No matter whether you use an audio-video system for entertainment or for work, you would want it to produce top quality sound. This is possible only when you use the right kind of connection between the multimedia playing device and the speakers. At present, there are two main options – optical fibre and HDMI cable. Use this comparison of the two options to make the right decision.
The optical fibre cable consists of numerous glass fibres or strands which are extremely thin. Light optical signal travels through the strands. The HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface) cable, on the other hand, uses copper wire to transmit electrical signal. Both types of hardware can work with modern devices even though they have different construction and use different technology.
There are two advantages which the optical fibre technology has to offer when it comes to audio signal quality. Firstly, you can expect better sound clarity. This is because there is no signal interference between the different glass strands. Each strand transmits light signal without affecting the neighbouring strands in any way. Copper wires, on the other hand, are more likely to create interference, even though the risk is lowered with the modern HDMI technology.
The other advantage of the optical cable is that there is lower signal loss. Less of the signal is lost so you will enjoy better sound quality in every respect. You will not have to turn the volume up. You will not hear strange sounds.
These two natural advantages of the third option lead to an important third advantage. You are able to use a longer optical cable for connecting the multimedia playing device to the speakers. This gives you greater flexibility especially when it comes to large multimedia systems set in home theatres and conference rooms.
When it comes to convenience, the HDMI cable has one major advantage over its counterpart. It can transmit both audio and video signal. This means that you can use just one piece of hardware for both. If you go for the other option, you will need a separate cable for video output.
Supported Audio Formats
Both types of cables support multiple-channel formats such as Dolby Digital. You can readily use them with 5.1 surround sound systems. However, only HDMI cables can support the latest audio formats used by Blu-ray which are Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master Audio. If you are a dedicated movie fan, this hardware option may be the right one for you.
Overall, it is up to you to decide whether to use the optical fibre or HDMI technology for the best-quality audio output.