External Soundcards for Mac

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by haravikk, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. haravikk macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #1
    Okay so I'm looking at replacing my current Mac Pro with one of the upcoming new ones, and while I think I've settled on some USB enclosures for my (currently internal) hard drives and backup drives, one problem I still have is that currently my 5.1 speaker setup, which uses 3x headphone jack type connectors into the sub-woofer/amp, is being controlled by a Griffin Firewave external Firewire 400 sound card. Naturally this won't be very easy to use with the new Mac Pro which has no Firewire at all, and I don't really want the expense of a Thunderbolt hub as I probably won't need a hub for anything else.

    So anyway, it seems I'll need to replace this sound card, so what I'm wondering is if anyone can recommend a good external sound card that will work with the upcoming Mac Pros? I was thinking the perfect solution would be something that is really just an adapter transforming optical out into the mini-jack connectors I need, but I have no idea what I'd be searching for or what I really need, as I know next to nothing about connecting audio systems.

    Naturally I'd love to go all out with new speakers and a proper AV system, but my budget is likely to be pretty thin already, so I'm looking for something reasonably cheap but effective.
     
  2. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #2
    Can't you just use one of the (relatively) cheap Thunderbolt to Firewire cables from apple:
    http://store.apple.com/us/product/MD464ZM/A/apple-thunderbolt-to-firewire-adapter?fnode=51
     
  3. haravikk thread starter macrumors 65816

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    May 1, 2005
    #3
  4. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #4
    There are a million fw800 to fw400 cables. They cost about 2 bucks at most places. I've ised them many times for my camcorders. Fw800 is fully backwards compatible with fw400.
     
  5. haravikk thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #5
    True. Well okay then that's definitely a good cheap(ish) option at least.

    I'd still like some possibilities for replacements as well though; like I say I'm fortunate that my Firewave is still supported in Mountain Lion, but there's no guarantee that that'll last, and although it does work it's a bit too basic as it has no real settings to adjust like individual speaker volume for example.
     
  6. haravikk thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #6
    Sorry to bump, but I was thinking something this might be an option, as it seems like it would take an optical connection from a Mac Pro (probably need a cable though) and convert it to 5.1 compatible with my speakers.

    Not that it has to be optical out though, it just seems like the best way to handle the output, but then at the same it would be nice to have something USB powered if possible as that's one of the thing I like about the FireWave as it doesn't require any extra adapters. Part of my computer upgrade is looking at getting rid of as many extra adapters as possible.

    I don't suppose there are any Mac compatible, USB powered, external sound cards that can use a newer Mac Mini or Mac Pro optical out as an input to produce 5.1 stereo using mini-jacks?

    Man how I wish everything just used optical out as standard, would make things so much simpler!
     

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