One cord. Two identical ends. Looks like female end would be similar to a phone style connection but it is not for phone.

enter image description here

Black cord, two ends identical

  • \$\begingroup\$ If you shine a flashlight into one end (in a dark room), you should see light come out the other end. Very tiny dot. \$\endgroup\$
    – rdtsc
    Commented Nov 6, 2020 at 21:23

3 Answers 3


Looks like and optical SPDIF or Toslink cable.

Like this one (just as an example, not necessarily recommending this product): enter image description here


It's a digital audio cable that uses an optical link: a plastic fiberoptic cable. You can shine a light at one end and see it at the other.

This optical cable system commonly goes by the name of TOSLink (Toshiba Optical Link). TOSLink jacks are found on TVs, audio/video gear, players and some set-top boxes.

The alternative digital audio connection is called SP-DIF (for Sony-Philips Digital Interface), and uses ordinary coax video cable to carry it.

SP-DIF (coax) and TOSLink (optical) work exactly the same, and often appear side-by-side on A/V gear. This is owing to the fact that SP-DIF and TOSLink use the same channel encoding, called AES/EBU or AES3. AES3 defines a digital payload format that is flexible enough to carry a wide range of audio standards, including uncompressed stereo and popular compressed multichannel movie audio formats like Dolby AC3 and DTS.

Note: both formats are considered 'SP-DIF' by some. Industry usage has settled on TOSLink for optical and SP-DIF for the coax version. Conversion between TOSLink optical and SP-DIF coax is only a matter of converting the signal to or from optical. There is no difference in the underlying waveforms or the data payload.

For DVD/Blu-Ray players and set-top boxes, TOSLink and SP-DIF have been largely supplanted by HDMI, which merges audio with video in a multiplexed format so a separate digital path isn't needed for audio.

TVs still provide TOSLink or SP-DIF to connect to home theater systems. This comes up when the TV is the source of the audio, such as from an over-the-air tuner or an app running on the set, but has multichannel audio that needs to be sent to a sound bar or home theater amplifier.

HDMI provides an alternative, called Audio Return Channel or ARC, that does the same thing as TOSLink/SP-DIF. However, ARC isn't universally supported.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Nice answer. Good to see the technical information included. \$\endgroup\$
    – Russell McMahon
    Commented Nov 6, 2020 at 22:47

It's a Toslink cable here's another one.

It connects an SPDIF optical output (the cable conducts light, not an electrical signal!) to an SPDIF input.

It could be used to feed the optical output signal (containing audio) from a CD/DVD/BD player to an audio receiver or TV.


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