How can I make a macbook utilize 5.1 sorround speakers?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by gothamm, Mar 2, 2008.

  1. gothamm macrumors 6502a

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    #1
  2. MadDog31 macrumors 6502a

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    #2
  3. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #3
    No idea. I don't have a good speaker setup at all, nor do I really care that much.

    However, my friend had my MacBook set up to a 5.1 Logitech system. His speaker system came with a receiver of some sort that handled everything. The speakers were all plugged into this receiver, and the MacBook's digital audio output was plugged into the receiver's digital input. However, from the CNET review, it appears that your system may not have a digital input, so you may be out of luck. I don't know if you need digital input to get 5.1 surround, so maybe someone else can chime in.

    Does that help at all?
     
  4. thenetstud macrumors member

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    #4
  5. Cave Man macrumors 604

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    #5
    How does this thing work? Do you send audio out the USB port of your Mac?
     
  6. thenetstud macrumors member

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    #6
    Yes it connects via USB to the MacBook. Then the speakers connect to the external card.
     
  7. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #7
    And this provides 5.1 surround sound from DVDs and Quicktime movies?
     
  8. thenetstud macrumors member

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  9. gothamm thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    The main speaker of the system has a headphone jack. can i just use an aux cable that goes from the mac's headphone jack to the speaker's headphone jack? will this make all five speakers work?
     
  10. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #11
    You may (or may not) get sound to all 6 speakers (you did title it 5.1 audio), but it won't be 5.1. The Mac's dual-output audio port is digital only to a device that can handle optical data. A conventional patch cord will give you two-channels of analog information, which can be up to Dolby Pro Logic II (5-channel).
     
  11. gothamm thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    how do i know whether my device can handle optical data? Judging from the review link i posted, it doesn't look like my x-530 does.

    If i were to buy a surround system which does support digital optical data, would the aux solution work?
     
  12. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #13
    Unless it specifically states that it has an SPDIF optical (and not coaxial) input, it won't take it. Many receivers on the market have these. My favorite value units are from Onkyo. For example, their HT-SR600 can be had for as little as $240, sans shipping. All you need is a TOSLINK cable with a mini plug on one end for the Mac. Plugs right into the receiver and will decode Dolby Digital or DTS 5.1 from your DVDs using DVD Player app, Quicktime movies encoded with DD, or streams from the TV tuners, such as Elgato's Eye TV Hybrid.
     
  13. jer446 macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    what i do, even though it is not 5.1, is i got 2 3.5 mm splitters. I connected the two, and put alll the cables into that. I get 5 channel "stereo" out of it. Still sounds good though.
     
  14. gothamm thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    sweet, i took your advice and actually found a headphone splitter that splits three ways. $7. cheap solution :D


    but i want surround sound for my lappie. How come no body has mentioned how the headphone jack has digital audio out, and can be hooked up to a surround sound system via a toslink cable?
     
  15. MadDog31 macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    I believe somebody has mentioned that the headphone jack is a digital out, but I may be mistaken.

    Anyways, I am resorting to the fact I may need a damn receiver to get 5.1...my only wish is that receivers weren't damn enormous. I'm surprised there isn't a PC-type solution to this matter since not everyone wants to buy a new speaker system just to harness this power. I have a great set of 5.1 Klipsch ProMedia speakers and don't want to lose 500 watts of power just to gain a digital connection.

    With my monitor also being able to act as a 1080p HDTV with a digital tuner, I could utilize a receiver that way...but...

    Receiver it is? UGH...there's just something about going through USB that doesn't do it for me, don't ask me why.
     
  16. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #17
    I did. See posts 11 and 13.
     
  17. gothamm thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    you sure did. Thanks a lot for your help mate. I think i am going to get the logitech z-5500. Any thoughts on those? how do they compare to the bose companion series? why am i asking you this? lol, maybe you have the answer
     
  18. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #19
    They ought to work, but it might be worth an email to them to double-check. Remember, your Toslink cable will need a miniplug adapter on one end for the Mac. It has this input listed from the spec page:

    Digital optical for DVD or CD players, PlayStation®2, Xbox®**

    But I don't see what the '**' means. Kind of makes me nervous...
     
  19. MadDog31 macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    I sent an e-mail to Griffin regarding their FireWave and why it's not yet listed for 10.5 Leopard. I'll cut to the chase:

    I just sent an e-mail in return to see if it's just the sleep function that does this, or if it also does it coming back from shut down. I will keep this thread posted for what it's worth...

    Ian
     
  20. jjholly macrumors member

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    #21
    I have a set of creative 5.1's and use a couple of headphone splitters. Sounds the same as when i use them with a pci sound card apart from the sound coming out from each speaker is the same.
     
  21. MSD401 macrumors 6502

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    #22
    I am currently running a pair of logictech 5.1 speakers off my MBP with this cheap usb 5.1 sound card that I had with an old windows comp.... Not exactly a $10,000 home theater but it does the job and sounds about as well as these speakers can.....

    here is an amazon link... but the are out of stock... im sure some googling will turn up something...

    http://www.amazon.com/Starlogic-Channel-Audio-Theater-11000967/dp/B000092TSV
     
  22. gothamm thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    I googled and found people hooking up the z-5500's to their mb/mbp's
     
  23. gothamm thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    good info. please keep us up to date.
     
  24. gothamm thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #25

    thats weird. are you listening to stuff which utilizes dolby digital?
     

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