In electronic terms, a shield is a conductive enclosure, protecting its contents from magnetic and electrostatic fields. Since audio conductors and circuits tend to be extremely sensitive to such fields, shields are very important to us! In cabling, shields often consist of braided copper strands wrapped around the signal conductors. The amount of coverage the shield provides is directly related to the noise and hum performance of the cable. Some cables offer a shield consisting of a thin wrap of metallic sheeting, which can offer complete coverage of the encased signal conductors. Quality shielding, while more expensive, makes a tremendous difference in the noise performance of a cable – skimping on cables is never a good idea!