Let me start off by saying it was a surprise (and not a pleasant one) to have bought a Mac mini 2018 to find out that the surround sound wasn’t working for some reason.
The answer was simple - Apple no longer have optical out on any of the newer hardware. None.
The last devices that have TOSLINK capability are:
MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Late 2013) through MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2015)
MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2013) through MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015)
iMac (21.5-inch, Mid 2014) through iMac (21.5-inch, Late 2014)
iMac (Retina 4K, 21.5-inch, Late 2015)
iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2014) through iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2015)
Mac Pro (Late 2013)
Mac mini (Late 2014)
That gave me a dilemma. My Logitek surround system relied solely on the optical audio feed.
I wasn’t about to give up so an hour of Googling ensued. After a few blind alleys I hit on a possible answer - HDMI which supports 8-channel/24-bit audio at 192kHz, Dolby Surround 5.1, and traditional stereo.
Now I just needed a “hole” to plug the TOSLINK into.
Again, there were quite a few - but all with limitations (stereo only etc.)- except one:
The important part is “Supports digital audio format: DTS-HD/Dolby-True HD / LPCM7.1 / AC3 / DTS / DSD.”
The device is manufactured in China which Ellies brand as there own.
I’m trying to discover the true manufacturer and I’ll post an update when I do.
The price? R800 ($55) locally. I’m convinced this price has been loaded.