Splitter -> 2x Speakers?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Andy348, Aug 29, 2009.

  1. Andy348 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 18, 2009
    Location:
    Montreal
    #1
    If I bought a splitter (two audio jacks) could I plug in two sets of speakers (Bose Companions and some Logitech speakers) and they will work?
     
  2. Shake 'n' Bake macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Albany
    #2
    Yes. I've done this before with computers and iPods and lots of other stuff. The volume going to each speaker is halved, so make sure you can turn it way up.
     
  3. mchalebk macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    #3
    Actually, the volume may not be reduced at all, and if it is it probably won't be anywhere near 50%.

    When you split a signal like this, you're increasing the load on the output amplifier. Depending on the output circuitry, it might be able to drive both loads with the same current, meaning that you might actually get the same volume levels.

    Even if the output power were cut in half, that would not result in a 50% drop in volume. You would need to drop the power by a factor of 10 to decrease the volume by 50%.

    Generally speaking, you can split a single output like this into two loads without significant signal loss or degradation.
     
  4. Shake 'n' Bake macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Albany
    #4
    OK, I was exaggerating a bit. But from what I've observed, using a splitter decreases the volume from each speaker significantly.
     
  5. sammich macrumors 601

    sammich

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Location:
    Sarcasmville.
    #5
    If you're using the splitter to two sets of unpowered speakers (say iPod earphones) then yes, volume will drop by half because the power is split. But in the case of the OP, it's the signal (and quality) that is the important part, not the power since the amp in the powered speakers will boost it.

    I mentioned quality above since if the signal power drops far enough and noise stays the same, sound quality will suffer. But it's not likely in this situation.
     
  6. mchalebk macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    #6
    Not necessarily, because the power output of the amplifier is likely to change when you change the load. When you connect two 8 ohm speakers in parallel, you are placing a 4 ohm load on the amplifier. Depending on the design of the amp, you may simply get more current instead of half power to each speaker. Ever notice that power amp specs vary depending on the load? For instance, the following link lists the specs for a Carvin power amp that puts out 425W @ 8 ohms, 750W @ 4 ohms:

    http://www.carvinguitars.com/products/single.php?product=DCM1540L

    The other thing is that volume and power do not change at the same rate. It takes about 10 times as much power to double the perceived volume and about one-tenth the power to cut the volume in half. Splitting a signal to two speakers, powered or unpowered, is not likely to make a big difference in volume either way.
     
  7. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #7
    In general the volume is going to drop. Powering (consumer) headphones and unpowered speakers are two different things.
     

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