New MacBook Pro's built-in DAC good for up to 96kHz sample rates

Apple Final Cut Pro Logic Pro Hero
Apple Final Cut Pro Logic Pro Hero (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • The new MacBook Pro has a built-in digital-to-analog converter.
  • Apple has confirmed it supports sample rates of up to 96kHz.
  • Apple says its new MacBook has the best audio system ever in a notebook.

Apple has confirmed that the built-in digital-to-analog converter in the new MacBook Pro (2021) supports sample rates of up to 96kHz.

A newly-published support document states (opens in new tab):

The hardware digital-to-analog converter (DAC) built into MacBook Pro (14-inch, 2021) and MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2021) supports sample rates of up to 96 kHz.MacBook Pro (14-inch, 2021) and MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2021) feature a high-quality built-in hardware DAC that can convert up to 96 kHz digital audio to analog audio. Connect an analog device like headphones or speakers directly to the headphone jack on your Mac and monitor your audio at full resolution without needing an external DAC.

As Apple notes, the support of the built-in DAC on some occasions lets listeners use headphones or speakers plugged directly into the MacBook Pro without the need for an external DAC. The new MacBook also has support for low and high-impedance headphones, featuring DC load detecting that can adjust the voltage output depending on which headphones you plug in.

Combined, these features mean the new MBP is the best MacBook for audio professionals who want to make music on the go, removing the need for pesky external DAC hardware. Apple also updated the audio in the MacBook for use without headphones. It features a six-speaker sound system with four force-canceling woofers for 80% more bass. It also supports spatial audio even without headphones.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

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. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9