audio cable questions

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by DaveTheRave, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. DaveTheRave macrumors 6502a

    May 22, 2003
    I'm considering connecting an Airport Express to my old stereo. Is there any difference in quality between connecting 3.5mm to 2 x RCA, or 3.5mm to 3.5mm cables? My stereo can accept both inputs.

    Also, for Audio and Video, is there any benefit to using component to HDMI cable instead of component to component if a HD TV can accept both types of inputs?

  2. bwhli macrumors 6502a


    Jan 9, 2012
    Boston, MA
    There won't be a difference in sound quality between RCA and 3.5mm. 3.5mm will have a little more crosstalk, but it's a negligible amount. You won't even be able to hear it. Use either one. HDMI is all digital. Component is analog. There won't be a huge difference in picture quality. HDMI might be "better" because it's either all there or not there at all. HDMI also does audio and video with one cable if that's something you're considering.
  3. DaveTheRave thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 22, 2003
    Thanks. One more question. My old receiver has a SPDIF input. Is that the same as Toslink? Can I connect an airport express to this input?
  4. Destroysall macrumors 65816

    Feb 28, 2012
    United States
  5. Julien macrumors G4


    Jun 30, 2007
    S/PDIF (a type of signal) is carried over Toslink (a type of optical cable). S/PDIF ca also be carried over RCA (a type of plug) coaxial cables.

    S/PDIF will give you the best technical/audio connection. Airport Express uses a Mini Toslink connection. You will need a Mini Toslink to Toslink connector like this.

    If your receiver's S/PDIF input is RCA then you will also need an optical to coaxial converter.

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