The PlayStation 5 is the first Sony console since the PS1 to come without optical audio out. For many users, the lack of a TOSLINK connection isn’t a concern. Still, for those who want to use multiple audio outputs, it’s quite the handicap. Many high-end gaming headsets for last-gen consoles use optical out, which leaves PS5 owners out to dry.
Fortunately, there’s an alternative to using optical audio with the PS5. However, it’s not without a caveat.
How to use optical audio with PS5
It is possible to use optical audio output with the PS5. However, users will need to purchase a separate device to make this possible. An HDMI audio extractor sits between the console and TV and outputs the sound to a standard optical audio port. This allows players to get audio from both the HDMI out port on the extractor and the optical port.
However, there are some drawbacks to using an HDMI audio extractor to get optical audio out from the PS5. There are no HDMI 2.1 extractors on the market, which will limit the PS5 to HDMI 2.0. The console doesn’t currently use any HDMI 2.1 specific features, like VRR and ALLM, so this isn’t a huge deal, but it could be in the future. Additionally, users might run into EDID issues and have trouble with getting surround sound to work depending on what model of TV and/or AVR they’re using.
If a user has a headset or older A/V receiver without HDMI support they want to keep using; optical audio is likely the only option. An HDMI audio extractor like this will allow users to keep [email protected] and HDR10, but cheaper ones will be limited to HDMI 1.4, which means they won’t be able to use their PS5 to its fullest potential. As HDMI 2.1 becomes more common, more advanced audio extractors will likely become available. For now, even the best models only support HDMI 2.0.