For the audiophiles out there, the graphical immersion of the audio immersion of a game is as important as its graphical immersion.
As such one question, however, that has been reverberating through the audiophile gamers is: “Does the PS5 have an optical port?”
Unfortunately, the short and simple answer is a no, PS5 DOES NOT have an optical port. This can be a huge bummer, particularly for those who wished for interfacing their high-end audio equipment with the PS5.
But in the following text, I will take a deeper dive into the question by exploring the importance of an optical port and why PS5 has omitted it.
PS5 and its Output Ports
The following image shows all of the output ports on its back panel:
So you can see 2 x USB Type-A ports, one ethernet (LAN) port, one HDMI (2.1) port, and a power port.
On the front of the console, you can find 1 x USB Type-C port and 1 x USB Type-A port.
Nowhere in the array of connectivity, you can find an optical port.
So Does the PS5 Have an Optical Port?
When the PS5 was revealed, gamers worldwide waited with bated breath for the full specification sheet.
Each component was scrutinized, celebrated, and in some cases, mourned. The optical port, to many audio enthusiasts’ disappointment, didn’t make the cut.
So in simple terms, no, the PS5 does not have an optical port. The optical port has been a staple in previous PlayStation models so opting it out for this console was quite a surprise:
Why PS5 has Excluded the Optical Port (Possible Reasons)?
While we cannot be 100% certain (since there is no official statement on this by Sony), we can perhaps speculate as to why Sony has chosen not to include optical port on their newest gen console.
HDMI and eARC
For starters, we know that the tech world is increasingly gravitating towards HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) for transmitting both audio and video signals.
The HDMI 2.1 port, which the PS5 does include, is capable of delivering high-quality audio, often negating the need for a separate optical port.
One of the notable advancements in audio technologies introduced by HDMI 2.1 is the Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC).
This technology not only simplifies connectivity but also provides high-bitrate audio formats, uncompressed 5.1 and 7.1, 32-channel uncompressed audio, and support for DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS:X, Dolby, TrueHD, Dolby Atmos.
HDMI has therefore become synonymous with high-quality audio making optical ports obsolete.
Wireless Audio Becoming More Mainstream
Secondly, the trend in gaming has been steadily moving towards wireless technology, and audio equipment is no exception.
More and more gamers are using wireless headsets and soundbars which connect via Bluetooth and don’t require an optical port.
They offer flexibility, convenience, and top-notch audio, making the optical port, again, quite obsolete.
So it all boils down to the economics of it all. Due to the reasons above, we can safely assume that an optical port would ONLY cater to a very small percentage of the gamers out there.
Hence, this port can be quite unfrugal as not only would it add to the manufacturing cost, but also the vast majority of the gamers would have to pay for it (due to the added cost of the console) without ever using it.
The Work Around Solution: Use an Audio Extractor (HDMI to Optical)
For the gamers out there who ABSOLUTELY need to use an optical port for connecting their old or legacy high-quality audio equipment to PS5, there is a workaround solution using devices called HDMI Audio Extractor.
An audio extractor, as the name suggests, is a device that separates or “extracts” audio signals from an HDMI feed. This device can be a saving grace for those who have a sound system that requires an optical connection.
Of course, you will have to pay for these separately, but this is how they work:
- Choosing an Extractor: There are a plethora of HDMI audio extractors available on the market, each with its own set of capabilities. Make sure to select an extractor that supports HDMI 2.1 to align with the PS5’s specifications.
- Connecting the PS5 to the Extractor: Connect the HDMI cable from your PS5 to the HDMI input on the audio extractor.
- Linking the Extractor to the Display: Connect another HDMI cable from the HDMI output on the audio extractor to your TV or display.
- Making the Optical Connection: Now, for the part we’ve all been waiting for. Connect an optical cable from the optical output on the audio extractor to the optical input on your audio device (e.g., soundbar or AV receiver).
- Setting Up the PS5: Finally, navigate to the PS5’s audio settings and ensure that the correct format is selected. You may also need to adjust the audio format settings on your display to ensure that everything is in sync.
This following video gives you a detailed tutorial on how to make HDMI Audio Extractor to work with your PS5.
Keep in mind, this solution may not be ideal for everyone as some may prefer to explore wireless or HDMI eARC options.
But for those committed to their optical sound systems, this workaround can keep their old audio equipment still relevant with peak performance on PS5.
In this article I took a comprehensive look at the question “Does the PS5 have an optical port?” by exploring its built-in features, why PS5 lacks an optical port, and the possible workaround solution.
I hope this article helped you find your way across for connecting your audio equipment to PS5.