More than one set of External Speakers

Discussion in 'iMac' started by chickenlegs, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. chickenlegs macrumors member

    chickenlegs

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    Dec 9, 2007
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #1
    Can anyone tell me if it is possible to run two sets of powered, external pc-type speakers from the single 3.5mm output on the iMac?
    I would like to be able to have the same music playing in two rooms in my house, from the iMac. I have considered using Logitech's Squeezebox, but you can't play the same music source through the pc speakers and the Squeezebox at the same time. If I use a 3.5mm dual connection adapter in the single output in the rear of the iMac, will the sound card and power supply be able to handle outputting to two speaker systems? As many powered pc speakers come with their own volume knobs, I was thinking that I could alter the volume of each set individually. My other problem with this setup is that I will need to run one 3.5mm stereo cable for about 10 metres. The other is directly connected into the back of the Mac in the normal way.
    Has anyone tried this setup or are there any other solutions that might solve the problem in a different way?
     
  2. hughvane macrumors 6502

    hughvane

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    Aug 25, 2008
    Location:
    Banks Peninsula, New Zealand
    #2
    In your situation I'd use an external amplifier, but assuming you don't want to do that, but use the mini-amps inside the p-c type speakers instead, try an audio splitter (Google with those words).

    The iMac output isn't great, being designed for its internal speakers, but the internal amp should do the job. You may however notice some slight sound lag from the speakers at the end of the 10m cable.
     
  3. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #3
    What are you talking about? The OP is going to use two sets of powered speakers, an external amp isn't necessary. A simple audio splitter will make sound come out of all speakers, but you will loose the L/R separation. An external soundcard might provide for you to still use L/R, but in reality it's unlikely. You shouldn't notice any lag, etc.
     
  4. fruitpunch.ben macrumors 6502a

    fruitpunch.ben

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    Sep 16, 2008
    Location:
    Surrey, BC
    #4
    as computer speakers come with a built-in amplifier it will definately work to run a splitter and an audio extension cable.
    I've been trying to think of other ways to do it, using an airport express will allow you to wirelessly stream your music to the other room and you can plug the speakers into it, but iTunes then will not play any audio through the computer's audio jack. I don't know if there is any program which will allow you to do this?
    The only other way I can think of is buying a 5.1 system with wireless (or wired if you're not worried about cables) rear speakers and play audio through them.
    or I use my Z-5500 system on stereo x2 mode and have the rear speakers in another room just running the speaker wires under the carpet, which works great.
     
  5. chickenlegs thread starter macrumors member

    chickenlegs

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2007
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #5
    Wireless 5.1 rear speakers

    What a great idea - wireless rear speakers from a 5.1 surround sound system. That would save the cabling hassle. I hadn't thought of that. There don't appear to be too many on the market. Does anyone have any recommendations?
     
  6. thomahawk macrumors 6502a

    thomahawk

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2008
    Location:
    Osaka, Japan
    #6
    if anything i have a audio splitter a 2F1M jack. i dunno if thats what you are looking for?
     
  7. cman-uk macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    #7
    I have a kind of related question....

    Is the new 21.5" iMac capable of outputting sound from its internal built in speakers as well as a standalone 2.1 speaker set up, at the same time? Or is it one or the other?
    Am trying to best utilise my existing kit (PC 4.1 surround sound, so 1x green cable, 1x black cable) for surround sound with prospective new iMac..
     
  8. cman-uk macrumors regular

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    Oct 27, 2009
    #8
    hmm - maybe not so related.... or perhaps just not possible?
     
  9. fruitpunch.ben macrumors 6502a

    fruitpunch.ben

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    Location:
    Surrey, BC
    #9
    First, please don't post twice in a row, just edit your last post...
    Second, I believe that in System Preferences you can only select one audio option, so if you choose internal speakers it will not play out the audio-out jack.
    However I am still waiting for the i7's to ship so I cannot confirm that this is the case.
    Currently the only way to get surround sound from a Mac is with an optical cable or if your speakers don't have optical input with one of these
     
  10. ViViDboarder macrumors 68040

    ViViDboarder

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #10
    AirTunes? http://www.apple.com/airportexpress/features/airtunes.html

    Using wireless rear speakers may not work out due to sound outputting only from specific channels. You'd have to make sure you always map rear to the same channels at the front.

