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High impedance headphone jack on new M1 Max 16 inch MacBook Pro

Darwin

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I just got my new 16 inch MacBook Pro with M1 Max processor. Today is the first day they are available.
I bought the spec with 32 GB ram, 10 core processor and 32 core gpu, 1 TB ssd. Yes 32 core gpu....
One of the things Apple talked about was a high impedance headphone jack. The built in speakers are even better than before too. I have been using HD6XX with my 13 inch M1 MacBook Pro and it was ok without an external dac/amp. I had the volume at around 80 to 90 percent and it was usable but not that loud. With this laptop 50% volume is more than enough and it sounds rich and full. It actually sounds really great. I don't really see a need for an external dac unless I want full lossless from Apple Music since the Mac will only go to a maximum of 96khz. Hopeful Apple will fix this since Apple music is lossless now.
Pretty great :) One less thing to carry around if I want to use wired headphones.

Audio
High-fidelity six-speaker sound system with force-cancelling woofers
3.5 mm headphone jack with advanced support for high-impedance headphones

Wide stereo sound
Support for spatial audio when playing music or video with Dolby Atmos on built-in speakers
Spatial audio with dynamic head tracking when using AirPods (3rd generation), AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max
Studio-quality three-mic array with high signal-to-noise ratio and directional beamforming
 

sarumbear

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I am curious as to what have they done on that motherboard to incorporate a dac/amp.
There was always a DAC/Amp. How can you connect analogue headphones to a digital computer otherwise? They have upped the amp.

However, the title of this post is wrong. The new headphone output does not have high impedance. It is better suited to high impedance headphones as they can pump higher voltage.

Edit: I miss-read the title. I didn’t realise that it meant a jack for

High impedance headphone​

 
Last edited:

restorer-john

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However, the title of this post is wrong. The new headphone output does not have high impedance. It is better suited to high impedance headphones as they can pump higher voltage.

It is a high impedance headphone jack.

Their categorisation is correct.

They are not describing the headphone amplifier or its output impedance. Can you see the difference?
 

sarumbear

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It is a high impedance headphone jack.

Their categorisation is correct.

They are not describing the headphone amplifier or its output impedance. Can you see the difference?
I saw it now. Thank you.

This is how Apple described it:

“improved headphone jack that supports high-impedance headphones”
 

restorer-john

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I saw it now. Thank you.

This is how Apple described it:

“improved headphone jack that supports high-impedance headphones”

It's OK, I read it the same way at first too. :)

Apple's descriptions are for their customers, not geeks like us. We think of the design, the circuitry, the compatibility etc.

Apple customer: "Apparently, I've got high impedance headphones according to the salesman and I need a compatible jack to get the best out of them"
Apple store guy: "Our new Macs have a high impedance jack just for that purpose."
Customer: "Cool, I'll buy one."
 

Raindog123

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...a high-impedance jack, adapter rather: :)

adaptor.png
 

restorer-john

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OP
D

Darwin

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I'm playing World of Tanks Blitz on it now. Games sound great. :) Surpassing amount off bass that the previous model did not have for both games and music.
 
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D

Darwin

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There was always a DAC/Amp. How can you connect analogue headphones to a digital computer otherwise? They have upped the amp.

However, the title of this post is wrong. The new headphone output does not have high impedance. It is better suited to high impedance headphones as they can pump higher voltage.

Oh my....the title of the post is WRONG!!!! Heh.
 

velasfloyd

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I just got my new 16 inch MacBook Pro with M1 Max processor. Today is the first day they are available.
I bought the spec with 32 GB ram, 10 core processor and 32 core gpu, 1 TB ssd. Yes 32 core gpu....
One of the things Apple talked about was a high impedance headphone jack. The built in speakers are even better than before too. I have been using HD6XX with my 13 inch M1 MacBook Pro and it was ok without an external dac/amp. I had the volume at around 80 to 90 percent and it was usable but not that loud. With this laptop 50% volume is more than enough and it sounds rich and full. It actually sounds really great. I don't really see a need for an external dac unless I want full lossless from Apple Music since the Mac will only go to a maximum of 96khz. Hopeful Apple will fix this since Apple music is lossless now.
Pretty great :) One less thing to carry around if I want to use wired headphones.

