The ports behind your entertainment devices may have aroused your curiosity every time you plug in the wires. What does each port do? And, can you use them to improve your gaming and streaming experience?
One port that might have caught your attention is the optical audio port with its trapezoidal shape. We are here to give you information about the optical audio system and devices that you can use to maximize it. In the discussion, you will find out what is an optical audio headset.
The Optical Audio System
You can see the optical audio output/port on the back of devices such as HDTVs, computers, media receivers, and more. You will know if your device has this port if you see one labeled “optical audio”, “TOSLINK”, or “Digital Audio Out (Optical)”.
It stands out with its trapezoidal shape. When you turn on your device, the port gives off a faint red glow. Some optical ports have a protective cap, so make sure you remove it before connecting a cable.
What makes it different from others? The majority of cabling systems use wires to transmit digital or analog electric signals. However, the optical audio port is a component of the optical audio system which uses fiber optic cables and laser light to transmit digital audio signals between devices.
This system was introduced by Toshiba in 1983. That is why it is called TOSLINK or Toshiba-Link.
Although it has presented many uses, the optical audio system is rarely used in consumer setups nowadays. The HDMI became more popular as it provides audio and video simultaneously and, unlink TOSLINK, it supports newer high-quality audio formats.
Using The Optical Audio
The optical audio sends high-quality audio between your devices. To do this, you will need an output and an input.
The output is the device with the port, which sends the sound. While the other device receiving the sound is the input, for example, an optical audio headset.
To connect the two devices, you will need an optical audio cable. It is available in online stores. Remember, you do not need to buy expensive ones. Just make sure that it comes from a trusted brand, and that it is the right length and size.
You can directly connect an optical audio headset to the TOSLINK port. Again, the optical connection is only for audio. It supports audio formats such as Lossless 2.0 (stereo) PCM audio and compressed 2.0/5.1/7.1 Dolby Digital or DTS.
Optical Audio Headset
The headset optical audio is a wireless device that you can directly connect to your optical audio output. However, there is a limited number of headsets that can do this.
You may use a digital to analog decoder to connect analog headphones to a digital output. Learn more about headsets here!
Now that you know what is an optical audio headset, you may be curious how it will sound. However, before you spend money on buying one, check if your equipment has HDMI port.
If it has, you may not need to use your optical audio output. HDMI supports all types of audio formats and can also send video and audio signals at the same time.
If your device does not have HDMI, then you can use the optical audio connection.