Multichannel (5.1/7.1) audio through USB audio peripheral

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by zulu.walker, Jun 25, 2013.

  1. zulu.walker macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
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    SEAsia
    #1
    Just wanted to share a little USB device that will enable any Mac to send multichannel (AC3/DTS) audio to any 5.1/7.1 speaker setup (I have analog 5.1) - the Encore ENMAB-8CM 7.1 Channel USB Audio Box.

    [​IMG]

    Why does it need to be known? Because as far as I know it is the only USB audio device that is a native plug-and-play multichannel USB audio device that is compatible with Mac OS X (tested only on an rMBP with 10.8.4 - but Mac OS X is NOT officially supported!). And while there may be other solutions out there, I'm pretty sure they're not worth ~$20. Yup, it's that cheap probably because of the chipset used (C-Media CM6206) or probably because they're not big on support (nor with packaging). I have no way of measuring SNR (etc.) but for non-professional/non-audiophile use (games, VLC, multichannel music) I'd say it's perfect for the price. Aside from a slew of analog input/output sockets, it even has 2 sockets dedicated for optical in/out (untested!) - and it's bus-powered. All I can say is I'm very happy with it and I'm pretty sure someone out there is looking for something similar to this, especially those on unsupported hardware. ;)

    There are a few other C-Media CM6206-based devices out there that are fairly similar to the Encore ENMAB-8CM like the Terratec Aureon 7.1 USB but cost more or vary in shape and/or layout. They may or may not work natively with Mac OS X - there are no assurances but please feel free to report your results/experience with it.
     
  2. zulu.walker thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 14, 2010
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    #2
    CM6206 Technical Details

    Found some technical info on the C-Media site. Too bad I don't know what the good baseline numbers are for the SNR and THD etc.
     
  3. Crzyrio macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
    #3
    Another thing to consider if you have the right equipment is the built in optical out in most Macbooks. I would think that would give you better sound than going through a USB device
     
  4. zulu.walker thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 14, 2010
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    #4
    No doubt the optical out through the headphone port will provide better quality output than through this cheap USB audio device, but for those who wish to utilize existing analog speakers without risking purchasing even poorer-quality unbranded DACs on eBay this will fit the bill.
     
  5. Crzyrio macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
    #5
    Fair enough, I myself have been looking for something like what you posted. tigerdirect is selling similar things for 40+

    I blew up my headphone jack and have been using bluetooth headphones but might get something like this so it is more reliable.
     
  6. zulu.walker thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    How did that happen?
     
  7. Crzyrio macrumors 65816

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    Jul 6, 2010
    #7
    I was trying to connect my Guitar amp to my Macbook through the headphones jack.

    My amp however has 2 forms of output, one that is regular audio out and another that is meant for powered speakers. They are right beside each other and have the same 1/4in jack.

    I plugged it into the powered speaker jack, picked up my guitar and started playing. Every time I touched the strings, there would be waves across the screen. After a couple minsI realized :\

    I am very very lucky my laptop is still even working, only the left side of my headphones work now.

    The worst part is, it happen again to my desktop except I wasnt as lucky. After turning it on, I see sparks flying inside my tower and it blew my sound card. lol
     
  8. iamjustin820 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2013
    #8
    help


    can you please teach me how did you work this on rMBP... when i tried mine, it doesnt sounds..... mine is also 10.8.4... thanks in advance...

    sorry for my english...
     
  9. zulu.walker thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 14, 2010
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    SEAsia
    #9
    It's plug and play - set your sound output to use the USB Audio Device and setup your multichannel speaker assignment using Audio MIDI Setup.
     

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