edited January 2013 in Digital
my puter outputs s/pdif via a 3.5mm headphone jack, now i would be interested in comparing the output to the usb. i know nothing about computers , how do i know if the jack is coax or optical or both  or what ? :) or is at matter of where it connects toon the young.
stupid i know


  • Does the jack double as a headphone socket? I once had a laptop that had a headphone socket combined with optical digital. If this is the case then you'll probably see a little red light glowing at the far end of the socket if you peer into it. I suspect this is the case, as I can't say I've ever come across a 3.5mm jack digi-coax connection. They tend to be RCA or bnc.
  • Btw, if it is optical, you'll need one of those little adapters that clip on to the end of toslinks. The optical cables often come with them anyway.
  • it does indeed double as a headphone socket, does it have to be enabled as i can not see a light. 


  • Are we talking Mac here, Chris?
  • it does indeed double as a headphone socket, does it have to be enabled as i can not see a light. 


    Not sure. We've now reached the limit of my response ability on this one...sorry.
  • Not a mac, acer laptop,  been searching the net ,
    but can i find a definitive answer
  • I thought we were talking about Apple's combined analogue jack/optical digital socket.

    What is the model number of your Acer?
  • Its coaxial not optical. 3.5mm mini jack is coaxial and if there's no light then it cannot be optical.  
  • Yep, Paul. I'm as up to speed as that. I'm hoping to have a look at the spec for the machine to understand what sockets are available and what they do.
  • edited January 2013
    Thanks for looking, coaxial,tried one no joy. acer 5332 apparently does s/pdif though the headphone jack. wondered if something needs enabling. no biggy just wanted to try it.

  • edited January 2013
    Chris, have you tried something like this...
    http://www.infinitecables.com/pop-usa/av_dig-35mm.htm ?)
    Alternatively, a 3.5mm to RCA adaptor would widen your cable choices.
    If it doubles as a headphone socket, presumably something does have to be enabled somewhere, or you'd just get your ears blown out whenever you plugged the headphones in (possibly in control panel > sound, somewhere, or in the soundcard driver control panel...?).
    I must say, I've never seen that spdif coax connection before. Ho-hum, we live and learn...
  • If all else fails, I am happy to custom build you a 3.5mm jack to RCA cable; not a problem
  • That sounds like a good idea.

    I can vouch for the quality of Paul's cables.
  • edited January 2013
    If I actually sort out how this works I will
    be in touch:..................... Cheers
  • OK. I've finally got around to doing some Googling on your lappy.

    On Acer's spec page http://support.acer.com/acerpanam/notebook/2009/acer/aspire/Aspire5332/Aspire5332sp2.shtml, there's nothing to suggest that jack socket does digital out.

    Can I ask where you got that information from?

    Looks like your digital out will be via USB.
  • Acer direct UK states it has s/pdif out. Just shows you don't believe what you read :) Thanks for looking Dave.
  • Do you have a link to what Acer Direct UK said, Chris?
  • Some more digging and reading seems to suggest that s/pdif can be run through a 3.5mm jack.

    Is one of your jacks labelled like the one in this post, Chris?

    If it is, then you're away. Paul can make you a cable.
  • If you're still looking for 3.5mm cables you can try this place.

    They might also have an adapter.
  • edited November 2016
    Well, although chrisb has not been on here for 2 years I've found the answer.



  • Better late than never :-)
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