Get familiar with the following
list of audio/video plugs and jacks. And refer to
premium audio/video cables as 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-Type, 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 can include Ethernet and an audio
return channel. The Type-A plug and jack remains the
same for all versions of HDMI.
5-way Binding Post & Banana
The 5-way binding post
is the most common speaker jack found on receivers, integrated
amplifiers, power amplifiers, and speakers. 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 S/PDIF 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 bars.
Note: If given the digital option
of Toslink or 75-ohm coax, choose the 75-ohm coax
interconnect. It generally delivers improved
In addition, many current
computers include 3.5mm optical jacks. You may find need for a
Toslink to 3.5mm optical adapter or cable.
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 product with USB jacks
include TVs, game consoles, streaming players, BluRay players,
AV receivers, and AV preamps.
USB Type-C replaces USB Type-A
interconnects. The USB Type-C connector is a reversible
double-sided rotational design plug & jack/port.
It eliminates the up/down
orientation issue of of Type-A.
The XLR plug and jack is typical
of a commercial audio product. But it is also a staple
of audiophile analog and AES3 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
the price. In addition, the source and the playback
device must support the codec.