Why suffer in silence when you could be getting the best?
We often put up with the noisy default audio systems offered on our television, DVD players, gaming consoles and more. Many of us tend to just pass the days dealing with it.
That doesn’t necessarily need to be the case. You can actually change it for the better!
You may or may not be familiar with the term “Toslink”. This optical fiber is a very well-known element for transmitting or receiving signals. It is just one of the variations for an optical fiber connector system.
Toslink is short for Toshiba Link. Such naming gives an ode to the original designer of these cables - Toshiba. They first came into being back in 1983 and are still in vogue in the digital era.
You can enjoy clear and accurate audio utilizing these Toslink cables. And guess wat? They last for over 25 years! But which are the best Toslink cables among so many options on the market? We are here to find out the answer!
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Benefits Of Using Toslink Cables
Of course, there are many cables to set up an electronic system for clean audio. However, compared to its competitors, the Toslink variation brings an impressive number of advantages to the table.
Optical fibers are capable of supporting a very high limit of the bandwidth. Any other data transmission channel based on cords does not provide such peak bandwidth. Compared to the standard copper cables, you will be receiving much higher volumes of data transmitted every second on these optical fibers.
Supports Longer Distance
Toslink wires can support much longer distances than other wiring options. They are not prone to the usual rate of power loss. As a result, they succeed in transmitting the signals to much further ranges without breaking off in the middle.
Where the recommended transmission distance for copper cables is only 100m, Toslink can manage up to 2km easily.
It is almost impossible for cords to not face interference from several sources while in operation. Especially in a modern technological environment including heat and ventilation, interferences are inevitable.
Toslink can single-handedly bring down these obstacles. They put up an impressive fight against both electromagnetic resistance and radio frequency resistance. Its bit error rate of 10-13 is extremely low which gives them such power. You will get to enjoy a virtually noise-free audio experience with these cables.
No one wants to be vulnerable to cyber-attacks in the age of internet. Even though sound systems are not typically considered as online devices, it is the wiser choice to implement components that keep you safe on the internet.
These Toslink cables can make sure of that. All the data or signals transmitted through them utilize the power of light in fiber optics. They do not leave any trace of electromagnetic energy while passing. As a result, it is impossible to tap into the transmitted information.
In other words, any data passed via Toslink will stay safe from any malicious third party individual.
Small and Lightweight
These cables are quite compact and lightweight compared to others. Each of them has a negligible diameter which is ideal to fit into narrow spaces. The fiber core diameter of Toslink cables is usually about 1 micrometer and the outer jack has a diameter of 2.2-6 micrometers.
Since they are made of plastic, these wires are much more lightweight than usual copper wires. All these factors together make the installation process much easier and regular uses more convenient.
Even if you find steel or copper fibers with a diameter as small as these Toslink cables, they will not have the same flexibility. Since this one inhibits more tensile strength, it is easier to bend and make a loop. These cords can enhance the durability as well by resisting corrosion over time.
Toslink fibers are much more affordable than other cable variations. The reason behind such budget-friendly price points is the abundance of raw materials available for the optical fibers. Glass is the primary element used for this purpose which is cheaper than copper.
Top 10 Best Toslink Cables Reviews
1. BlueRigger Digital Optical Audio Cable
Share and listen to your favorite audio tracks better with these Toslink cables from BlueRigger. No matter what audio system you need it for, this wire will be able to provide any length you may need.
Their wide range of sizes includes seven different lengths. You can get this cord in 3 feet, 6 feet, 10 feet, 15 feet, 25 feet, 35 feet and 50 feet. Keeping the length in mind, their respective cost is pretty reasonable.
Although they come at affordable price points, the associated quality they deliver is not cheap at all. You will benefit from the top-notch technologies implemented into these optical cables.
They are built with connectors which are gold-plated for fighting against corrosion. Besides, their outer layer is made of strong PVC jacket which reduces the possibility of catching fire. Together, this combination guarantees high durability. However, the fire-resistant PVC is only available for the four longest cables.
The gold-plated connectors also help in optimizing the signal transfers. They are precision-polished which enables the maximum possible accuracy in this regard. Its optical fiber is specially optimized resulting in higher fidelity.
You will be able to use them for a long time to install various audio components. Be it your home theater or an audio system, set it up easily with this CL3-rated wire. This in-wall installation rating suggests that the cord can put up with as much as 300 volts!
