Surround sound for 13' MBP

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by DSM09, Jun 17, 2009.

  1. DSM09 macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2009
    Hello, I have recently purchased a 13 inch MBP and was looking to set up a surround sound system in for room/dorm for listening to music and movies. I was looking at these logitech speakers. I was wondering if they would be compatible with my notebook and if I would have to buy any adapters? Any advice on this topic would be greatly appreciated since I have no prior experience with 5.1 surround sound. Thanks,en
  2. qacjared macrumors regular

    Jan 28, 2008
    no, you'd need a surround sound reciever or something like the griffin firewave.

    These 5.1 speakers, like most have three 3.5 mm audio jacks, for Center/Sub, Front Left/Right and Back Left/Right. While your mac has the sound card and power to drive that, you need hardware to be able to plug in these speakers.
  3. sammich macrumors 601


    Sep 26, 2006
    You will need to get a speaker set which either takes USB audio or Optical. The Macbook headphone jack doubles as optical audio out. Something like the z-5500 would work.

    Otherwise, if the speakers you were looking for took something other than those two input types, you will need what the poster above mentioned.
  4. heffeque macrumors regular


    Not that I need it right now, but I'm curious to know if the optical audio out would "transform" the output from 2.0 to 5.1.

    I mean... for example: connecting the MBP to 5.1 speakers through optical cable would mean that DVDs could play on 5.1 mode but... would VLC and other programs detect the possibility of 5.1 output?
  5. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604


    Sep 8, 2002
    The Netherlands
    Yes, Apple's DVD Player, VLC and Media Players like Plex all make use of the optical sound output for Dolby Digital / DTS 5.1 sound.
    Sometimes you want to setup the prefs to "force" digital audio, but they all work with DVD's and not-so-legally downloaded (HD-)movies. ;)

    Many (like me) use a Mac mini with the standard optical mini-jack to toslink audio output to use it as a home theatre computer.
    That same sound output is found on the portable Macs too! :)
  6. heffeque macrumors regular


    In my country it's totally legal to download music and videos if they are only for personal use (not to make money from them) :)

    I have a three jack 5.1 system so the toslink is out of use right now, but I wanted to know the info for a future buy.

    Thanks! :)
  7. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    You have analog (up to 5-channel with Dolby Pro Logic II) and optical (up to 7.1 with Dolby Digital Plus) on all current Macs (except the MBA). You just need content encoded with these algorithms a receiver capable of decoding them.

    Apple seems to have gone out of its way to make Dolby Digital difficult (and DTS almost impossible). Your best solution is to use Plex. It does both with no tinkering of the system.

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