Hook Up Stereo 5.1 Speakers To iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by miguelcoletta, Oct 3, 2006.

  1. miguelcoletta macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    #1
    I'm really new to iMacs and 5.1 systems, and I wanted to know how can i connect the Z-5500 logitech 5.1 speakers to an iMac...can I just plug them in into the optical-out port? I want to know all of this before i order my system from the internet, and no i don't have any store nearby where i could check neither of the systems out, so this is the only way I can know how to plug them in...thanks, migue.
     
  2. khisayruou macrumors 6502a

    khisayruou

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    #3
    Yup, you can use optical. The cable will need a mini toslink on one end so it can go into the imac then the other end is the regular optical, that will go into the logitech control pod.
     
  3. ZoomZoomZoom macrumors 6502a

    ZoomZoomZoom

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    #4
    I'm kind of wondering the same thing too. So I can take an iMac, fresh out of box - take a Logitech z-5500 out of box, and hook the two up together? And they'll work, with me not having to run out and buy anything else? Just want to make sure, since I was considering 5.1 until I got caught up in a lot of confusion with setting it up and what it'll work with, and then thought of going for a 2.1.
     
  4. rogersmj macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #5
    You can, but you'll only get 2.1 out of the box. The Z-5500 does have a built-in digital decoder, but you need to get an adapter to get the iMac to physically connect to one of the two digital inputs on the Z-5500 (one is coax RCA-style, one is TOSlink). I'm interested in getting such an adapter because I have an iMac and Z-5500 also. I'll try to find a link.

    EDIT: Here you go. I haven't ever ordered from this place, but it's a good deal for an adapter AND an optical cable: http://www.mpja.com/productview.asp?product=15471+CB
     
  5. ZoomZoomZoom macrumors 6502a

    ZoomZoomZoom

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    #6
    Ooh, thanks. So, if I have iMac + z5500 + that adapter/cable, I get 5.1 sound?
     
  6. Sinsinnati macrumors regular

    Sinsinnati

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    #7
    Here is the back of the iMac, where does that connector go? Does it go fiber to mini jack adapter into the second mini jack port on the left?

    [​IMG]
     
  7. rogersmj macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #8
    No, the second jack is the audio input. The jack all the way on the end is the output. It can output standard analog stereo or digital audio. See the iMac C2D port diagram.
     
  8. Sinsinnati macrumors regular

    Sinsinnati

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    #9

    Interesting, I just thought it was a headphone jack. I didn't realize it had the capability of optical in.
     
  9. rogersmj macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #10
    Well, it doesn't. :) The "headphone" jack is output only. The one next to the headphone jack, with the two arrows pointing at each other, is input. Long story short, any speakers connect to the leftmost ("headphone") jack, while any microphone/other input connects to the second from the left jack. Both jacks can function in analog or digital mode.
     
  10. miguelcoletta thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    #11
    Thanks for your responses. So this is what i'm doing, buy a coax cable and an adapter, the link you gave is for a digital cable, and what i need is an adapter for the coax cable, do you know where can i find one? Also, will it lower the quality of the sound coming out of the speakers?
     
  11. rogersmj macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #12
    You don't need anything other than the link I gave you. That includes the optical cable and the adapters. You'll only use one adapter, and that will be plugged into the iMac. It will convert the 3.5mm jack on the iMac into an optical TOSlink connector, which will then plug directly into the TOSlink connector on the back of the Z-5500 control center. No other adapters needed.

    Lower the sound quality?! It's digital, if you notice any difference at all it will be an improvement!
     
  12. miguelcoletta thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    #13
    I understand what you said...but i've also read than coaxial is better than digital, so I wanted to know if there's an adapter for a coaxial cable so it can be plugged into th 3.5 mm jack. And the other thing i was trying to say is if the adapter would lesser the quality of the sound. Thanks again, you've been really helpful.
     
