5.1 Dolby Surround Sound Systems

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by poppe, Nov 4, 2006.

  1. poppe macrumors 68020

    poppe

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    #1
    Hey guys,

    I'm looking for a good 5.1 surround sound system for my MBP and I was just curious if you all had any suggestions. I want true 5.1 so I want the Dolby and the DTS and whatever else is required. I dont care about a DVD player because this will all be strickly for my MBP and its Monitor I'm hooking up to it.

    Trying to stay under 350. Thanks Let me know what you all think.

    Note: I searched threads...
     
  2. sycho macrumors 6502a

    sycho

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    #2
    You will only get Dolby Digital and dts when using the DVD Player with a DVD encoded with one or the other. All other times with will strictly be PCM Stereo.:)

    Are you looking for just with movies? Possibly with some games or High Definition trailers? You have several options, depending on what your planning to do.
     
  3. purelithium macrumors 6502

    purelithium

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    #3
    I use the Logitech Z-5450. I like it because it has 2 optical SPDIF inputs as well as 1 standard Co-axial SPDIF, and regular 1/8th" mini jacks... Plus the rear speakers are wireless(except for AC power), so no running lots of speaker wire all over your room.
     
  4. poppe thread starter macrumors 68020

    poppe

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    #4
    Yes Games and trailers as well. I'll also be doing video editing and would like to be able to know how each sound sounds via the specific location of the speaker.

    I dont know much what all that means but that sounds really cool with the wireless! Do you have a link for me?
     
  5. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

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    #6
    DON'T TOUCH WIRELESS!!

    You will end up paying more for the fact it's got a 'slightly cool' technology in it and LESS for the sound side of things. If you get a wired system, you will end up being able to get a better sounding system, which uses cables which DO ACTUALLY WORK. Wireless DOESN'T for audio.
     
  6. gloss macrumors 601

    gloss

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  7. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

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    #8
    That Klipsch system looks pretty good. If you do get it, make sure you stick the sub slap bang in the middle in front of you. It has a 120 Hz crossover frequency which will be very audible if you aren't careful...

    500 watts is a fair amount, though not the most powerful as they describe... :rolleyes:
     
  8. gloss macrumors 601

    gloss

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    #9
    I have the Promedia 2.1 (single rather than double driver sub, in addition to stereo rather than surround) and...it's loud. Assuming you stick it under your near your desk like most people do it will be more than enough to piss off the neighbors.

    And the crossover isn't really so bad. I've only heard a single piece of music that was a gut-punch to the system (loud drum track that rides right along the crossover frequencies). Everything else sounds about as good as you could rightfully expect from a non-home theater system. Jazz in particular sounds beautiful.

    If you do get them, though, I'd recommend playing music through the sats for a good full day or so to break the horns in. They come off as harsh for a little while but sound great once they've settled.
     
  9. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

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    #10
    How large is the sweet spot, and how much do the 2.1s cost?
     
  10. gloss macrumors 601

    gloss

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    #11
    They're built to be desk-based, so I've got mine about two and a half feet apart, at which point the imaging is just about perfect (using The Flaming Lips as reference) from a distance of maybe three feet.

    Amazon has them listed for $127 USD. I worked at an electronics place and got a freshly returned set that my manager reduced for me, so I picked them up for $60, which was sort of a steal.

    I mean, you're not going to confuse them with B&Ws, but they're way, way up there in terms of PC audio.

    Here's a good review of the set from Anandtech. And it looks like I was wrong about the sub. The 2.1's have a single 6.5'' driver, as opposed to the dual 8'' drivers on the 5.1. I've heard dual-driver Klipsch subs before (the RSW-12 in particular), and they're earthshaking.

    It looks like the frequency crossover issue is taken care of mostly by the fact that the satellites have a 3-inch midrange cone and reach effectively down to and past the crossover point. There's no major dip in the frequency response, at least not one you're going to get angry at a $120 system over.
     
  11. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

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    #12
    I have my B&Ws hooked up to my MBP as well as my Creatives so I'm already there :p I hate the Creatives though. Recently, the volume has started wandering around while you're listening to them. I reckon the power supply is on it's way out, or I've got some leaky transistors :(
     
  12. gloss macrumors 601

    gloss

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    #13
    Likely. I sound-tested a bunch of PC speaker sets and the Klipsch's were so far ahead of everything else it was a no-brainer. Logitech has boomier subs, but far less precise.

