The term "Toslink" is used to describe a form of optical digital interconnect which was originally developed by Toshiba Corporate for interconnection of their consumer digital audio equipment. The physical format was later adopted by other manufacturers for similar stereo PCM applications, as well as multichannel and surround formats.
Toslink is a registered trademark of the Toshiba Corporation and was originally developed to connect their CD players to their receivers. Other CD player manufacturers quickly adopted the format as it offered the advantage of eliminating the possibility of interference caused by interconnection of “grounds” in unbalanced electronic devices.
When Alesis developed their multichannel ADAT format for recording digital audio, they adapted the interconnect format for multi-channel transmission. Other digital audio equipment manufacturers continue to use the ADAT Lightpipe standard as a low cost solution for interconnection of multi-channel equipment such as computer digital audio interfaces and multi-channel converter units or digital consoles. DVD players use a similar connection for surround as well as stereo connections.
A Toslink interconnect is a type of fiber optic interconnect with JIS F05 type connectors on both ends. The format of the signal is the same as the electrical S-PDIF format for transmission of stereo digital audio.
Variations include an optical interconnect “adapter” in the form of an F05 connector on one end and a “mini-headphone” shaped 3.5mm plug on the other end. This would typically be used with an Apple computers that provide an optical digital audio connection as well as an electrical headphone output using a form of “combo connector” that accepts either wired headphone plugs or the 3.5 mm optical connection.
Because other formats use similar physical connections, it is also possible that a piece of equipment with F05 connections can transmit or receive signals that are not compatible with S-PDIF because they are multi-channel formats. Two examples are ADAT lightpipe common to digital audio equipment used in recording, and surround format used for DVD video applications.
Equipment manufactured by Lavry Engineering only accepts or transmits stereo digital audio signals (S-PDIF/IEC 60958 type II). If you are experiencing problems when connecting to Lavry equipment to/from equipment made by other manufacturers; please check that the settings of the other equipment is not for ADAT or a surround format before contacting technical support.