PSA: Use your computer's SPDIF connection if it has one

I’ll just come out and say it. I’m dumb. Clearly. I’ve been listening to music from my computer for ages. Longer than some of you have surfing the Internet, but I’ve never used a computer’s SPDIF connection before. It’s been on my last few primary computers, too. Instead, I’ve just been using a simple L/R Y-cable to pipe the audio into an Onkyo receiver and out to a wonderful set of Polk Audio RTi150’s.

I was always satisfied with the sound. I mean, it was nothing to write a post about. But then I added a 12 foot mini optical cable to a recent Monoprice order on a whim because it was only $3.43 and my whole world changed. Forever.

Okay, maybe that’s a bit much. My whole world didn’t really change, but this cable forced me to go back through some of my favorite albums and give them another go. It’s astonishing how much difference the cable made.

See, clearly I’m dumb. What’s even worse is that I’m an A/V junkie. I have three complete home theater setups in my house and even one in my garage. John Biggs has his watches and I have my speakers. All those systems use the very best digital or analog connections and yet I’ve been listening to my FLAC collection all this time with a weak link.

No matter. Hopefully you’ll learn from my mistake and jump over to Monoprice to place your order right now. Trust me, you’ll want to listen to The Beatles mono FLAC release all over again once you upgrade your connection. That is, of course, if you computer has a SPDIF connection. Most do these days and it usually built-into the headphone jack. Sometimes it’s labeled and sometimes it isn’t. You might want to consult Google.