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Apple confirms high-quality headphone support for MacBook Pro

M1 Max Macbook Pro Ports Left
M1 Max Macbook Pro Ports Left (Image credit: Rene Ritchie)

What you need to know

  • Apple's new MacBook Pro features support for high-impedance headphones.
  • It means the laptop can detect DC load and has adaptive voltage output.
  • It also has a built-in DAC convertor for high-quality audio, even removing the need for an amplifier in some cases.

Apple has confirmed the details of the new MacBook Pro (2021) and its support for high-quality audio through its headphone jack.

In a document published Wednesday, first noted by MacRumors (opens in new tab) Apple writes:

The 3.5 mm headphone jack on the MacBook Pro (14-inch, 2021) or MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2021) features DC load detection and adaptive voltage output. Your Mac can detect the impedance of the connected device and will adapt its output for low- and high-impedance headphones, as well as for line-level audio devices.

Apple says that when you connect headphones with an impedance of fewer than 150 ohms, the jack will put out 1.25 volts of RMS, but for headphones with an impedance of 150 to 1k ohms, this is upped to 3 volts. Apple says this could remove the need for an external headphone amplifier in some cases. The new MacBook Pro is the best MacBook for professionals on the go, including audiophiles and people making music. It also features a built-in digital-to-analog converter that supports sample rates of up to 96kHz.

Apple's new MacBook, announced last week, features all-new Apple silicon in the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, as well as a 120Hz Liquid Retina XDR display with mini-LED.

Stephen Warwick
Stephen Warwick

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple.