External Speaker/Soundbar Suggestions? (Headphone Port Woes)

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Highway61, Mar 26, 2016.

  1. Highway61 macrumors regular

    Mar 30, 2008
    I have a brand new iMac, and the headphone port has already become extremely wonky [insert verbiage about weakest link and, also, Apple arrogance, here]--which, of course, is quite aggravating--but, for now, I want to circumvent problems/aggravation by leaving my Blue Lolas connected to the iMac and disconnecting the jack at the base of the headphones and, then, plugging that jack into a speaker or soundbar.
    I'd rather not give up a USB port, so I haven't considered, seriously, the Xtreme Tango--but I could go that way.
    I do own a recently purchased Sabrent USB headphone/mic adaptor/driver, and it would do in a pinch, but the volume loss is significant.
    So, I'm not without options completely, but...
    Does anyone know of a good soundbar solution or have other suggestions?
    Is there, perhaps, an external headphone port extension that plugs into the iMac headphone port?
    Thanks in advance for your advice.
  2. LiveM macrumors 65816


    Oct 30, 2015
    Look at the Bose Soundlink Mini II. For headphones, an Airport Express will do the job or if you want portability, the Sony Smart Handset. Bose and Sony also have Bluetooth audio receivers but the Smart Handset has HD Voice and is tiny with a spring clip for your shirt, plus it's rechargeable.

    If you get the Soundlink Mini, be prepared to have others want to use it all the time. You will surprise yourself with its usefulness and wonder how you did without it.
  3. Highway61 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 30, 2008
    Thank you for the excellent reply.
    I like the idea of the Bose Soundlink Mini II.
    I'll admit I'm not as knowledgeable as you, so I must ask a few questions:

    You mention Airport Express, but I actually do have/use Airport Extreme, does that I'm "good to go" in regard to connectivity with the Bose?

    Would you--either way--recommend a program like Airfoil? https://rogueamoeba.com/airfoil/mac/

    If I keep my headphones connected via the headphone port (which is a real POS) will that disallow the use of a bluetooth speaker? Or will I be able to Option-click the menu bar sound icon an choose (whatever it will say) and still have the headphones connected. (Once I disconnect the phones, it's a real struggle to insert them again. (I have to use the end of a small allen wrench to (carefully) pull the headphone jack out a bit from inside the iMac casing; and one of these times, that's not going to work.)
  4. LiveM macrumors 65816


    Oct 30, 2015
    The Extreme doesn't have the 3.5mm combination digital/analogue audio out into which your headphones can go. If you set up an Express to join or add to your existing Extreme Wi-Fi network, it will serve your audio device, NAS or printer without handicapping your network.

    He Bose can also connect to this output, but I would use Bluetooth for simplicity. The Express has an outstanding analogue converter formyour headphones or the Soundlink if you did connect that way.

    I don't see this doing anything you can't do via Airplay to the Express / multiple Expresses or via Bluetooth.

    No. Same with Airplay.
  5. Highway61 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 30, 2008
  6. Highway61 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 30, 2008
    As a followup, the Bose arrived yesterday, I just paired it with my iMac, and, quite certainly, it is the perfect solution to what had been my problem. Thank you again.

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