The audio frontier is all abuzz these days with the pleasure possible though HDMI, USB, FireWire® and Ethernet connections. However, these current generation digital technologies are only part of the story, just as the challenge of designing, manufacturing and choosing the best analog interconnects and speaker cables is as important as ever. The S/P-DIF (Sony® Philips Digital InterFace), which arrived in 1983 along with the CD, is still very much a part of our world today. S/P-DIF is transmitted through Digital Coax and Toslink fiber optics (EIA-J), making them still some of the most important cables in electronic entertainment.
While, thanks to HDMI, Toslink is not so often used to connect a DVD player to an A/V receiver, Toslink connectors are common on cable-boxes, TV sets, subwoofers, all sorts of products. And now, the 3.5mm Mini Optical connector, also somewhat incorrectly known as Mini-Toslink, is everywhere … from the 3.5mm dual-purpose headphone jack on a Mac laptop, to inputs on some of the finest portables.
For these many reasons, AudioQuest has refined and renewed our line of serious high performance OptiLink cables. All models and all lengths are now available Toslink to Toslink and Toslink to 3.5mm Mini Optical. When the question is “how can a fiber-optic cable change the sound?” … the answer is easier to explain than for almost any other type of cable. If the light source were a coherent laser, firing into a vacuum, all the light would stay straight, arriving at its destination at the same time. Even if the LED light source in a Toslink system were coherent, the light entering a fiber-optic cable is scattered and dispersed by imperfections and impurities in the fiber. This can be measured as a loss of amplitude … but amplitude is not the problem, a 50% true loss would have no effect on sound quality.
The problem is that the dispersed light does get through the cable, but only after it has taken a longer path, like a pool ball bouncing off the side-rails, causing it to arrive later. This delayed part of the signal prevents the computer charged with decoding this information from being able to decode properly, or even at all. The inability to decode shows first at higher frequencies (not audio frequencies, this is a mono stream of digital audio information), so reduced bandwidth is a measurable signature of light being dispersed by a fiber. The punch line: The less dispersion in the fiber, the less distortion in the final analog audio signal presented to our ears.
There is another serious dispersal mechanism in the Toslink system. The fiber is a relatively huge 1.0mm in diameter, and the LED light source is also relatively large, spraying light into the fiber at many different angles. Even if the fiber were absolutely perfect, the signal would be spread across time because light rays entering at different angles take different length paths and arrives with different amounts of delay.
The almost complete solution to this problem is to use hundreds of much smaller fibers in a 1.0mm bundle. Because each fiber is limited as to what angle of input can enter the fiber, there is far less variety, and far less dispersion over time. This narrow-aperture effect is similar to how a pin-hole camera can take a picture without a lens … by letting in light at only a very limited range of angles, a picture can be taken, whereas removing the lens from a wider aperture would make photography impossible. Less light gets through a multi-fiber cable, but the light that does get into the fibers comes out within in a much smaller time-envelope.
So there is one problem, the dispersion of light across time … and two avenues towards a better result: less dispersion in the fiber (better polymers and ultimately quartz), and less dispersion by filtering the input angle. How simple is that! Listen and enjoy.
*Headphones.com is very pleased to announce that you have even more options to pay for your AudioQuest Optical cables! Now when you hit the Pay with Crypto button, you have the option to pay with currencies such as NANO, Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and more! We are very excited to able to give you these options now and for the future!*
When Taron and Andrew Lissimore started headphones.com, they wanted to create the headphone store they wished existed. As headphone enthusiasts, they wanted a store with 365-day returns.
So they decided they were going to try to make 365-day returns work - no matter how ridiculous it sounded to their wives.
Years later, they're still doing it, and their wives still think they're crazy.
So take some time to get to know your new gear. We want you to enjoy your purchase for years, not just a few weeks. If you're not satisfied, you can return items in like-new condition for up to 365-days.
How To Make a Return
1. Follow the link below.
To get the return process started, you just need to click this link. Enter your order number as well as e-mail address to get it started and after that just follow the steps outlined in the portal (note open-box, special order and sale items are not eligible). A pre-paid shipping label will be generated for you a deducted from your refund after being processed.
After receiving your return label, you will have 7 days to drop off your return with the courier. If your return is not dropped off within 7 days of receiving your return label, a 30% restocking fee will occur. If your return is not dropped off within a month of your label being issued, your return will be rejected.
2. Pack Your Items Carefully
Your item must be in like-new condition with its original packaging. It must also include all original accessories and manuals. Please add a larger shipping box to protect the original packaging during shipping.
Important Refund Details
Refund or Exchange
You may choose either a refund or an exchange for the full cost of the item. The refund will be processed on the same method of payment you used to make the original purchase.
A pre-paid shipping label is generated for you. It is deducted from the final refund total after inpsection.
If you are returning a defective product, the product must be repaired under manufacturer's warranty before a refund is issued. If the manufacturer claims the product cannot be repaired under warranty due to damage outside of warranty, the product will be returned to you and no refund will be issued.