  13. rogersmj macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #14
    First of all, coaxial in this case IS digital. So is optical. And I've never heard that coax is better than optical. The coax cables are less fragile than the optical cables (if you crimp an optical cable, it's probably not going to work anymore), but they're both digital. I've had my DVD player hooked into my sound system via both optical and coax and I can't tell a difference.

    That said, you have to use optical with the iMac to get digital sound. Apple's product specs specifically say that the port is OPTICAL; coax cables are not optical. They are digital, but not optical. Every reference I find in regard to this is TOSlink optical. Even the Monster cable specifically marketed toward Apple is optical. You cannot use a non-optical cable on the iMac and expect to get digital sound.

    In regard to your adapter question, no. In an analog system, yes, every adapter and connection has the potential to degrade the sound quality. But digital is digital, and if the signal either makes it there or it doesn't. An adapter isn't going to degrade the sound quality.
     
  14. miguelcoletta thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    #15
    thanks...really! that helped me a lot...you're the man:D
     
  15. Sinsinnati macrumors regular

    Sinsinnati

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    #16
    You misunderstood my response. I understood what you said and was responding to the far left port in my second comment.
     
  16. BONDS macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    #17
    guys,

    I am new to macs also and on a side note, I have my tv cablebox sound cable plugged into the audio in port via 3.5mm stereo cable, and I wanted to know how to get that sound to my computer speakers. I cant seem to find that anywhere in sound under system preferences. Any help is much appreciated.

    Thanks
     
  17. miguelcoletta thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    #18
    I'm bringing out this thread again to ask you for some advice. The only thing I need the speakers for is music. Will the difference be noticeable between a 2.1 and a 5.1? Is it worth buying the 5.1s?
    The 5.1 system I'm considering is the Logitech Z-5500. As for 2.1 systems, recommend me one if I'm better off buying one.
    Thanks For Your Response, Miguel.
     
  18. sycho macrumors 6502a

    sycho

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2006
    #19
    Remember that the iMac is only capable of 5.1 when playing DVD's when using the stock soundcard. To get true 5.1 out of games and HD Trailers, you need an external USB2.0 or Firewire card capable of 5.1 output. The onboard soundcard will only give you 2 channel stereo for most everything, never true 5.1 unless watching a DVD.:)
     
  19. apfhex macrumors 68030

    apfhex

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    Northern California
    #20
    Don't get 5.1 speakers if you're only listening to music. Music is stereo and (IMO) doesn't sound good if you have the speakers create "fake" 5.1 out of it (the Z-5500's can do that with PLII Music Mode or mirror mode).
     
  20. GMFreak8 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2006
    Location:
    Malone, New York
    #21

    What would you recommend for a USB or FireWire 5.1 card?
     
  21. sycho macrumors 6502a

    sycho

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2006
  22. GMFreak8 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2006
    Location:
    Malone, New York
    #23

    I don't even own a Mac right now. :( I'm in the process of researching and saving some cash (poor college student) right now. I currently have a Dell which has given me nothing but problems hardware wise, and I'm just sick of Windows. I work on PCs for cash whenever I can, and I'm sick of dealing with other peoples Windows problems and then coming home to deal with mine. I've been wanting a Mac for ages now, and it's finally getting to that time.

    I was thinking of getting a 24" iMac or a Mac Pro and a 23" or 30" Cinema display, and possibly a MacBook to go along with it. I noticed that none of them come with 5.1 surround sound and I was just curious what you'd recommend for a USB or FireWire 5.1 capable sound device.
     
  23. sycho macrumors 6502a

    sycho

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2006
    #24
    For purly OS X, the Firewave seems good, it'll decode ProLogic II and everything for you, but I'm not sure of the Windows compatblity(sp?). If you plan to use Windows of any flavor, then I'd recommend getting a USB2.0 6channel soundcard, pretty much any kinda would work, but look at the reviews and look for one that does not resample 44.1kHz (CD audio) to 48kHz.:)
     
  24. GMFreak8 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2006
    Location:
    Malone, New York
    #25

    Cool. Thanks for the suggestions. :)
     

Share This Page