    I am kind of a Klipsch whore, though. Some people can't stand horn speakers.
     
  13. sycho macrumors 6502a

    sycho

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    #14
    If your going to be mixing in 5.1, you will need an external sound card, the current one will only provide Stereo on everything but movies.
    A nice 2.1 setup is probably the way to go for you.:)
     
  14. purelithium macrumors 6502

    purelithium

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    #15

    Have you listened to these?

    They sound better than ANY standard Consumer electronics set, with more features to boot.

    Before you knock it, listen to them... :rolleyes:
     
  15. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

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    #16
    I have listened to MANY wireless systems from many different manufacturers, one particular 'audiophile quality' system costing £3999. NOT impressive.

    In principle wireless is flawed. Interference means data is going to be lost. In order to get around this, they introduced Active Buffering. However, this means unless you add a DSP of some sort to the subwoofer, the sound coming from the satellites and the sub will be out of time, causing phase distortion.


    WIRELESS DOES NOT WORK.
     
  16. poppe thread starter macrumors 68020

    poppe

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    #17
    Thank you! Those are out of my price range. I dont' need to have wireless so perhaps they have the cheaper one that is completely wired?

    Oh wow thouse are cool. How much?

    Oh crap I didnt' know that. So how would I go about getting a sound card... Kinda sad a Pro Machine isn't cable of handling 5.1 except through movies... I thought Avid/FCP would be able to just out put to each specific speaker....

    Thanks guys for all the info. Any more would be great, but remember trying to stay under 350:cool:
     
  17. Tucom macrumors 65816

    Tucom

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    #18
    Meh...it's not that the Mac Pro isn't capable, trust me, oh man it is, it's that the MUSIC ITSELF isn't encoded in 5.1 surround sound, the speaker system would have to take care of taking a 2 channel source and dispersing it into 5.1 surround sound. What you CAN do though, if your just listening to music in surround sound, and don't care about discrete channels (the same stuff will be comming out of every speaker), then you can just get a: http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/products/details/US/EN,CRID=2177,CONTENTID=10036.

    But yeah, your best bet is to get a really nice 2.1 system. I have the Klipsch Ifi's, which are near audio=phile grade quality, they are essentially two Klipsch reference syries bookshelf/satelites, and a VERY, I MEAN EXTREMELY musical subwoofer, absolutley NO boominess or unwanted distortion, hell, the sub it self, or the satelites, is worth the price of the whole system, I can garantee you Klipsch did NOT make much of a proffit off this system, it consists of VERY high quality components. At no time should this system be considered "just computer speakers", hell, it's not even made for the computer, it's made to fill a room up with extreme high quality sound, because it is a bookshelf/sub system that is of true audio=grade quality, well not to the extreme, but blows most sub/sat systems costing $600 out of the water, or is right on par. Haha, I know I talk about this system alot, but I LOVE IT! DEFINATLEY a steal at any price below 500.

    Happy shopping!

    Peace
     
  18. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #19
  19. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #20
    I got a Yamaha home theater system for $400 that has optical inputs and thus works just fine with my Mac. DVD Player can output undecoded DTS/Dolby/Whatever and the receiver decodes it. Sounds great, plus, you can use it with more than your Mac, it's got a crapton of inputs on the back
     
  20. poppe thread starter macrumors 68020

    poppe

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    #21
    Would you happen to have a link? Sorry I am on my phone so it's hard to search for such systems
     
  21. sycho macrumors 6502a

    sycho

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    #22
    doing the above recommendation will still only result in stereo for everything but movies. Sure you can use Dolby Prologic II, but it would be useless if your trying to mix in 5.1. You need an external 6channel soundcard, and then you could use something with a multichannel input. But realistically your best option is to just get a really nice set of 2.1 speakers.:)
     
  22. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #23
    Not necessarily. The Mac built-in sound isn't all that. Feeding a mediocre line signal into a decent pair of speakers is perhaps less effective than feeding a half-decent digital signal into a half-decent 5.1 digital system.
     
  23. super_kev macrumors 6502

    super_kev

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    #24
    I bypassed the whole computer speaker route and went with a factory refurbished Onkyo HT-S770 system (discontinued, so comparable would probably be the HT-S680). $300 to my door, and sounds excellent. :cool:
     
  24. poppe thread starter macrumors 68020

    poppe

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    #25
    Perhaps I just won't worry so much about 5.1 editing... its only film school anyways... I'll worry about sound cards and crap when loans come in and what not...
     

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