7.1/5.1 External USB Sound cards (OS X compatible)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by StEvEnGtR, Oct 10, 2010.

  1. macrumors member

    StEvEnGtR

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2010
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #1
    After searching a lot about 7.1/5.1 External USB Sound cards that are OS X compatible, I still haven't been able to find one that is (still) sold today.
    Yesterday I bought this one: Trust 5.1 External Surround Sound Card, but had to return it after testing.
    This one turns out to be Windows only.

    A next option would be this one: Sweex 7.1 External USB Sound Card, but I don't want to end up returning it as well.
    Could anyone help me out here, please?

    All I want is something to be able to use all 5 speakers of my Logitech X-530 set, instead of just 2.
    I just want to hear sound come out of all of them, so I don't want an expensive sound card.
    Would the Sweex 7.1 External USB Sound Card do fine?
     
  2. macrumors 65832

    wywern209

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
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    do you rly want to know?
    #2
    This might be an option, why don't you use the optical out on your macbook pro for 5.1 audio?
     
  3. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    #3
    I'm using Creative X-Fi 5.1 Surround external sound card at the moment on my MacBook Pro (2010).

    No issues but I can't test the real 5.1 since I don't have 5.1 speakers.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors member

    StEvEnGtR

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2010
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #4
    @wywern209:
    My set doesn't have optical, only green/orange/black and I'm not going to buy a new set yet :p.

    @DJ-R:
    I saw the Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 set as well, but you're using it with 2.1 speakers?
    That's key for me, because I need to install drivers for my system to know that I have 5 speakers.
    If the drivers are Windows only, I can only use the external sound card for left/right/sub (like you're doing now?).
     
  5. macrumors 68020

    mulo

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    Aug 22, 2010
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    Behind you
    #5
    No macbook pro every had this.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors member

    StEvEnGtR

    Joined:
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    #6
    @mulo:
    I was talking about my speaker set, not my MBP of course :)
     
  7. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    #7
    Not sure, I'm going to plug my speakers into the rear port and going to play a 5.1 movies to see if it works just like that. I'll let you know.
     
  8. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    #8
    It only works for Inline/Output. left and right speakers.

    Rear and Sub/C aren't working. And the Optical output which i cannot test it at all. I don't have optical cables or device which use optical.

    My buddy places does have a 7.1 that uses optical but he is 1 hour driving away.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors member

    StEvEnGtR

    Joined:
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    #9
    @DJ-R:
    Have you installed any drivers for the external sound card?
    Also, you said sub and rear speakers don't work.
    Does this mean you also have green/orange/black cables (5 speakers)?
     
  10. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    #10
    There are no drivers available for OSX but Windows. I have red and white output for stereo and other are like min-jack and 1 optical.

    Check the Creative device photos, you will see what I meant.

    I am keeping this 5.1 around for BOOTCAMP (Windows 7) majorly for gaming experiences with Alchemy surround sounds feature.

    I don't really game on OSX but for Movies, yeah it's a big deal to get 5.1.

    I am somewhat regret that I bought this 2.1 system with Creative X-Fi... should have gone with the $500 Z5500 Logitech.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors member

    StEvEnGtR

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2010
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    #11
    Hmmm, I'm beginning to think that I should by a new speaker set with optical...
    I guess there's no way to make sound come out of all of my speakers?
    Doesn't have to be "true surround sound".
     
  12. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2010
    #12
    i bought a cheap sound card from maplin, i live in the UK. and i have the logitech x-530, i get 5.1 surround audio.
    the sound card i have does only say windows compatible.

    i went to audio midi setup, select the usb sound device. then select 6 channel.
    on default is only 2 channel.

    me too i wanted to upgrade to logitech z-5500 because it has optical input.
    i would stick at moment with my x-530 because i'm getting great sound and 5.1 audio for movies.

    i think you can use any 5.1 sound card but make sure you setup your audio midi setup.
     
  13. thread starter macrumors member

    StEvEnGtR

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    #13
    @youngmac:
    Thanks a lot for your post, I'm feeling confident again :).
    I'm going to do exactly what you're saying and hopefully it'll work.
    Thanks!
     
