iMac surround sound?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by applejoose, May 7, 2007.

  1. applejoose macrumors newbie

    May 7, 2007
    I've got a 17" C2D iMac, and I'd like to add a 5.1 surround sound speaker set for gaming and movies.

    I've seen a couple of nice sets of speakers, but how would I use them with my iMac, which only has one output?

    Would I need to buy an external sound card? Can anybody point me to some that work in OS X and XP?
  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    Your iMac can output a 5.1 signal (from DVD player only on the OSX side, at least that's the only App I've seen do it) via the headphone jack using an optical cable. You need something that can receive and interpret this signal: you cannot simply split it into speakers, you need something that can understand Dolby 5.1 or even DTS. Some speaker systems will have a box to do this or a surround capable amp/receiver can do it.
  3. PCMacUser macrumors 68000


    Jan 13, 2005
    I think the most common way people do this is to buy a high end Logitech speaker set (Z-5500 or Z-5450) which features optical inputs. It's not cheap though (US$500?). Especially compared with the price of setting up a basic surround sound system on a PC ($50?).

    In fact you might even be better off buying a cheap surround hi-fi system that features optical in and an onboard decoder, and plugging your Mac into that.
  4. jesteraver macrumors 6502

    May 16, 2006
    Montreal, QC
    I am using a Denon AVR1601 does the job right now. Thing is I can not control the volume on the mac, i have too use the receiver.
  5. speakerwizard macrumors 68000


    Aug 8, 2006
    griffin firewave is meant to be good for splitting the signal

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