connect 5.1 channel speakers to macbook pro?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by sparshdgr8, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. sparshdgr8 macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2011
    Hi Everyone,
    Could you please help me with a easy and inexpensive way to connect my 5.1 channel audio system to my :apple: 2011 MacBook Pro 15" ?

    My audio system has three 3.5mm jacks that need to be connected...

  2. seafowl macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2011
    Wellington, New Zealand
    My 5.1 stereo comes with a 2 to 3 connector, and if yours does too, all you need to buy is a 3.5mm to 2 RCA connector. That's what I do. :apple:
  3. wywern209 macrumors 65832


    Sep 7, 2008
    do you rly want to know?
    then you need some sort of usb external card. the only other way is to get a different set which has optical in. your macbook has a mini toslink port and that port can carry 5.1. there is no other way to my knowledge. let me guess, you have a logitech set. try the Z5500. it has optical in. or get a receiver and run optical to it. of course you would also need speakers. or try something like this
  4. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    Using RCA will only provide stereo sound.

    OP, you can only do it using optical output or an external audio device(which are in the $100 range if my memory serves me well), does your receiver accept optical inputs?
  5. sparshdgr8 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2011
    I can do this... but i am scared... i hope the macbook pro can handle 5.1 channel with just a single 3.5mm port?? this could cause a problem like over heating, short circuit ???
  6. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    No and no, why would it? It's not anymore demanding for the computer to do such things.
  7. DustinT macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2011
    Yup, the output on your MBP is designed for 5.1 use. Just grab a suitable optical cable and connect it up. If your speakers don't have an optical input you'll need a convertor of some kind. You could use an old home theather receiver with an optical input. Or, there's plenty of sound cards that will do the trick and are a lot smaller. It does't matter much what you use though, as long as it has the necessary inputs and outputs.
  8. sparshdgr8 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2011
    you maybe right but since i am not much aware of the technical details. i have a doubt... I mean. Connecting 5 speakers through a port(3.5mm audio in) that in made for 2.1 channel ? it is fine? And i dont find any optical output on my MBP ??
  9. grahamnp macrumors 6502a

    Jun 4, 2008
    The headphone out on the macbook pro can only output stereo, it doesn't matter how many channels you connect to it be it 1 or 8. All you are doing is splitting the stereo signal so that the same signal gets sent to multiple speakers. You will not be getting surround sound but you will be getting some output from all speakers. The macbook pro's internal amp is not driving the speakers, your surround system's amp (I hope you have one) is so no need to worry about any extra load on the computer.

    If your system has an optical input, you can connect an optical cable to the macbook pro's headphone out because it also functions as a digital output. It will output whatever sound it is meant to be playing as digital and then your system can then split that into 5.1 surround.

    If you don't have any digital input for your speaker system, you can try googling external audio interfaces that support 5.1. I don't have experience with any so can't make a recommendation. I know they exist but driver support on the mac might be flaky.

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