These Toslink cables fit into any tight corner with its convenient Slim Shell design. While most other wires struggle to fit into the outlet or to maintain strong hardware connection, the BlueRigger ones deliver highly reliable performance. Their removable rubber tips protect the endpoints at all times.
It works well with many audio interfaces like Dolby Digital, ADAT’s, S/PDIF and DTS. These cables are designed to suit both uncompressed PCM audio and compressed digital sounds.
2. AmazonBasics Digital Optical Audio Toslink Sound Bar TV Cable
AmazonBasics is a well-known name among consumers who count affordability among their highest priorities. If you too are running on a tight budget, this optical cable from AmazonBasics will be an excellent choice.
Similar to our previous option, this one also comes in a wide range of sizes. You can get it in any of the three sizes - 3.3 feet, 6 feet or 9.8 feet. That should suffice for any standard home-based audio system.
If you are not accustomed to the imperial measurements of feet and inches, you can ask for these Toslink cables in metric units as well! They come in metric sizes of 1 meter, 1.8 meters and 3 meters.
Compared to most of its competitors in the market, this wire comes at an incredibly affordable price point. To take the conveniences one step further, these cables come in a pack of five. This way, you can save even more money while getting multiple products at once.
Use this cord anytime to connect an audio component with any sound receiver system like the TV, DACs and audio processors. It is capable of generating clear digital audio for all of these systems.
The flexible and lightweight cable is built keeping durability in mind. That is why, its external layer consists of strong PVC. On the other hand, its internal structure consists of gold-plated connectors that prevent corrosion and ensure optimal signal transfer through buffer tubing.
You can stop worrying about any safety hazards concerning these cables. Their ends are protected by removable rubber tips.
3. KabelDirekt Optical Digital Audio Cable
The German-based cable company called KabelDirekt has been delivering many top-notch products to US citizens over the years. Although they specialize in HDMI cables, their optical category is also quite rich and reliable.
This cord can be used to establish connections with a multitude of systems. From your cozy home theater receivers to online streaming game channels to satellites - the KabelDirect optical audio cable can work with any system. Every time, it claims to produce crystal clear sounds on the other end.
Especially in the case of home theaters, this cable shows its true magic. Utilizing the audio channels of multiple speakers, it provides a professional level of surround sound experience.
Both compressed 5.1 to 7.1 sound and uncompressed PCM audio work with this cable. Some popular sound systems compatible with the KabelDirekt Toslink wire include Dolby Digital Plus, LPCM and DTS-HD High Resolution.
Because of implementing so many technologies simultaneously, these cables come at a little higher price than others. At the same time, they also guarantee long-term use with their highly durable design.
The outer layer of PVC jacket ensures full flexibility, as well as precision. On the other hand, connectors inside keep corrosion away with 24k gold plating. These fiber optic wires produce clean sound by removing RFI and EMI signal interferences.
It is a strong contender in our race to be the best Toslink cable. You can get these Toslink cables in eight different sizes. They come in 3 feet, 6 feet, 10 feet, 15 feet, 20 feet, 25 feet, 35 feet and 50 feet variations. This gives you the freedom to spend on only the cord length your system requires.
4. Syncwire Digital Optical Audio Toslink Cable
Syncwire constantly thrives to provide the best possible quality - be it innovative products or customer service. This Toslink cable of Syncwire successfully maintains that same level of expertise.
The optical wire of Syncwire is perfectly compatible with all the common sound systems which can deliver high-definition audio. So make sure your sound system has an optical or S/PDIF Toslink port before investing in this cable.
If you have been struggling to make your gaming experience flawless just because of faulty audio, now there is a solution for it! This cord can establish a connection between sound bars and a wide range of receivers including popular gaming systems like PS4, Xbox, Playstation etc.
Besides, it functions well with other common systems like television, DAC and audio processors. In all scenarios, the cable succeeds in providing an unparalleled sound quality.
Investing in it once will serve you for years. This optical cable is highly durable because of its gold-plated connectors resisting corrosion over time. Buffer tubing, on the other hand, makes the signal transferring process as optimal as possible.
The thick cord is flexible but not prone to breaking down. Its outer layer contains strong PVC which enhances the durability even more!
Get them in 5 feet or 10 feet sizes to suit your unique interior and audio system. They are capable of processing compressed 5.1 to 7.1 surround sound, as well as uncompressed PCM audio. Stay safe when they are unplugged with the removable rubber tips.
