Does DisplayPort Carry Sound?

So maybe you’re browsing for a new monitor and all the connector types are making you feel confused. Which ones carry audio? Which ones can support higher refresh rates? Which ones are the most future-proof?

Today I’m going to clear up some concerns that people might have with the DisplayPort connector. It’s one of the newer digital interfaces, with the first version being released in 2006, and the latest, DisplayPort 2.0 was released in June 2019. When it comes to specs, it’s very close to HDMI, and while HDMI is found in more devices, DisplayPort is catching up. Most modern graphics cards and laptops have Display Ports and HDMI.

Bear in mind, the DisplayPort cable has a locking mechanism that prevents the cable from falling out of the display or device. You need to be aware of this or you might pull the cable too hard and pull your monitor off your desk. HDMI doesn’t have a locking mechanism.

Does DisplayPort Carry Sound?

DisplayPort does carry sound, it’s an audio and video connector similar to HDMI. If you have a monitor or audio device that supports DisplayPort, it should be able to carry over the audio. DisplayPort has most of the advanced audio features that you can find in HDMI.

There is no need for special adapters like with DVI, everything is automatic and built-in. Simply run the DisplayPort cable from one device to the other and the audio should transfer with no problems.
DisplayPort Audio Not Working:
In some cases, you might run into issues trying to get audio from a monitor using DisplayPort. While there are many things that can cause this problem, I’ll run through a handful of the most well-known issues.

One situation is that some monitors disable audio from DisplayPort at higher refresh rates. For example, some people’s audio cuts out when the monitor is at 144 Hz but when you lower the refresh rate, the audio comes back. Some people even noticed they can lower the refresh rate to 143 and the audio starts working again. It’s worth trying!

Another solution could be switching your default audio device back to your monitor. In some cases, Windows can automatically change the default audio device to a different one, and you’ll have to change it back. Luckily, it’s easy.

Simply open the control panel on Windows, click on Hardware and Sound, click on Sound, and a list of audio devices should appear. Locate your monitor, and click “Set Default” and run an audio test, maybe it will work. Those are a few things you can try if audio is not working with DisplayPort.

The Benefits of DisplayPort

As I mentioned earlier, DisplayPort is the latest audio and visual technology, and it’s also the most capable. I’ll quickly compare DisplayPort to HDMI a little later in this article.

1 – Higher Resolutions

The new version of DisplayPort, 2.0, is said to be able to support 8K and higher resolutions at 60 Hz. Obviously, that’s well beyond the capabilities of any hardware today, but it gives you an idea of how powerful it will be in the future.

Most PCs can’t even output games at 4K at a stable 60 frames a second, so hardware still has some catching up to do. DisplayPort is definitely the connector to use in the near future. You won’t have to upgrade any time soon.

1 – Maximum Refresh Rates

Besides that, DisplayPort can support almost every Hz rate that monitors can support. You won’t be limited by the DisplayPort, that’s for sure. Even the older versions, such as the original DisplayPort 1.0 that was released in 2006, can easily handle 1080P at 144 Hz. For 1440P at 144 Hz you will need DisplayPort 1.2 which was released in 2010. DisplayPort can also easily handle 240 Hz.

Overall, chances are you won’t have any limitations with DisplayPort, the bottleneck will be your monitor or hardware. If you want to use the highest refresh rate possible, I recommend using DisplayPort as the connector, HDMI is a good alternative too.

DisplayPort vs HDMI

HDMI and DisplayPort and the two most popular connectors when it comes to high definition displays and high refresh rates. Deciding between the two can be difficult because they’re neck and neck when it comes to specs and capabilities. While the latest version of HDMI lags a bit behind the latest version of DisplayPort, the specs are still far out of the average consumer’s range.

The point is the ceiling is much higher with DisplayPort than HDMI, but most consumer electronics are still way below that ceiling so it’s not much to worry about. Nevertheless, let’s quickly compare some of the specs.

The latest version of HDMI is 2.1 (released in 2017) and it has 48 Gbps of bandwidth. In comparison, the latest version of DisplayPort 2.0 (released in June 2019) has a bandwidth of 77 Gbps.
To give you an idea, to run 4K at 60 Hz you need a bandwidth of 10.2 Gbps, so that’s well under the limits of both HDMI and DisplayPort. With that bandwidth, DisplayPort 2.0 can technically run 8K at 60Hz, 4K at 144 Hz. And at 1080P, DisplayPort can theoretically run at 1,000 Hz but it’s going to be a very long time before a display is capable of that rate.

HDMI can also support the above refresh rates. HDMI 2.1 supports 8K at 30 Hz, 4K 120 Hz, and well over 240 Hz at 1080P. As I mentioned before, these cables are very similar in terms of specs but DisplayPort is in the lead.

Which Is Better?

DisplayPort is better than HDMI when it comes to specs but you won’t run into any limitations with HDMI anytime soon. In my opinion, you should pick a cable that suits your needs. Most people suggest using DisplayPort for high refresh rate monitors simply because it has a higher refresh rate.

If you have a display that uses DisplayPort, you should definitely use it. But HDMI will work fine for many years, it can handle high refresh rates too, so it really boils down to a matter of personal preference. I personally would choose DisplayPort.

See also: Displayport to HDMI adapter



About S. Santos

Tech columnist and tech blogger, audiovisual aficionado trying to keep up with the ever-evolving world of gadgets, home entertainment, and personal technology. If not fiddling with AV cables at home or in front of the computer, he can be found playing tennis or padel.

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