Optical VS AUX – What’s the Difference?

Imagine yourself stuck in a situation where you have to choose between a pack of French fries and a burger; this situation puts you in a dilemma and that too is a big one. The same dilemma exists between the options of having an Optical or an AUX wired connection.

In this article, we discuss the basic differences between the two and then we try to put forth a common opinion on having a preferred wired connection.

Optical VS AUX – Comparison

Without wasting our time lets start our detailed optical vs aux comparison.

1. Difference in the Input Sound

In optical connection, the input is in digital form while in AUX connection it is in analog form. This basic difference between the two connection types gives rise to differences in their working also.

This gives us a conclusion that an analog signal which experiences more interferences is sure to get interrupted and hence the digital connection is best for carrying-off signals.

Optical cable takes the input in digital form and mostly uses audio inputs which sometimes range from stereo voices to slow tunes.

We have discussed earlier that within analog there is not much diversification to sounds hence only low-range audios are transmitted by it.

Thus, AUX cables are used for the transmission of low-quality sounds over a shorter distance. Optical, on the other hand, is chosen over AUX as it is capable of transmitting sound over a larger distance without many disruptions.

2. Difference in Structure

AUX cables are made up of copper while optical fibers are made up of special nano plastics or microplastics. This gives both a yet another point of difference as the optical fiber cables can send and surround digital signal while on the other hand, an AUX connector can carry analog audio via two-channel.

3. Sound Quality

As mentioned above the sound transmitted through an AUX cable is under the influence of various foreign disturbances which somewhat results in lower sound quality than expected. While an optical transmission is not under any such influence and hence the sound given out is best with respect to quality.

Thus, AUX can be somewhat associated with a low-quality output sound and an optical connection with a higher quality of output sound, comparatively.

4. Difference in Transmissions

An optical fiber cable transmits 3-D as well as an 8-D sound over a good range of distance without any disturbances. This gives the listener a good experience of output sound. In the case of an AUX cable, only 3-D sounds can be transmitted and the output sound is not always a satisfactorily one for the listener.

In the case of AUX, sometimes only voice recordings or small-size audio clips can be transmitted while in the case of Optical, high-range movie sounds as well as high-quality songs, and podcasts can also be listened out.

5. Hardware Compatibility

The greatest advantage of AUX cables is that they come up with awesome hardware compatibility. You may connect it with an iPhone, Android, or a modem; it will not trigger anything and will easily get connected with any one of these without any difficulty.

So, we can conclude that an AUX cable can work with all audio devices. While an Optical cable is only compatible with some devices and mainly supports home theatres and soundbars.

6. Feasibility 

Although not much difference persists between the cost range of an optical fiber cable and an AUX cable but to be precise optical fiber cables are a bit expensive as compared to AUX cables and hence whenever a set-up is to be established generally an AUX cable is chosen first with respect to economic criterion. But, always keep in mind that output sound quality is best in optical cable than in AUX cable.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Difference between optical and AUX?

The most basic difference between the two is that the AUX cable transmits sound in analog form while an Optical fiber cable transmits it in digital form.

Which is better Optical or AUX?

Optical is more preferential as compared to an AUX cable. This is because an AUX cable transmits a signal in an analog form that is disturbed by outside forces while an Optical cable transmits a signal in digital form which is not influenced by any outside forces. Hence a better output sound quality is provided by an Optical fiber cable.


Considering the above three parameters we can conclude that an optical wire is a good option over an AUX cable and the biggest factor is that both are economically feasible within a somewhat same range of prices.

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