USB to Toslink

Dear Lazyweb, what's the cheapest USB to Toslink adapter? Prefer USB-powered.

Apple decided to save $0.17 on the new iMacs by removing Toslink output from the headphone jack, and I can't use HDMI audio because reasons.

I tried this piece of junk but apparently it only does Toslink input.

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22 Responses:

  1. jwb says:

    Behringer UCA202.

    • Happen Muche says:

      Before Jamie sez it- have you tried it, does it work well and reliably on a new Mac running the latest OS?

      • ark says:

        Sorry, I haven't tried it personally, but I did read the reviews that said it worked with a mac laptop.
        But they didn't mention which OS version they were on.

    • Kyle Huff says:

      I am currently using one of these, but on a windows 10 machine. I have not tried it on my Mac. I have no reason to think it won't work.

  2. Happen Muche says:

    Have you considered putting a call out to Apple employees to get your hacked binary signed?

    Might be easier than getting a third party interface working.

    • jwz says:

      I think that if I knew anyone who could sign the binary, I could just get them to fix the bug.

  3. Andrew Klossner says:

    Here's the manufacturer's page for that piece of junk. It has a DAC but no ADC, so I can't imagine how it would do TOSlink input. Per the reviews on the Amazon page, maybe it's just defective.

  4. Andrew Klossner says:

    Err ... of course, TOSlink is already digital, so no need for an ADC. But there's nothing in the datasheet about input.

  5. ssl-3 says:

    I use an ancient Soundblaster SB0270 for random work on random machines with random operating systems.

    It's been several years since I tried it on OS X, and to be fair that was a last-gen PPC iMac, but I don't recall any particular issues with it there.

    (You want a solution that just works, but all I have is the solution that has worked for me. YMMV.)

  6. I can see why you switched to Macs, it must be great having an appliance that Just Works.

    • Nick says:

      Hi Jamie, you should switch to Linux. No one has ever had problems with audio on Linux

      • Not so much these days. Audio drivers are a solved problem. Of course, I've yet to see wifi work on the E-series thinkpads I've been using, but at least my soul is pure. And my video connectors standard.

        • jwz says:

          Audio drivers are a solved problem

          That's adorable.

          • Julian Calaby says:

            As a Linux user, I assumed that the comment you're replying to and the parent comment were both sarcasm.

            (There's nothing quite like watching Youtube on Firefox slowly get confused and start stuttering the video when it's audio is piped to another machine through PulseAudio.)

  7. rj says:

    I'm still using an MD-PORT DG2 for most of my music, it has the benefit of being very very stupid - it doesn't even show as a digital output, however this limits you to 2ch stereo, 44100Hz. The other one I've used which mumbles about IEC61937 and a real S/PDIF interface is this Vantec box but I admit to not trying that under OS X, I'll have to dig it up and do so. I've never seen any "usb stick" form factor devices with toslink out, unfortunately.

  8. Zach Fine says:

    This ~$10 item oughtta fit the bill:

    "SYBA USB 2.0 External Stereo Sound Adapter Optical SPDIF Output Audio Dongle, Windows Mac Linux SD-AUD20101"

    Will undoubtedly require a mini-toslink to toslink adapter to be plugged into the headphone jack. Not sure what those volume buttons will do, hopefully nothing to the digital output.

  9. Charles Gray says:

    I got one of these when the audio output died on my mac mini... Not small, and certainly over spec, but worked flawlessly tucked behind the TV. BEHRINGER U-CONTROL UCA222