Optical Audio Cables

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
While I know a decent amount about video, I know next to nothing about audio hookups and the various optical audio connectors.



I want to hook up my AirPort Express to my iPod Hi-Fi and want to get the right optical cable. I also don't want to pay an outrageous amount. In my previous HDTV thread , addabox recommended CableWholesale.com and I'll probably pick up the optical cables there if I can, I just don't know exactly which one.



TOSlink? SPDIF? and 3.5 mm versions. Yikes.



Help!

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    ebbyebby Posts: 3,110member
    You need the 3.5mm Optical cable to run from your airport to the Hi-Fi. Wish they didn't have such a jankey cable, but this should also work with the normal Toslink connections everyone else uses.



    S/PDIF is a coaxial cable built with copper, not fiber optics.

    Toslink is the squarish plug with a fiber optic in the center.

    3.5mm Optical is the same as a Toslink cable, but with headphone style plugs.
  • Reply 2 of 10
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Wow, that is kinda...... jankey.



    Xool, if that cable assembly seems too odd, there is another bay area cable barn, SFCable, that has this., which is the same thing as the CableWholeSale piece but without the gymnastics. (also available in 6' and 12').
  • Reply 3 of 10
    xoolxool Posts: 2,460member
    ok cool, I'm glad I'm not the only one who didn't like the cablewholesale one. I'll check out sfcable for sure.



    I don't see why anyone would pay $60 for 3' cables of any type really, but I guess there are some suckers out there.
  • Reply 4 of 10
    xoolxool Posts: 2,460member
    That cable on sfcables is like TOS on one end and 3.5 mm on the other. Will that work? It looks like both the AirPort and HiFi use 3.5mm miniplugs, but maybe I'm missing something.
  • Reply 5 of 10
    ebbyebby Posts: 3,110member
    Nope. Not without an adapter.
  • Reply 6 of 10
    xoolxool Posts: 2,460member
    Ok, so then something like this, with mini-plug on both ends: Link (sfcable)
  • Reply 7 of 10
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Oops. I didn't read the original post carefully enough, I though you were going into your fab new surround system.



    Which now that I think about it maybe you don't have yet?



    Anywho, I think you'd be wanting this.



    Edit: yes, that.
  • Reply 8 of 10
    lexicon5lexicon5 Posts: 572member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Ebby

    S/PDIF is a coaxial cable built with copper, not fiber optics.

    Toslink is the squarish plug with a fiber optic in the center.

    3.5mm Optical is the same as a Toslink cable, but with headphone style plugs.




    Just a minor correction.

    S/DIF doesn't refer specifically to a cable. It's a format. Sony/Philips Digital Interface Format

    S/PDIF can be transmitted over coax...or fiber.



    The new MacBook Pros and the AirpOrt Express use the 3.5 mini optical style connector while stereo systems, PowerMac G5s use the standard connector.

    I use this with my MacBook Pro:

    http://www.behringer.com/DEQ2496/index.cfm?lang=ENG

    S/DIF I/O on fiber. Used for PodCasting....

    I also use these with my MacBook Pro and my PowerMac G5:

    These have S/PDIF COAX I/O...

    http://presonus.com/firepod.html



    Some light reading on S/PDIF:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S/PDIF
  • Reply 9 of 10
    xoolxool Posts: 2,460member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by addabox

    Oops. I didn't read the original post carefully enough, I though you were going into your fab new surround system.



    Which now that I think about it maybe you don't have yet?



    Anywho, I think you'd be wanting this.



    Edit: yes, that.








    Yeah, eventually I'll have said fab surround system and things will be different then. (If only Apple made a full size AirPort with AirTunes. )



    I got the HiFi as a treat so I could have some decent tunes while I recovered from getting my wisdom teeth out. I already have an AirPort Express so it just makes sense to hook them up, thus my need of the aforementioned optical cable. Overall my impressions are pretty good, very favorable considering that its fairly portable and can run off D batteries.





    Speaking of surround sound systems, about a month ago I swung by the Magnolia HiFi store at Emery Bay. Nothing really caught my eye, or ears. Most of the stuff is pretty fugly and my girlfriend won't have any of it. I'm lucky she was all gung ho for the HD TV! Funny thing was after about being in the store for 5 minutes the fire alarms starting going off. Its bad enough hearing the shrieking alarms, let alone when shopping for audio gear! We b-lined for the exit.



    Anyhow, the surround sound system will come after I get a different TV stand. We're still shopping around for that. Also, by July or so I'll have to decide if I want to return my Panasonic Plasma for a 1080p LCD TV with 2 HDMI inputs, or perhaps something else. So I don't see getting a decent audio system for a little longer.



    But most of this belongs in another thread. Rest assured I'll start it.





    Hmmm, I wonder if the HiFi has better sound than my TV's speakers? Sounds like an experiment for tomorrow.
  • Reply 10 of 10
    ebbyebby Posts: 3,110member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by lexicon5

    Just a minor correction...



    Yea, I was lazy. Just change the "is" to a "uses" and all is good.
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