Apple Provides Details on Using High-Impedance Headphones With New MacBook Pros

Apple has published a new support document detailing the use of high-impedance headphones with the new MacBook Pro models.

headphone jack macbook pro article
As Apple mentioned when it unveiled the latest MacBook Pros, the 3.5mm headphone jack offers support for high-impedance headphones, which is good news for professionals who want to use the MacBook Pro with studio quality headphones.

As noted in the support document, the new MacBook Pros come with DC load detection, adaptive voltage output, and a built-in digital-to-analog converter. For some use cases, they may also remove the need for an external headphone amplifier.

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.

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.

With impedance detection, adaptive voltage output, and a built-in digital-to-analog converter that supports sample rates of up to 96 kHz, you can enjoy high-fidelity, full-resolution audio directly from the headphone jack on your MacBook Pro.

Apple's new MacBook Pro models are equipped with the "best audio system in a notebook," according to Apple, thanks to upgrades to both the headphone jack and the speaker system.

Related Roundup: 14 & 16" MacBook Pro
Related Forum: MacBook Pro

Top Rated Comments

Serban55 Avatar
8 months ago
impressive in a world that Apple itself started the remove the headphone jack trend
Thank you Apple
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hyperreal Avatar
8 months ago

High impedance =/= better sound. The two aren't necessarily related.

I mean, why is this even the default assumption?
Because the hifi audio market is full of snake oil peddlers.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Chancha Avatar
8 months ago
I have had a bayerdynamic DT1990PRO for on the road monitoring purpose. In the past with any Mac I either need a AudioQuest DragonFly for amplifying, if not through an external audio interface and its jack there. Just tried plugging it directly to my base 14" and can report the volume is decent. Frequency response sounds flat (which is good, unlike the AirPods). Audio MIDI reports both the jack and internal speakers cap at 96kHz / 32bit float.

This makes life much easier, for semi-professional monitoring on the pinch.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ? Avatar
8 months ago
That is brilliant! I'm also glad the speaker of the new Macbook is on another level.

MacBook Pro does have the "best audio system in a notebook", Apple!
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
haruhiko Avatar
8 months ago
Is the AirPods Max “high impedance headphones”?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
alexe Avatar
8 months ago

This is all pretty odd. It's hard to imagine a real audio professional plugging headphones into the laptop's headphone jack instead of using a USB DAC. But apparently Apple thought there would be some marketing value in adding this feature to the MacBook Pros. Meanwhile, they give us an outdated HDMI 2.0 port and a slow SD card slot.
Why is that hard to imagine? I'm a real audio professional and I'm definitely going to try it out. If that MacBook Pro DAC can drive my headphones sufficiently well and I can rely on the sound, then that saves me one piece of equipment to carry around with me in many situations.

I don't consider this a gimmick, on the contrary. I wish professional-grade DAC and amplifiers for headphones were more of a focus on pro laptops.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

macbook pro 2021 side by side

New MacBook Pro Pricing: 14-Inch Model Starts at $1,999 and 16-Inch Model Starts at $2,499

Monday October 18, 2021 10:52 am PDT by
Apple today announced that 14-inch MacBook Pro pricing will start at $1,999 ($1,849 for education), while the new 16-inch MacBook Pro will start at $2,499 ($2,299 for education). The new MacBook Pro models were revealed during today's Apple event, and are powered by the new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips. The new models feature Liquid Retina XDR displays with ProMotion, HDMI ports and SDXC card...
2021 macbook pro ports

Here Are All the Ports on the New 14-Inch and 16-Inch MacBook Pro

Monday October 18, 2021 6:01 pm PDT by
While all MacBook Pro models released in the last five years featured only two to four Thunderbolt ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack, that changed this week with the introduction of the redesigned 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models. Following years of complaints about a lack of ports, both sizes of the new MacBook Pro feature several ports that Apple had removed in 2016, including an HDMI ...
macbook pro 14 16 2021

New MacBook Pro Tidbits: SD Card Speeds, Peak Brightness for SDR Content, eGPUs Still Not Supported, and More

Thursday October 21, 2021 12:47 pm PDT by
Apple unveiled new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models earlier this week, and we've since confirmed some additional details about the notebooks. 16-inch MacBook Pro models configured with the M1 Max chip feature a new High Power Mode to maximize performance for intensive, sustained workloads, according to Apple. High Power Mode is not available on other models. Like the Pro Display XDR,...
16 inch macbook pro m2 render

Don't Buy a MacBook Pro Right Now

Friday October 15, 2021 2:18 am PDT by
New MacBook Pro models are expected to be announced on Monday at Apple's "Unleashed" event, bringing some of the biggest improvements to the product line to date, including some surprising changes, so any prospective MacBook Pro buyers should wait for the new devices to come out. According to our full feature breakdown aggregated from our coverage from a wide range of sources, including...
iPad mini 6 orange BG

