Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.

Windows 7: HDMI vs Optical for Audio?

05 Aug 2014   #1

MS Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1
HDMI vs Optical for Audio?

I am hooking up a computer to my TV area and i can choose between the HDMI and Optical for Audio. I was reading different answers everywhere so i thought i would ask here. I know the quality between cables might change the answer but i am looking for a more general answer.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Aug 2014   #2

7 home premium 64 bit

Well my answer is this. I use optical (SPDIF) as that is the only connection that my stereo accepts other than rca jacks. (My stereo is before HDMI.)

For movies it is great. 7.1 dts is wonderful. For games not so much. Games just can not seem to see spdif so it always defaults to 2.0 stereo speaker configuration. That sucks.

I don't know if it is the same for HDMI. You might try that and see if you can get 7.1 out of your games but i am pretty sure you can't get 7.1 out of optical unless your watching a movie.

Just some things to consider.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Aug 2014   #3
Lava King

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

I prefer the optical because it is NOT an electrical connection between the PC and audio receiver and therefore there's a much lesser chance of getting PC noise (buzz, hum, hash etc.) out of your receiver.

It also prevents that annoying speaker thump or pop if you should power on or power off your PC with the receiver powered on.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

07 Aug 2014   #4

7 home premium 64 bit

That is a good point. Optical is well optical so if this is going to be for movies only then that is the way you want to go. So what is your sound system going to be used for. Movies or high end video games. That will pretty much decide for you lol.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Aug 2014   #5

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers

Hi there

Anything to do with AUDIO -- you need to ask THREE questions first.

1) Quality of original Source --if it's a highly compressed 192 kbs or worse a 128 kbs mp3 file then it really doesn't matter --in fact probably wil sound better on basic ANALOG and really el-cheapo speakers -- high end gear will amplify any defects in the original sound source such as "Artifacts" etc.

2) Quality of the Speakers used for listening -- if these are rubbish then the best sound on the planet will sound excruciatingly HIDEOUS.

3) Quality of the DAC's used -- If using HDMI / or optical -- since our ears only hear ANALOG you need at least one DAC (Digital to Analog converter) to convert the Digital signal into Analog for the speaker system (and hence our Ears) to be able to hear the sound.

If as is usually the case the DAC in TV's or most el cheapo sound systems is pretty horrible - I'd suspect that a plain old analog stereo cable system might give the best result of all. You can get decent results with expensive 5.1 etc cinema amps but most computer sound is pretty terrible --I only use the HDMI cable connection as it minimizes the number of cables. If I want to listen to music in high quality I listen to FLAC (uncompressed) on a dedicated "Hi Fi" system with a set of expensive studio grade Mission reference speakers (around 2,000 USD the pair !!).

Most computer sound components - especially those used for "Gaming effects" sound WORSE to me than some ordinary STREET ROAD DRILLS !!!.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Aug 2014   #6

7 home premium 64 bit

I agree on the FLAC. If your going to invest in a sound system don't waste your time with MP3. Always get uncompressed when possible. You will loose all your bass and and it wont sound as rich if you compress it with mp3 or the likes.

P.S. I heard WAV is uncompressed so If you can get wav that is pretty good although I still prefer FLAC if you can find it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 HDMI vs Optical for Audio?

Thread Tools

Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
Realtek HDMI Output ATI HDMI Audio -Not Plugged In-
I'm trying to hook up my TV with my computer, and for the most part it's working. The video goes through and I get how to control it and everything. The only thing not working is the sound. I'm using an HDMI to HDMI cable, and like I said the video is fine. Also, when the cable is plugged into...
Sound & Audio
No HDMI audio after running Win 7 audio trouble shooter
I have an Acer Aspire Laptop 57362-4790 running Win 7 with all the latest updates. Audio is an Intel(R) High Definition Audio HDMI, and Realteck HDMI. Because I had no headphone output with the computer connected to my TV via the HDMI out I ran the Windows audio trouble shooter. I got a...
Sound & Audio
Optical cable recognised as HDMI
Hello everybody, I have a Windows 7 enterprise 64 bit pc and an Onkyo receiver. I used to have them linked with an aux cable for music. But since I had enough of the bad sound quality I bought an optical cable and connected it. Now I have the problem that my subwoofer gives a lot of less sound...
Hardware & Devices
No Audio, HDMI (unplugged), No Audio device listed
Hi, I just got a new (cascaded) computer with seemingly no standard audio. The audio icon is a speaker with and X through it and the only audio device that populates the Playback Devices list is the HDMI digital audio. I have audio on the motherboard (think I can find it?? nope) and...
Sound & Audio
HDMI audio problem when connecting LCD TV to PC via HDMI
hi all, I have my media center PC connected to a Sansung LCD TV through an HDMI cable. Everything works fine; the PC detects TV and both audio and video travel through the HDMI cable from PC to TV The problem happens when I turn the TV OFF and ON. In this case, the video is back but not the...
Sound & Audio
Windows 7 - HDMI out no audio - Intel HDMI audio
Hey everyone, I recently upgraded to Windows 7 (Build 7100) from Vista (32 bit) and am having trouble getting audio from my HDMI out port. I am using the Mobile Intel 965 Express Chipset and have upgraded to the latest available driver but still no luck. I have attached a screen shot of my...
Sound & Audio

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

© Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 22:27.
Twitter Facebook Google+ Seven Forums iOS App Seven Forums Android App