How to play audio from Macbook Pro to Amp?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by tonyau, Dec 28, 2015.

  1. tonyau macrumors member


    Sep 27, 2011

    I want to use my Denon AVR1713 receiver as a 2.1 setup connected through my MBP.
    I thought it would be straight forward and that I would just need a toslink optical cable with the 3.5 jack on one end and it would be all good.

    No - it doesn't work :(

    Any ideas please?
  2. cbautis2 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 17, 2013
  3. tonyau thread starter macrumors member


    Sep 27, 2011
  4. danb1979 macrumors member


    Feb 5, 2015
    Preston, Lancs - UK
    If you want a better sound, get a small DAC such as the Fiio D3 and use that

    I had this set up with my previous MBP and then my a current Mini and it was great and sounds hell of a lot better than a 3.5mm to RCA cable, IMO!

    MBP > optical cable > DAC > amp :D
  5. cbautis2 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 17, 2013
    No difference in DAC sound unless his speakers are high fidelity. If there is, it's so subtle that it can only be distinguished by precised volume matched double blind A/B
  6. jerwin, Dec 29, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2015

    jerwin macrumors 68020

    Jun 13, 2015
    you probably need to assign the denon's optical in to a specific input --bluray, game, aux, tv, etc.

    It's explained on page 93 of the user manual.

    In my experience, the mac's optical input has one advantage over the headphone jack-- no harsh feedback when you unplug without first turning off your speakers. And since it's a laptop, you'll be doing a lot of unplugging.

    Oh, and dts/dolby digital sound if you're into that.

    But as far as circumventing a cheap, electrically noisy DAC in favor of one that's engineered correctly, Apple may know what it's doing.

    The major disadvantage of the optical. route is that you lose your volume keys-- you'll need to to adjust it using the Denon controls.

    (I use the optical out because it's connected to a box providing both Line outs--for my amplifier, and a headphone jack-- for my Sennheisers.)
  7. tonyau thread starter macrumors member


    Sep 27, 2011
    Probably why it wasn't working initially, jerkin - I hadn't assigned the optical input, although tv audio is the default for optical, and I don't think I had changed it. I'll check it out tomorrow.

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