While most people concentrate on the video aspect of their home theatre system, the truth is that your overall entertainment experience won't be complete without great audio as well. And like hooking up a video system, the quality of your sound system will depend upon the type of cable that you use to connect it all with. Optical audio cable is among the best choices that you can opt for when you're setting up a theatre system or any kind of sound system, whether it's a total theatre or just a basic stereo. It's not hard to understand the basics behind these cables, either.
An optical audio cable is really the generic term for something known as TOSLINK, or Toshiba Link, after the company that developed it. It uses optical fibres to transmit the data that makes up the sound and is utilised for digital sound signals like those from today's CD or MP3 players, as well as from most gaming systems or virtually anything else. Like most video, audio has gone digital and these are the best methods of transferring the data that makes up the sound when you're looking for quality and performance from your sound system.
The reason is simple. An optical audio cable doesn't have to compress the data in the signal or change it to a basics electrical signal like would be the case with standard audio cables. Everything from a DVD player or XBOX360 system to a professional recording studio will likely make use of these cables, although the higher end ones are often referred to as ADAT. Most utilise a rectangular connector although several round style connectors are used now in a variety of different systems. Be sure that you know what type of connector you need before you buy one or else you may experience incompatibility issues.
There are also various types of convertors that will allow an optical audio cable to be used with a 3.55mm jack or some other one. Splitters and other convertors may also be available that will allow you to utilise nearly any type of sound equipment and still get the connections that you need. If you're in the middle of setting up your home theatre system be sure that you don't overlook the importance of sound in the experience. Whether it's just basic speakers or a high quality surround sound system, you'll need to be sure to use the best cable possible.