Biggest downside from Mac Pro to iMac: The Audio?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by NJRonbo, Oct 27, 2009.

  1. NJRonbo macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    #1
    I have a Mac Pro that I bought in
    early 2007 that is still going strong.

    If not for that pretty 27" iMac that
    was announced last week I would
    not have pulled the plug and bought
    a replacement for what I have now.

    The 27" for the moment offers me
    a lot of advantages over my Mac Pro.

    .....but then I got to thinking.

    The audio. What about the audio?

    My Mac Pro has digital output. I
    have toslink digital cable running
    from it to a really expensive Logitech
    5.1 system. The audio quality I get,
    particularly with 5.1 content is AMAZING!

    Logitech Z-5500 Speaker System

    But what about the iMac?

    All it has is a dinky mini plug on
    the back to handle its audio.

    Can anyone tell me if I should
    expect the same quality sound
    coming out of that computer to
    my speaker system?

    Seems that I have to now deal
    with analog input. Can analog input
    decode 5.1 sound?

    I don't even see an analog input
    on this speaker system though
    the specs say there is one. Perhaps
    they revised the speakers since I
    bought it years ago.

    I am just a little worried about
    the huge step down in audio
    capability here. You have this
    top-of-the-line iMac designed for
    watching HD content but it doesn't
    seem that you can output digital
    audio.
     
  2. marzy macrumors member

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    Jan 15, 2007
    Location:
    Australia
    #2
  3. AAPLaday Guest

    AAPLaday

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    #3
    +1 I use a mini toslink on both my 2007 iMac and Alu MacBook to a B&W Zeppelin
     
  4. andyOSX macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #4
    No, not at all. The iMac has the same digital audio in/out, you just need the mini-toslink to full toslink adapters.

    The biggest downside is giving up the 4 internal drive pays, PCIe slots, optional superior graphics cards and eSATA
     
  5. NJRonbo thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    #5
    You guys are great. Good to see a fellow
    Logitech Speaker user.

    Thank God there is a solution. Found
    this cable on Amazon which is probably
    just as good.

    Now I don't have to worry about audio.

    I take it that I will get the same quality
    sound using this adapter as I would with
    the digital output toslink connection on
    my Mac Pro?


    You are correct.
     
  6. spcdust macrumors 6502a

    spcdust

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #6
    Am I correct in thinking the iMac does not output true 5.1 audio as I would assume you need the audio output to be optical?
     
  7. marzy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Location:
    Australia
    #7
    You would be correct, but if you read the thread you would learn that it does send optical out.
     
  8. spcdust macrumors 6502a

    spcdust

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #8
    Sorry, I didn't realise that the audio jack also doubled up as an optical out - so does that mean you do get the full 5.1 audio stream data output that an AV Amp can decode?
     
  9. NJRonbo thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    #9
    Little more technical here....

    So now I am learning that though
    the iMac is capable of sending optical
    out via the right cable.

    As the previous poster asks, with a
    proper decoder (the Logitech speaker
    system has it built in) is it capable of
    handling 5.1 audio?

    Just want to know if I will still get
    5.1 audio with my iMac.
     
  10. AAPLaday Guest

    AAPLaday

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    Aug 6, 2008
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    #10
    5.1 works just fine on the iMac. As long as the speakers have an optical digital in port
     
  11. Uncle Pinny macrumors regular

    Uncle Pinny

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #11
    Yes - it will send out 5.1 via the optical out.

    Yes - it should be just the same as the Mac Pro - the digital stream won't be decoded or altered but rather just spat out the back ready to be fed into whatever speaker/amp you may wish to use.

    It's the same as the Mac Pro in all respects except for the type of optical plug it uses (3.5mm optical as opposed to toslink).
     
  12. cawesjmu macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2004
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    #12

    In case you haven't ordered the cable already, you can just get a little adapter to put on the cable you already have. Like this one. I'm sure you'll pay more for shipping than the price of the adapter. Not that either are terribly expensive...
     
  13. nOw2 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    #13
    It's digital, therefore identical. Only an audiophile could hear a difference.

    By the way, your text is appearing in very narrow columns?
     
  14. Uncle Pinny macrumors regular

    Uncle Pinny

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #14
    That should be "Only an audiophile would SAY they could hear a difference".

    Like you said, it's identical therefore no difference.
     
  15. NJRonbo thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    #15
    cawesjmu, thank you so much for that link.

    Just my style.

    Thanks again everyone
     
  16. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #16
    interesting thread. thanks for bringing it up! now to get some nice logitech speakers!! mwahaha
     
  17. unamused macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2009
    #17
    no doubt!

    Probably one of the best speaker systems for a pc/bedroom home theater setup... I love playing COD4 with these blaring... makes me feel like im actually in the game!

    if you wait for a deal, you can get them for around 150.
     
  18. MH01 macrumors G4

    MH01

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    #18
    You will get the same quality from your imac as you do from your mac pro.

    That logitech setup is okay, but those speakers will not be able to distinguish between a good/bad source. That logitech is made for computers, a real amp/speaker setup is very very very costly, but you get what you pay for.

    The logitech that you have can be driven by an ipod.... No probs what so ever for the imac. You will not notice any sound quality diff between the mac pro or imac. Only a PC with dedicated sound card will offer you a much better source.
     
  19. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #19
    The biggest downside is the cumbersome hard disk upgrade procedure with the iMac.
     
  20. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    Jun 11, 2007
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    Singapore
    #20
    they are very decent sounding speakers for the price. i am thinking of purchasing a set of Z5500's, apparently they are rather good. i would love to hear how bassy they are as im a big bass person!
     
  21. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #21
    When I started reading the OP I thought it was going to be a haiku...
     
  22. NJRonbo thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Jan 10, 2007
    #22
    Trust me, the Z5500 has a lot of base.

    Have you seen the size of the subwoofer?!
     
  23. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #23
    You usually need a large base for large subwoofers, otherwise you don't get a lot of bass out of them. ;)
     
  24. AppleNewton macrumors 68000

    AppleNewton

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    Apr 3, 2007
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    1 Finite Place
    #24
    looks like you got alot of good answers.

    i have this combo:
    http://www.monoprice.com/products/p...=10229&cs_id=1022901&p_id=1419&seq=1&format=2
    http://www.monoprice.com/products/p...=10423&cs_id=1042301&p_id=2671&seq=1&format=2

    but the other cable linked certainly will do the trick.

    i too came form a macpro a couple months ago to a mbp, but thinking of those nice 27" hah.


    how do you like the z5500's? ive had mine since 04 or 05...phenomal...i abrely have to turn them past 4 or 5 notches to get high quality audio with alot of clear bass.

    but since its digital, it depends on the source of the audio (or film) coding.
    as i think the z5500's have a built in matrix to distribute the encoding.
    i like to keep them on Dolby PLII Music
     
  25. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #25
    BAHA you made me LOL.

    excellent. that is what i am after. they will accompany my Sennheiser IE6's nicely.

    smartarse. play nice haha.

    wish i could afford a $5k audio setup, but i cant. so z5500's it is!
     

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