When you need to connect a newly purchased SoundBar or AV receiver to a device in your home, you are bound to have two main audio cable connections: HDMI and fiber. Perhaps for most users, HDMI is the most simple choice, but if you understand the characteristics of fiber optic audio cable, maybe it will not simply choose the HDMI connection. On the whole, HDMI and optical fiber two audio connections have their own advantages and disadvantages."
HDMI and fiber-optic audio cable are the means of transmission between devices, and are more than the traditional red-and-white analog signal transmission more advanced, and support such as Dolby Digital stereo multi-channel sound transmission. In addition, both HDMI or optical audio cable, the cost is very cheap.
The biggest difference between the two is that HDMI audio cable can transmit higher quality sound, including Blu-ray audio, Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master Audio audio encoding. And these formats can not be transmitted on the fiber optic cable. In addition, HDMI can also directly transmit video signals. So simply, if you want to pass all the contents of a cable, then HDMI is the best choice.
However, depending on the device, HDMI is not always the best choice. If your device has a certain age and only needs to connect a simple Sound output device such as the Sound Bar to your TV, then fiber audio is Very good connection. In this case, sometimes it is the only option without worrying too much about HDMI. For most of the pure sound equipment, fiber and HDMI is actually the same effect.
In one case, if you have a Sound Bar device that supports surround sound like the Sonos Playbar or the Vizio S4251w-B, you can not connect directly to the TV through a fiber-optic audio cable. But usually these SoundBar more than no HDMI interface, then the best way is to directly TV sound source and Sound Bar with fiber connection, and skip the TV.
But no matter which device you use, as mentioned above, fiber optic audio cable is not able to transmit such as Dolby TrueHD or DTS HD Master Audio such high-quality sound. But the difference in sound quality is not as obvious as you might think. Although HDMI can deliver better sound, but we also need a certain quality of the speaker, power amplifier equipment functions in order to play a role. And simply rely solely on HDMI cable to enhance the quality effect is not obvious.
Overall, the use of HDMI is not only cost-effective, but also can be a multi-line, while transmitting video and sound signals. But if your old device does not support the HDMI interface, while your source is not as blue and other relatively high requirements, then the fiber optic audio cable is also to meet the demand. In addition, even if you use the HDMI connection, but other devices do not keep up with the quality, then even Dolby TrueHD or DTS HD Master Audio this source, the same will not be significantly improved.