Interfacing AES3 and S/PDIF

by Dennis Bohn at Rane

This article help you understand the differences between AES3 and S/PDIF, acronyms, standards and much more.

  • Initials, Acronyms & Standards
  •  AES3(AES/EBU) & S/PDIF Differences
  • AES-3id Variation
  • Conversion Cautions
  • Converting AES3, AES-3id & S/PDIF

Mainstream digital audio dates from the introduction of the compact disc in the early ’80s, making it about twenty years old. Today two serial interfaces coexist: AES3 (aka AES/EBU) for professional use and S/PDIF for consumer products. Simple low-cost passive conversion between them is possible — even easy — but it is also filled with cautions. The old rule that direct connection between AES/EBU and S/PDIF equipment is bad practice is relaxed today with new receiver chips tolerant to either interface. With that said, let’s explore this tangled nest.

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