Appropriate speakers for Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by GoKyu, Dec 16, 2007.

  1. GoKyu macrumors 65816


    Feb 15, 2007
    New Orleans
    Hey all, I've spent the last few hours searching online for what I thought would be a pretty easy subject to deal with: getting an internal PCIe soundcard for a Mac Pro. (I'm waiting for January 15th for the new models...)

    Well, it looks like it's not so simple after all, so let me kind of explain what I have and what I'm looking for...

    1. I currently have a PC with a nice set of Logitech 5.1 surround sound speakers which have the 3 separate jacks (orange, green, black.) Internal soundcards which are available for the Mac Pro are meant for pro recording and are *way* out of my budget. I also would rather avoid an external solution as well (I'm already gonna have an external audio device to hook up my guitar.)

    2. Games are completely irrelevant to me. I'm a pretty serious audiophile and of course I do enjoy doing some home recording on guitar.

    3. It seems that the Mac Pro does support 5.1 audio, but not through the 3 port system that is currently used by most PC users.

    So the best solution appears to be buying a new set of 5.1 speakers which have that single port to plug directly into the Mac Pro.

    I'd like to keep the budget around $150 max, but if there's something really nice, I could jump to $200 or so.

    Any suggestions for a good set of 5.1 surround sound speakers? :)

    All replies are greatly appreciated!

  2. WildPalms macrumors 6502a


    Jan 4, 2006
    Honolulu, HI
    I dont meant to be offensive, but $300 for good speakers?!? I thought you said you were a "pretty serious audiophile". My last headphones set me back a little over $875 US, and my surround system is substantially more but I would only label myself as a hobbyist audiophile at the level.

    However, without looking at the prices of speaker systems, you might want to consider upgrading from the Logitech market to ....trying to stay close to your budget here.... at least Altec Lansing or Boston Acoustics and use the optical connector. With such a tight budget, its not easy to find decent sounding speakers, let alone a 5.1 setup.

    The Mac pro has optical and digital connectors which allows for better quality signal than the substandard p.c. multimedia jacks that have plagued the market for so long. Hope you find something in your price range.
  3. GoKyu thread starter macrumors 65816


    Feb 15, 2007
    New Orleans
    Thanks for the reply :)

    Ok, maybe I should've qualified that "pretty serious" label a little better - pretty serious for a desktop user :D

    If I was *that* into sound, I'd be asking about a full home theater setup to connect to the Mac Pro, not just a speaker set.

    I was just looking around online at a few sets, and I think I could push my range up to $200-250, but I really don't plan on going higher than that.

    Some of the better names in that range seem to be Altec-Lansing, Klipsch, and Harmon/Kardon.

  4. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2007
    Yes, but even Klipsch and H/K can get expensive fast if you're interested in great 5.1 sound. I don't have an opinion on Altec-Lansing.

    If you really want a 5.1 system that's worth anything, you should look to spend $1K. Otherwise, I'd suggest going for a really nice 2.1 system (I suggest Bose).
  5. Killyp macrumors 68040


    Jun 14, 2006
    I'd suggest you avoid 5.1, and stick with a good 2.0 system.

    Why? 5.1 is not 'better' sound, it's just more sound, and often of a lesser quality. Quality not quantity is what you're looking for. A good 2.0 will absolutely blow the spots off a lesser 5.1 system for both movies and music alike.

    I'd suggest B&W 685s or 686s (depending on how far your budget can stretch) and a good amp, such as the Rotel RA-05 (a very good amplifier).

    You can always add on a subwoofer later if you feel the need...
  6. bigandy macrumors G3


    Apr 30, 2004
    Soundsticks II aren't expensive (£100 or so, that's US$200 ish), and they sound rather good for teh moneys...

  7. killmoms macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2003
    Washington, DC
    Let's also keep in mind that the only 5.1 sound you'll get out of your Mac over SPDIF optical is sound that's already AC3 or DTS and is being output from an application that supports it correctly—which is to say VLC, because last time I tried even DVD Player didn't do it right. Surround support on OS X is pretty weak, honestly.

    I would echo the advice here and say look for a good pair of active stereo monitors. They'll be way better than any 2.1 computer speaker setup and you'll thank yourself for it later, especially if the majority of the listening you do is in stereo anyway.

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