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ADAT vs SPDIF – Differences & Better

Audio connection protocols like ADAT and SPIDF are used to link audio between various devices. Although each is superior under specific circumstances, both are accepted and widely utilized in audio systems around the world. The key distinction is that SPIDF only supports two audio channels, whereas ADAT supports eight.

What Is ADAT?

Alesis introduced ADAT as a product in 1992. The early ADAT recorders could sync up to 8 additional ADAT machines and record 8 channels, giving them a total of 128 potential tracks. Although earlier machines could synchronize, Alesis was the first to offer this with sample-accurate timing. In the 1990s, the price of this equipment, which was $295 less than that of competitors, greatly contributed to the explosive growth of audio studios.

Today, ADAT is a common digital audio connection. The makers of audio interfaces use it the most frequently. They enhance the amount of inputs available to consumers by adding ADAT ports to their audio interfaces. The number of mic inputs compatible with your DAW can be increased from two to ten if you purchase a multi-channel mic preamp with an ADAT output in addition to an inexpensive audio interface with only two mic inputs.

What Is SPDIF?

A consumer audio connection standard called SPDIF is used to send digital audio signals in a variety of forms. 44.1 kHz and 48 kHz are the most often used formats. The original word clock can be retrieved from the audio signal using SPDIF, which has no set bit rate. Both SPDIF optical and SPDIF coaxial connections are supported by the SPDIF connection standard.

Mini Optical and TOSLINK connections are two different types of connectors that can be used with SPDIF optical cables. With low signal attenuation, SPDIF optical enables immunity to electrical RF interference and ground loops, enabling connections over distances of up to 50m.

ADAT vs SPDIF – What are the differences?

While ADAT is an 8-channel standard made for optical communication, SPDIF is a two-channel protocol made for electrical transmission. The SPDIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interconnect Format) sample rate is independent of the sample rate, while ADAT’s sample rate is 48kHz/44.1kHz. The master clock is incorporated in the protocol and recovered by the receiving end.

ADAT vs SPDIF – Which is better?

The choice is yours, however both ought to function in the majority of circumstances. Since ADAT offers 8 channels as opposed to 2 channels, it is superior for use with more equipment and various devices. However, SPDIF is more resilient and less prone to interference, therefore thus might perform better in a live setting.