Surround Sound (5.1) With a MPB

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by kajitox, May 10, 2007.

  1. kajitox macrumors 6502a

    kajitox

    Joined:
    May 2, 2007
    #1
    So, I've always wondered how/if you can get 5.1 surround sound out of your laptop if you don't have the sound card for it. I was looking for a while and I found some sort of adapter for it, but I forgot what it was called and where to find it. Do any of you hook your surround sound to your laptop? Is there any product that you particularly recommend?

    BTW: Right now I am using a Dell Inspiron 9300 with Logitech Z5500 speakers, but after they update the MPB, I'm planning on buying one.

    Thanks!
     
  2. T-Stex macrumors 6502

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    Jan 15, 2006
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    Pennsylvania
    #2
    You'll probably have to get an external soundcard. Griffin makes one specifically for Macs called the FireWave, which works really well.
     
  3. poppe macrumors 68020

    poppe

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    #3
    I was looking for this solution about a year ago and what I came to find was this:

    There really isn't a simple solution. Supposedly if you get this special cord that plugs in to your sound port, but the metal prong goes in a few millimeters deeper that should give you 5.1.... This is what an Apple employee told me. The cord was expensive though 75 bucks or something crazy... otherwise all i've heard was an external cord.
     
  4. T-Stex macrumors 6502

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    Pennsylvania
    #4
    Maybe something like this? I'm guessing you're referring to the optical digital output. I'm not sure if that does full surround sound, but I hadn't thought about that option.
     
  5. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    St. Louis, MO
    #5
    Optical can do full surround, but you need a decoder, such as a home theater receiver
     
  6. poppe macrumors 68020

    poppe

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
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    #6
    That wasn't exactly what I was talking about. But yes I was talking about the optical out.

    http://www.thismuchiknow.co.uk/?p=24 - interesting read about 5.1 and the Mac

    From Apple

    "Built-in optical digital audio input and output ports enable you to connect MacBook
    Pro to decks, receivers, digital instruments, and 5.1 surround sound systems. Because
    optical digital audio transmits data as impulses of light rather than electrical signals,
    it enables true noise-free, pristine sound—eliminating troublesome ground loops and
    ensuring higher audio and signal quality."
     
  7. savar macrumors 68000

    savar

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    District of Columbia
    #7
    Firewave is on sale for $40 right now too, which IMO is an oustanding deal.
     
  8. T-Stex macrumors 6502

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    Pennsylvania
    #8
    That is a good deal. I bought one new for $100.
     
  9. kajitox thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kajitox

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    May 2, 2007
    #9
    Thanks a lot, guys. Never thought I'd get so much response in a day. :p
     
  10. kajitox thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kajitox

    Joined:
    May 2, 2007
    #10
    Double Post!

    I was reading here that you might not need the FireWave if your speakers have optical in? Would a new 15" MBP have optical out? My speakers have optical in; what connection would I need?

    Thanks!
     
  11. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #11
    THe MacBook Pro has optical out (as alluded to earler, it is built into your headphone out jack.

    In order to use this, you need a speaker set, or a receiver, with a TOSLink optical input, AND a digital surround decoder. Very few speaker sets have this so check specs carefully. The Logitech 5500s do I believe.

    You use an optical cable that has TOSLINK at one end and a Mini-1/8" optical connection (or a TOSLink - 1/8" optical adaptor) on the Mac end. Belkin makes one, so do others, should be about $35.
     
  12. kajitox thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kajitox

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    May 2, 2007
    #12
    Seems like I might just want to go with the FireWave for the same price? Is there any quality difference?
     
  13. Josh396 macrumors 65816

    Josh396

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    Oct 16, 2004
    Location:
    Peoria/Chicago, IL
    #13
    You are entirely right. I currently have the Z-5500's and I use them with my iMac which has the same output as your MBP. You'll need an optical cable and a mini TOSLink. I bought a 50 foot optical cable off ebay for about $25, the one I linked you is only 6 foot but is only $3 while the mini TOSLink is only $2. You can shop around for an optical cable wherever you want, you're local Best Buy or Circuit City will have them but the only place I was able to find just a mini TOSLink was on Amazon. However, if you only need a 6 foot cable or so and live near an Apple Store, they usually stock an optical cable that comes with it's own mini TOSLink made by Belkin. I think it would run you about $30 for that but I don't recall. I opted for the 50 foot cable just incase I ever needed something longer. Hope this helps.
     
  14. kajitox thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kajitox

    Joined:
    May 2, 2007
    #14
    FYI they sell a 2 meter TOSLINK cable at the Apple Store. The company is XtremeHD and it only cost 20 bucks. Not too shabby. :)
     

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