Ferdinand Keil's

electronic notes

Mär 16, 2014

What's inside a cheap TOSLINK, S/PDIF to Cinch adapter


I wanted to connect my TV to my Hifi system but found it lacking an analog output. On Amazon.de I stumbled upon this cheap audio DAC, converting a TOSLINK input to line level stereo outputs. About 17 EUR shipped sounded reasonable to me, so I ordered it right away. However at that price (including a wall plug) I was curious what components are inside this thing. So you know how Dave Jones says, don't turn it on, turn it apart!

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The magic is obviously happening on the bottom side of the board. You can find a high resolution scan of it below. The main ICs are both Cirrus Logic parts: the CS8416 192 kHz digital audio receiver and the CS4344 24-bit, 192 kHz stereo DAC. As both parts support sample rates up to 192 kHz the device likely exceeds its spec of 96 kHz. The DAC features a dynamic range of 105 dB and -90 dB THD+N, which should be good enough for my purposes. There also is an LDO and some passives. The soldering looks rather good, at least for the price. The board layout is also reasonable, analog and digital parts are somewhat separated, the digital lines going to the DAC have series resistors, the DAC's outputs even got protection diodes.


I've used the device for more than a week now and I'm quite pleased with it's performance. It's compact size makes it easy to hide it behind the TV. In a next step I'll build a USB-to-barrel-plug adapter to power it from one of the TV's USB ports. That way it will be turned on and off together with the TV.