What's the difference between the headphone jack and audio jack?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Mobius7, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. Mobius7 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    #1
    I just set up this awesome speaker system in my room and have it all hooked up to the headphone jack on my MacBook. What would the audio jack do that the headphone jack can't do? Also, would it be better for my to plug it into the audio rather then headphone? I tried but I cant get any sound out of it.
     
  2. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #2
    Audio carries the signal and will let the receiving end control amplifying the volume, vs. headphone jack will adjust it as it is going out.

    You will get a better sound quality out of the audio out. Especially in today's Mac's where they out is an optical out that would give you higher quality and support 5.1 audio I believe.

    That is my non-audiophile explanation. :eek:
     
  3. Mobius7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    #3
    Thanks for the quick reply. But then how can switch to the audio jack?
     
  4. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #4
    Your is an audio out that also works as a headphone jack.


    From the Apple MB specs page:

    Combined optical digital audio output/audio line out (minijack)
     
  5. Mobius7 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 30, 2008
    #5
    I'm sorry, what? I read it a couple times and still don't understand it. How again could I set up my system to the audio jack (if it is really better)?
     
  6. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

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    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #6
    Just plug right into the sound out/mini jack and you will be set.
     
  7. decksnap macrumors 68040

    decksnap

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2003
    #7
    I believe on the Macbook one is for output and one is for input.
     
  8. Mobius7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    #8
    ok I know I'm missing something big. When I pull the 3.5mm plug from the headphone jack and put it into the audio jack it goes to the internal speakers on my Mac. Defiantly not as good as my external 4-way speakers/stereo system. What am I missing?
     
  9. Xander562 macrumors 68000

    Xander562

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    #9
    One hole is an audio in and another is audio out. You are mistakenly plugging into the audio in when you are switching. Switch back.
     
  10. Mobius7 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 30, 2008
    #10
    Ok Ok sorry I had it right all along I guess.
     
  11. kkat69 macrumors 68020

    kkat69

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, Ga
    #11
    If you have a newer macbook, you really don't need to worry about whether its' audio or headphone. It acts as both. One of other reasons they call it audio (in addition to the reasons already mentioned above) is that the newer MB's audio jacks are also Optical. So they not only function as a headphone jack, but you can plug a fiber optic cable to it and plug it into more high end audio devices.

    Yours has 2 jacks, one in and one out.

    They can be called by either name:
    Audio In/Mic (they are one and the same)
    Audio Out/Headphone (they are one and the same)

    They are also labeled via icons on them which is which so there's no confusing which is which same as any other laptop.
     
  12. tdhurst macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2003
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #12
    yep

    One is in, one is out. You did it right the first time.
     

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