And Now It’s Time to Play, “Name That Cable, Dan!”

audio patch cables

Name That Cable! Epic Pandemic Move-Out Party Leaves A Mess Of Wires

Why was a asked to “name that cable”? When we recently moved our office, there were a lot of miscellaneous cables kicking around. When you have been producing professionally recorded audio for over 30 years you accumulate a lot of extra wires, cables, and whatnots. Since I’ve helped move the equipment through three different offices and set up countless digital audio workstations for audio editing, and since I’ve built and equipped multiple recording booths, as well as being a life-long fan of audio gear, electronics, and microphones, I have thorough knowledge regarding each terminal type.

However, I’ve been told that not everyone knows one cable from another. Someone decided I should write up descriptions for each. So I asked him to send me some images such that I could detail what each cable is, what it’s used for, and whether or not it was worth keeping.

Where Oh Where Do All These Wires Go?

Being a self-admitted audio geek, I err on the side of caution and personally keep several backup cables for any type I might require. For some of you more space-constrained individuals, allow this blog post to educate you about that funny bundle of wires hiding in the corner of your closet, maybe in a shopping bag, a shoebox, or another container.

I happen to have an old mini pretzels jar full of phone wires just 8 feet from my desk.

Wires? Cables? Cords?

Back to the topic at hand. Name that cable, another cable, and more cables!

coaxial cable end

Here our model shows us a coaxial cable end. This was good for routing the signal from the wall jack to the back of the cable box when I was a kid. (That means it’s really old!)

image of HDMI cable end

In this image, a keen observer will recognize this is an HDMI cable, very useful for connecting high-definition multimedia interfacially. OK, so the other end is somewhat obscured, but it appears to be also HDMI Mini, so likely it can connect a laptop or smartphone to a large display.

Quarter-inch mono male phono plug

Another find! This mono male-to-male RCA cable is great for transmitting an unbalanced signal from one analog component to another. TS, tip-sleeve is another way to describe it.

name that cable female RCA coupler

This little gem comes in really handy when you have two shorter cables but need one longer one. It can connect RCA cables. This one’s shy and hides in the corner so we call it ‘Sneak’, but you can call it an RCA female coupler if you’re seeking one for yourself.

Older PCs and monitors all used these to connect, it’s a male-to-male, SVGA video cable.

Don’t see this special cable too often, when I have it’s for power-hungry hard drives. This is a USB Micro B (aka USB-B Micro Superspeed) cable which connected one of our external hard drives to a PC.

One of the most recognizable, formerly rare, and now exceedingly common in everyone’s household, I present to you the USB Micro. I often have one plugged in handy to charge my headphones, my cordless mouse, or the bike lights.

name that cable

Finally, to round out the post, one of the first USB cable types I ever saw, if not the first, USB type B, great for connecting a printer to any PC.

I suppose it’s worth mentioning the other end of the USB cables for all of them is USB type A, which plugs into the port on the PC end of things.

If you have a cable you’re wondering about, chances are if you send me a photo I’ll be able to let you know what type it is and several good uses for it. If you’d like to hear more about setting up an editing workstation for producing auto attendant prompts, IVR prompts, professional voice narration or simply to listen to over 80 different language samples from our website you can email me about that too. I’ve been producing audio for Marketing Messages since 1998 so I know a thing or two about cables and more.

Ciao for now my cable-loving amigos.



What’s This, We’re Not Done Playing, “Name That Cable, Dan!”?

That’s right friends, it’s time for the bonus round. Answers can be submitted to me via email using the link above.

  1. Which cable type is most likely used when producing an onhold message for playback on a USB Digital Announcer?
  2. Which cable type was most prominently featured in our Holiday YouTube video?
  3. Which cable type is the newest?
  4. Which cable type would you recommend for reviewing an auto attendant prompt prior to loading?

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