7 Best Optical Audio Cable Options in 2022: The digital optical cable was available at the same time as HDMI 2.1 dominated the market for digital decoding.
The first optical audio cable was made by Toshiba in 1983. These cables are frequently referred to as TOSLINK or Toshiba Link cables in the audio-visual industry.
7 Best Optical Audio Cable Options in 2022
1. AMAZON BASICS TOSLINK CABLE
- Optical audio cable feature a fully [OD4.0 Cotton braided jacket] and certified production to give you the highest quality longest lasting optical cables availableResist corrosion and offer a clear, smooth-flowing optimal signal.
- Perfect digital optical audio cable for Home Theater, Sound Bar, TV, PS4, Xbox, VD/CD player,Blu-ray players,Game console.Compatible with standard and high-definition devices with Toslink (S/PDIF, Optical,Digital) ports.
- Digital audio cable works with multi-channel surround sound,[High fidelity signal transfer]Uncompressed PCM audio and compressed 5.1 to 7.1 surround sound systems including Dolby Digital Plus, DTS-HD High Resolution and LPCM.
- PMMA Fiber Core: The signal of fiber optical audio cable is transferred by light source which eliminates electromagnetic interference [EMI] and radio frequency interference [RFI].
The digital optical cable was available at the same time as HDMI 2.1 dominated the market for digital decoding. The first optical audio cable was made by Toshiba in 1983.
These cables are frequently referred to as TOSLINK or Toshiba Link cables in the audio-visual industry.
Don’t try to cut corners on an optical cable because you only need to buy one of them. This is due to the fact that it can transmit uncompressed audio signals from standalone components to a soundbar, an A/V receiver, and other home theatre components.
The top 7 optical audio cables available in 2022 are listed below.
So, let’s get started straight away without further ado!
What Is an Optical Audio Cable Used For?
To transport digital audio from speakers or AV receivers, we employ optical audio cables. They resemble the common HDMI cables that customers use almost exactly.
As much as possible, try to use HDMI cables in place of optical audio connections. If you’re curious why, you can read the justification here:
Higher-quality audio, including Blu-ray codecs like Dolby True HD and DTS HD Master Audio, may be sent through HDMI connections. However, optical audio cables do not have this feature.
Use an optical audio cable in this scenario if you have older equipment that does not support HDMI. To get the audio to your AV receiver or soundbar, you must do this, though. This is a succinct description of how optical audio cables are used.
Things to Consider When Buying an Optical Audio Cables
The following are some considerations to make when purchasing an optical audio cable:
Any length more than ten metres is not recommended since it reduces the dependability of the transmission. For instance, optical audio cables sometimes have a maximum length of 5 metres and require an extra signal booster. For instance, let’s say you need lengths of more than 100 feet.
An optical cable composed of molten quartz would be your ideal choice in such a situation since it will produce outcomes of a better calibre. Therefore, let’s say you simply want a short wire as an example. In that situation, an optical fibre cable composed of plastic may be used.
We claim this since the signal’s quality won’t noticeably alter. But only if the bandwidth levels are really high and the distance between the transmitter and receiver is more than 100 feet.
The performance of the 5 mm and 8 mm cables is same. This is due to the fact that the connections are unaffected by the width, which is simply the cable’s outer diameter.
There is therefore no distinction between the two sizes. But you should be aware that thicker cables endure longer and frequently include a protective nylon mesh covering on the outside. That is something that you might want to think about.
The difference in quality between several types of optical audio cable is not particularly noticeable. For instance, let’s say you have a very advanced system but average hearing.
In that instance, switching to a less expensive brand is unlikely to result in any changes. instead of a more costly one. This is the case even if you own a very good system.
Due to their greater bandwidth needs, optical audio connections sometimes cost more than digital coaxial cables. They don’t interact with other surrounding electrical devices, but as a trade-off, they perform better when replicating digital signals.
As a result, the type of optical cable you decide to buy will have a big influence on the price you charge. Quartz fibre cables are substantially more expensive than plastic fibre cables of the same standard length of 5 metres.
