Cheapest 5.1 surround speakers for a C2D iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by PCMacUser, Oct 7, 2006.

  1. PCMacUser macrumors 68000

    PCMacUser

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    #1
    Hi there,

    I'm still weighing up the pro's and con's of buying an iMac, and one of the areas which is causing me doubts is the surround sound capabilities of the machine.

    I've seen a lot of people on this forum say that they are using Logitech Z-5500's plus a TOSlink adaptor to get surround. That's great - if you've got hundreds of dollars to spend! I don't have that much money to throw at digital speakers, and would like to use some analogue surround speakers instead, which are much cheaper but still sound great.

    Is this possible?

    Otherwise, can someone recommend some cheap digital speakers that would work?


    Cheers!
     
  2. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    #2
    At that kind of price, you're going to be MUCH better off with a pair of stereo speakers. Surround sound is just more sound, not better sound.

    Are you looking for a sub/sat package, or two larger speakers? (sonically, the second is hugely superior).
     
  3. PCMacUser thread starter macrumors 68000

    PCMacUser

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    #3
    The quality of the sound isn't too much of an issue. I'm mostly interested in it from the perspective of gaming. Playing Half-Life 2 with 5.1 surround is a much more immersive experience than with front 2 channel speakers.

    If an iMac will work with analogue 5.1 speakers, then I could pick up a set for about £50.
     
  4. wchong macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    Location:
    Miami, Fl
    #4
    you could pick up the logitech z-5500 for roughly 200 bucks:

    LINKY
     
  5. dreamsINdigital macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    #5
    An inexpensive yet good set of 5.1 speakers is the Logitech X-530. You can get it for around $60 at Newegg.com.
     
  6. sycho macrumors 6502a

    sycho

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    Oct 7, 2006
    #6
    just get a cheapo 5.1 usb soundcard as well to go with it, both OSX and XP will play nice with pretty much any generic one.
     
  7. apfhex macrumors 68030

    apfhex

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    Northern California
    #7
  8. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

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    Nov 13, 2003
    #8
    I recommendation would be if your going to spend the money to get surround sound which would be atleast $100 anyway, then just upgrade a low end surround sound package. I got a decent Yamaha system for $350 cdn. And you can go cheaper then that if you wanted.
     
  9. sycho macrumors 6502a

    sycho

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2006
    #9
    the OP stated that they wanted to play half life 2 in 5.1 sound. You need a usb soundcard for this, the onboard sound will only provide stereo unless you are watching a movie with SPDIF passthrough enabled. Any 6channel usb (2.0!) soundcard will work with both XP and OS X, it doesn't really matter which one you get, as long as it has a 6channel output.
     
  10. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

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    Nov 13, 2003
    #10
    This is not true, if you use the optical out to a decoder that will work just fine. The OP even mentioned it. What I was suggesting was going with a low end surround sound package with a built in decoder.
     
  11. sycho macrumors 6502a

    sycho

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2006
    #11
    I'm sorry, but that isn't what the OP wants, they want to play games in 5.1 surround, which is not possible with the onboard sound, since it will only provide 2channels, unless watching a DVD. A Dolby Surround Prologic II decoder suck at decoding games mixed in stereo.

    To play Half-Life 2 in 5.1 surround on an iMac, you NEED a USB soundcard, since the onboard only provides 2 channel stereo. The OP knows this and wanted options, the only real option is a USB soundcard, since it could be useable in both OS X and Windows XP.

    Very true, HL2 is a blast in discrete surround.:p


    You're most inexpensive bet is to pick up a USB soundcard and some 5.1 speakers. There are a couple other options, but it is necessary to get a USB 5.1(or more;) ) soundcard.
     
  12. jamesW135 macrumors 6502a

    jamesW135

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