Everything You Need to Know About the SPDIF Connection


SPDIF, also written as S/PDIF, stands for Sony/Phillips Digital Interface, and is an interface to transmit digital audio. In this tutorial, we will explain everything you need to know about this interface, including when and how to use it.

Digital audio means that the audio signal is transmitted encoded in a series of 0s and 1s instead of being transmitted in analog format. This makes audio have higher fidelity, because no noise will be added to the audio signal. Therefore, it is always better to transmit audio in digital format.

Currently, there are two consumer-level interfaces to transmit audio in digital format: SPDIF and HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface). SPDIF transmits only audio, but HMDI also carries digital video signal.

If HDMI is a more “complete” interface, why should you use SPDIF? It’s because not all audio/video equipment has an HDMI output available. For example, a professional-grade CD player or a MiniDisc deck will have an SPDIF output available, but not an HDMI, since this equipment doesn’t produce video, only audio. Also, in certain situations (which we will talk about in the next page), you will need to carry video using the HDMI interface but audio using an SPDIF connection. Also, SPDIF cables and connectors are very thin, while HDMI cables and connectors are bulky, since they have more wires inside.

Let’s talk about when the SPDIF connection is to be used.

Hot Deals

Author: Gabriel Torres

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.

Share This Post On
Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our website.

You have been added to our newsletter!