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Apparently on many modern macs the 3.5mm headphone audio jack supports Mini Toslink.

How can I tell whether my mac supports it, whether it supports surround sound (4 speaker or better), and whether the microphone input acts as a mini toslink input?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

I can not find a direct source to note when Apple started making audio output ports toslink enabled. But to answer your other questions:

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Do the following:

  1. Open "About This Mac"
  2. Open "More Info..."
  3. Open "System Report..."
  4. From the left pane choose Hardware > Audio
  5. Check if Optical Digital Audio Output is present

enter image description here

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the best answer, because it works without any online SaaSs, and doesn't depend on third party software. – Sarge Borsch Jan 25 at 4:37

Take a look at Mactracker. You can find the specs for your own Mac by clicking the "This Mac" item in the left-hand pane.

enter image description here

From a quick look:

  • On the audio output side, the 3.5-mm analog/optical combo jack was added in Mac mini models from Early 2006 and in iMac models from the iMac G5.

  • On the audio input side, 3.5-mm analog/optical combo jack was added in Mac mini models from Early 2006 and in iMac models from Mid 2006. A line-level microphone or optical digital audio equipment can be connected to this port as described in this Apple support page (for the Macbook Pro).

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The microphone input appears to be toslink on at least some models - so your last statement may need amendment. – Adam Davis Mar 29 '12 at 16:46
@AdamDavis I'm not so sure, it does say "Connect your MacBook Pro to a line-level microphone or optical digital audio equipment". Isn't "line level" an analog audio term? However, the same port is shared for both line-in (digital or analog) or the microphone, so maybe it does need clarification. – binarybob Mar 29 '12 at 17:17
@AdamDavis I've reworded the 2nd bullet with some of the information from the support page you linked to and removed the 3rd. I hope thats ok. Thanks for the comment. – binarybob Mar 29 '12 at 18:28

Since you didn't list a mac model, you can just pop your serial number of the mac into this URL and see if your model has TOSlink or "digital audio equipment" listed in the specifications.

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Thanks! I didn't list a specific mac because I've got 3 ranging over 5 years. – Adam Davis Mar 29 '12 at 15:41
I know - I'm not overly hung up on precise questions unless you're looking for a precise answer without asking that way :-) Open questions areoften are better at drawing out the general answer. Did you know about these two gems ?… – bmike Mar 29 '12 at 15:58

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