mattg3

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 8, 2010
399
4
ma.
Found out much to my dismay that no optical out is included with the headphone jack on my new Imac.For years I connected my powered speakers to optical out on my older Imac and now Im out of luck. Anyone know of a way to turn the headphone jack into an optical out using any kind of adaptor?
 

BrianBaughn

macrumors 604
Feb 13, 2011
7,832
1,474
Baltimore, Maryland
Amazon.com would be among the places to find something like that. I believe the cleanest, best sounding solution would be a USB audio device that includes optical outputs.
 

jerwin

Suspended
Jun 13, 2015
2,895
4,649
Amazon.com would be among the places to find something like that. I believe the cleanest, best sounding solution would be a USB audio device that includes optical outputs.
unless 5.1 dts/dolby digital is one of your goals... there, compatibility gets a little iffy.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
22,186
8,231
You're not going to get "optical out" from a strictly analog headphone jack.
No way. Impossible.

The Behringer unit mentioned above is a good alternative.
 
  • Like
Reactions: elf69

glazball

macrumors member
Jul 5, 2017
39
18
I'm not sure the headphone jack is "strictly" analog though.

I have an adapter (about 1 or 1.5 inches long) that I use on my Mini to get optical out. It has the 3.5mm male (typical headphone plug size) on one end with an optical female on the other.

Sorry I can't provide you an Amazon link, but I was surprised to find out optical out IS possible through what looks to be just a regular headphone jack. I would think the same is true on a new iMac since my Mini is a mid-2010 model.

EDIT: Found one that looks to be like the one I use. Apologies if it doesn't work for you, but it's such a cheap gizmo it won't hurt much to try. Definitely check your documentation first to make sure that port WILL give optical out (with an adapter).
https://www.amazon.com/Recoton-Fiber-Optic-Toslink-Adapter/dp/B0002MQGRM
 
Last edited:

theluggage

macrumors 603
Jul 29, 2011
5,254
4,332
I have an adapter (about 1 or 1.5 inches long) that I use on my Mini to get optical out. It has the 3.5mm male (typical headphone plug size) on one end with an optical female on the other.

The headphone jack on Macs used to be a combined analog/optical SPDIF port.

Sadly, that is no longer true on recent Macs, because apparently we all like paying more money and getting less. Magical.

The new way is to get an external USB sound card, oh, and a USB C adaptor...

I’d be more annoyed if my Logitech surround speakers (with optical in) hadn’t died.
 

mattg3

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 8, 2010
399
4
ma.
Thanks to all.I gave up the optical choice and went analog and Airport Express to my Vanatoo speakers and it sounds great.
 

northernmunky

macrumors 6502a
Jan 19, 2007
800
263
London, Taipei
Was just about to start my own thread on this but found this one! Yes, I've just discovered this too as I use optical out and was planning to buy a touchbar MacBook Pro soon.

I have a work colleague who has just got one and does presentations using the digital optical out and I have now had to scramble to find yet another dongle to hang out of his MacBook to avoid having a big problem during his performance. As for me, well I use the https://www.logitech.com/en-gb/product/speaker-system-z906 using the optical out of my 2015 MBP to get the best possible audio out of it.

In the meantime I've been recommending this (but doesn't support 5.1 on Macs):
https://www.uk.insight.com/en-gb/pr...MIl-yn8v7o1wIVZLftCh38yQGhEAQYAiABEgKeEvD_BwE

So the only other decent one I can find this minute is this:
https://uk.creative.com/p/sound-cards/sound-blaster-digital-music-premium-hd

So seriously Apple... the built in sound chip you put on the MBPs is pretty good, but you make be buy a USB soundcard anyway so I can get digital out!!?

Sad to see Apple remove this, but I've also noticed as I'm upgrading my PC that I can't find a suitable mini-ITX board with optical out built in anymore without buying an additional SPDIF bracket! Of which can't be fit on most mini-ITX cases because they only have room for a video card and so don't supply space for any additional bracket which has scuppered my upgrade plans!

Anyone any ideas here? Are manufacturers abandoning the SPDIF port?
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.