Can Optical audio Cables Go Bad?

Do optical audio cables go bad?

The thought of optical audio cables going bad is something we’ve heard before.

There seems to be a lot of confusion on what can actually go wrong with an optical audio cable.

In general, optical audio cables can go bad. They are the most likely to develop an issue in the home because they are usually running much longer distance’s then that of a standard RCA or Coaxial cable.

Optical audio cables are typically used when you have a surround sound system set up, with all the components located in different areas of your room. Optical audio cables can also be used for HDTVs, HD-DVD players, DVD players, etc.

You may be asking yourself, “How can an optical audio cable go bad and how long does it take for optical audio cables to go bad?”

The most common form of damage to an optical audio cable is actually moisture getting inside the casing (which compromises the internal components). Moisture can also develop corrosion on your prongs or ends which can lead to complete failure.

So what do you look for? Can you see any damage, or moisture?

Unfortunately, you don’t usually know until it’s too late and your optical audio cable has already failed. You can try looking at the ends of your cable where you plug in your components, but that won’t give you a clear indication if the cable is still good or not.

In general, moisture within the casing usually causes a major malfunction of your optical audio cable, whereas moisture at either end usually causes problems with sound quality.

In some cases corrosion on both ends can cause problems with transmitting sound from point A to point B as well as signal loss.

Overall, an optical audio cable can go bad, causing a myriad of problems including sound quality and transmission issues. How moisture affects the optical audio cable is mostly determined by where it’s located, for example: moisture inside the casing usually causes a complete failure of your optical audio cable whereas moisture at either end can cause problems with sound quality or signal loss.

Generally, a new optical cable will not just fail unless something has been done to it or something has occurred to it that has caused the cable to become bad.

The majority of the time, an optical audio cable will be broken if it is used inappropriately, which includes repetitive plugging and unplugging operations.

When handling cables, it is important to be aware of your actions and to ensure that you do not handle them wrongly in order to extend the life of your optical audio cables.

Optical audio cables vary from other types of audio cables in that they do not include any metals in their construction, which makes them unique. Because of its construction, you will not have to be concerned about suffering any rust-related difficulties in the future

Metals, on the other hand, can also be included the manufacturing of other optical audio cables by some manufacturers. Such fiber optic cables are susceptible to rusting.

Another distinction is that these cables are more sensitive to crimping and splicing at the ends. As a result, even a little pinch may cause damage to an optical connection.

What causes Optical Audio Cables to Go bad?

It should also be mentioned that your optical audio cables may become faulty with time; however, there are various strategies to avoid this from occurring. As previously said, the majority of the time, an optical audio cable will fail or wear out as a result of being continuously disturbed.

Always make sure you keep your cables safe. They must be placed where people can easily step on them. Another thing to keep in mind is to ensure that your cables are properly sealed, as changes in temperature or leaks are both factors that may cause your cables to become bad. Doing so will assist you to guarantee that your cable lasts for a longer period of time.

Some of the cable’s components, such as the connectors, might corrode. If you are changing your optical audio cables, it is possible that some of the cables have been damaged and must be handled with care.

The following are the specific reasons why cables might fail, as explained in further detail.

Mishandling. The most common cause for your cables to fail is that they are constantly being disturbed. For example, if you are setting up your cables and they need to be plugged in and out repeatedly, the cables may quickly get worn out and need to be replaced.

In a similar vein, if the cables have been ignored for an extended period of time, for example, if they are stretched over the floor or are always hanging about, they are susceptible to damage and failure.

Faulty Manufacturing. Another reason why fiber optic cables may degrade over time is due to manufacturing flaws that might occur. Using inexpensive and optical audio cables that are not durable, for example, increases the likelihood of their wearing down and becoming faulty over time. Make certain that you choose long-lasting optical audio cables from reputable vendors.

Bending. No matter whether the cables are bent to bundle them up or to keep them wrapped around the wall, the optical audio cables may get pinched, and as a result, they will give less signal, and in some cases, no signal at all when the cables are bent.

Age. The likelihood of your fiber optic cables failing is high if they are just old and worn out. The reason for this is that they have been there for a long period of time and have been exposed to a variety of situations that may lead them to become feeble.


Optical audio cables will not go bad if they are correctly handled. Mishandling, on the other hand, may actually cause the optical audio cables to become faulty. In order to get the most out of your cable, it is important to ensure that it is maintained secure and that it is not touched frequently.

This implies that you won’t have to constantly plug in and disconnect your optical audio cables; instead, once they’re hooked in, they should remain that way for a period of time.

If there aren’t enough input channels available, you may additionally have to purchase a switch. Keeping your optical audio cables orderly and out of the way may also help to avoid individuals from stumbling over them in their daily activities. 

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