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Convert Digital Audio to Analogue Audio with an Optical to RCA Converter

Using an optical to RCA converter allows users to connect devices with optical or digital outputs to devices that rely on older RCA or analogue connections. You can find a wide selection of new and used optical to RCA converters on eBay.

What is an optical output?

Optical output is a form of digital communication that relies on laser light and a fibre optic cable to transmit data. Unlike regular audio cables that transmit audio in the form of low-voltage electrical current, optical cables transport audio in the form of binary data between devices. The standard was introduced to allow devices to transfer multi-channel audio and is often used to connect devices like DVD players and CD drives to AV receivers.

Do optical to RCA converters affect audio quality?

No, most optical to RCA converters maintain audio quality. The quality of the audio is largely determined by the DAC chip that the converter uses to change the digital signal into an analogue one. As a rule of thumb, professional-grade converters maintain or slightly boost the analogue signal to minimise any possible quality loss.

Are fibre optic cables sensitive?

Fibre optic cables are not overly sensitive, but they can be damaged by crushing force. It is important to take care when securing cables with cable ties as using too much force can damage or sever the cable. The analogue cable part of the optical to RCA converter should also be handled with care to avoid any cable damage that could lead to degraded audio quality.

Is it easy to connect devices using an optical to RCA converter?

Yes, the converter is quite easy to use. It requires an optical input source to be connected to one end and analogue output is provided at the other end. The converter can be used by simply connecting each end to its respective device and, in general, does not require any software to operate.

What are the typical applications for optical to RCA converters?

The converters have a wide range of uses, including:

  • Connecting gaming consoles to televisions and amplifiers.
  • Connecting speakers to amplifiers.
  • Connecting computers to audio systems and AV receivers.
  • Connecting Blu-ray players to surround sound or multichannel audio systems.
  • Connecting high-resolution audio players to mixing desks.
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