So apparently many macbook pro models have a digital audio output hidden inside their 3.5mm headphone jacks. Example.

I thought this was physically activated by the mini TOSLINK plug, but recently I installed Linux Mint (native boot) on my MBP and that red light came on and stay on.

So I guess it can be controlled by software.

Anyone know how to activate it in macosx? The only reason I want to turn it on is I think it looks cool.

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    I could imagine you can activate digital out in soundflower – n1000 Feb 15 '17 at 9:01
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    There was a common issue with hardware on MacBook Pros where the switch would fail and leave the light on permenantly. Do the headphones work at all in macOS? – unknowndomain Feb 24 '18 at 0:34

Plug in a clear audio jack and you’ll have your red laser engaged and the sound muted. It’s controlled by firmware which is software, just harder to patch and mess with.

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