How to hook up 5.1 channel speakers

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by FerreraP, Jun 11, 2009.

  1. FerreraP macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #1
    I am about to buy the new MacBook Pro 13" and I want to hook up the 5.1 channel speakers that are currently hooked up to the sound card on my PC. The speakers hook up to my computer via three 3.5mm jacks. A green jack, (control the 2 front speakers) a black jack, (controls the 2 rear speakers) and a yellow jack (controls the sub and the center speaker). I have an adapter that merges the three jacks into one, which i could then plug into the audio jack on my Mac. However, this would not give me true 5.1 surround sound, only stereo sound. Is there a device that i can get that would allow me to utilize my surround sound speakers on a Macbook? I asked an associate my local Mac store and he mentioned that i should use a Toslink digital audio cable? http://store.apple.com/us/product/TN408ZM/A?fnode=MTY1NDA3Ng&mco=NDMxNzA0MQ
    The above product comes with an adapter to hook it up to the 3.5mm jack on my Mac, but i dont know how i would hook the three 3.5mm jacks from my speakers into the other end of the cable. Anyone have a 5.1 channel surround sound hooked up to their Mac? Any suggestions?

    Thanks
     
  2. NewMacbookPlz macrumors 68040

    NewMacbookPlz

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    #2
    Does your sound system support optical input? That's the only thing Toslink is good for. I don't think you can turn that optical signal into headphone jack analog signal easily.

    If not http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/firewave would work. It's discontinued, but $30 on Amazon +shipping/tax.
     
  3. fpnc macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2002
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #3
    The MacBook's optical digital output can do multi-channel sound, BUT the only software that supports such multi-channel audio is Apple's DVD Player. You can't use just any multi-channel audio file with just any player software to get surround sound. There are reports on using third-party utilities to output multi-channel audio through the optical ports but your success in using a third-party solution could be hit or miss (i.e. it may or may not work).
     
  4. arkitect macrumors 601

    arkitect

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    Sep 5, 2005
    Location:
    Bath, United Kingdom
    #4
    Elgato EyeTV also supports 5.1…

     
  5. fpnc macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2002
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #5
    Thanks for that update. However, I still think you're going to find a general lack of built-in support for multi-channel audio output under Mac OS X. There are some third-party solutions, but as I said your success with those products might be hit or miss.

    In any case, I think the only way you could get such 5.1 source material through the EyeTV is by recording a cable TV program with 5.1 or via an over-the-air digital TV broadcast.
     
  6. arkitect macrumors 601

    arkitect

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2005
    Location:
    Bath, United Kingdom
    #6
    How else would you use the EyeTV? :confused:
    ;)
     
  7. andylyon macrumors 6502a

    andylyon

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #7
    I have my 5.1 setup using a USB external sound card, very simple n clean setup without wires everywhere, and only one to unplug when you want it portable.

    AnDy
     
  8. fpnc macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2002
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #8
    My point was that the OP will most likely not have an EyeTV and even if he did it wouldn't provide multi-channel audio for many of the sources he might want to use. Thus, the fact that EyeTV supports multi-channel audio probably doesn't do him much good.
     
  9. Keleko macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    #9
    You could get an external sound card, but that's not really what you need for it to work just right. Here's what I got instead.

    http://www.amazon.com/Tritton-Digital-Surround-Gaming-Headset/dp/B000FP0K78

    The headset part I didn't care much about, but the decoder from optical to analog speakers will do exactly what you want. That's how I hooked my Logitech 5.1 speakers into my MBP optical output. It works great.

    Edit: Here's another link with a better picture showing the decoder part.

    http://www.trittontechnologies.com/products/TRIGA600.htm
     

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