Surround Sound Headphones for Mac

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by DarkGashX, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. DarkGashX macrumors member

    DarkGashX

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    #1
    Title says it all, is there any Surround Sound Headphones for Mac? 5.1 or 7.1 would be good.

    Thanks :).
     
  2. rogersmj macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

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    Sep 10, 2006
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #2
    I'm not familiar with exactly what "surround sound headphones" are...there are plenty of headphones that try to *simulate* surround sound, but there's still only two audio drivers.

    That said, even if they do exist, there shouldn't be anything special about them to make them "for Mac". Macs use the same 3.5mm headphone jack as just about everything else (with the additional option of being optical). I love it when people come in here and ask about speakers for their Mac, or a monitor for their Mac, or whatever. You want to talk about quality of different peripherals, sure, but asking about headphones "for Mac" is like going to Discount Tire and saying "Do you have any tires that will work on my Ford?" "Uh, yeah...they also work on Chevy, Audi, Dodge..." Which doesn't really get you anywhere.
     
  3. DarkGashX thread starter macrumors member

    DarkGashX

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    Mar 28, 2007
    #3
    I have Zalman headphones for the PC and they have 3 jacks on them, which, I haven't seen on the Mac.
     
  4. expergo macrumors regular

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    Nov 21, 2004
    #4
    Those 3 jacks are probably the analog L/R, Rear L/R, and Center channels. With a Mac, if you plug in a normal 3.5mm analog set, then it'll just output two channels. To get "Surround Sound", you would need a digital decoder box that could convert the signal to an analog signal.
     
  5. DarkGashX thread starter macrumors member

    DarkGashX

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    Mar 28, 2007
    #5
    Don't suppose you could point out a few decorder boxes that would work on Mac could you? :).
     
  6. rogersmj macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

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    #6
    Wow, fancy. I haven't seen those before. Those are the details I'm talking about that would have been helpful :) It sounds like they operate on the same principle as any analog 5.1 speaker system with the three 3.5mm jacks. On some sound cards, including the ones in Macs, the only way to get more than stereo out is to go digital. If you want to use analog surround, there is some sort of box out there to go from digital to 5.1 analog. It wasn't cheap though. I'll see if I can find the link.
     
  7. DarkGashX thread starter macrumors member

    DarkGashX

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    Mar 28, 2007
    #7
    Details here: http://www.zalman.co.kr/eng/product/view.asp?idx=110&code=023

    Yes, they have 3 jacks for analog surround.
     
  8. DarkGashX thread starter macrumors member

    DarkGashX

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    Mar 28, 2007
    #9
  9. PCtoMac-change macrumors member

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    Feb 10, 2007
    #10
  10. DarkGashX thread starter macrumors member

    DarkGashX

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    Mar 28, 2007
    #11
    Haha, nice. I'm not sure how the Mac's sound works though so I just want to be safe than sorry. I plan to get an iMac next month.
     
  11. PCtoMac-change macrumors member

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    Feb 10, 2007
    #12
    Oh I don't know about a iMac, but I did hear their built in speakers are really good.
     
  12. DarkGashX thread starter macrumors member

    DarkGashX

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    Mar 28, 2007
    #13
    That was the whole point of my topic, haha. I am looking for surround sound headphones that would work on a Mac.
     
  13. rogersmj macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

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    #14
    Obviously you've never heard them then :) The iMac's built-in speakers are pathetic. Better than a laptop's, but only slightly.

    DarkGashX, I think the ones from Newegg wouldn't work without an adapter. They two digital connections on it are a TOSlink and digital coaxial. You would need to find a TOSlink to mini-TOSlink (also called 3.5mm optical) adapter. They're pretty cheap. If you get that, they should work fine.

    May I ask what you're into that you need 5.1 headphones? That's pretty hardcore.
     
  14. jesteraver macrumors 6502

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    May 16, 2006
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #15
    check out Sennheiser, they have surround sound headphones which are wireless if I recall.

    One thing I saw someone post the iMac having sucky internal speakers. True, but the process for the sound is amazing though, I looked it up, its way better than Denon or anything on the market which is insane!!!
     
  15. DarkGashX thread starter macrumors member

    DarkGashX

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    Mar 28, 2007
    #16
    When I play movies I like out of this world-ish audio :p. So that pretty much sums up why I want 5.1.
     
  16. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    Jun 3, 2006
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    One Nation Under Gordon
    #17
    Speed Link make the Medusa, a 5.1 headphone for gaming.

    http://www.speed-link.com/prod.php?lang=en&sys_id=8&pb_id=8&prod_num=SL-8790

    I was mildly amazed to find that the Medusa does kind of work. But I think electronic methods to simulate a 3D soundspace are better. The reason is that with these phones which try and have actual separate drivers for different directions, they don't provide the ear with any significantly better cues than the latest positional audio simulation and there is also a disconnect between the different directions they try to represent - there's a sudden jump in the sound from one driver to another. That, and the sound quality is not so hot although it's perfectly acceptable. So my preference is for positional audio as simulated in the latest soundcards...

    ...Oh hang on, the Mac can't do proper positional audio in headphones.
    Ah right, it's the analog Medusa with a Firewave then.
     
  17. DarkGashX thread starter macrumors member

    DarkGashX

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    Mar 28, 2007
    #18
    I'm beginning to think that simulating 5.1 is about the same as having 5.1 for headphones.

    Don't suppose there are any good ones people would recommend out there? That work on a Mac.. of course :).
     
  18. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    Jun 3, 2006
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    One Nation Under Gordon
    #19
    For movies only your best bet is probably the Pioneer DIR-800C. This'll take the optical feed from the Mac and give you 5.1 surround processing (the optical on the Macs have DTS passthrough, so the processing will be done on that signal) on the headphone itself. These are infrared headphones, i.e. they are wireless but line of sight.

    For general purpose use - there's really nothing much else. As I said there's no good Mac-based 3D positional audio solution unlike under Windows.
     

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