Originally Posted by subterFUSE View Post
The analog inputs are not "downsampled." They are sampled at 96kHz.

Downsample was the wrong word to use.

Optical or RCA for ‘noise’ will be a user preference at the end of the day. As subterFUSE mentioned, long optical runs can be susceptible to problems just as long RCA runs can be. I feel issues are less likely to occur with optical over RCA in terms of ‘noise’ qualms from my experience but I too have also veered away from optical when going digital and stick to using USB or digital coax cables when possible. Hence, why I mentioned downsampling. Feeding a Helix Pro a digital signal via USB or SPIDF Coax over 96kHz will be downsampled by the Helix. The RCA inputs will be as subterFUSE explained, sampled at 96kHz.

Which is better? Kind of up to you, your ears, and your gear. The Digital optical route is a more direct signal path but limited in maximum bitrate. RCA route will not get downsampled but it does place another conversion into the signal path.

Question becomes which caveat is more audible for you in your setup?