Like New Condition
Headphones.com may refuse a return or charge a restocking fee if the items are not complete and in like-new condition. Here are some examples of returns that would incur a restocking fee:
- The returned item is missing accessories or parts that were included with the original product
- There are obvious signs of wear (scratches, dirt, worn out parts etc.)
Here are some examples of returns that may be refused:
- The serial number on the returned product is different from the serial number that was originally shipped.
- The item has been damaged through mishandling (water damage, drop damage etc.)
Special order, sale and open-box items are not covered by our 365-day return policy. However they are usually covered by the manufacturers warranty.
Special order items are non-cancellable and non-returnable. The estimated shipping window is just an estimate, your item may ship sooner or later than the estimate.
Accessories such as ear pads and ear tips are final sale and not returnable due to hygienic reasons.
5% on Affirm orders. All other orders have no cancellation fees with one exception.
Return shipping is paid by the customer.
10% Restocking Fee
Products with Batteries
15% restocking fee.
Returned products that have been damaged cannot be returned. Regular wear and tear is expected. Each return is inspected and tested.
10% restocking fee.
Returns with missing accessories
20% restocking fee.
Bundled Item Return
All items from the bundle must be returned. If an item is missing, retail value for the item will be deducted.
Return of a purchase with a missing or damaged free item
Retail value of the missing/damaged gift items.
Return of more than 2 items in a 365-Day Period
25% restocking fee on each additional return.
Open-Box, Sale and Special Order
These items are final sale however the manufacturers warranty still applies
Return Policy Abuse
In order to provide a 365-day return policy, we need to take abuse seriously.
We monitor a buyers ratio of purchased to returned products. If it exceeds an internal threshold they will no longer be allowed to place orders with Headphones.com. This includes customers who spread returns across multiple accounts.
We made our return policy to help you find gear you feel great about for a long time. Most people use it exactly as intended. We don't want the handful of people who attempt to abuse our policy to ruin it for everyone else.
If you paid with a cryptocurrency, the returned amount will be equal to the USD equivalent of your payment on CoinGecko.com at the time the refund is processed. The return will be made in the currency of your original order.
After You've Made a Return
Each return is inspected at our warehouse. During busy times these inspections may take a few extra days.
Refund or Credit
We will notify you by email when your refund or credit has been processed. It may take a few business days for a refund to appear in your account. This is determined by your financial institution.
If you still have questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and an advisor will be happy to help.
One of the key things we pride ourselves on is our customer service and one of the most important aspects of our customer service is getting you your product on time! But not only do we want to get it to you on time, we want to make sure we are using a reliable courier so the experience for you is the best possible. That is why we ship all of our orders with FedEX.
While couriers like USPS are tempting because of their low cost, we have found that they are not a good experience for our customers. Nobody wants their package to not be delivered and then have to spend an hour on hold with the local post office trying to get information. To that end, all of our packages are shipped signature required with FedEX to make sure your package arrives in your hands safe and sound and if there are any issues, your time isn't wasted.
However, if you are looking to ship to PO Box or APO address, we can definitely accommodate your shipping needs!
How Much Does Shipping Cost?
Shipping in the continental US is free if your order is over $100, no matter what (you do always have the choice to upgrade your shipping at checkout as well).
Canadian orders over $250 are eligible for free shipping. Duties & Taxes are not included but you can choose to pay Duties & Taxes during checkout with DHL.
Due to our vendor agreements with the brands that we carry, we are unable to ship outside of the United States or Canada.
FedEX Ground Shipping
All orders $100 or over & under $300 qualify for free FedEX Ground shipping.
FedEX 2-Day Shipping
All orders between $300 - $999,99 get free FedEX 2-Day shipping.
All orders over $1000 qualify for free FedEX Overnight shipping. Overnight shipping is covered under FedEX as the next business day. Saturday and Sunday deliveries are not part of their guaranteed overnight delivery.
All orders shipped through Headphones.com are shipped with signature required. Since most signature requirements have been suspended during COVID-19, we are shipping orders with an Adult Signature Required.
How Soon Will My Order Ship
We strive for every item we have on the website to be in stock and ready to ship the same day. So if your order is in stock and you place your order before 1pm PST, it will ship that same day.
Sometimes, we like to give our customers the opportunity to place orders on backordered items or pre-orders. In those situations, it will be clearly written on the page that the product is backordered or available for pre-order. When the item is back in stock, it will ship out with the FedEX shipping methods above.
Questions About Shipping
If you have any questions about shipping or any other concerns, always feel free to reach out to us via our Live Chat located at the bottom right corner of your screen or by E-mail at email@example.com
Paying with Cryptocurrency is easy at Headphones.com!
The simplest way to pay is by simply going through our checkout process. After entering your shipment details and choosing your preferred shipping method, you will be able to select your payment method. From there you will have the choice to pay with a variety of different cryptocurrencies.
If you don't see the currency you're looking to pay with or would prefer a manual quote, please feel free to e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help!
Payment & Security
Your payment information is processed securely. We do not store credit card details nor have access to your credit card information.