Many individuals make the mistake of confusing optical audio cable with the much more common and less expensive coaxial cable. Although they may look similar at first glance, the difference between these two different types of cables is fairly profound. While coaxial cable utilizes a copper wire in order to transmit data, optical audio cables transmit audio from one device to another using light. The greatest benefit these types of cables fact that there is virtually no signal interference, meaning that the signal is strong and clear even over extended distances.
In fact, one of the biggest benefits to an optical audio cable is the fact that they work exceptionally well in environments where electrical interference could cause serious signal problems in other types of cable. Of course, there are some drawbacks to using an optical audio cable, not least of which is the fact that they are significantly more expensive than some of the other options that may be available to connect devices. When purchasing an optical audio cable, the first thing to do is determine the needs of the different piece of equipment that are being used. Although optical audio cables are increasingly popular, not all devices use them.
A person looking to wire a room using a Toslink cable will also want to spend a little time determining exactly how long the cable will need to be. For shorter distances it may be more cost effective to use other options such as HDMI cables or even RCA cables. When the length exceeds 20 feet or more, an optical audio cable is the ideal solution. Another thing to keep in mind is how high a value a person places on the quality of sound they are hearing.
While the average person may not be able to tell the difference between a signal that is delivered by an this type of cable and one that is transmitted using coaxial cable, true audiophiles will want to spend the extra money on a high quality cable, especially if they are using other premium components. When it comes to high definition audio, there really is nothing that matches the sound quality provided by this type of cable. Because of the higher expense, it is important for a person to check and double check the link to they need so they do not purchase more cable that it is necessary or find themselves coming up short.