How many of you use desktop speakers with your iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Sam Spade, Jun 30, 2013.

  1. Sam Spade macrumors regular

    Aug 30, 2007
    These days, there are lots high quality options for desktop speakers that are geared toward the audiophile crowd. I would love to use some great speakers with the iMac, but I kind of feel that external speakers defeats the purpose of the all-in-one machine.

    Is it common for iMac users to run separate speakers?

    What are some high-end speakers you guys are running with your Macs?
  2. Apple fanboy macrumors Nehalem

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    I just use the built in ones, or more likely headphones. However I'm no audiophile. There are lots that complement the look of your iMac. Have a read through here and look out for any that look good to you.
  3. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    There have been a few threads specifically about external speakers with the iMac. Here are 2 threads:
    And I'd say external speakers are used by those that want better sound than the internal speakers provide.
  4. wazzaracer macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2012
    I use the internal speakers. I have Apple TV connected to my hi fi and all my music on iTunes so just listen to any music via apple tv
  5. sergiobaschi macrumors regular

    Nov 30, 2012
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    I bought these a couple of days ago. I'm tired of getting zero bass from the internal speakers. These do the job nicely, and they are pretty good-looking as well.
  6. TyPod macrumors 68000


    Nov 2, 2006
    And Yourself?
    I use Harman/Kardon Soundsticks II with my iMac. I've had them for seven years and I absolutely love them. Very cool looking and great sound for the price!
  7. iAppl3Fan macrumors 6502a


    Sep 8, 2011
    I just use the internal speakers. When I need the quality I'll turn on the B&W MM-1.
  8. jqworle macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2013
  9. AL2TEACH macrumors 6502

    Feb 17, 2007
    Denver, CO.
  10. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus


    Sep 8, 2010
    I do not. I don't really use the iMac as a TV so the stuff I usually watch is a podcast or YouTube and I really don't need fantastic sound for those.

    For movies and such I use my Polk Audio sound bar with the big screen TV.
  11. ngenerator macrumors 68000


    May 12, 2009
    USG Ishimura
    I'm currently using the Bose Companion II Series 2 speakers. They're alright, but I'm looking to get rid of them and buy a set of the Companion 20's
  12. seroposi macrumors member

    Mar 7, 2013
    Herts, UK
  13. sinphase macrumors newbie

    May 27, 2013
    I use the swan m10s, they're quite unknown but I think they produce very similar sound to the audioengine a2 for half the price.
  14. iSayuSay macrumors 68040


    Feb 6, 2011
    I use an old and unused Yamaha RX-V659 paired to a classic Wharfedale Diamond 9.5 then connected to my iMac using TOSLINK cable. No subwoofer, pure 2.0 awesomeness. :eek:

    Yeah it's not exactly a multimedia audio system but I never feel right about computer speakers no matter how expensive they are. I've tried, owned, and heard wide range of those, including HiVi Swan, B&W MM, AudioEngine, HK Soundstick etc etc. There's always something lacking. They sound tinny, tiny, and muddled somewhere. Especially in the middle frequencies.

    So I also plug Airport Express by another TOSLINK port to the receiver to make use of Airplay and Airprint capability. So, it's sonically and technologically perfect. No compromise and doesn't costs a ton of $$ like B&W system.

    Nothing beats the satisfaction of stereo dedicated system. Try it ;)
  15. DisMyMac macrumors 65816


    Sep 30, 2009
    I have always feared subwoofers wrecking my hard drive, or at least corrupting data.

    Even my bookshelf speakers are kept off the desk to minimize vibrations.
  16. Daysight macrumors regular

    Dec 15, 2011
    I have the 20s but they're so good we use them in the kitchen, dining room and the patio via Airport Eress, instead of at my iMac where the internal speakers suffice while I am working.
  17. Nightarchaon macrumors 65816


    Sep 1, 2010
    Couldnt cope with the tinny sound the iMac produces, but then ive been using this wee sound system since my PC was a Pentium 200 with a soundblaster AWE32 in it.


    its done me proud for over a decade now i think

    Because of where my iMac is, the centre speaker is on a shelf just above it, the two front speakers are discretely peeking around from behind the back of the iMac and the two rear speakers are an a shelf behind me.
    Subwoofer is of course, on the floor, under the desk, on the shelf above it is the UPS and Surge protector for the equipment sat on the desk
  18. dangerly macrumors regular


    Oct 27, 2009
    European Dis-Union
    I use a pair of Canton two way speakers, connected to a Teac integrated amplifier.
    The Teac amplifier is connected to a Cambridge Audio D/A converter (DacMagic 100), which is connected to the iMac with an optical cable.

    The sound is quite good.
  19. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020


    Jul 21, 2004
    I still have two of these systems kicking around. They are indeed a gem!
  20. Nightarchaon macrumors 65816


    Sep 1, 2010
    Wish id bought two at the time, with the stands they came with id happily use this system in the lounge now as a sound system for the TV if i could
  21. Dirtyharry50 macrumors 68000


    May 17, 2012
    I use the Bose Companion 20's and I love them. They look quite nice standing alongside my iMac. The photo of them on the box they come in shows them with a 27" iMac. They were made for us! :D

    They offer rich beautiful sound. It's hard to believe such small speakers can produce sound this good. My system is also hooked up to a Denon receiver driving a pair of Bose Series V Mk. IV floor speakers which sound amazing but a lot of times I just go with the desktop speakers which says a lot I think about how good they sound to me.

    I spend a lot of time enjoying games on my iMac as well as listening to music so decent speakers were well worth the money and a little extra space on my desk.
  22. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    Internal speakers -- even those from Apple -- are not capable of producing sound as well as external speakers can.

    If you are satisfied with the sound quality of the internal speakers, use them.

    If your ears sense that "something is missing", buy a set of external speakers.
    Or use a good pair of headphones.

    It's really quite simple....
  23. Irishman macrumors 68030

    Nov 2, 2006
    I am using external speakers with my late 2012 iMac, just to give something more full-range with a little bass. They're not audiophile-grade by any stretch, but we had them in the house. They're Bose Companion 2's.

    My aspirational audio setup for my iMac is a pair of Audioengine A5+ monitors, being run through an Audioquest Dragonfly asynchronous USB DAC.
  24. Irishman macrumors 68030

    Nov 2, 2006
    In practical terms, not a marked difference between the two. You're mostly paying for the desktop volume controller. That's $150 for the controller.


    My iMac desk is quite narrow ATM, and the Companions are hidden behind the screen - audio-wise not a good setup, but I use them for beefed up sound, and for that they serve me well.
  25. iDutchman macrumors 6502a

    May 9, 2010
    Amsterdam, NL

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