MacBook Pro 2016 digital audio out

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Chocomonsters, Jan 7, 2017.

  1. Chocomonsters macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    #1
    I have been using CEntrance DACmini to drive sennheiser HD700 headphone. I have replaced Mac Pro with MacBook Pro 15 2016 and I am trying to find a way to get either S/PDIF (either Toslink or coaxial) digital audio signal to DAC from MacBook Pro.

    One option is to get OWC Thunderbolt 3 dock once it is release as it has S/PDIF output (Toslink). I currently have OWC USB-C dock and do not really need OWC Thunderbolt 3 dock for any other functions.

    Any suggestion for getting digital audio out to DAC?
     
  2. sidewinder macrumors 68020

    sidewinder

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Northern California
    #2
    Why don't you just use USB? That is digital......
     
  3. ThisBougieLife macrumors 65816

    ThisBougieLife

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2016
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, California
    #3
    Yeah if you're gonna use USB --> optical --> DAC, why not just skip the optical step?

    Does your DAC lack a USB input?
     
  4. Chocomonsters thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    #4
    Yes, USB is digital. My DAC has USB, Coaxial, Toslink, and RCA inputs. Problem is that my DAC converts only does up to 96kHz with USB vs up to 192 kHZ with S/PDIF.

    Don't want to start HD audio track war (48 vs 96 vs 192 kHz) here, but I do have tracks in 192/24-bit recording.

    I searched simple USB-C to S/PDIF cable/converter, but couldn't find anything.
     
  5. Chocomonsters thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 22, 2007
    #6
  6. tryrtryrtryrt, Jan 8, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017

    tryrtryrtryrt Suspended

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2016
    #7
    On paper OWC seems to be the best Thunderbolt 3 dock overall presented so far. Pre-ordered it already.

    However as per their site and per their support it will not support 5K display (only 4K) while newer ones from different vendors presented on CES will. I wonder why?

    If you have or going to have 5K display, consider it twice.
     
  7. sidewinder macrumors 68020

    sidewinder

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Northern California
    #8
    I don't see how you could use the 5K display plugged into any TB3 dock since it uses most of the TB3 bandwidth all on its own. This is why the 5K display does not have a pass through TB3 port and why its USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports don't work at full speed. A dock with 13 ports needs to have its own TB3 connection. Anyone that thinks they are going to use just one port on their MBP to drive the 5K display AND a TB3 dock are in a for a rude awakening!
     
  8. tryrtryrtryrt Suspended

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2016
    #9
    I understand this but somehow other vendors promise 5K.
     
  9. sidewinder macrumors 68020

    sidewinder

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Northern California
    #10
    If you "understand this", why did you tell Chocomonsters "If you have or going to have 5K display, consider it twice"?

    I can't find anything on the OWC or MacSales sites that say that the OWC TB3 dock won't take the 5K display. But it doesn't matter anyway since it won't work well if you want to plug anything into the dock that uses bandwidth.
     
  10. tryrtryrtryrt Suspended

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2016
    #11
    https://www.owcdigital.com/products/thunderbolt/thunderbolt-3-dock-specs

    Display Support
    • Thunderbolt 3 ports support video pass-through, up to 4K @ 60Hz
    Their email support said the same.
     
  11. cau macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2011
    #12
    Sorry to be late to this discussion, but one reason to use S/PDIF instead of USB is to silence the audio output when the destination is switched off. I use a headphone amplifier with S/PDIF input. Both S/PDIF and USB are good digital audio sources.

    When I plug the mini S/PDIF cable into a Mac that supports S/PDIF from its headphone jack, it silences the built-in speakers. When the headphone amplifier is switched on, I get sound. When the headphone amplifier is switched off, I get silence, which is what I want.

    If I use USB instead, then the Mac senses that the USB device is switched off, and automatically switches to the built-in speakers, which results in unexpected sound output.

    I miss the S/PDIF output from the Mac's headphone jack, which is not included in the new MacBook Pros. Fortunately, I bought one of the new OWC Thunderbolt docks, and it includes a standard (not mini) S/PDIF output. As long as my MacBook Pro is connected to the dock, I can use the dock's S/PDIF port to do the same thing as before - audio when the headphone amp is on, silence when it is off. I have to order a standard/standard S/PDIF cable, however. The mini/standard cable won't work.
     

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