Optical cables gradually replace ordinary cables and are used practically in all existing communication networks. The reason for this is simple – these cables are very reliable and have a high data transfer rate. However, sometimes users have a question: which cable is the most optimal?
In fact, when you purchase cables, compatibility is the first requirement. Although optical cables are designed to work with various components, some of them will not work with certain sound systems.
In this article, I will tell you about the best optical audio cables, how they work, their advantages, etc. There are dozens of companies that manufacture fiber optic cables for different purposes. Therefore, a buyer may have some problems with the purchase of a cable. I will help you with your choice, by ranking the reviewed models according to their quality, starting from the top in descending order. Let’s examine the best optical audio cables.
Want to buy a good optical cable – read these reviews.
Choose the best optical cable for yourself
KabelDirekt – Attractive Cable of a Great Quality
These are professional audio cables for high-quality audio from your audio receiver, DVD or Bluray, etc. They are available in six convenient sizes from 3 to 25 feet. KabelDirekt cables provide the unrivaled sound quality for a home theater or Hi-Fi system. They comprise a high-quality metal sheath and gold-plated connectors to provide you with the perfect combination of performance and durability.
People pay too much for audiophile cables, while KabelDirekt is cheaper and offers the same level of quality. Some may call it the best optical audio cable, since it offers high efficiency and delivers signals flawlessly. The connectors are well manufactured and don’t wear out quickly.
Given the excellent performance, it’s no surprise that the cables give a good impression. They are thicker than other RCA cables and have well-designed plugs. I also really appreciate the design: it’s nice to have clearly marked left and right sides, instead of plain red and white tips.
- You can use these cables in an interconnected fashion, or you can easily separate them partially or completely for different applications
- Although the cables are heavy-duty, they are still flexible and not rigid
- After testing, the components were flaky and caused an undesired displacement of the speakers
Cable Matters – Reliable and Luxury
This is a very reliable optical cable with tight-fitting metal connectors, which are securely fixed in place and transmit an ideal audio signal. If you need a durable and reliable optical cable at the right price, this is the one you need to buy. It’s available in six convenient sizes from 3 to 25 and 50 feet. I must say that I was surprised by the quality of these cables considering the price.
In my opinion, this might be the best Toslink cable. It has high quality and a nice appearance. This is definitely a professional class without a high price. For the test, I set it up for my Hi-Fi system, for which I usually use a high-speed coaxial connection that is presumed to have the best capabilities for audio transmission. With a pretty high sound setting, in the end I could barely notice the difference between the optical input of the DAC and the coaxial input.
- I passed the cable through my drywall without an effort.
- The cable is well protected.
- It’s tough and hard to handle.
AmazonBasics – Impressive Flexibility
These AmazonBasics optical audio cables work fine and create an impression of a very high-quality product. The available cable length is 9.8 feet (3 meters). You may use them to connect an audio component, such as a soundbar to a receiver/preamplifier, an audio processor, a DAC, or a TV. The sound quality that the cable delivered from the TV to the sound panel was terrific.
The casing on this cable is excellent: it is very flexible, so the cable can be wound up in a smaller area, which makes it suitable for denser conditions. Thanks to its very flexible sheath, it is less prone to cracking and unwinding back into a straight cord no matter how long it is stored in this form – there is no need to stretch/change it when you need it to extend to its full length.
It is also equipped with rubber caps for each end to protect their surfaces from any scratches that could adversely affect the signal. If you want to make the most of your devices’ capabilities – this cable is for you.
- Corrosion-resistant gold-plated connectors and buffer tubes for optimal signal transmission.
- The price is unbeatable for this product’s quality and length.
- The product comes with very poorly written instructions.
iVanky – Great Fiber Optic Cable
iVanky digital optical Toslink cable works well with such devices as sound panels, TV sets, game consoles/game consoles, CDs, DVDs or Blu-ray players, home audio theater receivers, preamps, digital satellites, audio processors, and digital-to-analog converters (DACs).
