Looking for some speakers

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by LoganT, Mar 16, 2007.

  1. LoganT macrumors 68020

    Jan 9, 2007
    I would like to use a 24 inch iMac as a media center. Is there any good 2.0 speakers out there that can give me good sound?
  2. The General macrumors 601

    Jul 7, 2006
    Any speakers will work. I'd look for a set that have optical inputs.
  3. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Just to clarify the General's too-general statement:

    The iMac has a stereo analog line out, and an optical out (which carries a 5.1 signal if the source material and the software playing it both suppport it -- not a given.)

    You need to have amplified, or self-powered speakers, 'passive' speakers won't work. The analog output is a line level that doesn't have enough amplitude for anything bigger than headphones. There are a number of good 'computer speakers' on the market. The ones I have are Klipsch ProMedia II They have good sound and surprisingly good bass especially considering I got a couple of pairs on clearance at CAN$50 per pair. There are also some really dreadful powered speakers being sold for 2x and 3x that price. Listen before you buy. Take CDs you are already familiar with.

    If you want surround sound, you either have to
    1) Get 5.1 speakers that have an optical digital input AND a decoder, These tend to be at the top end of the price scale.

    2) Send the optical output to a receiver or home theatre system that has an optical in and a decoder, and run the mac sound through the speakers from the system

    3) Get a Firewire or USB 5.1 decoder. Most 5.1 computer speaker sets are analog, and require 3 cables (6 signal lines) on 1/8" jacks. No Mac has that type of output, although it is bog standard on Windows machines. In order to use these type of speakers, you need an external 'sound card' like the discontinued USB M-Audio Sonica Theater or the Griffin Firewave, which provides the 6 channels of analog outs.

    If you want to spend some money on a 2.0 or 2.1 system, look at the speaker systems that are sold for project recording studios. M-Audio, E-Mu, KRK, Event and others have good, self powered bookshelf sized speakers, many with the option of a matching sub-woofer. I use ESI nEar 05's which are dandy.
  4. cubbie5150 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 4, 2007
    If you decide to opt for a 2.1 system (which I think you should for solid bass), I can seriously vouch for the quality of the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 set-up. They're not the sexiest looking things, but man, I think they sound terrific for a 2.1 system. I've had mine for almost 2 years, and am not even thinking of "upgrading" anytime soon...
  5. LoganT thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jan 9, 2007
    Will they be able to fill up a small room? I'll be about 5-10 feet away.

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