[ REVIEW ]
WHAT YOU’RE MADE OF. IS IT GLASS OR PLASTIC?
Micca Premium Optical Digital Audio Cable
Some years ago, comparing optical digital cables led us to believe those made of glass fibers outperformed those made of plastic. Most others seem to agree. Regarding these cables, also called toslink, glass > plastic. When it comes to price, that’s true as well.
So when Micca stroked our curiosity by stating, “The cable uses a 1mm single strand low-loss plastic fiber in a 5mm cable jacket. With only 0.14db/M attenuation, this cable not only outperforms many glass optic fiber cables, but is much more durable and less susceptible to damage due to bending,” we had to hear this to believe it.
What we hoped was that its advanced plastic would better our expensive glassy resident, Transparent Cable’s High Performance Toslink, an $80 cable. The Micca retails for $50, can be had for less than $10, and if you’re a bargain hunter, it has your attention like it’s gotten ahold of ours.
Maybe we’re wishful thinkers. Direct comparisons aren’t always fair fights, and so we avoid them, but Micca’s taunts all but demand a matchup. Micca established its competition for us by promising the durability of plastic and the performance of glass.
It’s a premium build, $50 of no questions here, but its sonics were no match, sounding dull, dry, and throttled. It was no different with a digital cable box, Macbook Pro, or the previous and current generations of Apple’s Airport Express. However, the news item is the gap between retail prices more than matches the difference in performance. Take $50 away from $80 and what’s left is not worth $30 in savings.
Without comparing the Micca to other plastic cables, it’s only right to judge it as evidence and example of our dealings with both technologies. For $10, all there is to say is you get the performance you pay for. Is the Transparent 8x better? Perhaps. It’s more true to say the Transparent passes our listening test, and the Micca doesn’t.
Manufacturer: Micca (miccastore.com)
Notes: For a little more, we hope to test another advanced plastic fiber design, a contender. All said, perhaps it’s time we take a closer look at brand name glass fiber cables.
"Micca. It’s no mecca."
Why the drop from $50 to $10? The market for toslink cables has fallen considerably. We think this is because toslink cannot handle the lossless versions of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. HDMI has taken on that mantle. Unfortunately, there aren’t many HDMI d/a converters, either.