Can you recommend a sub-100 pound/dollar SPDIF/coaxial audio input device into USB (mac os x lion and Win 7 64 compatible?)

2 Answers 2


What model of mac do you have? Mac Pro and Macbook Pro machines have optical S/PDIF built in already, so all you need is a converter like the M-Audio CO2.

  • Thanks. +1 and accepted (even though I now have the Tascam - see my other answer - this does MIDI which I needed as well.) Question: Will conventional standard optical SPDIF fit in the small jack input of the Mac Book Pro?
    – therobyouknow
    Commented Nov 28, 2011 at 10:37
  • If I searched for TOSLINK to mini TOSLINK cables then this would fit the Mac's jack input that doubles as analogue 3.5" in and optical in.
    – therobyouknow
    Commented Nov 28, 2011 at 11:26
  • Had I waited longer and seen your answer (thanks) I would have probably got a M-Audio MIDI interface and maybe your M-Audio CO2 for the coaxial to optical. Also there are cheaper coaxial to optical converters available about 10$/10pounds on amazon and ebay (but your suggestion is worth considering from a known brand). The Tascam is powered by USB so that is a redeeming feature for me spending the extra cash on it. :)
    – therobyouknow
    Commented Nov 28, 2011 at 11:29
  • I wouldn't worry much about the brand of your S/PDIF converter - they probably all use the same chip. Commented Nov 29, 2011 at 4:50
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    Sounds good. I used the built-in audio on my MacBook Pro until I started playing with external FX units. Now I have a used MOTU 828 MkII, and plenty of external inputs and outputs. Glad to hear that the Tascam is working out for you. Commented Dec 1, 2011 at 16:12


Price check shows that, at about 125 pounds, the us-144mkii is a little over my intended budget of 100 pounds but it also has MIDI, which I also need and is USB-powered which is a real bonus for portability and because it means one less power socket required - I have many in use and would like to reduce if I can.


Correction: I should have said the US-144mkii

And I just bought it today and it seems to work with latest update of MacOS X 10.7.2 (Lion), on Tascam's site they have drivers for 10.6 (Snow Leopard) but in this case this means that is the minimum OS version, as these drivers also work with 10.7.2 as said. I couldn't say that is a general rule for all drivers but in this Tascam product case it works. Moveover on Tascam's facebook page they state officially that this driver will work and that the US-144mkii is 10.7 / Lion compatible. Need to select it as audio input/output in system preferences and restart the machine - well that's what the manual says. SPDIF in fine, MIDI IN fine. Will check out other features, but I think this is probably going to work out as required.

  • 1
    SoundSource is a useful tool for switching your audio input/output on the fly. Commented Nov 29, 2011 at 4:51
  • MIDI OUT fine with Tascam US-144mkII too on Lion 10.7.
    – therobyouknow
    Commented Dec 11, 2011 at 0:13

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