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IMPERIUS

Optical Audio, still good?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hi!

 

I want to somehow use my old surround system for things other than radio (I use a receiver and that the only thing its used for currently). 

 

I can't connect it to my pc since the pc doesn't have the inputs needed and its too far away (like 5m and I can't put it anywhere else). One option would be to buy a soundcard and buy a very long optical cable but I'm not ready to spend so much money for a sound card. 

 

I also have my ps4, which is next to the speakers and both have optical audio. So I could connect them and play my music via the ps4's youtube app. Why am I doing this you might ask, because I can't do anything with this system other than listening to the radio but it has incredible bass (the subwoofer is huge af) and I really enjoy edm music and am a small basshead. 

 

So why did the optical audio almost get extinct? Why is it not good anymore? Also, can I buy just a random cable or how do I choose a good one?

 

Thanks!


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Well it's digital so there is nothing wrong with it. Just it's not that convenient.


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optical out is still very much alive..

low and mid range sound card should have it.. many motherboards still have it on-board.


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Hi!

 

I want to somehow use my old surround system for things other than radio (I use a receiver and that the only thing its used for currently). 

 

I can't connect it to my pc since the pc doesn't have the inputs needed and its too far away (like 5m and I can't put it anywhere else). One option would be to buy a soundcard and buy a very long optical cable but I'm not ready to spend so much money for a sound card. 

 

I also have my ps4, which is next to the speakers and both have optical audio. So I could connect them and play my music via the ps4's youtube app. Why am I doing this you might ask, because I can't do anything with this system other than listening to the radio but it has incredible bass (the subwoofer is huge af) and I really enjoy edm music and am a small basshead. 

 

So why did the optical audio almost get extinct? Why is it not good anymore? Also, can I buy just a random cable or how do I choose a good one?

 

Thanks!

Optical, known as Toslink, is still "decent". It was one of the original "digital" audio signal/cable standards to receive widespread use.

 

However, it has bandwidth limitations. Toslink can only support PCM, Dolby Digital, or DTS in up to 5.1 (or in some cases 7.1 with reduced bitrate). It does not have enough bandwidth to support HD Master Audio, such as DTS True HD or Dolby Digital HD.

 

The other reason it basically "died" off was because it was a separate cable.

 

Why bother with that, when HDMI can offer HD video and HD Audio in the same cable?

 

With that in mind, it's still very much in use today with older systems, and basically any decent Amp/Receiver will have Toslink input still. Many motherboards have Toslink outputs even. It's still decent quality. If your PS4 is near enough, and you have or can get a Toslink cable, then by all means, go ahead and use it.

 

Watch some Blu-Ray's on that PS4 with the system connected, and it'll sound awesome, plus music will be very enjoyable.


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the sound from my old repurposed torrenting pc died so I bought a cheap cheap cheap usb soundcard I think I got it for $15 outputs 7.1 multiple inputs including optical input output in a small 4"x2" box

 

it was dirt cheap and sounds just fine even on all the headphones I have. It could be an option for you to connect the pc using usb cables you already have.

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Optical, known as Toslink, is still "decent". It was one of the original "digital" audio signal/cable standards to receive widespread use.

 

However, it has bandwidth limitations. Toslink can only support PCM, Dolby Digital, or DTS in up to 5.1 (or in some cases 7.1 with reduced bitrate). It does not have enough bandwidth to support HD Master Audio, such as DTS True HD or Dolby Digital HD.

 

The other reason it basically "died" off was because it was a separate cable.

 

Why bother with that, when HDMI can offer HD video and HD Audio in the same cable?

 

With that in mind, it's still very much in use today with older systems, and basically any decent Amp/Receiver will have Toslink input still. Many motherboards have Toslink outputs even. It's still decent quality. If your PS4 is near enough, and you have or can get a Toslink cable, then by all means, go ahead and use it.

 

Watch some Blu-Ray's on that PS4 with the system connected, and it'll sound awesome, plus music will be very enjoyable.

Ye he is right It is still decent one.

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to connect to u pic u could get a rca to 3.5 mm adaptor


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Are you seriously suggesting that he connects to a HIFI by bypassing his DAC and using the sheit integrated audio on his PC?

 

The ignorance on this forum is mindblowing...

 

TOSLINK will work, but there will be more jitter on the signal than if you use USB, particularly from a proper USB source like an SOTM card. Optical out from PC does have issues, it is noisy, it is jittery. Will you notice? With EDM? No. With REAL music, yes. Don't play jazz and you'll be fine. Get a half decent cable. Anybody who tells you "It's digital, it doesn't matter" is a friggin moron.

