The optical out needs a DAC to go into. Otherwise the jack works as a headphone out, not line out, and suffers the distortions of the laptop's headphone opamps and caps and resistors in the signal path. An optical input DAC will be more bulky than you want, but will give the best sound. However, a USB DAC comes close enough that the convenience can outweigh the difference in sound.
If I use my Caffeine or any other other amp with my Macbook, I often use the Headstage USB DAC cable, due to convenience. It is basically a $39 cable with a USB plug on one end, a hump in the middle that is a 5v 16-bit USB DAC running entirely off the USB power, and a 3.5mm mini plug on the other end that plugs right into the amp. The same guy make both PenguinAmp and Headstage products.
The sound from this cable DOES beat the sound from a regular 3.5mm interconnect, while not being any less convenient. Most of the time, I am just using the Caffeine Pro with my electric guitar now, since I bought the Headstage Lyrix and RSA Predator with built-in DAC's. But, the Headstage DAC Cable sounds the same as Lyrix built-in DAC, and it's very close to the Predator's built-in DAC. So I would get the $39 DAC to use with your amp if I were you.
I will note that the optical out into iBasso D1 DAC is an audible upgrade, just like the USB DAC is an upgrade over headphone out. It's just that the USB DAC's sound so good that I only use the opitcal out into iBasso DAC if I need to wring out that last little bit of air and space that is hiding in the recording. The iBasso DAC is a little more 3D sounding than the Predator or Headstage USB or Lyrix DAC, and is good enough that it has become my home/bedside DAC. I feed the iBasso D1 DAC optical or coax spdif signals from my CD players and DAP, and then this goes on to my tube amp or electrostatic headphone driver.
Hope this helped.