Will my iMac G5's optical audio out support these 5.1 surround sound speakers?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by AlmightyG5, Oct 24, 2005.

  1. AlmightyG5 macrumors 6502

    Jul 7, 2005
    Hey, I really like this set of speakers called the Logitech x530 found here:http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1068238&Sku=L23-6322

    The speakers will have 3 audio cables to connect to a sound card...but my iMac G5 has only one slot. An explanation of the cables is here:http://www.devhardware.com/c/a/PC-Speakers/Logitech-X530-Speaker-System-Review/2/

    Will I be able to connect the 3 cables using this adaptor:http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/products/details/US/EN,CRID=2177,CONTENTID=10036 I have a cable that has a red and white plugs at one end to connect to the adaptor and a regular headphone plug to connect to the Mac at the other end of the cable.

    Lastly will the iMac even support surround sound...and if there is a better adaptor let me know. Thanks!
  2. AlmightyG5 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 7, 2005
    would an optical cable work? the thing is ...how would you hook up the three 1/8 audio jacks to the one optical....im confused
  3. jeffzoom macrumors member

    Oct 8, 2004
    In short, no, it will not work. If you do it the way you prescribed (just one cable) then you will not get surround sound, not even sound out of any other speakers. To sun those, you will need a sound card that has the three analog outputs. However, if you get something like the logitec Z-5500's or 5300's and hook it up ovver an optical connection, you will get 5.1 only when what you are listening to was originally recorded that way (garbage in garbage out). So no matter what you do, you will not get surround sound from itunes. Those speakers are only analog, trust me, i have a friend who has them and i hooked them up.:)
  4. AlmightyG5 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 7, 2005
    so there are no speakers that can give me sound out of all six when listening to music?
  5. jeffzoom macrumors member

    Oct 8, 2004
    Well there is, but you need and external sound card. Creative labs does this, but there are no drivers for mac, and it is done over software. I'm sure M-audio has something similar, but the drawback is the audio quality lessens. Think about it though, most systems don't have the same wattage going to the rear speakers, and even if they do it doesn't utilize it. Personally, i think that my system sounds better over two channels than upmixed to 6. For instance if you had an external sound card and you watched a 5.1 dvd in the apple dvdplayer than yes, it would be in gloryous dolby 5.1, but itunes will not be unless hardware upmixed.
  6. mjstew33 macrumors 601


    May 29, 2005
    This stinks. I was hoping to do this sometime with my future iMac or even my current iBook.... :(
  7. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    You would need a 5.1 speaker set that connects via an optical cable. Like the Klipsch ProMedia GMX D-5.1 Digital Speaker System - the optical cable is not included, you would need to buy that seperately.
  8. Skareb macrumors member

    Oct 24, 2005

    (sorry:p )

    Optical (and Coaxial) are both digital audio standards, coaxial being the better of the two in most peoples opinion.
    Headphone jacks (RCA) are an anologue system, which can still support very high quality (see SACD.) However in the cases of a headphone jack the quality is poo.

    also digital signals are RAW signals that are not processed onboard and require processing at a remot location, eg a Hi-Fi Reciever or in some high end multmedia speakers. From there the signal is slpit into it's various componets and sent to the correct speakers

    multi channel Headphone jack signals are processed on the soundcards onboard dac (in most case's this is crap quality) and then sent to the speakers or amp. the sound is then simply amplified.

    In all cases stay aways from multi channel headphone Jacks.

  9. centipededesign macrumors newbie

    Nov 9, 2005
    lets say you purchased the set all ready and were trying to connect them to a G5. (like me)
    Could you get a Digital to Analog converter somewhere that would have the correct in and out plugs on it? I got these cause they were so cheap. they sound good but I wont be able to use them if i ever play games or watch movies with surround. LAME!

    the converter they make for these too hook up to a game console... does that even allow them to work in 5.1 ???

  10. AlmightyG5 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 7, 2005
    This should solve your problem: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1225693&Tab=11&NoMapp=0

    This is perfect if there are 3 analog cables that come from the speakers. Just plug in the 3, and connect to the G5 via USB. I ended up not getting the logitech 530's. I got these: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16836130018

    I havent used them yet because my grandma is getting me them for Xmas, but they look great, and will work with that USB sound card.
  11. centipededesign macrumors newbie

    Nov 9, 2005
    oh, thats for USB hu ?
    do they make something similar that uses optical instead of usb ?
    it seems like they would I just cant find one!?!?!

    thanks for the help,

    if you guys know of an optical one please let me know,!
  12. Greenjeens macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2005
    I've hooked up a lot of home theaters and the price of surround receivers with an optical or coaxial digital input and a decent size set of amps, is just rediculously low. Talk about bang for the buck compared to buying some expensive m audio sound cards, and sup par plastic powered 2-3" speakers. A seperate amp can also do double duty hooking up other A/V sound sources, and it's capable of driving some decent bookshelf (5"or greater mid/bass) speakers to fairly high volumes without distortion. Larger speaker drivers and boxes usually require less power.

    All depends on if you have a digital out on the Mac, to go with an easy 5.1 digital surround upgrade. Wish I had digital I/O, but an old receiver with analog ins sounds just fine with 2 quality bookshelve speakers (stole my Home theater surrounds).
    I've always used a good stereo set up, for those who couldn't afford the whole 5.1 set up, amps and sub. Good stereo is perfectly satifying, especially in a nearfield environment. It's 80% of the sound/experience and 1/4 the cost of Digital 5.1. I'd rather have 2 good speakers than 5 crummy one's for music. The envolpment of surrounds does add another dimension to DVD movie watching, but it's not neccessary or can be added later.

    A stereo receiver set up (and a decent sub) adds so much to iTunes or watching dvd's, you'll never regret grafting a home receiver and good bookshelf speakers to your computer. It's so easy to have top notch sound coming from the one's Mac. A near lifetime of good tunes, with or without a computer!

  13. BASSMANN195 macrumors newbie

    Dec 3, 2008
    5.1 surround sound

    hey, iv just bought my self a logitech X-540 system and a imac without realy thinking if they would work together (stupid me) just woundering if there is a way to hook up my imac to my logitech speakers and get 5.1 surround sound. i realise i tunes wont give out 5.1. sound but i mainly need it for dvd's.
    thnx :)

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