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I see many people are confused over what this cable does. If you have a device like a laptop that has an optical 3.5 mm jack then you can bypass the DAC circuitry in your device (which would probably be because your laptop DAC sounds like junk) and pass the untouched audio signal on to a better device like an external DAC, a receiver, etc.
This cable can't connect to speakers directly as speakers interpret analog signals. It must go to something that accepts the standard spdif optical plug.
This isn't a copper coax or twisted pair cable (which can be purposed for either digital or analog signals). It is made of optical glass/plastic and therefore needs to be treated with care.
Okay, last thing. The 3.5 end is confusing for some people because most 3.5 ends are used to carry analog signal only like your phone. Some laptops have 3.5 mm jacks that are dual purpose and can utilize copper cables or optical cables. If you plug in an optical cable to your laptop you will see a red light at the other end of the cable. If you don't see this light then your 3.5 mm Jack isn't equipped for sending optical signal. Don't bother troubleshooting any further. I hope this helps a few people trying to decide if this cable is what they need.
The cable itself does everything it advertises and I am pleased with it.
Ordered 2 of these. Was so impressed with the price-to-performance ratio I ordered another 2.
To be honest, these are the most standard optical cables money can buy. It's not rocket science of advanced voodoo-engineering, it's an optical fiber wrapped in a thin, opaque outer shell. The connectors are solid and fit reasonably well into all optical S/PDIF ports (it's not as tight as I would've hoped for, some cables really do require a lot of force to be popped in and out, but these stay inserted once in, so... good enough I guess) and the cables are thin, hence very low profile and easy to manage.
Some people prefer the beefier cables, the ones that are like HDMI-level thick. Believe me, it's unnecessary. Being optical cables, first and foremost it's digital (so there is no "noise" to be expected, your AV receiver/soundbar is what sets the final quality of the sound) and there can be no electrical interference (it's optical). No need to bust the bank, these 5-dollar, ridiculously thin TOSLINK cables are capable and ready.
The only drawback with going with these is Amazon's Add-on program. You'll have to order 25 dollars worth of stuff to get them delivered. I'm not necessarily dissing the Add-on program, I understand it's necessary, but it's something to look out for.