iArkPower HDMI Audio Extractor Review

iArkPower HDMI Audio Extractor Review
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An HDMI audio extractor is an essential and handy tool for enhancing audio and video entertainment systems. Although it comes in a small size, it has many useful functions.

Basically, an audio extractor splits the audio from an HDMI signal and converts it to match with older technology, so you don’t have to buy newer media devices. One of the most efficient HDMI devices today is the iArkPower HDMI Audio Extractor.

iArkPower HDMI Audio Extractor

Compared to an optical digital-audio connection, the HDMI can transmit audio with higher resolution, including the formats on a Blu-ray such as DTS HD Master Audio and Dolby True HD. It can also pass video signals.

This means that in an iArkPower HDMI Audio Extractor, you can switch between two devices aside from other functionalities. The best thing about it is it allows you to connect old devices, such as stereo speakers and mini projectors without an audio jack, to digital TVs and speakers.

Notable Features

What makes the iArkPower HDMI Audio Extractor stand out among the other HDMI cables are the features elaborated below:

  • Construction

The iArkPower HDMI Audio Extractor comes in a small, rectangular shape with dimensions 5.9 by 4.8 by 2.3 inches. It weighs 9.6 ounces. This unit conveniently fits in between devices to save space.

Among its ports are one HDMI input and output, one RCA L/R audio output, and an optical SPDIF output. The metal casing of the iArkPower HDMI Audio Extractor enhances heat dispersal and maintains the unit’s longevity.

This unit works by extracting the digital audio inside the HDMI source and transmits through the optical SPDIF (up to 5.1 Dolby Digital and DTS) or 2CH RCA L/R stereo analog. However, the HDMI ports of TVs do not send out the signal, so it does not work with this unit’s HDMI “in” port.

  • Audio Settings

The iArkPower HDMI Audio Extractor has three audio EDID settings: 2CH mode, 5.1CH mode, and PASS mode. The 2C mode allows the AHE01 to extract digital 2CH PCM audio from the HDMI and translates it to 2CH analog stereo output via the RCA L/R port.

On the 5.1CH mode, you experience the 5.1 digital surround sounds. The SPDIF optical port transfers the audio input with formats up to 5.1CH Dolby Digital and DTS. However, it does not support 5.1CH PCM, 5.1 Dolby Digital Plus, and above.

The PASS mode allows digital audio conversion for 5.1/7.1CH PCM, Dolby TrueHD, and Dolby Digital Plus, and above.

  • Compatibility

The iArkPower HDMI Audio Extractor works perfectly with amplifiers, sound bars, and receivers without an HDMI input. As a premium HDMI audio extractor, it supports 3D TV, full HD 1080P, and 35-bit deep color with synch sound.

It is compatible with different HDMI source devices that don’t have a dedicated audio output, such as Chromecast, Blu-ray/DVD player, Roku, cable box, Apple TV, PS3/4, Xbox, HD camera, and more.

  • Package and Warranty

When you buy the iArkPower HDMI Audio Extractor package, you get one HDMI audio extractor converter, five-volt power adapter, a user’s manual, and a one-year warranty. At a reasonable price, it comes in a package that includes all the essential accessories.

Pros

  • Wide compatibility
  • Versatile transmission
  • Comes with 100- to 240-volt power adapter
  • HDMI “out” port supports 50-foot length transmission
  • HDMI “in” port supports 30-foot length transmission
  • Works well with Samsung TV without audio out
  • Modest price
  • One-year warranty included
  • Well-engineered design to prevent overheating

Cons

  • Not compatible with TV’s HDMI ports
  • More expensive than other units

Summary of the Features

The iArkPower HDMI Audio Extractor is an excellent HDMI unit that can extract digital audio in the HDMI sources and can output via stereo analog or optical SPDIF. It works perfectly with the latest devices such as the Xbox, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and other HDMI-source devices without a dedicated audio output.

The three audio settings make the iArkPower HDMI Audio Extractor versatile. It can convert digital audio to analog stereo sound, support the incoming digital audio formats, and transmit the Dolby Digital Plus and above sounds.

Durability-wise, the unit comes in a solid built with metal casing to allow desirable heat dissipation.

Comparison with Another HDMI Audio Extractor

With the abovementioned features, advantages, and minor drawbacks, the iArkPower HDMI Audio Extractor seems like an excellent device for your audio transmission and conversion needs. However, it might not be everybody’s cup of tea.

Some users want a cheaper alternative with functionalities almost similar to the iArkPower’s. One good product to consider is the Arector HDMI Converter.

Arector HDMI Converter

This is a portable HDMI to HDMI audio SPDIF + R/L converter that connects any HD source to a single HD display. It also comes with additional L+R and SPDIF audio out ports. As it can support 24-bit, 30-bit, and 36-bit deep video color formats, it can function well with Blu-ray, Xbox, PS4, and other latest devices.

Similar to the iArkPower HDMI Audio Extractor, this Arector HDMI Converter also has three audio EDID settings: the Pass, 2CH, and 5.1Ch. It comes in a smaller size and is made with sturdy metal casing without causing any signal interference.

Although the Arector has notable features and comes at a more affordable price, it has more limitations than the iArkPower HDMI Audio Extractor. The Arector unit doesn’t work with HDMI splitter and switch, HDMI audio return channel (ARC), and 4K/2K @60Hz.

Verdict

Keep in mind while comparing various HDMI audio extractors that these are not merely passive splitters. They are, in fact, powered equipment. They come with varying features, which are essential to examine. If you are looking for a true sound, the best choice is the iArkPower HDMI Audio Plus.

There is a wide selection of HDMI audio extractors in the market. An example is the Arector HDMI Converter. Most of these pieces of equipment support the Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, and other higher audio formats. However, among these units, the iArkPower HDMI Audio Extractor stands out. It is compatible with many devices from gaming to home theater systems.

Whether you are installing a high-fidelity system or prolonging the functionality of an old one, the iArkPower HDMI Audio Extractor is the excellent choice. All in all, for its reasonable price, durable construction, and compatibility, this unit goes a long way to creating a great sound.

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