2016 MBP (TB) does not support 96 kHz audio output

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by eklkrl, Dec 27, 2016.

  1. eklkrl macrumors newbie


    Apr 19, 2010
    I've discovered this the hard way, i.e. after purchasing one. Setting aside the issue of whether 96 kHz is useful as a delivery format, for those of us doing audio production who mix in 96 kHz, it's always been great to be able to work on sessions with just the Macbook Pro and a pair of headphones. With this new machine that's impossible. If you look at Audio MIDI Setup, you'll see that 96 kHz is supported for the built-in speakers (strangely), but as soon as you plug in headphones or a direct line out, that option disappears. This makes it impossible to run a session in any audio program (Pro Tools, Nuendo, whatever) that's in 96 kHz, without also having to pack an external audio interface. Obviously I use an interface in the studio, but the whole idea of a laptop is that you can be portable. So with the new Macbook Pro, it seems that in addition to the dongles, I also need to carry an external interface/DAC.

    Could there possibly be a software fix to this or, as seems more likely, is this a cost-saving hardware issue made without the needs of pros in mind?
  2. Clint_Barton macrumors 6502

    Oct 23, 2016
    Unfortunately it would seem that you are correct, that is too bad, but there are some inexpensive AMP/DAC solutions out there.
  3. Chancha macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2014
    They gimped the 3.5mm port from the TOSLINK/analogue combo in/out jack to just analogue to save cost. There is absolutely no benefit to the customer as this likely isn't making internal space or saving battery, it is purely lost functionality.

    My guess on the 96kHz issue is that the speaker and jack are taking signal from different places on the main board. Normally the internal DAC should feed the same abalogue line to the respective amps.

    The simplest solution for now is a small USB DAC + headphone amp unit. For light monitoring purpose the dongle sized ones should suffice. I am also curious if the W1 enabled Airpods could pass if it has better latency than typical wireless earphones, but for high sampling frequency it probably won't.
  4. Clint_Barton macrumors 6502

    Oct 23, 2016
    to be honest, i am happy that it does not have the optical out, because on my old computer the optical switched borked, and it gets stuck

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