5. FosPower Toslink Digital Optical Audio Cable
Since 2014, the brand of FosPower has aimed at resolving all your electronic “miseries” with some impressive high-end products. Among them are these Toslink cables which promise premium quality to customers.
They can establish connections between popular players and equally desirable receiver systems. These are the cables which bring the CD, DVD and Blu-Ray players to life! Just connect them to the Toslink port of your home theater system, audio system, preamplifier, AC receiver or television!
You can then listen to the impeccable surround sound produced by this arrangement. It can work with uncompressed lossless PCM audio, as well as compressed digital sound. Each transmission takes place in the frequency bandwidth of 6 MHz.
This cable is built from high-quality fiber core which eliminates interferences like RF, EM and ground loop completely. As a result, the generated audio is much clearer and easier to comprehend.
In order to ensure long-lasting service, these cables are wrapped with nylon mesh jackets. This coat protects the fiber core from accidentally bending which can result in permanent damage. So the original durability of cables extends much further.
The internal structure of these cables includes conductors and ferrules. Both of these groups are gold-plated to combat corrosion and tarnish adequately. They also help to secure the fiber tips from any potential damage.
The cables are available in different sizes - 0.9 m, 1.8 m, 3 m, 4.5 m, 7.6 m and 15.2 m. You can purchase the first four size variations in packs of two.
6. AmazonBasics RCA Audio Stereo Subwoofer Cable
Another offering from AmazonBasics is this colorful one. Each pair comes with two heads with two contrasting colors - red for right and white for left. This makes the whole setup and connections much easier for you. Just one glance at them will tell you which end should go where.
These bright hues along with the golden connectors and the black jacket make for a pretty stylish appearance. So if you are concerned with wire aesthetics, this cable can be an ideal choice for you.
You can get these RCA cables in two styles: 1 Male to 2 Male connectors or 2 Male to 2 Male connectors. Each, of course, has a solid central pin to plug in and establish connections.
They all are great for HiFi (high fidelity) and home entertainment systems. The inputs can be of high frequency to produce digital audio or low frequency for loudspeakers like a subwoofer.
By eliminating unnecessary noise, it delivers clear audio and maintains the minimal signal loss. As a result, you can get reliably consistent audio. Moreover, the corrosion-resistant full metal connectors, protective double shielding and OFC inner conductors guarantee a long life.
The cables come in three sizes to suit all kinds of electrical setups. It is available in 4 feet, 8 feet and 15 feet variations. You can also buy them in packs of 5 or 10 if need be. So you will have a lot of options to avoid any unnecessary expenditure.
7. Monoprice 12ft Optical Toslink 5.0mm OD Audio Cable
Monoprice has been delivering premium quality products at incredibly reasonable prices since its inception in 2002. They do so by eliminating markups and similar overheads in supply chain.
Now it offers more than 7,000 affordable high-end products relevant to electronics and accessories. This popular Toslink cable is one of them.
Along with the budget-friendly pricing, another factor behind its popularity is the excellent audio clarity. Such quality has been possible due to the removal of disturbing interferences like RF and EM. The produced sound is also free from other common electrical issues like ground loops.
The cable takes in high-definition audio from multiple channels and accurately reproduces them maintaining the HD quality. This results in the perfect sonic clarity and a pleasant listening experience all around.
Each of them comes with full-sized male Toslink audio connectors at each end. These connectors are molded in the heads to reduce strain. Such precaution protects the internal electrical connections from heavy damages.
Ferrules are gold plated to provide adequate resistance to corrosion. This way, it keeps the connector tips safe and enhances the cable’s long life.
They are available in an impressive range of sizes to seamlessly work with any audio or video system. You can get them in the sizes of 3 feet, 6 feet, 10 feet, 12 feet, 15 feet, 35 feet and 40 feet. So it can cover all distances - from the shortest to the longest.
However, connecting it to the television, receiver or any compatible audio system might get a bit tricky initially. Once you have set it up properly, the cable works flawlessly from thereon.
8. iVANKY Optical Audio Cable
The brand of iVanky is completely dedicated to providing top-notch audio and video accessories. This optical cable from them looks a little different from all the options we have looked at so far.
That is because instead of having the typical standard solid black PVC jacket, this cable comes with a fabric braided nylon coat.
Such a structure enables the cable to be highly flexible. You can make it into the smallest loops of 5 cm without causing any internal damage. As a result, it will be easier for you to maintain a clean and tidy cable system.
