Audio set up help. 5.1 Speakers

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by growl28, Sep 24, 2011.

  1. growl28 macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2011
    Im looking to buy 5.1 computer speakers for my macbook pro 13in (2011) and im having a hard time finding good speakers through google. Im looking for 5.1 speakers with good bass and wont break on me! Im just wondering if i did get 5.1 speakers how i could hook it up to much MBP. I heard i have to purchase a soundcard but i have no idea what im looking for. Any help would be great :) thanks
  2. Peace macrumors Core


    Apr 1, 2005
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
    Make sure the 5.1 speakers have an optical input then get something like this.

    The mini-toslink will output 5.1 audio from the MBP audio out.

    The port doubles as analog and digital.

    To get 5.1 audio the audio must be in 5.1 format though.
  3. growl28 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2011
    Would just listening to my music on itunes support 5.1 audio?
  4. AdrianK macrumors 68020

    Feb 19, 2011
    Your music isn't 5.1 (unless you've painstakingly ripped it from a DVD-Audio/DVD-Video/SACD/Bluray), it's still only 2.0.

    Some receivers will take a 2.0 track and create 6 discrete channels from (5.1) a la Pro Logic, but I don't really see the point, it's still a stereo mix at heart.
  5. wywern209 macrumors 65832


    Sep 7, 2008
    do you rly want to know?
    i don't think itunes supports 5.1 channels of sound. try something like vlc.
  6. TMRaven macrumors 68020


    Nov 5, 2009
    If you're buying 5.1 for mostly or primarily listening to music, I'd advice on getting a good 2.0 system instead.

    As for great budget 5.1 speakers, Energy makes a very good set.

    Again, 'good' bass is highly subjective, and you don't really need a subwoofer for music if you have a good 2.0 system that extends decently low already.
  7. DustinT macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2011
    Agreed, but there are also some really good 2.1 systems out there for reasonable money that will sound great.

    I've used a Klipsch Promedia 2.1 set for almost ten years and I'm continually impressed with them. I'm also a fan of anything from Swan or M-Audio. Stay away from Bose at all costs. Logitech has some good stuff but lots of junk so you have to be careful what you choose.

    I'm not sure I saw your budget posted, if I missed it, I'm sorry. If you can share that information with us we can help you more specifically. Or, if you listen to mostly movies we can help you pick the right setup for that too. Just a little more information will help.
  8. Rogersamtec macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2011
    Mp3 Player with Speakers| Mini Speaker

    itunes does not support 5.1..for 5.1 you require another player..

    Mini Speaker
  9. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    The music is two channels, stereo. You only need two speakers. the 5.1 system is for videos with 5.1 sound tracks.

    If your budget is limited, say you can only spend $500. then if you buy stereo yo have $250 to spend on each speaker but if you want 5. then you hav less then $66 for each speaker.

    Then if most of your listening is to music a 5.1 system is a waste.

    You can build a hybrid system. First get a good pair of stereo speakers then later add the other speakers.

    One hint: do NOT look for a 5.1 in a box. those are all poor quality. buy speakers one at a time. Choose each one based on the location you plan to place it.

    Next hint, room acoustics matters more than the brand of speakers, (assuming reasonably close prices on the speakers.)
  10. TwoBytes macrumors 68030


    Jun 2, 2008
    ChrisA on the money again with good advice. Music is designed (largely) for 2 channels so just get a good 2.1 system. You won't get at special effects from 5.1 and it might impact negatively on your listening experience..
  11. chemed macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2011
    All audiophileness aside...
    I am wondering about this whole stereo through a 5.1 system too.

    How can I get my 5.1 system to play "5 channel stereo" instead. I don't care about loss of quality, I get that iTunes isn't configured to output the sound.

    So: What are some options here? If I wanted to listen to music through all of my speakers instead of just 2, how would I do this?
  12. chemed macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2011
    anyone? I still haven't been able to get this to work.
  13. androiphone macrumors 65816

    Dec 13, 2009
    what OS are you using? I assume there are just basic 5.1 speakers that don't have that functionality built in, there might be some software out there that can duplicate the sound to the back speakers.
  14. Mr.C macrumors 601

    Apr 3, 2011
    London, UK.
    iTunes does support 5.1 at least it does for movies downloaded from the iTunes store.
  15. Avatar74 macrumors 65816


    Feb 5, 2007
    That's not the issue, though. 5.1-channel surround is generally a consequence of a particular format that has to be decoded. iTunes does not have a Dolby Digital 5.1 surround decoder on board. The AAC format can support AC-3 (Dolby Digital) "pass thru" but all this means is that the AC-3 audio is encapsulated in the file, decoupled from it during playback and sent to whatever playback device you have... which requires that the playback device must have an onboard Dolby Digital decoder.

    If you just buy a 5.1 speaker setup and it doesn't have a built in Dolby Digital decoder, this won't work since AAC files do not carry 6 discrete channels of audio, and Apple optical out doesn't natively support six discrete channels.
  16. Mr.C macrumors 601

    Apr 3, 2011
    London, UK.
    Maybe I should rephrase what I said. You can download content from the iTunes store that has a DD 5.1 soundtrack that can be played within iTunes with an appropriate 5.1 receiver/speaker setup. In other words if the content has a 5.1 soundtrack and you have the appropriate setup them iTunes will support it as a method of playback. Personally I prefer hardware decoding over software decoding using a special app.

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