analogue or digital speakers for Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Rokusaburo, Oct 22, 2006.

  1. Rokusaburo macrumors member

    Rokusaburo

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #1
    I'm currently a PC user with Logitech z-5300e analogue 5.1 speakers. I'm gonna be buying a mac pro at the end of the year and I might be getting new speakers too.

    I'm aware that I'll need something like the Griffin Firewave if I want to use my analogue speakers for 5.1. I'm thinking of buying Logitech z-5500d digital 5.1 speakers (heaps better speakers) , which I'm guessing I'll connect using optical. Although, I read on another forum that this wouldn't give me surround sound for everything (i.e. iTunes).

    What I'd like to know is if there's a way of using the z-5500d's for surround sound for EVERYTHING (including movies, music...) or if i'm better off sticking with my analogue speakers and getting the Firewave.

    Thanks guys.
     
  2. khisayruou macrumors 6502a

    khisayruou

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    #2
    The reason itunes won't give you surround sound is because mp3s are in stereo (same with streamed audio, flash audio, etc.) You won't get true surround sound in either digital or analog. You can however get sound on all channels or an emulated surround sound.

    The Logitech z-5500 does have dolby digital pro logic II which will do its best to convert stereo sounds into an emulated surround sound, it can also play stereo on all channels with its 6 Channel Direct feature. DVDs will be true surround sound if it has dolby digital or dts.

    The firewave is the same as above but in analog.
     
  3. Rokusaburo thread starter macrumors member

    Rokusaburo

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #3
    So, if I decide to get z-5500's and connect them to a Mac Pro via Optical, I could still get sound coming from ALL the channels from stereo sources (mp3s, quicktime movies) even if its not true surround sound.
     
  4. khisayruou macrumors 6502a

    khisayruou

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    #4
    yes, thats what the 6 channel direct feature does.
     
  5. Kingsly macrumors 68040

    Kingsly

    #5
    Just so everyone is clear: there is no such thing as a 'digital' speaker, nor will there ever be one. The amp, on the other hand, may be able to accept a digital signal.
    [/audiophile rant]
     
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #6
    Practically speaking you are right. but technically not.

    Never say "never". You can build a digital speaker. The device has (say) eight voice coils each with twice the number of turns eight wires and a return ground connect the speaker to a set of eight amps. It is not practical and you can't buy this but "true digital" is possible and has been built.
     
  7. Kingsly macrumors 68040

    Kingsly

    #7
    Digital is 10101010101010. On. Off. On. Off. On. Off. Sound is 12345678910987654321, or a varying degree of on.

    The thing still transduces electrical energy into analogue sound waves, right? At some point, a cone or coil needs to vibrate to produce sound. Analogue. ;)
     
  8. crjeong macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #8
    Yes, I believe that is correct. No such thing as digital speakers.
     

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