Help with 5.1 speakers and a Mac Book

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by sweeeet33, Apr 25, 2007.

  1. sweeeet33 macrumors newbie

    Mar 20, 2004
    For my girlfriend's birthday, I bought her some Logitech X-530 5.1 computer speakers for her Mac Book. I know that the mac book is not capable of full 5.1 sound, but I thought that I would be able to plug the speakers in to just play music. Unfortunatly, that is not the case. Instead of all the speakers going to one 3.5'' jack, they are split up into three 3.5'' cables (back, front, and center speakers). The speakers came with an adapter that has on one end, three holes to plug in the 3.5'' jacks and on the other end has two optical audio holes (probably to hook up to a videogame system). Anyways, we can only plug in one of the jacks into the macbook so at best, we only have 2 speakers playing with the sub. Is there any simple solution to fix this problem besides updating the soundcard (to expensive)? Is there any adapter that converts the two optical-audio ports to one single 3.5'' jack? If you have any suggestions let me know, I really need help here. :confused:
  2. hvfsl macrumors 68000


    Jul 9, 2001
    London, UK
    I should probably point out it's not an optical port. They are just standard RCA ports and yes you can get an adapter (shouldn't cost more than a few dollars). You basically want something like this:

    But you still don't get proper 5.1 sound with this solution. Both left speakers will be one channel, while right speakers will be another and the centre speaker will be a mixture of both channels. If you want proper 5.1 sound, you ether need to get a new sound card (that supports 5.1 analogue out) or get some new speakers that support a digital optical connection.

    As for sound cards, something like this is probably what you want:
  3. sycho macrumors 6502a


    Oct 7, 2006
    Ok, the easiest way is using the optical output of the MacBook.

    Just google around for 3.5mm toslink and you'll know what to look for, some cables come with the adapter, most don't. Hint: The dollar store in my area sells an optical cable with the 3.5mm adapters, so don't be afraid to look there, you'll never know what you'll find.

    The best option would be to buy an external 5.1 soundcard and follow my nice little guide here:
    This allows for true Multichannel surround from DVDs (when played in VLC), HD trailers, and possibly games, although I have yet to try a game with that set up...:)
  4. rafg macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2007
    Wow I didnt know that the macbook had optical out!
  5. jng macrumors 65816


    Apr 6, 2007
    You could also buy a receiver if you have a home theater system, so that you can take advantage of the speakers not just on the computer, but also for tv, gaming, etc. But that might be overkill for Logitech speakers...
  6. O. Frabjous-Dey macrumors regular

    Dec 6, 2006
    The MacBook does have optical-out, but if your speakers don't have optical-in it unfortunately doesn't matter.

    I had this exact problem and the Griffin Firewave solved it completely. Great product, like most of Griffin's other offerings.

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