I've got a 2.1 sound equipment, with two 'tower' speakers, containing each 2 loudspeakers and one bass speaker, and a primary bass speaker, apart.

I want to connect my Macbook to this installation and regularly I have the option of optical and RCA, but at this moment both of the two optical jacks are already in use.

I'm sort of left to RCA and therefor wondering if one would notice a sound difference in using RCA over optical in this set up?

1 Answer 1


Theoretically, optical can carry a higher bit-rate than RCA; but I think to all practical intents & purposes, unless you're listening to 24-bit uncompressed originals, the difference will be negligible.

Hi-fi buffs will argue til the cows come home that... some optical cables can 'blur' the sound; RCA is more robust over distances etc etc etc.

The differences ought to be below perception if you're just listening to MP3s for fun. The fans on the laptop will be louder than the perceptual difference in a home environment.

I'd say, just go with RCA & don't worry about it unless you're judging a hi-fi awards contest in a tuned environment with 20 grand speakers.

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