Buying Guide for the Best Optical Cables
Using a poor-quality optical cable for your high-definition entertainment unit can choke your system’s performing capacity. You may end up with a below-average viewing and listening experience. A poor optical cable will not give you a superior-quality connection, and it won't last very long either. Finding the right one with all essential features can optimize your high-definition system--but how do you get it within your budget? To help you buy the best optical cable at the right price, we have put together a guide.
Types of Optical Cables
There are two types of optical cables that are in use: single-mode fiber and multimode fiber.
The multimode optical cable, as the name suggests, is equipped to carry multiple signals at one time. This mode of transmission is particularly useful for shorter distances, as the colors disperse in longer lengths.
The single-mode optical cable is quite useful for long-distance signal transmission.
What reviewers say
After going through several optical cable reviews, we have found out that there are three things that users look for before selecting an optical cable.
Features and technical specifications: Depending on how you intend to use the optical cable, you should look for the features and technical specifications. If you are buying an audio cable for your studio, you will need an audiophile-quality optical cable, because noise-free transmission is crucial for studio recording. Look for optical cables that have well-soldered connections, and are flexible and durable at the same time.
Choose quality cables: Look for optical cables that are a little more expensive. If you want to enjoy a full surround system without any noise interference, you will need quality cables which have a tough build. You must remember that optical cables are normally thinner than their counterparts, so you will need the toughest in the market. To avoid any potential damage, it is best to go for optical cables with a proper sleeve thickness.
Rating markings: The indoor optical cables will always bear rating and identification markings--look for these ratings to get the best product on the market. The multimode cables can be distinguished from the single- mode cables by their bright orange color. Also, whether you are buying online or from a known store, it is always good to buy a product with a warranty, so that if there is any malfunctioning of the cables within the warranty period, you can demand a replacement.
Consider the signal it will carry: If you have an old VCR at home, an optical cable with a low-quality connection will do. But for connecting a high-definition cable box to your 3D TV, you will need HDMI. The HDMI signal is known for highest definition video and audio signals, which can range from a working stereo of eight channels to 24-bit audio.
Think about the installation technique: Before you buy an optical cable, you must see if it carries the essential certification, such as a CL2 or CL3 rating. This rating signifies that the cables are equipped to handle in-wall installations. For in-wall wiring, the build of the cable is equally important. In-wall wires are mostly identified by the number of strands they carry and their thickness. A standard rule of an in-wall cable is: the lower the gauge number, the thicker the wire will be.
Measure the length of the wires: You can get the help of a system designer to know the exact measurements or length of cable required for your entertainment system. The distance between the cable and the main unit should be sufficiently long. It is best not to opt for long cables, as they can turn into a terrible tangled mess. But at the same time, there should be proper slack so that you can reach the panels.
AmazonBasics: The AmazonBasics Digital TOSLINK (optical) cable is your best companion if you are a music lover. It not only delivers superior sound but also ensures that the music to your ears has no interruptions. You can simply connect the cable to your Blu-ray disc, console or audio system, and listen to uninterrupted music.
BlueRigger: The BlueRigger optical cable is one of the best accessories for your home entertainment unit. Made with a durable PVC outer layer, these TOSLINK cables are lightweight but durable. The gold-plated connectors are anti-corrosive and ensure optimal signal transmission.