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Introduced in 2004, the AirPort Express is a WiFi base station from Apple and was part of the AirPort line. As of April 2018 it is now discontinued.

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Red light on my AirPort Express no audio

How can i fix the red light in my output Jack of my AirPort express ?

i think to buy speakers with optical in ,if no repair for this

i use with AirPlay 2 on my Home

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The 2nd Generation Airport Express has the combination optical and 3mm mini analog jack for attaching speakers or AV receivers. NOTE: The 2nd Gen Express implements Airplay1 and seems to uncomfortable with Airplay2 (at least on the latest MAC OS versions.) It appears that something about Airplay2 is not allowing the older Airplay 1 systems to be compatible. The device connects with some sources on the MBP OS with >Version 11 but others remain silent or sometimes connect and play only for a few seconds.

My solution to the compatibility problem is to use Rogue Amoeba’s Airfoil product (which also allows output to two or more Airplay devices at a time.)

For you Hardware Question: I have two of these… one uses optical output and the other the analog output. Apple shipped the 2nd Generation Airport Express with a special cable that has an optical probe that fits inside the 3mm jack on one end, and the standard TOSLINK connector on the other end.

When playing audio through the unit, you can see the red LED light inside the jack when there is no cable connected.

I am not clear which problem you have. If you see the light, then the optical output is working. However, a regular TOSLINK optical cable will not fit and not work event if you taped the connector over the hole. You need the special cable connector from Apple (probably not available anymore).

If you don’t see the red light, then the optical output is probably broken. However, this would be an uncommon failure mode and having taken an Apple Airport Express apart, that would be difficult to fix. You would likely have to convert back to the analog 3mm stereo jack to use the device.

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Mini-TOSLINK is not a special cable from Apple. While no longer very popular, it was previously found frequently in smaller or portable devices such as MiniDisk players and laptops. The cables or adapters are still readily available.


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The headphone jack is a combined 3.5mm audio jack and mini-TOSLINK. The Express will automatically switch from analogue (electrical current over the copper contacts) to digital (red laser over optical) when it detects a mini-TOSLINK cable.

It sounds like the detection circuit is malfunctioning and switching to digital. Try cleaning the port, checking for debris, or gently inserting and removing an audio jack several times.

If it still doesn’t switch back to analogue, you can use speakers that support TOSLINK. If you get speakers that use TOSLINK, you’ll need a Mini-TOSLINK to TOSLINK cable. Otherwise, if the both use mini, then you want mini on both sides.

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