Optical audio cables should constantly be inspected to make sure there are no sharp kinks, as this will inhibit proper operation. The cable cannot properly transmit light throughout its whole length if it is bent, which is acceptable but inevitable.
For the best performance, your optical audio connection must have a bandwidth that falls between 9 MHz and 11 MHz. This connection will perform more efficiently the more bandwidth it has.
It is crucial to remember, though, that smaller consumer goods, like CD players, would not suffer a quality loss as a result of constrained bandwidth in the same way that a home theatre system would.
Frequently Asked Questions About Optical Audio Cables
Are optical audio cables preferable than HDMI?
The optical audio cable is inferior than an HDMI cable.
In comparison to more conventional analogue audio interfaces, optical connections and HDMI cables may transmit clear, multi-channel sound with a number of advantages.
On the other hand, HDMI can broadcast DTS HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD. However, using optical connections for this purpose is not an option. Less analogue signalling is employed
Additionally, video may be sent using HDMI. Additionally, HDMI cables can be a special connection choice for connecting your inputs to a TV or additional A/V equipment when used in conjunction with ARC and eARC technologies. Optical cables are only used for audio transmission at the same time.
Although HDMI is substantially more common, many modern devices still use optical cable connectors. It’s possible that older HDMI-capable devices don’t have the same audio capabilities as more recent ones. While HDMI 1.3 contained the audio return channel, Dolby TrueHD DTS-HD Master audio was introduced in HDMI 1.3. (ARC). As payment, eARC capability is included to HDMI 2.1.
Is an optical audio cable better than RCA?
While many modern systems only require an analogue connection, optical media-based digital connections are becoming ubiquitous in modern systems (RCA). RCA cables transmit both audio and video via a single connection. Optic cables are sometimes more costly than RCA cables.
The type of connection you use will ultimately be your decision. For instance, depending on the parts of your home theatre system and if you desire stereo sound, your needs can change.
Is an optical cable best for audio?
No, optical cables aren’t always the most effective for audio. The alternative to these optical wires is HDMI.
Are optical audio cables still used?
No and yes.
In the 1990s and 2000s, optical cables were practically ubiquitous. It was the most straightforward way to send Dolby Digital and DTS from a TiVo, DVD player, or satellite TV box to a receiver. Even in the early days of HDMI, an optical cable was always kept handy in case a user’s receiver wasn’t HDMI-capable.
However, optical is now absent from a growing number of devices. For example, it is no longer included on the most recent models of Roku and Apple TV 4K.
Additionally, it is no longer on many smaller screens. It still exists, nevertheless, as a rather superfluous backup to HDMI with ARC in larger screens.
What is the justification? Soundbars. One of the only things keeping the format alive is the fact that the majority of soundbars still employ an optical connection.
Due to space restrictions, audio devices like Chromecast Audio employ an optical interface. The mini-Toslink variant, which fits into a 3.5mm analogue connector, is used by Chromecast Audio.
Does optical audio cable quality matter?
The majority of the data you transmit through optical links will be digital, including audio in the PCM (Pulse Code Modulation) or Dolby Digital formats. All Dolby Digital audio codecs are set up to completely shut down if they do not get a perfect signal.
The decoder will send out silence if any bits are missing or off rather than take the chance of delivering something that might potentially damage your speakers. Consider a Dolby Digital signal, for instance, that is not skipping. In such situation, your optical link is in good working order.
Suppose you’re asking an audiophile about jitter. In that case, the answer for PCM transmission is that varied optical cables may create different levels depending on the cable. The truth is that the digital-to-analog converter in your device has a far greater impact on the sound than any other component. So a “better” optical connection might lead to noticeably uncompressed PCM audio.
We evaluated more than 20 optical audio cables over the course of two months. The top 7 optical audio cables are those you may find on our list.
Utilizing optical audio connectors offers a wide range of benefits. Since optical signals are utilised to send sound waves across extended distances, the power or quality of the sound wave is not readily lost. This is due to the rapid transmission rate of optical signals.
The RCA and AUX ports on the board are substantially higher quality. Therefore, the great majority of modern TVs may provide an option for an optical audio connection.