So you just bought your new soundbar and you are now wondering what does D.In mean on the soundbar. Well, you’re not alone. In this guide, you can expect to learn the following:
- What the D.In on the soundbar mean
- How does the Digital optical input work?
- How to connect a soundbar to TV
- Devices that have optical input connection
- digital input vs HDMI: What you need to know
- And more…
What Does D.In Mean on the Soundbar?
The “D.In”, “Digital”, “D.in” on a soundbar means digital input. The digital input is also known as a digital optical input. Its purpose is to send the digital audio signal from the source to the speaker over a fiber optic cable.
The digital audio signal is a representation of the sound recorded in or converted into a digital form. Digital audio is also the name for the entire technology of sound recording and reproduction using audio signals that have been recorded in a digital form.
This port is mostly labeled digital input, D.In, D.in, or digital optical input on your soundbar and will always require you to use the digital optical cable to make the optical audio connection. Its capabilities and inputs are different from HDMI ( High Definition Multimedia Interface), HMDI-ARC, or coaxial inputs.
How Does the Digital Optical Input Work?
The digital input is usually located at the back of the soundbar. As this input port is mostly found on soundbars, if you wish to connect it, you will need to get a digital optical cable to make a connection between your soundbar and other appliances.
In case you dont have a digital optical cable, you can get this BlueRigger Premium Digital Optical cable on Amazon to make the connection.
These digital optical cables are can sometimes be referred to as Digital Optical, SPDIF, or even Toslink and these names can often be used interchangeably.
The main feature is that they all have a square-like connector in place that clicks into place when connected. Just be careful to not damage it as it can easily bend because of its fragility.
The main purpose of the digital input is to receive any digital audio signal from any component to your soundbar. These appliances include; the TV, smart home device, speakers, video game console, and others.
This will enable you to hear the audio from your TV, music, games, etc through the soundbar.
How to Connect a Soundbar to TV
How to connect your TV and Soundbar will depend on the connection ports they have available.
Check your devices and then connect accordingly.
Generally, connecting the soundbar to the TV doesn’t require any technical knowledge. The manual usually has instructions on it on how to connect the soundbar to the TV.
Here is a complete guide on how to connect to a soundbar to a TV with an HDMI cable.
But in case you are in want, here are simple steps to help you connect your soundbar to the TV.
- First of all, you need to have a working digital optical cable to enable you to make the connection. If you dont have one, at the beginning of this guide, I recommended one of the optical cables there.
- With the cable look for the digital audio out port on the TV. This is the port one end of the cable will be connected to and the other end to the digital input on the soundbar. This will enable you to receive digital audio signals from the TV to the soundbar. Look for that characteristic square-ish connector.
- Plug both sides of the cable to the digital audio port of your soundbar — the ‘Optical In’ and on the television, the ‘Optical Out’.
- Switch on your devices.
- Set your soundbar to digital input using the source button on your remote. The display will likely show D-IN on the front of the panel of the soundbar.
- If no audio was established after the above connection, check your TV audio system. You may need to turn off the TV’s native speakers in the settings and direct it to the soundbar through the digital input.
Devices that have Digital Optical Input Connection
Digital optical input connection options are typically included in the new versions on the following appliances.
- DVD players
- Video game consoles
- Blu-Ray players
- Select stereo receivers
- Satellite/cable boxes
- Select CD players
- Media streamers
- Home theater receivers
- Media streamers
Digital Input vs HDMI: What You Need to Know
Back in the days, if you needed to make an audio and video connection between devices, you would need a coaxial cable to use an RG6 coax cable to do so.
But telecommunication is advancing and better ways of connecting audio and video signals to devices have come. There is now the option of choosing between a digital input and an HDMI connection.
While Coax and HDMI carry both the audio and video signal, either one of them might be used “upstream” of the soundbar to get content on your screen. Then, an optical cable can be used in parallel to connect the audio source to the soundbar.
Now that you are aware that both digital input and HDMI ports can transfer audio content from one device to another. You might be wondering which is better to use.
To start with, the major difference between the two is that the HDMI cable is able to transfer high-resolution audio and video as well. If you have an HDMI-ARC built-in on your soundbar and TV, you should connect the audio and video via HDMI cable.
With HDMI cables, you are able to transmit both video and audio, thereby reducing the need to use another cable. It’s cost-effective to just purchase an HDMI cable than to buy two separate cables in order to utilize the digital input.
Digital optical cables use fiber optic technology to transmit the signals in the form of light and the signal ensures fewer losses compared to the copper wires. HDMI cables dont use this technology but for short runs of cable, the quality difference isn’t super substantial unless you are a dedicated audiophile.
With cables, the longer they are, there more losses the signal may encounter because of resistance within the cables. Length may not be important to you but in case you have to make a choice between long and short cable, always choose the shortest cable that will make the connection possible.
Final Thoughts on What D.In Mean on Soundbar
The digital input as you have seen above enables you to receive the digital audio signal from a TV or other devices using the digital optical cable. So you simply connect it as the digital in port with the cable to the digital audio out port.