Low-Cost iPad and iPod Touch Are Last iOS Devices With Headphone Jack as iPad Mini 6 Drops Support

Monday September 20, 2021 11:24 am PDT by
Apple is continuing to phase out the headphone jack from its iOS devices, and the iPad mini 6 is the latest iPad to see the feature removed. The prior-generation iPad mini 5, released in 2019, had a headphone jack located at the top of the device, but the iPad mini 6 does not include this feature. With no headphone jack, the iPad mini 6 supports only Bluetooth-enabled headphones or...
macbook pro 13 inch banner

MacBook Pro With Next-Gen M2 Chip Coming Next Month, Supply Chain Report Claims

Tuesday February 8, 2022 2:19 am PST by
Apple will launch its first MacBook Pro featuring a second-generation M2 Apple silicon processor at its spring event next month, according to a new supply chain report today. DigiTimes reports that Apple's supply chain partners kept production lines running during the Lunar New Year holiday for the new MacBook Pro, which is set to launch in "early March," according to the publication's...
maxresdefault

Everything Announced at the Apple Event in Just 7 Minutes

Monday October 18, 2021 7:55 pm PDT by
Apple today held its second fall event, which focused on the MacBook Pro and the AirPods. Apple introduced new 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with a total design overhaul featuring MagSafe, no Touch Bar, HDMI port and SD card slot, and a mini-LED display that features a notch. Apple also debuted new super powerful M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, which join the existing M1 chip. Subscribe to the ...
headphone jack macbook pro article

New MacBook Pros Feature 3.5mm Headphone Jack With Advanced Support for High-Impedance Headphones, Six-Speaker Sound System

Monday October 18, 2021 6:12 pm PDT by
Apple's new MacBook Pro models are equipped with the "best audio system in a notebook," according to Apple, with upgrades to the headphone jack and the speaker system. The 3.5mm headphone jack now offers support for high-impedance headphones. High-end headphone options that are high-impedance models from companies like Sennheiser and Beyerdynamic will offer better sound quality on the...

Popular Stories

apple ar headset concept 1

Apple's Headset Said to Feature 14 Cameras Enabling Lifelike Avatars, Jony Ive Has Remained Involved With Design

Friday May 20, 2022 6:50 am PDT by
Earlier this week, The Information's Wayne Ma outlined struggles that Apple has faced during the development of its long-rumored AR/VR headset. Now, in a follow-up report, he has shared several additional details about the wearable device. Apple headset render created by Ian Zelbo based on The Information reporting For starters, one of the headset's marquee features is said to be lifelike...
iPhone 14 Purple Lineup Feature

Will the iPhone 14 Be a Disappointment?

Saturday May 21, 2022 9:00 am PDT by
With around four months to go before Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 14 lineup, the overwhelming majority of rumors related to the new devices so far have focused on the iPhone 14 Pro, rather than the standard iPhone 14 – leading to questions about how different the iPhone 14 will actually be from its predecessor, the iPhone 13. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are expected...
sony headphones 1

Sony's New WH-1000XM5 Headphones vs. Apple's AirPods Max

Friday May 20, 2022 12:18 pm PDT by
Sony this week came out with an updated version of its popular over-ear noise canceling headphones, so we picked up a pair to compare them to the AirPods Max to see which headphones are better and whether it's worth buying the $400 WH-1000XM5 from Sony over Apple's $549 AirPods Max. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. First of all, the AirPods Max win out when it comes ...
studio display 3

Apple's Rumored 27-Inch Mini-LED Display Now Said to Launch in October

Friday May 20, 2022 8:07 am PDT by
Apple now plans to release a new 27-inch display with mini-LED backlighting in October due to the Shanghai lockdown, which has resulted in production of the display being delayed, according to display industry consultant Ross Young. In a tweet, Young said Apple is in the process of moving production of the display from Quanta Computer to a different supplier and/or location, resulting in a...
HomePodandMini feature green

Kuo: Apple to Release New HomePod in Late 2022 or Early 2023

Friday May 20, 2022 8:55 am PDT by
Apple is working on an updated version of the HomePod that could come in the fourth quarter of 2022 or the first quarter of 2023, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo says that there "may not be much innovation in hardware design" for the new HomePod, and there is no word on what size the device will be and if it will be a HomePod mini successor or a larger speaker. Apple would ...
airtag purple

Best Apple Deals of the Week: Save on AirTag, AirPods 3, and iPads

Friday May 20, 2022 8:01 am PDT by
Solid markdowns on the AirTag, AirPods 3, and a few iPad models were introduced this week, and below you'll find all of the best deals of the past few days that are still available to purchase. AirTag Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. What's the...