AV Rookies, get familiar with the
following list of audio/video plugs and jacks. Plus,
from this point forward, do not refer to premium audio/video
interconnects as patch-cables. They are interconnects
with deservedly premium performance pricing. If
necessary, refer back to the previous page for
reinforcement. Next, for clarity, let's define the plug
and the jack.
The plug is the male connector attached to an interconnect or
speaker cable. The jack is the female port mounted on AV
product. Prevailing audio and video plug/jack types
include HDMI, 5-way binding post, banana, single-end RCA,
Toslink, RJ-45, F, and USB.
HDMI Type-A plugs and jacks
support 8K-UHD, UltraHDTV, HDTV, EDTV, and SDTV televisions,
projectors, AV receivers, preamps, distribution/switching
devices, and source components. HDMI transports digital
audio, digital video, and encryption data. Optional use
includes the Ethernet and audio return channel. The
Type-A plug and jack remains the same for all versions of
5-way Binding Post & Banana
The 5-way binding post is the
most common speaker jack found on receivers, integrated
amplifiers, and power amplifiers. The 5-way post accepts
banana plugs, spades, bare looped wire, straight bare
wire, and pin attached to straight bare wire.
The single-ended RCA is the
universal plug and jack of analog devices, which includes the
turntable, tape recorder, DVD/CD analog outputs, VCR, and
LaserDisc. It also connects 75 Ohm digital audio outputs
and inputs. This includes the CD player/transport, DVD
player, and digital to analog converter.
Toslink is an optical digital
plug and jack included in AV receivers, televisions, and sound
Note: If given the digital
option of Toslink or 75-ohm coax, choose the 75-ohm coax
interconnect. It generally delivers improved
The RJ-45 plug and jack connect
CAT-6 cable with digital devices typically attached to
Hardwired CAT-6 cable provides better bandwidth, stability,
and security than WiFi.
The F-Type plug and jack connect
RG-6 75 Ohm coax cable to antennas, TVs, satellite receivers,
cable boxes, and FM tuners.
USB Type-A plug & jack
supports all USB versions. USB version 3.0 plugs/jacks
are often colored blue. Previous versions are
black. Regarding the word jack -- computer folks refer
to jacks as ports. Although all versions use the same
plug and 'port', version 3.0 has nine pins versus four pins of
earlier versions. AV versions include game consoles,
'smart' TVs, streaming players, BluRay players, AV receivers,
and AV preamps.
The XLR plug and jack is typical
of a commercial audio product. But it is also a staple
of audiophile analog and digital components.
Many audiophile components employ balanced active differential
circuits to reduce noise via a XLR plug and jack.
The balanced feature can significantly improve the audio
performance if paired with components of corresponding
HDMI Type-C also referred to as
mini-HDMI, is commonly found in smart phones, cameras,
camcorders, and tablets. Type-C can connect to AV Type-A
terminated product with a Type A-to-C cable or adapter.
There are about 100
different types of fiber optic terminating plugs and
jacks. There are also many types of fiber optic
cables. Base selection of cable, plugs, and jacks on
manufacturer's fiber optic product specifications.
Bluetooth is a 'wireless
interconnect' between devices such as a smartphone and nearby
AV system. Think of Bluetooth as a dedicated
interconnect as opposed to long-range WiFi that interacts with
a plethora of devices.
Lossless APTxHD 24bit
@ 576 kbps
Lossless APTxAdaptive 96kHx.
For general lossy compressed audio select APTx.
If the audio source is lossless, HiRez, or MQA, then consider
APTxHD or APTxAdaptive.
But listen to confirm the difference, and then consider