Mac Mini needs a 5.1 Sound Card

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by wirelessimports, Mar 29, 2005.

  1. wirelessimports macrumors member

    Mar 24, 2005
    Ok, so ive just switched over to being a mac-a-holic... and heres the problem.

    Ive got a pair of 5.1 speakers which are dope, problem is that I dont have the sound card to go along with it.

    I need an external sound card, I know creative labs has one called the live 24 bit something, but there too sketchy... they dont list anything mac compatiable ever.

    Bottom line is this... Anyone know whats a good 5.1 external USB sound card thats mac compatiable? and by chance you know where I could pick one up?

    Last request... if around $50 would be ideal.

    Thanks in advance,

  2. LeeTom macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2004
  3. wirelessimports thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 24, 2005
  4. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    Should work fine with a 5.1 system.
  5. LeeTom macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2004
    You wanted an external 5.1 sound card, and this is it... It has digital out or analog out to connect to 5.1 speakers or a 5.1 receiver..

    Lee Tom
  6. wirelessimports thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 24, 2005
    Thanks Tom,

    Before I jump the gun and buy it 2 things, are there any others I can compare it to and B) do you think i should sell my sound system which can probobly fetch $150 on ebay and throw in the $110 for the sound card and get a nice 2.1 sound system?

    Any suggestions on a 2.1 speaker set?

    Sound Stix any good?
  7. LeeTom macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2004
    One thing...
    If you sell your 5.1 speakers and get 2.1 speakers, there would be no point in getting a $110 5.1 sound card, because you could just hook your mini straight into the 2.1's....

    Lee Tom
  8. wirelessimports thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 24, 2005
    I know, thats what im talking about. Selling the sound system for $150 then adding $120 for the sound card, is their really any good sound system thats 2.1 selling for $250?
  9. MacFan25863 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 20, 2004
    I don't see what you are talking about here...if you buy the 2.1, then you don't need the external card...

    Also, what, exactly, do you need the 5.1 for? If you just want it to play movies, I would buy a cheep DVD player with 5.1 out instead.
  10. badhorsie777 macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2003
    WOW! What a frustrating thread! What he said was he is CONSIDERING not going the 5.1 route, and selling his speakers. This could get him around $150. He was going to spend money getting an external 5.1 card, but obviously after sellling his 5.1 speakers, that is no longer necessary. His question was, instead of investing money in a card to make his speaker system work, what if he just got a sweet 2.1 system for his internal (stereo) sound out.

    Not sure why that's so frustrating - :) Just was, is all.

    I really like altec lansing speakers a lot, and they have several high-end 2.1 setups. Klipsch speakers are nice, if somewhat bright and cheap sound to me. I might consider a decent set of studio monitors for 250. check out m-audios, behringer, event, KRK, they all make SOMETHING in that ultra-budget range, and the sound will definately blow away a 2.1 setup not meant for accurate sound reproduction.

  11. rkphoto macrumors regular


    Feb 1, 2005
    There are a few threads on good 2.1 systems. My recommendation is for the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 system. I have it and it's amazing. I listened to most of the other systems (Altec Lansing, Logitech, Bose, Soundsticks, JBL, etc.) and the Klipsch sound the best to me. They are 200 watts and cost me $149 @ Best Buy.

    Good Luck,
  12. AstroManLuca macrumors member

    Mar 18, 2005
    What 5.1 speakers do you have? Would it be possible to use them in a 2.1 configuration, and later if you can afford the external sound card you could bring it back up to 5.1?

    I have a set of Logitech Z-560s I bought refurbished from for like $75 shipped. Awesome price for a great set of speakers. They're powerful too - 188W sub and 53W satellites, so that's 400W in their full 4.1 configuration and 294W in a 2.1 configuration. Since they just use a front and rear stereo channel, I can just connect the front stereo channel to my Mac mini's audio output. If I choose to later get that M-audio thing, I can just plug both front and rear channels into it.

    Of course, if your current 5.1s use some kind of single optical connection instead of several stereo miniplugs, I guess that won't work. But you should consider using a configuration that will let you later upgrade from 2.1 to 4.1 or 5.1 later, assuming it's practical.
  13. wirelessimports thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 24, 2005
    Thanks for everyone putting in their 2 cents and lending a hand.

    I personally dont care if its 2.1 5.1 or 1000.1 to me it makes no difference
    Ive got the Altec Lansing ADA-995 5.1 THX speaker system. It comes with a HUGE sub which has 2 speakers about 10 inches in diameter each. They were at one point (or still are) only for sale by dell and are dell branded.

    I dont have use (or space) for the satilite speaker so i just left it in the closet.

    These speakers are amazing, the way i currently have them hooked up is i have 3 male cables coming from the sub and all the speakers connect to the sub. The 3 cables go into a adapter which spits out one male cable which goes into the mac mini (its a radio shack $2 adapter). I used it on my laptop which never had a problem like this. The problem isnt getting them to work its the stupid static that comes from them whenever the airport is accessing something.

    So i found this guy who has a 10 day return policy, i bought the 7.1 usb sound card from him and i hope it does the trick. If not its going back and i think im gonna go with some $200 bose 2.1 sound system. to me x.1 doesnt mean anything. Ive got my speakers set up that their are just 2 on each side of the monitor. i dont care about that "surround sound" effect. i just cant stand the static.

    To be honest, i wish they had a monofone for the ipod, i cant stand hearing a guitar wail away in one ear and not the other, the lack of balance kills me.

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