Audio
High-fidelity six-speaker sound system with force-cancelling woofers
3.5 mm headphone jack with advanced support for high-impedance headphones

Wide stereo sound
Support for spatial audio when playing music or video with Dolby Atmos on built-in speakers
Spatial audio with dynamic head tracking when using AirPods (3rd generation), AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max
Studio-quality three-mic array with high signal-to-noise ratio and directional beamforming

I think you have a confusion regarding lossless.
Lossless just means that the post-compression file keeps the same information as the original file .... Lossless has nothing to do with the sample rate or the quality of the resulting file per se..... so you can have a very poor file that, if it is the same as the one it was obtained, is lossless.
Another thing is what they call high res, which is usually understood (convention) when a file is "superior" to the cd 16 / 44.1 format ... but as has been talked about countless times in this forum .. . any improvement that you can listen to beyond the cd, is the product of your imagination :)

so relax and enjoy your mac....it is a monster
 

3125b

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I‘d like to measure that thing. In the past Apple has had good (iPads) and bad entries (iPod Touch) in their respective categories as far as headphone output performance is concerned.
Usually laptop outputs are terrible, wouldn‘t be surprised if this is better than most.
 

raistlin65

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3V headphone output for high impedance

When you connect headphones with an impedance of less than 150 ohms, the headphone jack provides up to 1.25 volts RMS. For headphones with an impedance of 150 to 1k ohms, the headphone jack delivers 3 volts RMS. This may remove the need for an external headphone amplifier.

 
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Darwin

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Was wondering why not play WoT PC, then I see the M1 CPU... :D
Try that again. WOT also plays on the M1 Mac. I used it with the 13” M1 MBP and I’m running it on my M1Max. I prefer Blitz for the same reason many people do. WOT runs with the graphics maxed out as well. Pun intended.
 
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Darwin

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I think you have a confusion regarding lossless.
Lossless just means that the post-compression file keeps the same information as the original file .... Lossless has nothing to do with the sample rate or the quality of the resulting file per se..... so you can have a very poor file that, if it is the same as the one it was obtained, is lossless.
Another thing is what they call high res, which is usually understood (convention) when a file is "superior" to the cd 16 / 44.1 format ... but as has been talked about countless times in this forum .. . any improvement that you can listen to beyond the cd, is the product of your imagination :)

so relax and enjoy your mac....it is a monster
You are assuming. I am well aware of the difference. I am also well aware of the CD quality vs lossless etc and all the debates. I’ve read it all plus the opinions a million times.
Yes, thanks, it is a monster.
 
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Darwin

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I‘d like to measure that thing. In the past Apple has had good (iPads) and bad entries (iPod Touch) in their respective categories as far as headphone output performance is concerned.
Usually laptop outputs are terrible, wouldn‘t be surprised if this is better than most.
Macs have been known for a loving time for having better quality built in dacs and amps than PCs which usually use whatever is the cheapest.
 

3125b

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PCs which usually use whatever is the cheapest
Untrue as a blanket statement, that wholly depends on the mainboard. Although the performance is, more often then not, quite questionable given the price and marketing blurp of the manufacturers. A decent 100€ USB interface is almost always worth it for a desktop setup for performance and connectivity.
I'm not sure if I have published measurements here, if not I will do so when I find the time. The Dell Amir once measured is an exeptionally poor performer. Unfortunately noone I know owns a Mac of any kind.

I have measured some mobile Apple devices before as well as some other smartphones and tablets however.
Just about all of them are transparent at full volume (96-99dB SINAD typically, wich is better than most dedicated DAPs reviewed here), but output voltage is vastly different.
Funnily enough one of the weakest devices I ever measured was the current iPod Touch, only putting out 400mV wich is less than my cheap smartphone (600mV) and much less than older and current iPads (~1V, the cheaper models that still have headphone outputs). That doen not speak to Apple having their priorities any straighter than most manufacturers.
Unfortunately most customers just do not care.
 

raistlin65

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Does anyone know if it's possible to turn off the auto impedance sensing on the new MacBook Pros?

There are some Hifiman owners and a few others who are going to be better off if it has the high gain available for low impedance.
 
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