• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

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

velasfloyd

Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
77
Likes
129
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.


I am not assuming. This is what I conclude after read this line of yours:
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.

I know what you meant to say here, I just wanted to point out, not as a troll but as a way to tell to the readers why those lines are inaccurate.

If it makes you feel better, a high percentage of material out there on the internet is just wrong when they talk about "lossless"... even "experts" are all the time confusing lossless-lossy-high-res-cd etc.

Anyway, the last thing I want on earth is a small fight on internet haha. Thanks for sharing your experience on this mac :)
 

Firefly00

Active Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2021
Messages
132
Likes
82
Location
New Zealand
Apple is probably doing this to support really high impedance studio monitors like the DT1990 Pro, since they are pitching the Macs toward video editing and music production
 

epiceric6

New Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2021
Messages
4
Likes
5
Just listened for a while with my HE400i and HD58X headset, comparing with an LG G7.
For HE400i, the Macbook performs much better, due to the fact that LG G7 fail to trigger its high impedance mode.
Even when I use the trick to enable Line-out mode (1V RMS), the sound is more solid and pleasing to listen to on the new Macbook.
Now I switch to HD58X, which triggers high impedance mode on both G7 and Macbook (2V vs 3V RMS on paper),
I'll say that it's a tough choice, each has its pros and cons but they are not that different now.
Just my 2 cents.
 
Joined
Nov 7, 2021
Messages
22
Likes
23
Using a Sony MDR-Z1R and switching between the M1 pro MBP 16 inch and a Chord Mojo.

I have difficulty distinguishing any significant difference. They both sound about the same, having more or less 97% the performance of $5000 amplifiers when paired with the Z1R. Perhaps the Mojo performs slightly better with bass but I cannot solidly confirm that. MBP have a bit of chipping issue but overall alright.

However, with Audio Technica ATH-W5000, the MBP started having very obviously chipped high frequencies, making many music literally unbearable. I think this might have something to do with the auto-detection which seems to be pushing everything way too far.

With the W5000 it gets loud enough on one bar of volume and with Z1R, 2 bars, out of 16 bars total. This is some very poorly utilized volume control. In its current state the only headphones with suitable impedance might be something like HE6SE or DT880 600Ohms. For anything else get ready for your ear getting mistakenly blown out.
 

Head_Unit

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 27, 2018
Messages
615
Likes
304
The Dell Amir once measured
Did any Macs get measured? I'm curious. I plan to get a new MacBook Air when they return MagSafe, guess I could send to Amir for measurement. This one I'm typing on is 2015, irrelevantly long in the tooth I suppose.
 

Tokyo_John

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 6, 2021
Messages
161
Likes
200
Just fired up my new MacBook Pro M1 Max and definitely notice a big improvement in sound quality through the headphone jack relative to my 2017 MacBook Pro. I did some switching back and forth just to make sure it wasn't imaginary...subjectively speaking the difference is pretty obvious. The new M1 Max laptop has much better articulation (across the audible spectrum), dynamic swings, etc.. None of my cans are difficult to drive, all have moderate impedance...my main pair are Ultrasone Edition 8 Ruthenium which are easily driven by a smart phone, so the "high impedance output" claim is basically irrelevant to my setup.

Very pleased. Right now I'm moving my external headphone dac/amp off my desk and will enjoy having the extra space...

Would love to see somebody measure this machine.
 
Joined
Nov 7, 2021
Messages
22
Likes
23
Just fired up my new MacBook Pro M1 Max and definitely notice a big improvement in sound quality through the headphone jack relative to my 2017 MacBook Pro. I did some switching back and forth just to make sure it wasn't imaginary...subjectively speaking the difference is pretty obvious. The new M1 Max laptop has much better articulation (across the audible spectrum), dynamic swings, etc.. None of my cans are difficult to drive, all have moderate impedance...my main pair are Ultrasone Edition 8 Ruthenium which are easily driven by a smart phone, so the "high impedance output" claim is basically irrelevant to my setup.

Very pleased. Right now I'm moving my external headphone dac/amp off my desk and will enjoy having the extra space...

Would love to see somebody measure this machine.
I am actually sending mine to Amirm. Might take a while though cause I am all the way on the east coast.
 

staticV3

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Aug 29, 2019
Messages
639
Likes
943
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.
Here are measurements of the new headphone output:
 

3125b

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
May 18, 2020
Messages
889
Likes
1,332
Location
Germany
Here are measurements of the new headphone output:
Thanks. I can tell the Google translator is doing its best:
"Etwas überraschend ist die Ausgangsimpedanz. 120m . Es ist 0,12 . Wann hast du weniger als 1 Ω gesehen?"
Oh man, sounds like an American actor cast as a Nazi trying to speak German.

So overall performance isn't world shattering but good for a laptop. That should work fine with most common headphones save for some very low sensitivity planars and such.
 

Tokyo_John

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 6, 2021
Messages
161
Likes
200
So overall performance isn't world shattering but good for a laptop. That should work fine with most common headphones save for some very low sensitivity planars and such.
Yes that's my view, as well. After some more listening, I can be happy with the laptop headphone out for most things...still, if I want to be very happy or do hyper-critical listening, then I'll need to hook up an external DAC + Amp. This is a big step up from the prior MBP, and I'm very happy that I can be happy with just the laptop and cans. Moving the headphone jack closer toward the front (with other plugs behind it) is very welcome. Of course, the new M1 Max MBP is a big step up in many other ways, too...
 

HRTF_Enthusiast

Active Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2021
Messages
169
Likes
69
...still, if I want to be very happy or do hyper-critical listening, then I'll need to hook up an external DAC + Amp. This is a big step up from the prior MBP, and I'm very happy that I can be happy with just the laptop and cans. Moving the headphone jack closer toward the front (with other plugs behind it) is very welcome.
There is zero difference in sound quality from the old MacBooks aside from loudness into high impedance loads.
 

tmtomh

Major Contributor
Joined
Aug 14, 2018
Messages
1,317
Likes
3,826
Thanks. I can tell the Google translator is doing its best:
"Etwas überraschend ist die Ausgangsimpedanz. 120m . Es ist 0,12 . Wann hast du weniger als 1 Ω gesehen?"
Oh man, sounds like an American actor cast as a Nazi trying to speak German.

So overall performance isn't world shattering but good for a laptop. That should work fine with most common headphones save for some very low sensitivity planars and such.

I think you're understating it a bit. My first reaction was, "Jesus that's amazing performance for a laptop's built-in DAC and headphone amp!" Aside from the crosstalk measurement with a 32 ohm load, every single measurement seems very good to excellent.
 

Tokyo_John

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 6, 2021
Messages
161
Likes
200
There is zero difference in sound quality from the old MacBooks aside from loudness into high impedance loads.
I'd be willing to bet a six pack that there is an objective difference, not just subjective. I've done enough comparisons.
 
Top Bottom