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Microphone Month 4

Optical and Analog on One Jack?

Q: How can things like Apple computers have jacks that can do both optical and regular analog signals at the same time?

A: Though some clever engineering! Mini-TOSLink connectors share the same form factor as a 3.5mm/1/8″ stereo mini jack. However, the Mini-TOSLink optical plug/jack combination is 1/2-mm longer than the 1/8″ TRS plug/jack, so the analog plug doesn’t touch the optical’s LED. This allows the analog connection to “nest” within the optical connection, allowing either type to be used.

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