    I would recommend something designed for multi-room playback.

    http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs...1&categoryId=8198552921644656494&N=4294954565
     
  11. cman-uk macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    #11
    Sure.
    Thanks, please post back when you know? :)
    Yep, I've seen that option. Its £69.99 on Amazon UK whilst its $26.99 on Amazon USA! - is it worth it? Is sound quality maintained or is quality lost?
     
  12. sfroom macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    #12
    I'd say the best two solutions would be the one you suggested (just use a headphone splitter), and run a cable to the other room, connected to some powered PC speakers, OR buy an airport express and transmit wirelessly to the other room.
     
  13. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    #13
    Just note that Air Tunes will produce a delay.
     
  14. iMerlin macrumors 6502a

    iMerlin

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    #14
    I have to chime in... I have airtunes on all the time, never notice any lag or delay. I have it running 2 different sets of speakers (7.1 off of my Denon in the TV area and 2 channel on a Sony for my patio) as well as my MacBook pro and the sound is dead on. Not sure of other implementations, but for me it has been outstanding.
     
  15. ViViDboarder macrumors 68040

    ViViDboarder

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    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #15
    What speed network do you run on? N? I don't have one but I was curious.
     
  16. fruitpunch.ben macrumors 6502a

    fruitpunch.ben

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    #16
    Apparently its quite good, although I don't have one since I live in Canada so like you it'll cost me $79.99 on Amazon CA. And I live 40 minutes from the US :mad:
    Based on all the reviews I heard its the next best thing to actually having a digital cable and native 5.1 sound.

    and it won't help the OP, since he wants to play music out of speakers connected to the computer AND in the other room, air tunes allows to play music in another room but as far as I know won't simultaneously play sound from speakers plugged into the computer.
    Someone correct me if i'm wrong?
     
  17. ViViDboarder macrumors 68040

    ViViDboarder

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    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #17
    I'm pretty sure that's the point of it actually. You'd want sound in the same room you're in too. :p If this true then the users above all must be crazy as well considering they comment on the presence of lag in the two audio outs. :D

    EDIT: From the Airport page... Bolding for emphasis from me. :D
     
  18. iMerlin macrumors 6502a

    iMerlin

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    #18
    I have an Airport Extreme N driving an Airport Express G and an N. Never had issues with delay. But my expresses are on the same floor as my extreme, Im sure that also helps.
     
  19. fruitpunch.ben macrumors 6502a

    fruitpunch.ben

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    Sep 16, 2008
    Location:
    Surrey, BC
    #19
    I never knew that!
    Its been a while but last time I used airtunes in iTunes I remember that selecting the airtunes option stopped the sound coming out my computer.
    Good to know.
    Cheers.
     
  20. ViViDboarder macrumors 68040

    ViViDboarder

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    Jun 25, 2008
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    USA
    #20
    I don't have one myself, so I can't say for sure, but that's what it looks like :D
     
  21. fruitpunch.ben macrumors 6502a

    fruitpunch.ben

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    Location:
    Surrey, BC
    #21
    It better or I'm holding you personally responsible for creating a program that will allow it.

    :D
     
  22. iMerlin macrumors 6502a

    iMerlin

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    #22
    You can name your Airport Express something like Pioneers or Outdoor speakers. I stuck with APg and APn. But once they "go green" a little window in the bottom of itunes presents itself and allows you to select which output to go to...
    [​IMG]


    ...or select multiples...

    [​IMG]


    Edit: I also wanted to mention Remote on the iPhone to control the speakers also. Looks cool as hell when having a party and changing music/volume/speakers all from the iPhone.
     

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