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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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4 Answers 4

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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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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1  
The microphone input appears to be toslink on at least some models - support.apple.com/kb/HT1596 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.

http://support.apple.com/manuals/#

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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 ? stackoverflow.com/questions/8058151/… –  bmike Mar 29 '12 at 15:58

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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