How to get Optical Audio to work in macOS!


May 3, 2020
This might be a pretty banal post, but it might get rid of some confusion for those who are scratching their heads when trying to get sound through their S/PDIF ports.
I have already covered this on my success story, but as not everyone would have read it, I thought I would cover it separately.

When you select optical audio output in macOS, the sound defaults to the maximum level. But you cannot change it like auxiliary audio jacks, it behaves like when you plug in a USB DAC.

But that’s good. Because the default isn’t set to the maximum, then you have no chance to change it.
The main factor to make it work is if your audio device has its own volume control. Then you’re gold!

I have tried this out with my trusty old iPod Hi-Fi, which worked with the volume buttons on it and the corresponding remote we all love. The only quirk was you could only mute the speaker with pause button, instead of stopping the music completely.

When I upgraded my sound system to stereo speakers and my old Onkyo receiver, it also worked a charm, with the master volume doing the job.

All of this worked with setting the channels to 24bit/96KHz on the iPod Hi-Fi and 24bit/128KHz on my receiver, if I’m not mistaken.

So yeah a quick mention on this quite unspoken topic, I hope a few people find this helpful to them!

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