AudioQuestion Carbon USBPrice: $119 per 0.75m cord

Website: www.audioquest.com

Doug said: Every time I wanted to listen for an hour or three just for the sheer pleasure of it, the AudioQuest Carbon was the one I went to. 

Read the GoodSound! review.

The gist: We don’t know why, exactly, but these USB cables make a difference you can hear.

Cardas Clear PhonoPrice: $1176 for 1.25m cable

Website: www.cardas.com

Garrett said: If you’re looking for a phono cable that, for its relatively premium expense, gives you an advanced cable design, a fabulous richness of musical performance, and top-quality parts, I highly recommend you hear the Cardas Clear.

Read the SoundStage! Hi-Fi review.

The gist: A Clear view into your analog discs.

Dynamique TempestPrice: $525 per 2m pair (speaker cables), $390 per 1m pair (interconnects)

Website: www.dynamiqueaudio.com

Hans said: Their cables exude quality and provide copious amounts of resolution. I expect that they will please many listeners.

Read the SoundStage! Access review.

The gist: New cable player with good products.

Nordost Blue HeavenPrices: $699.99 per 2m pair (speaker cables), $349.99 per 1m pair (interconnects)

Website: www.nordost.com

Hans said: Without addressing the merits of the "Foundation Theory," I concede that the Nordost Blue Heavens have brought to my system the greatest jumps in musicality, soundstaging, and transparency that I have heard. Their honesty finds a home in each and every recording I throw at them, and I could not be happier with the results. Secure in the knowledge that these Nordost cables will neither editorialize your music nor unduly burden your wallet, I can offer only my strongest recommendation.

Read the SoundStage! Access review.

The gist: Took his system’s performance up a few notable notches.

Ridge Street Poiema!!!Price: $550 for 1m cord

Website: www.ridgestreetaudio.com

Hans said: The Poiema USB cable performed its duties admirably. Tasked to do its best at de-digitalizing my system, the Poiema respectfully allowed my DAC to deliver all of the resolution and clarity I had come to expect from it, all the while helping it sound more musical and more natural -- indeed, better than it ever had sounded before.

Read the SoundStage! Hi-Fi review.

The gist: Upgraded USB cable: now a necessity for the best computer sound.

Siltech 330LPrices: $1000 per 1m pair, RCA or XLR connectors (300i); $1800 per 2m pair, spade or banana connectors (300L)

Website: www.siltechcables.com

Doug said: The 330s provided a noticeable, incremental improvement over my reference cables in key areas, and in that context, they can be considered good deals, compared to what many companies charge these days for reference-caliber high-end audio cables. If there are better cables out there, I’m all ears.

Reviewers' Choice

Read the SoundStage! Hi-Fi review.

The gist: Reference-grade cables for not-crazy money.

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