Macbook Pro speaker questions/advice

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Mr Rogerss, Oct 24, 2008.

  1. Mr Rogerss macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2008
    Hey guys,

    I am looking to hook up a sound system for my dorm room, and I have been doing some research on speakers, and I I want to try out maybe getting some 5.1s.

    would those speakers work in my current macbook pro? ( September 08 mbp)

    I dont know details with sound cards or connections, or if this is all possible with just a laptop.

    Also any help with 5.1s on a laptop with other speakers would be great!

  2. PaulinMaryland macrumors regular


    May 17, 2006
    Maryland, USA
    Yes, if the 5300 inputs are like those of the Z5450. To get the most from your speakers, consider using an ExpressCard/34 sound card.
  3. Mr Rogerss thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2008
    Getting the most meaning if I want to i can get a sound card? The surround sound will still work without it?

    The sound card goes in that slot of the left of my pro I assume.

    Can anyone show where to get a mid range sound card for my MBP.
  4. illegallydead macrumors 6502a


    Oct 22, 2007
    in my experience, 5.1 systems generally don't require separate inputs for each channel... You may just be able to let them decode it themselves, but not sure.

    Also, for a dorm room, may I recommend getting a 2.1 setup? it takes up much less space. try this:

    It is loud as hell, and sounds absolutely amazing. If you are dead set on getting that 5.1 though...
  5. Mr Rogerss thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2008
    Thanks for the inputs.

    No one can show me a sound card for my MBP?
  6. PaulinMaryland macrumors regular


    May 17, 2006
    Maryland, USA
    Fair question. I mean the highest signal-to-noise ratio, strongest preamp, and cleanest, most accurate signal processing. I could be wrong on all three count, but on my ThinkPad laptop, my PCMCIA aftermarket sound card makes an audible difference and adds I/O ports.

    The sound card goes in that slot of the left of my pro I assume.
    [/QUOTE]I don'tk know the layout of the MacBook Pro, but the card would go in the ExpressCard slot.
  7. Moriarty macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2008
    Dorm room? 5.1 speakers? Let me tell you why I think you are much better getting a 2.1, or even 2.0, setup.

    1. It's unlikely you will be able to place the speakers in a "surround-sound" position to get the right sound imaging.
    2. You get what you pay for. A $70 5.1 set of speakers will sound abysmal. Those tiny satellite speakers are going to have very feeble midrange, and the subwoofer is not going to be much use. And they are big and clunky and take up a lot of room.
    3. Do you actually have any content that is 5.1-compatible? You'll need speakers that can connect via toslink optical or USB-audio to get 5.1 anyway, the standard analogue audio jack on any computer is only 2.0 stereo (but it's a combination analogue/toslink optical, so you can use a toslink cable to get that 5.1)

    I take it that being in a dorm room, there's lots of other people around. So the low bass of what they call a "subwoofer" is going to travel through the walls and piss people off pretty quickly. I suggest you buy a good pair of headphones. They will sound much better computer speakers. Alternatively, you could get some Audioengine A2 speakers - they have a good reputation. They're basically bookshelf speakers with built-in amplifiers, and give you a good notch above your standard tinny 5.1 system with tweeter-sized satellites and a boomy, imprecise woofer that leaves out the midrange.

    But if you really want to crank up the volume without annoying people, and enjoy amazing sound for a great price, headphones are the way to go. I'd tell you to buy the Denon AH-D2000's, but maybe that's because I own a pair and absolutely love them! But perhaps given the $80 speakers you linked me to, both of my suggestions are way over your budget.

    Denon make a lower-down model, the AH-D1000 which apparently sound quite similar to their bigger brother. The Denon headphone range is absolutely top-notch, with a surprisingly open sound for closed-type headphones, and a slightly warm sound with solid, punchy bass and clean highs.

    Basically, the message here, is you get what you pay for. You aren't going to get a good PC speaker setup for $80, it will just sound horrible (to my audiophile-tuned ears anyway :)). You'll need to stretch your budget a little higher to a good 2.0 setup or some decent headphones if you want good sound. If $80 is all you can spend, go for the Logitech Z-2300 if you want speakers, or a good pair of Sennheisers or something for headphones.

    Hope this helps.

    Edit- with an el cheapo pair of speakers, you aren't going to gain anything with an external sound card. Any set of speakers that can connect to the 3.5mm audio output on your Macbook will work. With headphones you'll need to be wary and ask if they will work with a computer - some of them are very insensitive and require a dedicated headphone amplifier (though this requirement is almost always restricted to expensive headphones).
  8. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    Use the search or mroogle features.

    However, monitors will always be better then any computer speaker, even the Logitech Z5300s. USB soundcards would most likely provide what you need for this. These would be more preferable to expresscards.
  9. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    I agree with the headphones suggestion. I have a cheapy pair of Logitech speakers for playing soft music while working, but I also have a pair of good Sennhesier headphones for when I actually feel like cranking it up.

    In a dorm, listening to loud music and/or movies is going to piss a lot of people off.

    I'd get a pair of THESE. I've got an older pair (HD 477) and they're great... these ones seem to be the next model up, and that's a steal of a deal at that price.
  10. Mr Rogerss thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2008
    You guys have actually made me re think some things. I guess the 5.1 was just a moment buying thing.

    A pair of nice head phones would really do the trick.

    I will consider getting a good set.

    thanks guys!

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