imac speakers, optical audio question

Discussion in 'iMac' started by swingerofbirch, Sep 30, 2006.

  1. swingerofbirch macrumors 68030

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    #1
    Hi,

    I have a new C2D iMac 17" 2 GHZ. I am interested in getting new external speakers. I was wondering, since this is my first computer with optical audio out, if there are certain speakers that take advantage of this, what the benefits there are, what to look for. Is optical audio primarily for adding 5.1 sound? Is the only app that produces 5.1 sound the DVD player?

    Thanks!
     
  2. logicpro7 macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    if you are looking for 5.1 sound you are looking at connecting a dolby amp to the optical output on the imac,then of course a set of 5.1 speakers.

    other options are something like the jbl creatures but will not be 5.1 or go the exernal sound card option with a set of active studio monitors.

    lots of options,but it all comes down to what intend on using the imac for and what you really want out or your imac.
     
  3. swingerofbirch thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #3
    I actually have a set of the Creature 2 speakers but they're slightly broken. The knobs are loose so you can't tell where the control is on the bass and treble, and they seem to slide on their own. And when you put the bass higher it starts to crackle and if you do it all the way it turns off and only comes through the sattelites.

    I don't really need the 5.1...especially knowing it involves those extra steps..I will use the iMac for TV shows, movies, and music. I guess I want a 2.1 system..so my question is: are there optical 2.1 systems and "regular" ones? And do the optical ones have higher quality? What are some examples of 2.1 optical systems? I wouldn't want to spend more than $150.
     
  4. wchong macrumors 6502

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    #4
    i don't believe you will see a dramatic difference using optical output with a 2.1. that's the reason many of these speakers don't use optical signals.

    for a great set of speakers (aesthetics aside) the logitech z-2300 is the best one in the market of 2.1 speakers :D
     
  5. swingerofbirch thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #5
    Thanks for the advice. I quickly googled them and saw they are only $84 at Amazon, normally $150. I wonder why so cheap?

    Would they be better than or equal to the Creature 2 sound experience?

    Anyone else have advice?
     
  6. Sinsinnati macrumors regular

    Sinsinnati

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    #6
  7. kondspi macrumors regular

    kondspi

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  8. Invisiblefence macrumors newbie

    Invisiblefence

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    #8
    I have an imac 24inch and I can really notice the difference that the improved speakers make although I still choose to use my JBL creature 2s anyway.
     
  9. kreesto macrumors newbie

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    #9
    Spherex (http://spherexinc.com) makes an optical-ready 5.1 system that will work with the iMac. You'll have to get an optical mini-plug adapter to hook up the iMac using a standard TOSlink cable. Both are available at Amazon.com

    Kreesto
     
  10. wchong macrumors 6502

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    #10
    the logitech z-2300 are cheap b/c they have been in the market for a while already.

    the reason i recommend them over the altec lansing is:

    even though it has the InConcert technology it still meant for only mid to high frequency. once you get low - mid it loses its quality.
    the subwoofer is not as powerful as it may seem. it may be small and nice but it just doesn't feel like a subwoofer. Altec Lansing is not known for reproducing the best bass sounds.

    read the following review of the logitech z-2300. it's the editor's choice of CNET reviews and it earned quite a high rating (9.0 out of 10)

    Logitech Z-2300 review

    you can not go wrong with a 200W system
     
  11. swingerofbirch thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #11
    Yeah I think the speakers in the 24 inch are twice as powerful as the speakers in the other iMacs.


    Actually as far as built in sound goes, the speakers in my 17" C2D 2 GHZ iMac (there has got to be a faster way to write that) are good. There are some songs for which I really want the differentiation though--I'm not an audiophile by any means though.


    Thanks to everyone else for all the suggestions. I'm mulling my options!
     
  12. Sinsinnati macrumors regular

    Sinsinnati

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    #12
    I have the Altec Lansing speakers and think they are the best sounding computer speakers I have ever heard, plus they are quite attractive and if you buy a gorgeous Mac, you don't want to ugly it up with speakers that don't match.

    Here is a photo of the control module fitting under the iMac:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    http://www.amazon.com/Altec-Lansing...s_1/102-5588181-7852128?ie=UTF8&s=electronics
     
  13. swingerofbirch thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #13
    With you all arguing over which speakers I should buy, I just feel like the prettiest girl at the party!
     
  14. apfhex macrumors 68030

    apfhex

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    #14
    Maybe the Z-2300s have bass, but unless you're only concerned with things that go boom, the FX6021s beat the crap out of the Logitechs in mid to high frequencies. For music, clear mid and high-tones are very important. YMMV of course.

    I think the FX6021s have very good, low, and rich bass. Playing HL2 they sound pretty amazing.

    BTW I too thought about what 2.1 digital optical speakers might be out there when I got my MP with optical output, but there aren't really any that I saw. I don't know if there's much of a benefit for 2.1 sets anyway.
     
  15. Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

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    #15
  16. swingerofbirch thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #16

    The Altec Lansing are also 199 at Amazon versus the Logitech which are 84 at Amazon. So that will make a difference for me. I'm leaning toward the Logitech right now, but I am very grateful for everyone's helpful advice.
     
  17. richpjr macrumors 68020

    richpjr

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    #17
    I am using the Klipsch iFi's on my computer. Costco has them for $199 if you are a member. It's a handy system - use the line in from my computer to play iTunes and can plop my iPod in it to play back and charge it back up.
     
  18. Sinsinnati macrumors regular

    Sinsinnati

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    #18
    New Egg has them for $169: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16836113140

    If you have a Micro Center near you, they have them for around $140 in store.
     
  19. thestaton macrumors 6502

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    #19
    I have the harmon kardon sound stick II's and they look / sound great. but they don't come with an optical input.
     
  20. wchong macrumors 6502

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    #20
    to confirm, does the imac have an integrated 5.1?
     
  21. swingerofbirch thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #21
    I can confirm that I do not know!

    The tech specs say:
    Headphone/optical digital audio output (minijack)
    Audio line in/optical digital audio input (minijack)

    I have no idea what that implies....I just have the vague sense that optical is "better" somehow. That's why I, in part, started this thread, was to find out what is better about it.
     
  22. Jimmieboy macrumors 6502

    Jimmieboy

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    #22
    Would you be able to post a photo of your speakers next to your iMac? Thanks!
     
  23. Whiteapple macrumors regular

    Whiteapple

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    #23
    Altec Lansing is known to be closer to "Fidelity" than the Logitech. Logitech, like Creative is an ideal system for gaming, no doubt possible, but when music is involved, things change. Believe me on this one.

    Go for the Altec Lansing, and don't forget that they make one of the best "Hi-Fi" speaker, also known as the Altec Horns (passive):

    [​IMG]

    Your choice.:)

    (I'm not making propaganda, as I do not own Atlec Active speakers, but Yamaha, with a 5.1 processor).
     
  24. swingerofbirch thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #24
    To everyone who is saying that Logitech is too bassy, can't you just turn down the bass to hear the upper levels more?

    I really am not an audiophile.

    Can someone who has heard the JBL Creature 2 Speakers tell me how they compare to the Logitech set that has been mentioned?
     
  25. wchong macrumors 6502

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    #25
    other than the apparent difference in volume you would not notice a big difference. unless of course InConcert is really REVOLUTIONARY (the technology behind the altec lansing).

    i prefer logitech b/c i'm a gamer.
    in the end, the difference between the two are minimal if you are not an audiophile and you'd be better off than having no speakers at all :D

    edit: optical is better b/c it can deliver TRUE digital signals
     

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