Issues with surround sound

Discussion in 'iMac' started by kshock502, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. kshock502 macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2011
    Hey guys I am a nooby here and been reading up on how to make my surround sound sound optimal on my new iMac. I just bought my mac today and have my dolby digital 5.1 hooked from the back of up which is the red and white cable going into one analog RCA cable plugging into the back into the headphone plug-in. When I go to sounds it only plays like it is headphones. How do I get it to project through all my speakers and make my surround go to the potential it really has? If anyone could help would be extremely helpful, been researching for awhile and haven't really found an answer for my type of problem. Also if it helps on the back of it, it has the hookups for tv(which I am not doing) and hook ups for AV In and Component. There all different colors and I have very confused.

    Thanks a bunch in advance if you guys could help me like I said I am new :)
  2. iSayuSay macrumors 68040


    Feb 6, 2011
    To get 5.1 sound from your Mac, u need to hook it using mini toslink to optical on your receiver. What kind of 5.1 speaker u have? Computer speaker? Or separated system using receiver?
  3. kshock502 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2011
    I don't think it has a receiver. I just have one cable going from the Mac which plugs into the headphone place and it splits into 2 with the red and white but its not computer speakers. Its actually 5.1 surround sound I just know theres more to it because the music only plays as if it really is headphones which only comes through the front 2 speakers. But there is no receiver its just the box that has my volume,power, and which input I want it on.
  4. CFoss macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2011
  5. mrfoof82 macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2010
    Lawton, OK
    That's a mini-Stereo to RCA Composite. RCA Composite audio is 2-channels, not 6. It's been around since I believe the 1940s. Any "surround sound" you were getting from any other device prior to the iMac was emulated, not an actual 6 channels.

    The iMac's audio inputs and outputs are also optical. If you plug in a TOSLink cable, it'll transmit what you need.
  6. kshock502 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2011
    Yeah I need the 6 channel wire but I need one that goes from the back of my mac which is the desktop with the headphone plug in in the back so I can plug in a TOSLink cable and have it surround sound. See my surround system was very cheap(think its time to upgrade to something better) but it does not have an optical plug in or receiver its just a huge box. With all the different colors in the back for component/tv surround sound. There is no place just to plug one cord into the back its all colors.
  7. smoge macrumors regular


    Jun 14, 2011
    headphone mini jack only has 2 channels (red & white) right and left.
  8. kshock502, Jun 22, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2011

    kshock502 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2011
    So what cable can I get that goes threw all my speakers? I have 5 speakers and a sub which you can't even hear. Cross out what I just said. I need some opinions on what new surround system I should get. If you guys could give some good suggestions of news systems that would be a huge help but I don't want to spend over 150$ if its just for my computer
  9. Icaras macrumors 603


    Mar 18, 2008
    California, United States
    Are you talking about the iMac audio output? Because it's a high quality digital audio optical output and fully capable of 5.1 surround sound.

    You have two options: the mini toslink to optical cable that iSayuSay mentioned, or an mini Displayport to HDMI cable. I use the latter, connected to a Home Theater receiver. I get full AC3 5.1 surround sound in OSX and under Windows, I get full uncompressed 7.1 (except my home theater system is a 5.1 system so in actuality, I really don't get 7.1 :eek:).

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