Preserving audio quality when sharing speakers between two Macs

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by m021478, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. m021478 macrumors 6502

    Nov 23, 2007
    I currently use the Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 Speaker System in my home office, which by all accounts is a pretty high-end system (maybe not for a true audiophile, but for an average joe like me they're great).

    I am trying to figure out what the best way would be to share a single input on this speaker system between two computers (a Mac Pro and an iMac).

    I am currently using a basic headphone splitter with two standard 3.5mm male-to-male stereo cables to perform the task, and for the most part it works just fine with one minor issue that is likely to prevent me from keeping things setup like this... There is a subtle, yet clearly audible humming noise coming out of the speakers.

    Aside from going out and buying the most expensive versions of the two pieces of hardware I listed in the previous paragraph, does anyone have any other suggestions on how I can eliminate this humming noise?

  2. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    You could just have a bad cable, but in all likelihood, this isn't going to be avoided. AV Switch is the most common solution.
  3. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    you've got a 5.1 digital speakers system, but are running it in analog stereo? for the best sound you should use optical, and also to take care of having 5.1 if you watch movies. plus you'll defiantly not get a hum

    both your imac and pro should have optical out. (comes right out of the regular headphone jack)

    with a switch a couple toslink to mini plug cables, and a toslink to toslink cable, you could have the whole thing setup for probably under $20 depending on the lengths of cable you need.

    granted, you'll have to pick which computer you want to listen to at a time, which you can already do just using the inputs on the speakers you have. But the sound will be much better.

    or if you wanted to be able to have both computers active at the same time, a small stereo mixer would probably be best

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