Given that the market is saturated with a lot of optical cable choices, finding the right one for your sound bar can be quite a challenging task. But do not worry; because with our help, you just might clear the best optical cable for sound bar quest in record time.
Optical Cable 101: The Basics of Optical Cables
Before you dive into your search of the right optical cable for you; it may be logical to first know what it is, what it does, and what qualities should you look out for.
What is an Optical Cable?
In Crutchfield’s guide on audio and video cables, they have defined an optical cable as a cable that has the capacity to transmit audio signals as light pulses.
Wikipedia explains that an optical audio cable, or optical cable, is also known as TOSLINK cables that were derived from the term “Toshiba Link”. This is because Japanese electronics brand Toshiba was known as the first company to use and standardize the optical fiber connector for their consumer electronics.
Although optical cables are commonly used in connecting consumer electronics and home entertainment systems, some argue that it may not be the best choice for the technologically savvy.
Optical Cable vs. Coaxial Cables vs. HDMI Cables
According to Crutchfield, there are three top choices when it comes to cables that have the capabilities to transmit high-quality digital audio signals. These cables are: coaxial cables, optical cables, and HDMI cables.
|Coaxial Cable||Optical Cable||HDMI Cable|
|Other Name||Coaxial Digital Cable||Optical Audio Cable/ TOSLINK Cable||HDMI/ High-Definition Multimedia Interface Cable|
|Prevalence in the Market||Rarer than Optical Cables||Common||Maybe a bit hard to find|
|Audio Resolution||Digital audio signals up to 5.1 sound channels||Digital audio signals as light pulses up to 5.1 sound channels||Digital audio signals up to eight high-resolution channels|
|When to Use||Next best option to HDMI||Next best option to HDMI||Best option|
|Price||Less Pricey||Inexpensive||Can be quite expensive|
Although a lot of people prefer the HDMI cable, it can be quite expensive and may not always be compatible with your system; especially if you appreciate the more classic models. That is why; you should consider using either optical or coaxial cables.
However, although coaxial cables may be less expensive than HDMI cables just like optical cables; they can be quite hard to find these days. Therefore, the more affordable cable that can fill the gaps left by the expensiveness of HDMI cables and the rarity of the coaxial cables, are the optical cables.
But what are the qualities of a good audio cable?
Qualities of A Good Optical Audio Cable
There are several factors that can define a good optical audio cable, and doityourself.com has summed it up nicely.
- Optical cables longer than 5 meters require a signal booster. Therefore; you may want to set up your soundbar relatively closer to get the best results.
- Know which diameter you need and use it. The width of the cable has virtually no bearing in signal transmission.
- Although the cable diameter does not affect the signal transmission; a thicker cable is found to be tougher than a thinner one due to its outer nylon mesh covering.
- Set a budget that you want to spend on the cables; this would reduce the limit of your options and make choosing a lot easier.
- When it comes to bandwidth, the ideal preference is around 9 MHz to 11 MHz.
Aside from these points, you may want to consider the metal used in the connectors because this would aid in the conductivity and ease in signal transmission.
|Price Range||Expensive||Affordable||Most Affordable|
Based on this chart above, it is clear that the ideal metal for conductors is silver with gold plating.
Connecting to the Sound Bar
After considering the material and the components of the optical cable; knowing how many cables you will need to connect it with your sound bar is another crucial consideration. Hence, it is ideal to research on the kind of sound bar you have and how you can connect to it using optical audio cables.
Review of the Best Optical Audio Cables for Sound Bars
Now that you have a good grasp of the criteria of finding the best optical cables, we now present you with our top three choices: the FosPower TOSLINK Cable, the AmazonBasics TOSLINK Cable, and the Postta Optical Audio Cable.
The FosPower TOSLINK Cable aims to be your first male-to-male optical cable choice by providing maximum transmission capabilities without causing a big dent in your bank account.
- 24K gold plated optical cable with S/PDIF that is ideal for connecting Blur-Ray players, CD players, DVD players, and other devices to soundbars, AVRs, preamps, televisions, and home theatres without fear of corrosion.
- Engineered with a top-quality fiber core, heavy metal connectors, and ferrules that help give you great sound while minimizing vibrations and interferences like the ground loop, RF, and EM.
- Covered with a tough outer braided nylon jacket that protects the inner wires and allows you to use the cables for years to come.
- Reliable 6 MHz frequency bandwidth capacity that can support uncompressed lossless PCM audio and compressed Dolby Digital Plus and DTS-HD surround sound for great audio quality.
- Comes in 3, 9, 10, 15, and 25 feet lengths and a two-piece three-foot pack.
If ever you are looking for a durable and reasonably priced optical audio cable that offers a wide range of lengths; then the FosPower TOSLINK Cable may be the one for you.
Developers of the AmazonBasics TOSLINK cable strives to provide you with an affordable optical cable options that can meet and exceed all of your expectations.
- Seamlessly connects CD players, DVD players, Blu-Ray players, gaming consoles, and other devices to soundbars, preamps, televisions, AVRs, and home entertainment systems.
- Lightweight wires are encased in a strong PVC outer layer to ensure that the wires are protected and that you can use the cable for a very long time.
- High-quality buffer tubing and gold-plated connectors helps in both distortion-free signal transmission and corrosion resistance.
- Ingenious rubber tip caps to make sure that unused tips are protected from dust and tarnishing.
- Comes in 3.3 feet, 6 feet, and 9.8 feet lengths that are great for connecting devices and receivers across the room.
Should you be in the market for inexpensive optical cables that can perform as good as the more expensive TOSLINK cables in the market; then you might want to consider using the AmazonBasics TOSLINK Cable as the cable for your sound bar.
Postta Optical Audio Cable
Postta’s Optical Audio Cable wants to give you the best sound quality that optical audio can possibly give and make you every audio experience an outstanding one.
- Easily connects CD players, DVD players, Blu-ray players, gaming consoles, and other electronics to sound bars, home entertainment systems, AVRs, TVs, pre-amps, and more.
- Effortlessly compatible with PCM audio, compressed 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound, S/PDIF, ADAT, Digital Dolby, and DTS-HD for top-notch sound quality.
- Astounding 8.0 MHz bandwidth capacity to give you wonderful audio quality in the comforts of your own home.
- Wires are protected from wear and tear with cotton mesh and outer PVC cover for you to get amazing sound quality for many, many years.
- Gold-plated connectors that fends off corrosion and minimizes EM, RFI, and ground loop interferences.
- Comes in 3 feet, 6 feet, and 10 feet lengths for longer reach.
When you are seeking an optical audio cable that can give you epic sound quality, good cable length, and resilient inner core protection; then the Postta Optical Audio Cable may be the right fit for you.
The Final Verdict
Now that we have scrutinized the specifications and we have thoroughly tested the products;
Although all of the optical cables presented in this review are plated with gold, features durable outer covering, sports great length selections, and top-tier connectivity; the edge that Postta had against the other two cables is its bandwidth frequency that is closest to the ideal 9 MHz to 11 MHz range.
However it is important to remember that; although we have found the Postta Optical Audio Cable is the best in the bunch, it may not be the ideal optical cable for your soundbar. Take the points that we have given you in the earlier section of this review and determine if our picks are the same.
Treat this best optical cable for soundbar review as a guide for you to choose the most appropriate optical cable for you. Regardless of your chosen TOSLINK cable is the same or different from ours, we would love to read about your experience in the comments section.