AppleTV Optical Audio to 3.5mm desktop speakers?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by naked, Jan 23, 2014.

  1. naked macrumors member

    Apr 26, 2005
    I just started using a spare Apple TV to extend my desktop to a 21" LCD. It's mostly for background tasks. I have a standing desk, and a couch in my office. Half the time I'm at the couch working with my laptop, and I'd like to be able to put videos up on the 21" LCD at my standing desk that I'm reviewing. This is working great now, but the cheap LCD has terrible speakers and it doesn't have an audio out.

    SO, what do I need to use the Optical out from the Apple TV with standard desktop speakers?

    Is this going to work:

    Or will I need an actually converter:

    And if it's a converter that's needed, what's the cheapest that will work?

    This isn't mission critical work, but it would be great to be able hear decent audio through the Apple TV.

    If the Optical audio port is in use, does it choose to send the audio over that even when HDMI audio is available?

  2. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Jan 1, 2008
    "standard" :)



    The cheapest one you find will 'work'. Quality may vary.

    This one is cheaper, and well-regarded:

    Audio is always sent out through the optical port (disclaimer: yes, one could probably contrive a scheme where the Apple TV will not use the optical port, but barring that it is always active).

  3. naked thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 26, 2005
    Thanks for the prompt response. So will Airplay audio be coming out of the Optical port and HDMI?
  4. Alrescha, Jan 23, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2014

    Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Jan 1, 2008
    What goes out the HDMI port is negotiated between the Apple TV and whatever you plug into it. Regardless, the optical port will always be active.

    n.b.: 'standard' speakers in this context means 'self-powered' or amplified. The output of the D to A converter is line-level, not speaker-level. Also, these little D to A converters do not understand a Dolby Digital signal - if you send them such a signal you will just get static (loud static). You can control this on the Apple TV in Settings/Audio & Video/Dolby Digital.

  5. Pkupman57 macrumors regular

    Apr 18, 2013
    El Lay, CA
    I use the Fiio D3 myself in my setup.. Though I use optical output from the TV itself, (HDMI into the TV, from the ATV and my bluray player)... and then use the mini jack to connect my Swan M-50s to it. You do need to adjust the ATV off of dobly, and have it only supply stereo audio, but the sound is still good enough for me. The only other caveat I have with set up, is that I cannot adjust the volume with the TV remote. I have to adjust it via the Swan's volume knob, so I have to physically get up every time. But volume changes happen very infrequently, so its really not that big of a deal to me.

    This was posted above, but this is the exact one Im using.
  6. warvanov macrumors 6502a

    Oct 13, 2011
  7. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011

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