imac audio out to 7.1

Discussion in 'iMac' started by pvinis, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. pvinis macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2011
    I have an imac and I want to connect my 7.1 system on it. My speakers connect with three jacks (classic green, orange, black).
    When I connect each one on my imac, I can hear the sound normally, so the imac can support that kind of output. I tried a splitter (this one) and only the green cable works on the splitter. the orange and black jacks have three stripes on them, and they don't work. all I hear is static.. So I guess the splitter is a bit crap, but I couldn't find any other.

    So, how can I connect my speakers to the imac? is there a better splitter/converted I should try? Any other solutions?

  2. pvinis thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2011
  3. iSayuSay macrumors 68040


    Feb 6, 2011
    Not possible. There are only 2 way you can get discrete surround sound and digital output using your iMac:

    1. Use toslink cable. You can google "mini toslink to optical cable". Connect this cable from iMac's headphone output into optical input on DTS/Dolby decoder a.k.a audio receiver. With this cable, if you playback content with DTS/Dolby 5.1 format or more, the digital signal would be streamed by this cable and processed by the receiver. This way you'd get true surround sound

    2. Use mDP to HDMI cable. With this method, you must ensure that your audio receiver has HDMI input to stream digital signal. This cable can also be used to stream video/audio content. Useful when you want to connect your iMac to projector or external display, while still getting digital sound output with the same cable.

    The adapter you mentioned earlier will only result in multi channel stereo, and most speaker with this kind of input has no built in decoder (except Logitech z-5500 or Klipsch GMX Promedia 5.1). Even so, iMac would never stream digital signal with that adapter. Only with two methods I mentioned earlier you can get 5.1 streaming using internal iMac soundcard. Hope it helps
  4. TMRaven macrumors 68020


    Nov 5, 2009
  5. pvinis thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2011
    can you provide any more info? a link?
  6. Nanker/Phelge macrumors regular

    Dec 6, 2010
  7. iSayuSay macrumors 68040


    Feb 6, 2011
    Audio receiver is something like this:

    You may call it soundbox, or sound processor or whatever. This also function as amplifier, surround processor, video switcher, streamer, Airplay, LAN, blueetooth audio player and FM radio (neato :D but expensive though), means you have to get yourself a passive speaker set (the ones without volume control etc, and can't produce sound without additional amplifier). Once again this kind of receiver don't come cheap. You may get cheap but unsatisfying audio quality. But if money is no object, suit yourself.

    Cheapest and easiest solution for you to enjoy surround sound with current speaker you have is get yourself an external USB soundcard which has support for DTS/dolby decoding. This kind of soundcard has 3 legacy output jack you mentioned earlier (green, orange, black or whatever color they come with). You can connect those jacks without any additional converter, once you installed the driver for that external soundcard, all audio and surround encoding will be done by that soundcard.

    Just for example:

    Make sure you can get yourself external soundcard with Mac support, hardly happens this day. But windows bootcamp change everything.

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