What is the difference between 50-ohm and 75-ohm RF connectors?

Published On: May 22nd, 2023Categories: Fundamentals

The main difference between 50-ohm and 75-ohm RF connectors lies in their impedance and the specific applications they are designed for. Here’s a breakdown of the differences:

Impedance: The impedance of an RF connector refers to the characteristic resistance that the connector presents to the flow of electrical signals. A 50-ohm connector has a characteristic impedance of 50 ohms, while a 75-ohm connector has a characteristic impedance of 75 ohms. Impedance matching is critical for minimizing signal reflection and maximizing signal transfer in RF systems.


  • 50-Ohm Connectors: These connectors are commonly used in applications that require higher power handling and lower signal loss. They are prevalent in telecommunications, wireless systems (such as Wi-Fi and cellular networks), radio communications, high-frequency measurement equipment, and other RF systems where power transmission and efficient signal transfer are important.
  • 75-Ohm Connectors: These connectors are primarily used in video and audio applications, as well as cable television (CATV) and broadcast systems. They are commonly found in video distribution, cable and satellite TV connections, digital audio connections, and other multimedia applications where signal quality and impedance matching are crucial.

Physical Differences: In terms of physical appearance, 50-ohm and 75-ohm connectors may have similar form factors, such as BNC, SMA, or N-Type. However, they are designed with different impedance characteristics to meet the specific requirements of their respective applications. The internal structure and dimensions of the connectors may vary to achieve the desired impedance.

Compatibility: It’s important to note that 50-ohm and 75-ohm connectors are generally not compatible with each other without the use of adapters. Mixing connectors with different impedances can result in signal reflections, impedance mismatches, and decreased overall system performance. It is recommended to use connectors that match the impedance requirements of the system to ensure optimal signal transmission.

In summary, the choice between 50-ohm and 75-ohm RF connectors depends on the specific application requirements, including power handling, signal loss, and impedance matching considerations.