Its connectors are also a little different. They are shaped as cuboids whose precision allows much easier installation. You can easily fit its precise design into the required angle and complete the installation almost effortlessly.
So if your current cable system seems too complicated, replace it with these cables to keep things tidy and easily accessible. Besides, the compact design allows adjacent ports to be available for other cables.
Along with the convenient structure, they also provide breathtaking sound quality. Its core of optical fiber comes from Japan which delivers mesmerizing audio in a wide dynamic range. You can work this fiber with both compressed surround sound and uncompressed PCM audio systems.
So, what makes it the best Toslink cable, you may ask. Each cable is protected with an alloy shell made of aluminum. Inside lies gold-plated connectors which are free from tarnishes.
Their conductivity will not go down over time either. So getting a few of these can serve your home theater, TV or other audio systems for a long time.
9. Cable Matters Toslink Optical Cable
These are among the few Toslink cables in the market which come with heavy-duty construction. The main component of such a build is the polished metal connectors. Their sturdy structure makes it possible for the cable to be strong as well.
The tips of these connectors are gold plated in order to prevent corrosion over time. Its durability is enhanced with the PVC layer on the outer surface. Its braided jacket of black and golden layers keeps the cable safe from possible cuts and nicks.
It is easy to use this cable because of its good grip. The fiber optic comes with a 360-degree tread which enables smooth plugging and unplugging.
Along with the easy operation, it also provides grade-A audio by getting rid of electromagnetic interferences and radio frequency interferences. So you can enjoy crystal clear sound no matter which audio system you are using.
These Toslink cables are compatible with most of the popular audio and video systems. They work with computers, game consoles, Blu-ray players, DAT recorders and satellite DVRs. It basically works with any device which has a digital optical interface for AV receivers.
Be it compressed surround sound or uncompressed PCM audio, this cable can deliver great results for both of those variations. You will get the best results by pairing it up with high-definition audio technologies like Dolby Digital Plus.
To make the assembly easier and keep things on a budget for you, these cables come in seven different sizes ranging from 3 to 50 feet.
10. StarTech Thin Toslink Digital Optical SPDIF Audio Cable
StarTech is a well-known brand among the constant enthusiasts of technology. They make using more than 200 types of connectors easier for the professionals. So you can imagine what they can do to make your audio experience a little better!
Their Toslink optical cables are capable of delivering top-notch digital sound without the interruption of signal interferences.
It combats the electromagnetic, radio frequency and ground loop interferences with superior resistance. As a result, you can benefit from a supremely satisfying auditory experience without any disturbing noise or distortion.
You can get these cables in five different sizes to suit any audio setup. They come in 3 feet, 6 feet, 10 feet, 15 feet and 20 feet. The smallest among these includes a pair of SPDIF male connectors.
Their construction makes installation easier for narrow spaces. Each of these optical SPDIF cables has a narrow lightweight structure with the ultra-thin PVC jacket. This layer protects metal shell connectors which have been gold plated to avoid corrosion over time.
In order to enhance durability without harming the sound quality, StarTech has implemented a polished lens into its connectors. This makes sure the signal is reliable and the audio quality is top-notch.
Use this Toslink cable to establish connections between your personal computer and the digital home theater system. Besides, it also works with CD players, DVD players, MiniDisk players, DAT recorders, speakers, satellite dish receivers and many similar devices having Toslink optical interfaces.
The most lucrative aspect of this product is that it comes at a reasonable price point while delivering high-end sound quality.
What To Look Before Buying Toslink Cable?
There are many Toslink cables to choose from in the market right now. In order to find the best Toslink cable for your own audio system, keep the following things in mind before buying:
One thing any popular Toslink cable does not shy away from is offering a wide range of sizes. A digital optical fiber like this can be as short as just 3 feet to as long as 50 feet!
Of course, you can make an informed choice for your unique setup from all the options we have laid down for you. However, we would recommend to not invest in the cables which are longer than 30 feet.
After crossing this mark, the wires tend to lose reliability for transmission. In other words, the associated signals will grow weaker unless you have a signal booster close by.
Not every cable marks its bandwidth range upfront. So you will need to dig a little deep to learn this piece of information. To get the best level of performance, your toslink cable's bandwidth should be around 9 to 11 MHz. Even higher numbers will bring in more clarity to the generated sound.
