“Diving deep into Apple’s specifications, AppleInsider has learned that optical audio output capability found on previous MacBook Pro models does not exist on the 13-inch MacBook Pro with function keys, and is likely not on the higher-end models either,” Mike Wuerthele reports for AppleInsider.

“The technical specifications for the new MacBook Pro on all 13- and 15-inch models list the audio port as simply a ‘3.5-mm headphone jack’ with no other amplifying information,” Wuerthele reports. “In the 2015, and earlier, MacBook Pro, and every other Mac model with optical audio out on the 3.5mm jack, the listing is amplified with a statement like ‘support for audio line out (digital/analog).'”

“Additionally, the system profiler’s report on the 13-inch MacBook Pro has no listing for S/PDIF Optical Digital Audio Output, while the 2012 and 2015 Retina MacBook Pro models do,” Wuerthele reports. “AppleInsider contacted Apple about the matter, and was told that the feature was removed due to a lack of customers using the functionality.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If you want optical audio, use one of the Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports that Apple has provided.