We haven't seen the back of the PS5 (opens in new tab) yet, and Sony has yet to officially outline its supported ports (among other details), but as The Verge (opens in new tab) reports, Astro confirmed the lack of an optical port on the PS5 at a recent press event. Meanwhile, Microsoft confirmed (opens in new tab) that the Xbox Series X (opens in new tab) will lack optical ports back in March.
Optical ports aren't essential, but some headsets, sound bars, speakers and other audio devices do rely on them, either for basic connections or more advanced features like mixing. With the next console generation leaving the port behind, optical-only devices may become a bit of a bugbear, but there is some good news. Most modern TVs still have optical audio ports, so the majority of soundbars and speakers won't be directly affected by the lack of a port on the console, and headsets can often work around the port using a splitter cable.
Astro, for instance, says that even optical Xbox One headsets can be connected through an Xbox Series X USB port and remain feature complete after an update. Some PS4 headsets, meanwhile, will require an optical-to-HDMI splitter, so Astro has developed its own $40 splitter which registered headset owners can get for $25. That's a pretty good price for a splitter, and Astro says it won't affect audio latency or quality. Interestingly, Astro is also offering a separate $20 USB adapter for its new, next-gen ready A20 Gen 2 headset that allows PS4 models to work on Xbox Series X, and Xbox One models to work on PS5.