New MacBook Pro drops optical audio out through headphone jack

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by MidnightSVT, Nov 2, 2016.

  1. MidnightSVT macrumors member

    Dec 14, 2012
    According to an article posted on AppleInsider, the new MacBook Pro's do not support audio line out (digital/analog) through the headphone jack.

    Does this mean that you cannot use any 3.5mm external speakers? I am thinking of the small Logitech series that have separate power and 3.5 mm input into the headphone jack.

    Or these

  2. SBruv macrumors 6502

    Sep 25, 2008
    You can still use it for analogue output, just not digital.
  3. viljamip macrumors regular

    Jan 22, 2016
    No, it just means that the headphone jack doesn't have TOSLINK anymore. It is used to connect to a high end sound system like something with 5.1 channels. Those logitechs will work just fine.
  4. Marshall73 macrumors 65816


    Apr 20, 2015
    Speakers work fine but it no longer has digital optical out apparently. So you can't output 5.1 to an amp for example.
  5. MidnightSVT thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 14, 2012
    Perfect. Thanks for the clarification.

    I don't hook my computer up to high end receivers or speakers through 3.5mm, but I do hook into low end external speakers through 3.5mm quite often. I was worried that the equipment that I have would be useless with the new model.

    Thanks everyone!
  6. jackoatmon macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2011
    i suspect it won't matter much – any time you're doing serious audio monitoring on these machines you're always running through an external soundcard anyway

    computers may have great chips in them these days, but literally no computers i've ever seen have useable sound cards in them for some reason

    or at least i've never seen a studio computer without an external
  7. SJTrance macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2010
    What about the USB C to HDMI to home theater receiver? Is there any Dolby Digital or DTS support. I've never used the computer for this purpose but I'm wondering if this is a possibility at all.
  8. Trahearne macrumors 6502

    Oct 6, 2014
    Can't see why it would be dropped. Both the integrated GPUs and the discrete GPUs support HDMI audio.
  9. MecPro macrumors 6502

    Mar 6, 2009
    Weird. Because Schiller said that the port supports "pro" audio user
  10. x-evil-x macrumors 68040


    Jul 13, 2008
    yea the usb-c port
  11. Skika macrumors 68030

    Mar 11, 2009
    Thats exactly why the optical out makes sense, as it bypasses internal DAC to outside gear.
  12. Deanster macrumors regular

    Jun 6, 2005
    Optical/TOSLINK is a legitimately old protocol.

    It used to be a good high-speed digital interface, when the only other option was analog over copper. The adapter to plug it into 3.5mm jacks with the optical at the bottom was always finicky and fragile. It was a decent way to get good audio out onto a laptop when there wasn't another decent high-speed option, but I'm amazed it lasted as long as it did.

    But now anyone vaguely serious about audio is running 24/192 or better over USB 2/3/C, and it works great, bypassing the computer's DAC/Amp, and just giving a nice, tasty clean line of audio to whatever you want. HDMI audio is also out there, but I haven't seen a ton of it in real-world use.

    In any case, the four people on the entire planet who were actually using optical audio out are screwed, everyone else with a new MBP will buy a $5 A->C adapter or a $12 cable, and you're in business.
  13. dark_skies macrumors newbie


    Oct 17, 2015
    Champaign-Urbana, IL
    And for dumping the optical out, you have to use a USB-C outlet for something that you didn't need to before. Those two - or four - USB-C ports are gonna go fast. * External storage? Check * External monitor? Check (yes I know there is airplay, if monitor attached to compatible hardware) * Second monitor? Whoa, now we're almost ... * optical out: all ports spoken for. This is If you have the 4-port model. I went through this with thunderbolt, 1 (or 2-) ports and that's all you need! Provided you have dongles and/or dock. Of course - and here's the key - Apple upper management probably never attach that much stuff. Wait for the "why would you need ..." statement from them.
  14. EndlessBuffoonery macrumors regular


    Nov 11, 2016
    You don't have to do anything.

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