Such high thresholds are not critical for smaller systems like CD players as they are for bigger ones like home theaters. So you can go below 9 MHz if you only need it for compact sound systems.
Most Toslink cables manufactured by reliable brands are very durable. You can detect the long-lasting quality of a cord by checking out its jacket and connectors.
A PVC or nylon jacket will keep the fibers safe. Connectors that are gold plated have higher resistance against corrosion. So any wire with these two features implemented should be good enough to last a long time.
Cost is definitely a critical factor for making any kind of purchase. Although optical fibers are more expensive than coaxial, they are in fact quite affordable in terms of longevity. Especially, the inclusion of gold plated connectors adds more life to a Toslink cable and increases the price simultaneously.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Do I Need An Optical Cable For A Sound Bar?
Answer: A sound bar would need an optical cable if it doesn’t have an HDMI port. Typically, televisions and sound bars both come with an HDMI jack with the mark of ARC. In such cases, one HDMI cable of version 1.4 or later should suffice.
However, if it lacks a port like that, you must get a Toslink cable to work with the HDMI cord and establish the connection.
Can I Use HDMI And Optical Audio At The Same Time?
Answer: Most devices are not built to produce a sonic output from two media at the same time. So the answer to this question depends a lot on which device you are talking about.
It is okay to use both the cords simultaneously on a computer since you can choose the output device there. For smart devices and standalone players, it entirely depends on their settings.
In the case of TV, there will be no other option except using them at the same time if your device does not have an HDMI jack. Especially for television sets without that port, an optical audio cable is the only way to connect to the sound bar.
What Is Buffer Tubing?
Answer: Buffer tubing is a process that ensures the safety of every single strand in a fiber optic cable like Toslink. Especially during splicing, buffer tubing makes it easier for you to detect the fibers and match accordingly.
How To Differentiate Between Male And Female Connectors?
Answer: Both male and female connectors are vital to almost every cable. Usually, one cord has a set of them in the same unit. The male connector comes with a solid pin and functions as the plug. On the other hand, the female connector has a conductor hole and is called the jack.
Why Are Some Cables Called RCA?
Answer: RCA is an abbreviation for the Radio Corporation of America. They designed the RCA cables for the first time during the early 1940s. These are basically coaxial connectors that establish connections between amplifiers and phonographs. To this day, they are used in audio and video devices.
Does Optical Cable Carry Video?
Answer: Optical cables like Toslink cannot carry video. They contribute only to the audio section of any digital entertainment system like television and music players. Their most popular use is within pieces of consumer audio equipment like CD players, DVD players, video game consoles and DAT recorders.
Are Thicker Toslink Cables Better?
Answer: Surprisingly, thickness of Toslink cables does not make any difference to your auditory experience. The diameter or thickness of these cords is counted in microns. Both thin and thick wires will work with the transmitted signal the same way since they are based on light traveling along a particular strand.
What Does S/PDIF Mean?
Answer: S/PDIF is short for Sony/Philips Digital Interface which is used for digital audio transmission. It does so either through fiber optic cables with Toslink connectors or through coaxial cables with RCA connectors.
This interface can carry two channels of compressed 5.1/7.1 surround sound or uncompressed PCM audio.
How Long Do Optical Cables Last?
Answer: Optical cables like Toslink can last for a very long time. Once installed properly, they can serve you for 25 years on average. Look out for wires with gold-plated connectors and durable jacket material to make the most of these cords.
Why Are Connector Heads Molded?
Answer: Some connectors are molded in the heads for maintaining safe electric connections inside a cord. They also help during direct mounting through compression fitting and make internal links tighter.
Is Toslink The Same As ADAT?
Answer: ADAT is an acronym for Alesis Digital Audio Tape whose magnetic format is utilized for recording audio tracks on VHS. Although it is similar to Toslink, they are not exactly the same. While Toslink can support two channels of digital audio data, ADAT can support up to eight channels.
Now you have all the information required to make an informed decision on finding the best Toslink cables for your audio system.
You can rely on them to deliver a supreme experience in terms of sound quality. Investing in just one such cord will serve you well for over two generations!
Almost every wire based on optical fiber incorporates the gold-plated connectors to avoid corrosion. Sturdy construction and strong jacket of durable material enhance their longevity.
At the same time, they come at quite an affordable price range and a variety of sizes. So you will have plenty of options to choose from.
Take measurements of the area where these cables will be set up. This length will be crucial in choosing the most appropriate product for you.