Mini Mac


Has anybody used a Mini Mac in conjunction with a streamer?

There is no way I can wire my router to my Uniti Qute and was thinking of connecting the Mini Mac via the USB or Ethernet Cable .

Like idiots Apple have no optical link on the machine.

What I now about streaming can be written on the top of a very small pin.

Currently using my Uniti Qute as a DAC in my Av system feeding the signals fro Sky Dish and Blu Ray Player into my Rega

Would like to widen it’s use

Many thanks


Mac mini ( my model here) has optical out— it uses same physicsl port like the headphone output, you need a special adapter

This is the latest and useful features like an optical out have been removed , would usb to the Naim’s USB or Ethernet work? I seem to remember trying this with an Apple TV and ended up with adapters and massed cabling , plugs which is what I am trying to avoid.

no it wont work by plugging it into the naims ethernet or usb.

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Are you sure? The headphone is the optical out.

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This feature was removed in 2018 (or around then).

If the Mac Mini is pre 2018 then as you say there is a mini toslink port included in the headphone/speaker port.


The USB input on a Unitiqute can’t be used to attach a computer.
Ethernet is not a direct point to point connection, you attach all your devices to your network and they find each other. Connect them to your router, either directly or via a switch.

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Hi. Before getting an NDX I used a mac mini, via usb, into a Dac V1, it was, I thought at the time, excellent. Once I got the NDX, I realised it was no where near as good as a dedicated streamer.
I believe you should be able to get something, at a reasonable price, to do the job that my Dac V1 did, CYP do some reasonably priced bits of kit that’ll ‘get the job done’.

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Isn’t your router wi-fi enabled? can’t you add a wi-fi switch near your Uniti Qute then connect with an ethernet cable.

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Thanks, the answer I was looking for

Thanks again

Thanks to all the people who responded - I now have the answer

I used an airport express, worked a treat.

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I assume you mean a Mac Mini! If you had used the search facility you would find quite a bit on this…

I use a Mac Mini as my music store running Audirvana as renderer. Dedicated USB bus is better sound quality than Apple’s optical output. I originally used with Chord Hugo, having to use a Gustard U12 isolator/convertor because the Hugo was adversely affected by RF from the computer - the Gustard costs around £130 and converts the excellent USB signal into either optical or Toslink or AES/IBU. (I now use Mac Mini / Audirvana with Dave DAC, without needing Gustard.

A few links follow with more info:

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Many thanks, a lot to take in .

Best wishes

Yep, you are right, @StephenPacker. The unthinkable has happened!!! Should we get the guy who designed it this way examined by the psychiatrist?

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Other than on the processing front the Mac Mini has been steadily worsening in function and user-friendliness, with features removed at each revision. The ‘late 2012’ version seems to be generally held as the best for balance of features, performance and DIY upgradeability.


Thanks, yes Apple seem to be making it user unfriendly .

Learnt an awful lot thanks to this thread. I have a much better understanding of what I have done wrong, and the solutions.

A very, very big THANK YOU to all who answered

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Earlier this year I bought a used Mac Mini 2012 to run Roon and Tidal and store my ripped FLACs. No need for anything more fancy. I considered a NUC i7 as a Roon Rock but I don’t have a huge collection of files and the Mac, with an i5 processor is plenty. What’s more, it was £200 cheaper. I have it plugged into the router via an ethernet cable and it serves the music to a NDX2 seamlessly via the network .


me too with a 2014 model.

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