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2010 Macbook Pro - SPDIF In? Audio Interfaces
Old 27th December 2010
  #1
Gear Nut
 

2010 Macbook Pro - SPDIF In?

Does the current model Macbook Pro accept an optical SPDIF (Toslink) input via the audio in/out port?

I've searched everywhere and can not find a definitive answer. I know it has optical output but not sure about input.

Thanks.
Old 27th December 2010
  #2
Gear Addict
 

I think the answer is yes, and I think consensus has been that the OSX optical audio drivers are semi-stable but not excellent, especially when simultaneously using input and output. There has been discussion about latency issues.

Theoretically the drivers may in fact be excellently stable and the latency may be extremely low (in/out monitoring) but people seem to prefer using USB2 or Firewire external interfaces and using them to link with Toslink.

If you have the time and money to spend, I'm be curious to hear your results.
Old 27th December 2010
  #3
Gear Nut
 

I have another USB interface for everything else, but it does not have an SPDIF input, hence the question.

I'll be using the optical input (if it does in fact work - on the new macbook there is only one 3.5mm jack which serves as an input and output) for recording audio from my Motif synth.

I guess I'll buy an adapter and see. You would think Apple would give detailed specs but it's nigh on impossible to get a straight answer.
Old 27th December 2010
  #4
Lives for gear
 
StudioTinPanAll's Avatar
 

insert an optical 3.5mm into the plug,
then choose digital in sound preferences.
easy & wise choice
Old 27th December 2010
  #5
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autodidactic's Avatar
 

Check the Apple web site. The 13" MBP has a single I/O jack that does analog I/O but only does Output as digital. Source The larger models with dedicated in and out ports support digital in both directions.
Old 28th December 2010
  #6
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by autodidactic View Post
Check the Apple web site. The 13" MBP has a single I/O jack that does analog I/O but only does Output as digital. Source The larger models with dedicated in and out ports support digital in both directions.
Thanks.

I've already ordered a cable so I'll give it a try, I've read some reports that it does infact work.

Surely Apply only saved a few cents by omitting a dedicated input port, I don't really understand the idea behind it.
Old 28th December 2010
  #7
Gear Nut
 

fwiw, this is the thread that gave me the idea to try it;

S/PDIF direct into macbook pro?

If that is the case, Apple needs to fix their tech specs.
Old 25th May 2014
  #8
Here for the gear
 

OLD THREAD REVIVAL. Has there ever been a definitive answer to this question - does the 2010 13" Macbook Pro support digital audio in? Despite Apple's specs saying its only Digital out/Analog in? Seems to be a lot of threads asking this question with no real conclusion. Can anyone who has successfully run digital audio into the audio input stand up and say "ABSOLUTELY YES IT WORKS" before I go buy all these cables and adapters? Thanks.
Old 20th September 2014
  #9
Here for the gear
 

In case you (or anyone else) has or hasn't tried yet, the answer is NO. I just experimented with my girlfriend's 2010 13" MBP.

Just recently I decided that I needed to transfer some live music recordings off of DAT (digital audio tapes) to be archived as FLAC music files. Being the "gear slut" that I am, I just so happened to have a heavy duty optical TOSlink cable laying around, as well as a gold-plated 1/8" adapter. I hooked the cable up to the functioning (and currently-running) optical output on my television, which was working fine in conjunction with my surround sound bar. And, after plugging into the Mac... "nothing". In the Sound menu, the computer instantly recognizes the TOSlink as an OUTPUT cable and not an input cable, even though there is an input signal coming through the cable. Additionally, "Digital Input" NEVER shows up in the Input sub-menu, before or after I plug the cable into the 1/8" I/O port.

The real question is if there is or isn't an optical input driver onboard in the machine. If this were the case, one would think there'd be some kind of firmware hack available to access its capabilities. But from what I've seen, this has not been addressed anywhere on the Net that I know of. Sorry to kill the issue, but I believe it's now a dead one.

(My final solution was to pick up a gently used M-Audio Microtrack 2496 to run the DATs into, via AES/EBU coax digital audio cable with RCA connectors. Additional solutions if you'd prefer a digital > USB interface would be M-Audio's Audiophile 2496 or Fast Track Pro interfaces.)
Old 26th August 2015
  #10
i just swapped my macbook air for a pro - same year - 2010 13" model..
and under system profiler it says S/PDIF Optical Digital Audio Output
then it says Connection: "Combination Output"
i have no idea what this means im surprised to even see it says S/PDIF anywhere as there is no S/PDIF jack anywhere
the only jack is the 3.5mm headphone out jack
Attached Thumbnails
2010 Macbook Pro - SPDIF In?-screen-shot-2015-08-25-10.09.11-pm.png  
Old 26th August 2015
  #11
rez
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rez's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by supernova777 View Post
i have no idea what this means im surprised to even see it says S/PDIF anywhere as there is no S/PDIF jack anywhere
the only jack is the 3.5mm headphone out jack
the optical output is inside the 3,5mm headphone jack!

some users have switched that on by accident while plugging in a regular mini jack and then there is no analog output any longer, but you can see a red light glowing in the headphone jack. pluging and unpluging the cable several times can switch that behaviour back to normal again.

to use this output with a standart spdif input on another device you just need a spdif to optical 3,5mm jack cable.

peace, rez
Old 18th December 2015
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by rez View Post
the optical output is inside the 3,5mm headphone jack
to use this output with a standart spdif input on another device you just need a spdif to optical 3,5mm jack cable.
peace, rez
do they sell this cable at the apple store? or would i have to special order it?
Old 19th December 2015
  #13
rez
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rez's Avatar
at the apple store there is only one optical cable and it is this one from belkin: Belkin 6' Digital Toslink Optical Audio Cable with Line-Out Adapter - Apple

the cable itself is nothing special, just a simple toslink cable (this also fits all adat connectors), the special item is the included small 3.5mm to optical adapter as seen on the second picture.
this small adapter also can be used with any toslink/adat cable from any brand.

maybe you can find this adapter as a single item at a local electronics store?

peace, rez
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