27inch iMac Optical sound in/out or converter?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by ruk110, Oct 6, 2012.

  1. ruk110 macrumors regular


    Apr 8, 2010
    I have an 2011 27inch iMac quad core 3.1 i5. I am trying to get the optical audio signal from my TV/PS3 (because they do not have a 3.5mm jack audio output) going into my mac. Firstly is this possible? and if it is can i output from my iMac afterwards via 3.5mm jack? because the amp i have to my speakers does not have a optical port.

    Thanks for your help guys

  2. bdrake47 macrumors regular

    Jul 28, 2012
    Looks like you can...

    I don't have an iMac here to test, but it looks entirely possible.

    Here's Apple specs on iMac, under Audio, it lists both the Headphone port and the Line In as supporting Optical Audio Out/In respectively: http://www.apple.com/imac/specs.html

    Found this on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M649AesqOLU He's using iMac and Headphone output, but setup should be the same for Line In.

    Here's a link to the adapter on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002MQGRM and about half that on Monoprice: http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=104&cp_id=10423&cs_id=1042301&p_id=2671&seq=1&format=2 Optical cables are dirt cheap there too :D

    For the Headphone 3.5 out to your stereo, you should be able to stick with what you have now, 3.5 to RCA. You may have to adjust a few settings in SysPref|Sound, as well as Utilities|Midi Setup (for more options).

    There's certainly folks in here that are Audio Engineers who can probably advise you better, but for just a couple dollars you can find out for sure. The only issue I see (IMHO) is that your iMac will be doing all the DAC (Digital-Analog Converter), all the time, and will have to be on for the setup to work. It may just be easier to get one of the $20 Optical/Stereo converters on Monoprice and go direct from TV/PS3 into stereo system and leave the iMac out of the loop.

    Hope this helps.


    Oops, forgot the link to the Optical/Stereo converter: http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=104&cp_id=10423&cs_id=1042302&p_id=6884&seq=1&format=2

    Just note that this doesn't convert 5.1 to 2 channel, you'd have to set output to Stereo on TV & PS3.
  3. Fishrrman macrumors Pentium


    Feb 20, 2009
    "I have an 2011 27inch iMac quad core 3.1 i5. I am trying to get the optical audio signal from my TV/PS3 (because they do not have a 3.5mm jack audio output) going into my mac."

    I have never owned a PS3, nor have I ever had a chance to use or to examine one, so I'm just guessing, but…

    Isn't the "optical out" connector on the PS3 a TOSLINK connector? (small, squarish plastic connector)

    In that case, you need a TOSLINK cable, and on one end of it, you need to add a "mini-converter" to get it into the iMac's "in" port.

    This page has various TOSLINK cables and adapters.

    They are in the USA, not sure if they ship internationally. But you can see what parts you need.
  4. iSayuSay macrumors 68040


    Feb 6, 2011
    Kinda confused here. So basically you want to set your iMac as speaker system for your TV/PS3 via optical?

    If so .. You need to connect your PS3 optical port to mini TOSLINK on your computer. TOSLINK input on your iMac is on the mic jack, not headphone jack. Though I don't see the point of connecting your PS3/TV to your iMac unless you can output your link to a compatible audio receiver/amp, since the real benefit of TOSLINK is for 5.1 surround sound codec and lossless signal.

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