suitable for analogue audio connections, whereas coaxial cables are better for digital audio and video connections that require higher signal quality.

Updated on: 15-May-2023


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