How to Connect an SPDIF Audio Device to a Computer

Written by david lipscomb Google
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How to Connect an SPDIF Audio Device to a Computer
Connecting a S/PDIF audio device to a computer requires a single cable. (soun card image by TEA from

S/PDIF, short for "Sony/Philips Digital Interconnect Format," is an optical or digital coaxial connection that transmits digital data bitstreams from one electronic device to another. Since the data requires decoding, the quality of sound is determined not by the sending device but rather the decoding unit. For users of PCs wanting to connect their S/PDIF audio output to an external device, this news is welcome, given that the sound card only needs to be of reasonable quality.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • S/PDIF-equipped PC
  • S/PDIF-equipped receiving device
  • Optical or digital coaxial cable
  • Monitor
  • Mouse

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  1. 1

    Access the rear of the PC and receiving device. Locate the standard audio inputs and outputs, either optical or digital coax. Optical ports are typically grey or black doors or plugs, while digital coax RCA ports are black or orange.

  2. 2

    Connect the proper wire from the PC's output to the receiving device's input. Observe the shape of the optical cable's tip if in use, to ensure a proper fit and avoid damage to the optical port's opening.

  3. 3

    Click on the "Start" button at the lower left of the screen. Click on the "Control Panel" icon.

  4. 4

    Click on the "Sounds, Speech, and Audio Devices" icon. Click the "Advanced" button under the "Device Volume" header and icon.

  5. 5

    Click on "Advanced" once more when the slider window appears. Tick the "Enable SPDIF" box to enable the S/PDIF output on the PC.

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