AirPort Express and Subwoofers

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by jaredwaynef, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. jaredwaynef macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2009
    #1
    Hey everyone,

    I just bought an Airport Express to make connecting to the internet easier in the ol' apartment. I went back home last week and found an old pair of speakers that my parents bought me from Sharper Image (yes, that long ago, but they sound great!). The speakers are a 2.1 system that plugs into a CD/radio player. I'm doing my damnedest to find an adapter to convert the Airport Express's audio out to 2.1. Is that even possible? The right and left speakers look like they're standard headphone jack size. However, the subwoofer has a male plug end of what looks like an RCA cable.

    After some research I know there's a "subwoofer cable" that a lot of companies make. On top of that, I know there's adapters that take a single headphone out and divide it into a right and left channel. I'm just trying to find some kind of adapter that melds the two together.

    Any help would be extremely appreciated!
     
  2. Lumpy05 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2010
    Location:
    Bloomington, IN
    #2
    The airport express strictly outputs a line level stereo signal or a digital optical. Most 2.1 speaker systems are in fact stereo and the subwoofer signal is generated by an internal crossover.

    From what you have written it sounds as if you are missing either the original cables or the amplifier for your set. Is it internally amplified (powered) or does it require an external amp? Do you have a model number?
     
  3. jaredwaynef thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2009
    #3
    It's internally amplified.

    The difficulty I have is I have other speaker sets that have the subwoofer built into the RCA plugs from the 2 left and right speakers. However, these speakers are 3 completely independent cables. 1 left, 1 right, and 1 subwoofer cable.

    Those 3 plugs simply plug into the output ports of the Sharper Image stereo.

    The right and left speakers work independently of the stereo when plugged into a headphone jack. I'm just trying to add the subwoofer to that mix.

    I'm sorry if this isn't making sense. If you need me to, just ask where I can clarify to make things clearer.
     
  4. Lennyvalentin macrumors 6502a

    Lennyvalentin

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    #4
    As the previous poster mentioned, the Airport offers only a stereo 3.5mm headphone jack (or SPDIF optical), so you'd either have to leave out your subwoofer if it requires a discrete cable connection, or you'd have to route the signal through some kind of mixer or a receiver that can offer you a third subwoofer output. Might be a bit overkill for what is probably a fairly cheap set of speakers, I dunno.

    That, or solder your own Frankenstein Y-cable with a third tail to connect to the sub... :)
     
  5. Lumpy05 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2010
    Location:
    Bloomington, IN
    #5
    I don't think that speaker set will work, the mains need the amplifier in the original radio to act as a crossover (send the bass to the sub) and amplify for the left/right speakers. The airport express puts out a line level signal. Now if the original radio has a line level input that would work, but the speakers separate from the unit won't do much for you.
     

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