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Belkin PureAV Digital Optical Audio Cable with Mini-Toslink Adapter

Digital audio cable and mini-Toslink adapter By Dave Nagel
Summary: Belkin's PureAV is, simply, an adapter for mini-Toslink plugs that allows you to connect with home theater and other components that use full Toslink optical connectors. If you have a MacBook, MacBook Pro or recent iMac, your computer is equipped with at least one mini-Toslink plug. So the Belkin PureAV will allow you to experience the true potential of sound from your Mac by allowing you to connect up to an AV receiver with optical connections.
Manufacturer: Belkin (http://www.belkin.com)
Platform: Any system that has a mini-Toslink plug, including MacBook, MacBook Pro and recent iMac.
Price: $30, lower at several online stores
Users: Consumer laptop users, creative professionals, graphic designers, audio professionals
Recommendation: Strong Buy

If you have a MacBook, MacBook Pro or recent iMac or Mac Mini, your computer is equipped with at least one optical digital audio port. Trouble is, on these machines, that port is a mini-Toslink plug, rather than a standard Toslink plug. So in order to connect up with other digital audio devices (such as an AV receiver), you need an adapter. Enter Belkin with its PureAV Digital Optical Audio Cable with Mini-Toslink Adapter.

Now, the PureAV isn't anything new; but, since I'm new to mini-Toslink, I figure it's a good time to review this unit, as it's already come in handy on a number of occasions when I've used my MacBook in conjunction with my home theater equipment.


Features
The Belkin PureAV Digital Optical Audio Cable with Mini-Toslink Adapter includes two components: a mini-Toslink adapter (male mini-Toslink to female Toslink) and a six-foot digital optical cable with standard (male-male) Toslink connectors.



With these two components, you can connect your Mac with a mini-Toslink plug to any device that has standard Toslink inputs or outputs. And this is a broad range of devices indeed. The most common are, of course, home theater systems and AV receivers. When you use the Belkin adapter and cable, you can not only improve the quality of the audio coming out of your machine dramatically (compared with the built-in analog line out), but you also gain the ability to use your Mac as a full multimedia hub, including surround sound via Apple's DVD player software. (You can actually use DVD Player to pass digital audio, including Dolby Digital and DTS, through the optical audio port and to your receiver, where it's actually decoded.)

In addition, there's a small number of semi-pro audio devices that themselves have Toslink out ports, so you can use this adapter for input into your MacBook, MacBook Pro or Mac Mini from devices like those.



The one negative about this set is that it comes with only one mini-Toslink adapter, so if you have two devices that each have mini-Toslink plugs, you'll need to buy two of these. I don't, so it's not a problem.

Quality
There's little to say about the quality of the PureAV Digital Optical Audio Cable with Mini-Toslink Adapter. Belkin components are, for the most part (though not entirely) superb. And this device bolsters that reputation. The grips are non-slip rubber; the cable jacket is superior in some respects (particularly flexibility, despite its girth) to expensive optical cables I've used in the past; the fiber itself is high-grade, and I've had no problems whatsoever with it; and the mini-Toslink connector is light and fits snugly in the MacBook's plug and doesn't seem to tug at it (unlike some audio connectors I've used in the past, which have actually caused problems with my audio ports).



Value
At $30 (or less, if you buy it someplace other than the Apple Store), the PureAV Digital Optical Audio Cable with Mini-Toslink Adapter is a great value. Not only do you get an adapter for your mini-Toslink port, but you get a very high-quality, six-foot optical cable with standard Toslink connectors. The cable alone, at six feet, sells for about $25. So $5 more for the mini-Toslink adapter is a bargain.

The bottom line
I can't help but recommend the PureAV Digital Optical Audio Cable with Mini-Toslink Adapter. It's a high-quality optical fiber cable with Toslink connectors and a high-quality mini-Toslink adapter for $30 or less. And, unlike many cheaper adapters, this one comes with a lifetime warranty. I use mine all the time, and I couldn't be happier with it. I give it a Strong Buy recommendation.

The PureAV Digital Optical Audio Cable with Mini-Toslink Adapter is available at prices ranging from $12 to $30. For more information, visit http://www.belkin.com.



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Related Keywords:mini-toslink, toslink, adapter, digital audio, optical, belkin, macbook, macbook pro, imac, mac mini

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