Digital audio out (USB or other)

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Counterfit, Feb 12, 2006.

  1. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #1
    My parents are getting me these for my birthday. I'd love to use the digital surround, but I don't have digital audio output. The speakers support Dolby Pro Logic II, and DTS 96/24 (96kHZ, 24-bit), through coaxial or optical inputs. Does anyone use a M-Audio Transit (which supports 96kHZ/24-bit, and can pass AC-3 and DTS through the optical port)? Or does anyone have another product that would work better?
     
  2. mdavey macrumors 6502a

    mdavey

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    Nov 1, 2005
    #2
    Turtle Beach Audio Advantage micro is a budget alternative. It doesn't support Dolby Digital or DTS on the Mac (yet). Probably not suitable for you, but might be of interest to other readers.
     
  3. Counterfit thread starter macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #3
    I had seen that at CompUSA one day, and then I checked it out yesterday. Too bad there's not Mac support, or it would be perfect. :(

    On a second look, it seems I could just use it to pass the digital audio to the speakers?
     
  4. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #4
    I use an M-Audio Transit one of my Minis (for TV and DVD watching) to output to a surround amp. It works really well. I had one problem with it but I've been able to fix it.

    The problem was that every so often the Transit would just "stop" and audio would drop back to the Minis internal speaker. Unplugging and replugging the Transit USB cable would fix it.

    I discovered that plugging the Transit into a powered USB hub fixed the problem completely. I assume that the Mini was not outputing consistent power over the USB port causing the Transit to shut down every so often.
     
  5. Counterfit thread starter macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #5
    I got some money today from cashing in some scratch tickets my aunt gave me saturday. I think I'll go to CompUSA, and see what I can do about trying the Turtle. Of course, the speakers haven't even shipped yet, so I couldn't even try it out yet. :(
     
  6. Counterfit thread starter macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #6
    Okay, I'm at CompUSA, and I have the thing in my hands, ready to buy. The return policy is 21 days, so if it doesn't work, or the speakers don't come in on time, I can return it for a refund. I'm torn.




    Ah **** it, I can always return it.
     
  7. kugino macrumors 65816

    kugino

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    Jul 10, 2003
    #7
    FYI, the folks over at head-fi.org have a forum where they discuss computers as musical sources. someone there will have some suggestions as to better alternatives for your situation. check it out.
     
  8. Counterfit thread starter macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #8
    Okay, the speakers are here and hooked up. I tested them with Ghost In The Shell (special edition, tried both DTS 6.1 and DD 5.1), and Disc 1 of Band of Brothers (DTS, Dolby 5.1, Dolby Surround). The USB adapter works as advertised (for Mac users anyway): analog and digital out, but no DTS or Dolby. Thankfully, the speaker controller has Pro Logic II, so the stereo (er, sorta?) is decoded as if it were surround. Still, I'd prefer to have actual surround signals going to the controller. I'll see if I can find a supplementary driver, if not, I think I might go for the Transit. I've seen it for under $70, so it should be too bad (it's still more than twice the price of the Turtle Beach one, but it has inputs too, so it's not all bad)
     
  9. khisayruou macrumors 6502a

    khisayruou

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    Aug 21, 2004
    #9
    Im a bit confused...
    If the turtle beach puts out a digital signal, then the controller should do the decoding into true surround since it's capable of DD5.1 and DTS (You don't need the turtle beach to do the decoding).
    That should mean your movies should sound like they are suppose to.
    Make sure the dvd player is set to put out spdif (digital).

    Im not following what you want with stereo...its suppose to be decoded as if it was surround. Just trying to sort out what your wanting to see if I can help you out. :D
     
  10. Counterfit thread starter macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #10
    The USB device is putting the sound out as PCM, rather than AC-3 (for DD) or DTS. This limits it to stereo, or PLII.
     
  11. mdavey macrumors 6502a

    mdavey

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    Nov 1, 2005
    #11
    Send Turtle Beach an email stating what you want. If they get enough emails, they'll respond to customer demand. Personally, I couldn't care less about fancy 3D effects, control panels, games and demos. Just a driver to support Dolby Digital and DTS would do me. Virtual 5.1 headphones support would be a nice bonus but not a must-have.
     
  12. khisayruou macrumors 6502a

    khisayruou

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    #12
    Gotcha, you need ac3/dts passthrough.
    I would definitely take a harder look at the transit then.
    From what I hear it works fine with DVD player/VLC and
    will do exactly what your wanting.

    Too bad creative products are also not mac compatible.
     
  13. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

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    #13
    AFAIK the only way to get 5.1 sound out of a mac without a terribly expensive sound card, digitally at least, is through the optical out.

    THOUGH i bet you didnt know the optical out only does 5.1 when its coming from the DVD player app.

    Programs can "see" multiple speakers from a PCI card etc, but you have to set the outputs to the right speakers.

    if you want true 5.1 output from your mac, while playing DVDs I assume, you need to use the optical, only found on G5PM.

    edit: I maye be entirely wrong, this was a few years ago, my facts, because I havent looked into it lately
     
  14. Mr. Mister macrumors 6502

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    Feb 15, 2006
    #14
    Does the Griffin iMic do what this man wants?

    To the thread starter: what kind of comp do you have? You could get an M-Audio 5.1 card if you have a Powermac.
     
  15. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

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    #15
    I have the M-Audio Revolution 7.1 card.

    it is a surround sound card, it has L/R inputs for front, back, a center and sub output, as well as digital coax out, i think.

    but its not going to let you output digital to a reciever/amplifier.

    only the digital optical out on a G5 will do that.
     
  16. Counterfit thread starter macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #16
    The 17" PowerBook has had optical/analog combined ports since January '05, and the 15" got them in October. The iSight iMac also gained this port, and the Airport Express has had it since the start. Unfortunately, I don't have a combined port. :(
    I did send them an email yesterday, I'll check for a reply later. I'm with you though, all I want/need is support for pass-through, and I'll be a happy listener. (not that PLII sucks or anything, it's miles ahead of the M3D on my previous set)
    No, and it's a PowerBook, so no go on either of the Revolution cards.
     
  17. khisayruou macrumors 6502a

    khisayruou

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    Aug 21, 2004
    #17
    Nope. The device just adds analog stereo input and output. The OP is looking for a device to output digital ac3/dts passthrough to his logitech controller. From the sounds of it, the OP probably has an older powerbook or ibook. Hence the usb route of getting digital sound.

    Sdashiki: I had a revolution 7.1 for my htpc. I simply connected the digital coax out to my receiver and all was fine. I assume this should work for a mac as well. Also newer powerbooks and of course the MBP have optical output.
     
  18. mdavey macrumors 6502a

    mdavey

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    #18
    They never sent me an acknowledgement (but then I didn't ask a question, just provided feedback - still, it is good customer service to acknowledge).
     
  19. Counterfit thread starter macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #19
    I just opened Mail, and a window pops up with the email I wrote in it. Seems I forgot the actually send it. :eek: :rolleyes:
     
  20. Counterfit thread starter macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #20
    They replied

    Yeah, spelling, grammar, and such (MAC, not specifying Windows) don't fill me with confidence anyway. Kudos to him for not putting an apostrophe for the plural of PC though. Ah well, guess I'll return this to CompUSA, and see if I can bug my parents to "lend" me a bit of money for the Transit.
     
  21. Counterfit thread starter macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #21
    Quick update: With the first paycheck from my new job, I ordered an M-Audio Transit, and it works perfectly. DTS is awesome. :D
     

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