It is equipped with gold-plated connectors that do not corrode and are more durable. Plastic optical fibers are protected from electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI), that’s why they are ideal for enjoying movies with Hi-Fi, Dolby Digital and DTS surround sound. This optical cable is ideal for full immersion in your favorite music, movies, and video games.
This cable has universal compatibility. It’s perfect for uncompressed PCM audio, a compressed 5.1 to 7.1 surround sound system, including Dolby Digital Plus, DTS-HD high-definition, and LPCM. Also, the cable has an aluminum alloy casing that will last for a long time.
- Plastic optical fibers provide this cable with enhanced strength, flexibility and heat resistance.
- It doesn’t crack on bends, you can easily twist the cable, and it will still be suitable for use.
- There were some scratches on the gray metal surface.
iVanky CL3 – Exceptionally Clear Sound
This is an excellent Toslink optical cable, and it really surprised me. Connectors fit tightly and you can be sure that it won’t fall out of the slots in your equipment. iVanky CL3 also includes rubber caps to keep the connectors clean during transportation; don’t forget to remove them before connecting. I used this cable to connect my TV to my soundbar, and the sound was gorgeous. I did not have any problems with this 6-foot cable at all.
I easily connected the cable to the TV and soundbar, so there are no complaints. As for the sound quality coming out of my soundbar with this cable, it was crystal clear. Overall, it’s an excellent product: smooth and pleasant in design. In general, this is an inexpensive and high-quality optical cable that looks great and works great. I definitely recommend it; this might be the best optical cable for your needs.
- Excellent packaging ensures that your cable won’t be damaged during transportation.
- It is a thick and flexible cable that does not crack while bending.
- Many customers complain that the cable comes defective.
BlueRigger – Solid Manufactured Cable
Aesthetically it is a beautiful cable, and the material of the cord is durable. This cable is available in seven convenient sizes from 3 to 50 feet, and compatible with S/PDIF, ADAT, Dolby Digital, and DTS. The cables were pretty well packaged and protected. The quality of manufacturing is solid: the cable is strong, and the connection is securely fixed in place. I think that the plastic tip suits much better for connecting my PlayStation.
I have Vizio 5.1 surround speakers, and this cable works perfectly with them. It’s very easy to install, I set it in 5 minutes, and it worked immediately. These cables reproduce a large spectrum of sound, which allows your device to work with the highest potential. Thanks to this cable, I get Dolby 5.1-channel surround sound in perfect clarity. It’s much nicer to listen to when watching your favorite movies and TV shows.
You do not need to pay 2 or 3 times more to get an excellent cable. Buy this cable and experience fantastic sound. Just make sure that your equipment supports an optical cable connection before ordering.
- No manufacturing defects or quality problems.
- The design of the cable is robust, it will not crack on the bend.
- Metal tips fell off several times.
CableCreation – Great Budgetary Decision
CableCreation audio cable will ensure the maximum quality of signal transmission and full use of your equipment’s capabilities. It’s available in five convenient sizes (3, 6, 15, 25, and 50 feet) and works well with a sound panel, TV, PS4, Xbox, Blu-ray player, and game console. This cable is compatible with standard-quality and high-level devices, and it looks great as well. It offers highly accurate signal transmission,and is equipped with nylon braid and removable rubber lugs to protect connectors. The cord has enhanced reliable weaving that will not allow the cable to break and fail, the connectors on both sides are metalized.
It has good quality compared to cables that come with sound grids. I also like extra length, for some buyers it’s very important. When I tested CableCreation, I was amazed by the quality of sound. It is much better than many expensive optical cables, that’s why I can recommend CableCreation. This is the perfect digital optical audio cable for your home theatre.
- Crystal clear sound.
- Attractive price and good quality.
- I couldn’t fix this cable in place.