Nobody cares what you think, particularly what music you consider real music.


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Are you seriously suggesting that he connects to a HIFI by bypassing his DAC and using the sheit integrated audio on his PC?

 

The ignorance on this forum is mindblowing...

 

TOSLINK will work, but there will be more jitter on the signal than if you use USB, particularly from a proper USB source like an SOTM card. Optical out from PC does have issues, it is noisy, it is jittery. Will you notice? With EDM? No. With REAL music, yes. Don't play jazz and you'll be fine. Get a half decent cable. Anybody who tells you "It's digital, it doesn't matter" is a friggin moron.

I must admit, it seems like a furby crawled up into your anus and then died... why are you so angry?

 

I don't believe anyone in this thread said "it's digital, it doesn't matter". If you could point that out...?

 

Certainly, I don't advocate the OP going out and buying a USB DAC when he's got a shiny nice one already in his Receiver, but the rest of your post seems to be ranting at everything yet nothing to do with this thread specifically.

 

Nobody cares what you think, particularly what music you consider real music.


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Optical is pretty good. I must have had decent RCA/headphone cables because many people said I would "hear" a difference when I switched to optical/toslink, but I didn't really. Does the cable matter? I don't know. Probably anything from the first three to five Amazon search results are going to be decent enough that a more expensive cable won't matter. Here is a link to the brand I purchased, except I bought a 35 feet long cable because my computer is pretty far away from my receiver.

 

10 feet: http://www.amazon.com/BlueRigger-Digital-Optical-Audio-Toslink/dp/B005LJQNQU

 

I wouldn't use optical for blu-ray or PC gaming, but I do use optical for music and television/streaming. HDMI is much more versatile though.

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I'm using optical from my PC to my receiver. It works just fine! It's actually more convenient for me than anything else.


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I'm using optical from my PC to my receiver. It works just fine! It's actually more convenient for me than anything else.

 

It was convenient for me also until I found out that some games don't support surround sound through optical on a PC. I tried listening for the dialog through the center... I heard nothing. I got near other cars or crowds of people speaking, turned around, and I heard nothing from my rear speakers.

 

I connected with HDMI and I could hear the crowds in all speakers. And guess what speakers were outputting the noise when I chose a rear-engine Formula 1 car?

 

The worst is when I searched the internet and confirmed Grid Autosport and Bioshock Infinite do not support surround sound through optical on a PC.

 

Heartbreak.

 

Might not be a deal breaker for some, but it was for me.

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It was convenient for me also until I found out that some games don't support surround sound through optical on a PC. I tried listening for the dialog through the center... I heard nothing. I got near other cars or crowds of people speaking, turned around, and I heard nothing from my rear speakers.

 

I connected with HDMI and I could hear the crowds in all speakers. And guess what speakers were outputting the noise when I chose a rear-engine Formula 1 car?

 

The worst is when I searched the internet and confirmed Grid Autosport and Bioshock Infinite do not support surround sound through optical on a PC.

 

Heartbreak.

 

Might not be a deal breaker for some, but it was for me.

I totally get that. The reason that it works so well for me is that I have a really nice 2.X setup (my sub is at the local audio shop for repair). As such, that really doesn't matter for me. It might matter more when I move into my new place at the end of summer. 


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I totally get that. The reason that it works so well for me is that I have a really nice 2.X setup (my sub is at the local audio shop for repair). As such, that really doesn't matter for me. It might matter more when I move into my new place at the end of summer.

Oh yeah for a 2.1 there's no question about it. I would only use optical for that. Way more convenient just like you said lol

Are you considering surround sound in your new place? I didn't think I would be into surround sound. But it's way better than it used to be!

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Oh yeah for a 2.1 there's no question about it. I would only use optical for that. Way more convenient just like you said lol

Are you considering surround sound in your new place? I didn't think I would be into surround sound. But it's way better than it used to be!

I've been thinking about it. I don't know if I'll follow through though, since I'll be living with three other people in a small house and I'd rather have these speakers with my computer.

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I've been thinking about it. I don't know if I'll follow through though, since I'll be living with three other people in a small house and I'd rather have these speakers with my computer.

Which set are you rocking out with?

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It's a really nice Carver 5.1 set of speakers (although the sub is in for repair) and a Denon AVR-4306 receiver, which is the most useful thing I own... LOL, INPUTS everywhere!


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It's a really nice Carver 5.1 set of speakers (although the sub is in for repair) and a Denon AVR-4306 receiver, which is the most useful thing I own... LOL, INPUTS everywhere!

 

Dang you have yourself a nice setup! That Denon receiver is insane. It's a rocket ship that amplifies noise..

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