  14. thread starter macrumors member

    StEvEnGtR

    Joined:
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    Netherlands
    #14
    I bought the Trust 5.1 External Surround Sound Card again and changed the settings in Audio/MIDI-configuration.
    When testing, I finally hear that noise come out of all my speakers.
    However, when I change the volume, only 2 of the 5 sliders move.
    What am I still doing wrong (no drivers available) :(?
     
  15. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2010
    #15
    the volume is controlled by your external soundcard, when you change the volume on your mbp it doesn't really change the whole volume. the 2 sliders are front left and front right speakers decibel.

    but anyway when using the logitech x-530 you should use the volume button on the front right speakers. don't use the volume buttons of the mbp it doesn't affect the overall volume.

    then try a 5.1 audio source like a dvd. Use vlc, i tried dvd player you can't get analogue 5.1 audio.

    first movie i tried was transformers 2, can't watch movies without surround sound since then, action movies at least.
     
  16. thread starter macrumors member

    StEvEnGtR

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2010
    Location:
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    #16
    @youngmac:
    The thing is, I want sound coming out 5 speakers all the time.
    So even when something is stereo, that it would still be spread all over.
    This isn't true 5.1, but I don't care about that.
    I guess my only option is to buy the Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 Speaker System with the right cables/connectors...
     
  17. macrumors 65816

    Alvi

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    Location:
    Mars
    #17
    I just got the exact same set as you and I'm in the same boat, I have a PC with a 5.1 Card but I start to feel the need for some better connection to my MacBook Pro
     
  18. thread starter macrumors member

    StEvEnGtR

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2010
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    Netherlands
    #18
    @Alvi:
    Yeah, thing is, that Logitech Z-5500 set costs € 299,- here.
    Stereo sound over 5 speakers isn't worth that :rolleyes:...
     
  19. macrumors 601

    Eddyisgreat

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, Wa
    #19
    If all you wanted was faux surround, then the z-5500s or some other set would be your best bet. It can do 2x surround (L R, rear L R) and pro logic, but if your source isn't pro logic then the entire operation will be relatively haphazard and odd sounding (atleast in my experience).

    You could also split the signal in two, leaving out the center and subs.

    Otherwise (shrug). Atleast with optical and a set like the z-5500s, you can get full 5.1 output.
     
  20. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2010
    #20
    why don't you buy the x-540 and use the matrix.

    but if you want sound coming from all speakers with x-530 use the game console adaptor that came with it, and use a splitter.
    i'm not sure what the cable is called, on one end you have the the 3.5mm jack going to the macbook pro and on the other end a red and white cables. these cables will go into the adaptor. and voila you have what you want without spending whatever the z-5500 cost.
    i thought you wanted true surround sound.
     
  21. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    #21
    I'm trying to get analog 5.1 sound from my early 2011 Macbook Pro.
    I bought the Terratec Aureon 7.1 USB and configured it correctly as 5.1 in Audio Midi Setup. So far all speakers are working fine to work except that the sound is not redirected properly to Center and Sub.
    For example when i try to open a 5.1 movie in VLC/Plex/XMBC/QuickTime, the audio from the center speaker is redirected to subwoofer (something like this). :confused:
    In Audio Midi Setup, when I click to test the center speaker, the sound is coming both from the center and the sub.

    Can anyone confirm that this is NOT HAPPENING with the Trust/Sweex alternatives that have been mentioned before?
     
  22. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2010
    Location:
    Poland
    #22
    I have the Trust 5.1-Surround USB 2.0 External Sound Card mentioned earlier, and I can't get it to work. I went into Audio MIDI Setup and changed everything to 6 channels, but no go. I tried playing from VLC and nothing. I also tried to hook up an optical cable between my XBox and the card (while the card was plugged into my MBP) and selected "External SPDIF Interface" as my input device and still nothing. I primarily want to go from my digital audio out to my analog 5.1 stereo system - any ideas?
     

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