FosPower – Nice-looking and Durable
First, this cable will not work for Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio, so keep that in mind. A great advantage is that there are different lengths of these cables and it can reach 25 ft. FosPower cable is well made and durable, though I would prefer slightly more resistance to bending. The ends fit tightly to the inlet and outlet sockets. When I connected it to my TV, I was surprised how well it transmits the signal from the TV to the soundbar.
The quality of this cable was very surprising, especially considering its price. I’m very pleased with the sound quality – it was crystal clear. I enjoyed the full range of 5.1 surround sound when I played my video games and also watched movies. If you want a durable and nice-looking cable available in long sizes, I would definitely choose this one.
- It has high-quality optic fiber.
- Affordable price.
- It’s too thick.
Mediabridge – Pleasure for Ears
I bring to your attention a high-quality optical (Toslink) cable from Mediabridge. It is perfectly compatible with digital audio components such as TV, Blu-ray players, DVD players, game consoles, subwoofers, speakers, receivers, and sound systems. This cable is available in four sizes (6, 10, 15, 25 feet) and features flexible, reliable insulation and high-quality connectors with protective caps.
As for the sound, I had no problems with the cable, it is excellent This brand differs from others in that it transmits sound with higher accuracy. My friends thought that I bought a new surround sound system, but I just added an optical sound cable to my old sound panel. I can say that the gold coating greatly improves the sound quality.
This cable is well designed, and the connectors are much better than in other cables that I have ever used. I even think that Mediabridge is better than many expensive optical cables. This brand produces high-quality products at a very good price; it’s as if you get a premium product for a giveaway price. If you need a high-quality and inexpensive cable – buy this one.
- This product delivered delightful sound and showed all the features of my audio system.
- The cable was loose; it could fall out of the optical connector.
PipeLine – Flexible and Clear
And the last optical cable in this review is PipeLine. This is a high-quality optical audio cable, which is protected by a nylon cover. It looks amazing, very similar to the AudioQuest Cinnamon cable. Such cables transmit excellent clear sound, and I see no need to spend more money on something more expensive. It seems to me that this is an excellent option for connecting optical audio components.
I decided to test this cable by watching a movie to check the sound quality. I was very surprised by this cable’s excellent quality. The sound is great, it’s perfect for watching movies. It instantly demonstrated that it was ready to reproduce all the effects of the film and sounds were impressive and accurate. Everything was reproduced in detail, and the accuracy of the transfer of dynamic nuances of sound added confidence to what is happening on the screen. PipeLine delivered awesome sound that evenly filled the entire room. Based on my experience, I can recommend this cable.
- The product is well packaged, which is very important, I think no one wants the cable to come damaged.
- I cannot but mention the sound quality – it is fantastic.
- It’s a very thin cable, especially when compared to its picture.
What is an optical cable and how it works?
An optical cable is a cord containing one or more optical fibers, intended for transmission of optical signals in communication lines. Digital audio signals are transmitted over the cable in the form of light pulses. On the fiber to our homes comes the Internet. It differs from a copper cable in that the information is transmitted in the form of light. The main advantages of fiber are the high speed of information transfer and small losses.
What cable to use for sound – optical or HDMI?
Many buyers often ask, “What is the best cable – optical or HDMI?” Without going into technical details, the capabilities of HDMI and optical cable really differ, but it will become important if your equipment also has such functions: Dolby True HD, DTS-HD. For such audio codecs, the optical cable is not suitable, since its bit rate is limited to 1.5 Mbps, while HDMI can transmit much more.
Many high-quality surround/home theater systems use digital optical cables to connect the subwoofer to the receiver. This makes the sound quality through the subwoofer much higher than it would be if it were simply connected to the speaker wire.
Of course, it’s better to transfer audio signals through HDMI – so it goes through the minimum path and is not processed in any way. When audio is delivered through the optics or coaxial, it is first cut to 5.1 (for HDMI, it is 7.1) and then converted once again to be fed to the receiver.