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Situation

Just picked up a Macbook Air 2020 from Bestbuy. I looked around for a good monitor that supports USB Type-C but nothing available in my area at the moment. I then picked up a Acer-ET322QR monitor until I upgrade later.

I picked up a USB Type-C/HDMI chord so I could connect the two products. All worked well except for when I tried to get the audio coming through the monitor. This monitor does have two speakers, I tried the following:

  • First checked to see if audio would go through the HDMI port but no luck. When in the audio settings it says that "The selected device has no output controls".

  • Second I followed the manual which says connect the provided audio chord into the Audio In port and connect the other to the mac. I connected this through the headphone jack but still not luck.

Suspected Issue

I am guessing the audio must come from USB Type-C port and then use an adaptor to connect this into the audio jack on the monitor

Question

Before I go through the hassle of ordering this online, could someone confirm my suspicions that this is the problem or is there something I am overlooking?

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The issue that you’re running into is that you’re going from DisplayPort to HDMI (signal conversion). Now DisplayPort as an industry standard has support for audio as does HDMI. However, DisplayPort and HDMI are very different signals.

What makes this confusing is that we bring the term “USB-C” into the mix. USB-C is just the physical connector type. That port on the MBA is several signals, including DisplayPort, in one port.

The first thing I would look at is going with an Active Adapter, not a passive one (cable) that just re-orders the pinouts to match what you need.

As for your audio, I’ve never been a fan of integrated audio speakers in monitors and definitely not a fan of HDMI video connections in my compute environment - it’s a consumer grade AV spec that I’ve found very flaky. I would go with a USB audio adapter (DAC) that can connect to a much better set of speakers or even audio amplifier.

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  • I bought this as I believed it whats you referred to. amazon.ca/gp/product/B081GHTVVN/… . However now hdmi/hdmi from this to my monitor non longer delivers video let alone no audio. Any insights as to why? – Bromox Apr 3 at 17:45
  • @Bromox - I don’t know that brand and it doesn’t say active anywhere on the product description. It’s nothing like what I referred to. if you want all those ports as that product provides, get a proper dock from a reputable brand – Allan Apr 3 at 19:12
  • I tried out another HDMI chord that I had and it worked. I am now able to get video and audio through the HDMI chord when plugged into this dock. You are right it doesn't say Active anywhere in the documentation but it appears to be working so I assume it is. Thanks for your explanation, I learned a great deal about cables. Cheers. – Bromox Apr 4 at 20:04

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