5.1 Sound system for Imac possible without optical output?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by leomon, Aug 28, 2007.

  1. leomon macrumors newbie

    Aug 28, 2007
    Hi guys,

    im new here, and my friend bought an imac, its really sweet.

    I am really sitting on the edge of buying it. I am an avid PC user, and have been all my life.

    However i am a music fanatic. After reading this forum, my speakers arent really that new, they are the old Z-5300's but they are still great in terms of sound.

    They dont have optical output, just the standard 3 x 3.5mm connections.
    Left center and right.

    what is the cheapest way to hookup these speakers to the imac, while still having 5.1 sound ie. for watching movies
  2. chmarch macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2007
    An external sound card is not necessarily the best answer. This permanently uses up the FireWire port on your Mac. I would recommend the Creative Decoder DDTS-100. Sadly, Creative no longer sells this item, but I'm sure you can find one on eBay

    The Creative Decoder allows for 7 inputs - 3 optical, 3 stereo, and 1 coax. Its up-mixing quality is superb, and I have enjoyed it very much so for the past year.

  3. Techguy172 macrumors 68000

    Feb 2, 2007
    Ontario Canada
    My brother has this attatchment that goes on the end and turns the three speaker ports into just a single 3.5mm port it came with his dell 5.1 speakers. so maybe you could get one of these it works really good.
  4. netherfred macrumors member

    Oct 24, 2004
    Rotterdam, the Netherlands
  5. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    That's not 5.1 That's at best 2.0 blasted out of 5 speakers and the sub. Which means 5.1 DVDs and games and such won't sound nearly as good because it's not 5 separate channels.
  6. leomon thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 28, 2007
    so the only way to work around this is buy an external video card like that fire wire thing?

    That sucks. Why would apple put such a nice monitor perfect for video and movies and stick ONLY a optical port in it. So many people out there have the 3x3.5mm speaker inputs.

    Now i gotta spend like 100$ just to enjoy 5.1 sound?

    music is important to me. I need that 5.1 thx speakers workin.
    I live in Canada to so i can only get this used, ebay or amazon with the shipping and duties...
  7. l33r0y macrumors 6502

    Aug 7, 2007
    The iMac line out doubles as a digital optical 5.1 bitstream or standard analog stereo.

    Your speakers are designed to take multichannel analog which is a cheap alternative for surround sound, designed to be used with hardware that outputs in analog - such as typical gaming surround sound cards.

    Apple doesn't cut corners as a rule, so if you want PROPER digital surround sound, you will need to invest in the appropriate hardware.

    I suggest you replace your speakers with another 5.1 set that accepts a digital optical input. The alternative would be to buy a second hand 5.1 receiver with optical input and the appropriate connections to be able to connect it to the 5300 speaker ports.
  8. fredsherbet macrumors member

    Jul 30, 2007
    Hertford, England
    games won't put out in dolby digital surround, so to get surround sound in games, you HAVE to use seperate analogue channels
  9. leomon thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 28, 2007
    i get i have no choice to tack on another 100$ for a imac purchase if i want quality sound.

    1600$ i could get a quad core 2.4 with a 8800GTX card sigh~..
  10. jf8 macrumors regular

    Aug 8, 2007
    I use a Creative DDTS-100 with the Logitech Z-5300e speakers. It works pretty well.

    I bought a DDTS-100 from eBay in 2005 and it failed a few days later. It was still under warranty, so I got it replaced by Creative and it's worked fine since.

    And what exactly is the point of using 5.1 for music? Nearly every music source is 2 channels, with the exceptions being DTS CDs and DVD Audio.

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