late 2014 1.4 GHz Mac Mini speaker

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by dintymoore, Mar 14, 2018.

  1. dintymoore macrumors member


    Jun 27, 2008
    I just acquired a late 2014 1.4 GHz Mac Mini and am using it for tv mainly in my workshop. I have lots of speakers and amps I could hook up for audio, but was wondering if anyone had tried hooking a decent external speaker to the built-in audio amp?

    I have found that for speech mono is clearer than stereo. I've been in the pro (if you can call it that) audio field for about 50 years and have high end recording gear. I remember once in the 80's hooking a tiny Radio Shack transistor radio up to a big JBL speaker (15" woofer, 8" mid speaker and horn) and was amazed by how good it sounded. It didn't sound that different from a pro quality pa power amp at low volume! That made me realize that the speaker and cabinet are extremely important.

    I haven't been able to find out what the output of the built-in audio amp is, does anybody know?

    With a playback system you have an amp, a speaker and the speaker box. I can tell by the sound of the Mini that the amp is not bad, the speaker is utter garbage and the speaker box, well, er, it oddly sounds like a tiny metal box...

    I've had several small tv's where i put a switched jack on the side that was hooked up to an internal speaker. The sound quality was improved a billion percent.

    If anyone has done this or has any idea about the amp's output (guess would be 10W into 8Ω) please post your comments.
  2. aLbAn macrumors newbie

    Sep 30, 2005
    I can’t tell you about the amp’s output, but you will get much better results by using the regular audio output and connecting an active speaker to it. Soldering an external passive speaker to the internal amp would be very unpredictable, with possibly all kinds of crossovers/high-pass filters and other stuff going on in there.
  3. vddobrev macrumors 6502

    Oct 28, 2016
    Haskovo, Bulgaria
    Just use the "Audio line out/3.5 mm headphone jack (digital/analog)", which is a two way jack - 3.5 mm and an optical S/PDIF.
  4. dintymoore thread starter macrumors member


    Jun 27, 2008
    Thanks for your replies.

    I doubt if there would be anything unpredictable about hooking up to the speaker's outputs and it's very unlikely there would be any crossovers or filters on one full range speaker. It doesn't sound like there is but it wouldn't matter if there was. You never have crossovers on a one speaker system. The Mini sounds like a full range amp hooked up to a garbage speaker in a garbage enclosure. I still use a speaker box I made in 1967 and my homemade stuff has always sounded better than store bought stuff. I have many small speakers and when you do stuff like this you just try a bunch and get the best sound you can. The audio out is line level (preamp only), guessing 1/4-1/2W output so that would require an amp thus my query on the built-in amp's output which I can't find anywhere.

    Normal is boring and I avoid it like the plague :)

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3 March 14, 2018