Mac Mini 2018 Audio Output

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by wdwpsu, Dec 15, 2018.

  1. wdwpsu macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2017
    Location:
    Orlando
    #1
    What's the best approach to getting audio out of your Mac Mini?

    I initially plugged my speakers in to my monitor which was plugged in via the Display Port. Overall, I was very happy with the sound, however I was unable to change the volume from the O/S.

    I switched to plugging my speakers in to the headphone out jack on the back of the Mac Mini and I feel I'm losing quality. Even though the volume was 100% in the O/S, I had to turn up the speakers substantially, and the sound wasn't as warm.

    Looking for suggestions.
     
  2. F-Train, Dec 15, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2018

    F-Train macrumors 65816

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    Apr 22, 2015
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    NYC & Newfoundland
    #2
    Spend US$100 on an audio interface.

    See these posts:

    https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/mac-mini-and-audio-24-bit-192khz.2158723/#post-26888620

    https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/mac-mini-and-audio-24-bit-192khz.2158723/#post-26893019

    The sound card in your mini is supplying the sound via both the mini headphone jack and the jack or USB port that you're using from your monitor. I'd be very surprised if there is any difference in the sound quality.
     
  3. tu2thepoo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2017
    #3
    If you're running the analog jack at 100% volume you may be overdriving it, even. I just run HDMI audio to my TV then use the optical out to my speakers (which have their own volume control).
     
  4. hagjohn macrumors 6502

    hagjohn

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    #4
    I haven't noticed any real differences using analog jack vs HDMI (it may be a bit lower in volume), but I hope Apple fixes this issue in the future. I'd rather not have to use another cable and it really is really annoying.
     
  5. ixxx69 macrumors 65816

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    Jul 31, 2009
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    United States
    #5
    You've already been provided with some resources on DACs, but just want to point out that you're not losing "quality". What people generally confuse with quality is volume (without distortion) which a DAC can provide.

    Good luck!
     
  6. F-Train, Dec 15, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2018

    F-Train macrumors 65816

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    NYC & Newfoundland
    #6
    Fix what issue?

    Asus made my monitor, which is not exactly its cheapest model, to have its own volume control. Indeed, many speaker manufacturers, including the makers of some really high-end speakers, incorporate their own volume controls.

    What has that got to do with Apple?

    If you want to control speakers from a mini, connect them to the mini; and if you want better sound, get an audio interface that effectively replaces the mini's sound card with something better.

    Also, if someone thinks that they are getting different sound depending on whether they are connecting their speakers to the mini headphone jack or a display jack, there's a 99.999% chance that the difference is in their head and has no basis in reality :)
     
  7. wdwpsu thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2017
    Location:
    Orlando
    #7
    It’s volume, which I’ve been corrected has nothing to do with quality. Volume out of audio out of my monitor is almost 2x louder than headphone jack on back of mini.
     
  8. F-Train, Dec 15, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2018

    F-Train macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2015
    Location:
    NYC & Newfoundland
    #8
    Let me suggest to you why that is. The only way that this makes sense is that people who made your monitor have jacked the volume and your mini's volume control is more sensitive/has greater range.

    I can tell you that the volume control on my US$2,000 Asus monitor is pretty close to the mini, which is where it should be; indeed, the range has a lower top than the mini.

    You need to get it clear in your head that the sound card in the mini is controlling the audio for both. If your monitor is simply set up to drive the sound card louder, that is not in fact a good thing. By using the volume control on the monitor, you are losing volume range. If you want everything loud, cool, but this is not some virtue of the monitor.
     
  9. wdwpsu thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2017
    Location:
    Orlando
    #9
    Found out the issue. I was using incorrect input port on my speakers. Thank you for the help everyone.
     
  10. user_xyz macrumors regular

    user_xyz

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2018
    #10
    Glad for You!!
     

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9 December 15, 2018