I need a DAC to convert from optical audio (coming from Apple TV) to a 3.5 analog jack.

I was thinking to buy something like this, but I'm wondering if:

1- can I easily find an adapter from 2 RCA outputs to a 3.5mm jack ?

2- Is the final audio quality lower after the d-a conversion and the RCA-3.5 adapter ?


1 Answer 1


A DAC converter like the one linked, will look through the stream of bits coming from the optical/toslink connection and create an analog bit stream from them. The quality associated with this box will most likely result from the power output (SNR) of the actual DAC chip itself, this will be the quality limiting factor since the other connection is purely analog. An RCA to 3.5mm can be easily acquired from many electronics retailers. i.e. RadioShack Y adapter

  • Ok, are we talking about a perceptible audio quality downgrade? I mean, for amatorial use, such as listening music at home
    – Patrick
    Jul 23, 2012 at 20:54
  • 1
    I'm sure that this product would be more than adequate for a home listening setup.
    – JMFR
    Jul 24, 2012 at 13:12
  • Sorry, one more question. Let's say I have the DAC and RCA to 3.5 adaptor and I want to listen to the music on my headphones. Do I need an amplifier or does it work ?
    – Patrick
    Jul 31, 2012 at 18:02
  • Most Likely you will need to amplify this signal. I imagine that this device is build to connect optical signals to an older receiver that does not have optical inputs. The signal (RCA) that a receiver is expecting will be very different than a signal that you would send to a pair of headphones. (Also you may not be able to adjust the volume)
    – JMFR
    Aug 1, 2012 at 15:05

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