Surround Sound in MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by eldaria, Feb 1, 2008.

  1. eldaria macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Location:
    Sweden
    #1
    Well like the title says.

    I'm thinking about buying a MacBook Pro 15" the Middle model.
    Well actually i'm waiting for the next release of it. :)

    However, It is going to be more powerful than my current Dell desktop, on both CPU and GFX, well pretty much everything except Sound Card. :)

    I figured that when I'm at home, I will hook it onto the DVI cable on the 24" TFT, and external Keyboard, but I was wondering will it support my 5.1 sound system?
    This way I have a nice portable when out, and a powerful desktop when at home.

    I think I read somewhere that with a special cable, the built in connector supports more advanced sound than just headphones.
    My current setup uses 3 cables for sound, Green, Black and Yellow, I suppose it is Front/Back and Sub.

    Any Ideas?
     
  2. zirkle2007 macrumors 6502

    zirkle2007

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    Location:
    Indiana, USA
    #2
    They make adapters for that kind of thing. I use a headphone cable that splits into the red and white audio cable, then goes to a small box that came with my Logitech speakers that use the black, green, and orange cord. But Macs also support Optical, not sure if thats an option for you. You just plug it in and it senses the cable and switches to optical out. Very nice if you can afford the adapter for it!
     
  3. eldaria thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Location:
    Sweden
    #3
    With your setup do you get real surround, like if you run a speaker test will it only put sound through the designated speaker?

    Not sure what you mean by Red and White cable but for me it sounds like the standard phono connectors on the back of the stereo, and that I think would only give stereo, unless it is digital, I know some speakers can "Fake" surround, you can usually figure them out by running a speaker test and see if it is able to play only in the individual speakers.

    Optical is not an option for me at the moment, since my speakers do not have that type of connector, and besides it is still not sure the built in sound card supports it.

    What sound chip is actually in the MBP, does it support EAX?
     
  4. anirban macrumors 6502a

    anirban

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #4
    I am also interested in knowing if there is a way to obtain true surround sound through the MBP's audio port. My initial guess is a no, but just wondering what others have to say.

    I do know that MBP supports optical audio.
     
  5. zirkle2007 macrumors 6502

    zirkle2007

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    Location:
    Indiana, USA
    #5
    I'll do some digging over the weekend and see what I can come up with, but I know for a fact they support optical sound. I use it on my home theater system. Not sure if its 'true' surround sound though. I'll do some testing and let you know what I find.
     
  6. yippy macrumors 68020

    yippy

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #6
    To get true surround sound out of the MBP you only have two options.

    1. Use optical.
    2. Find and buy an external sound card (USB or Firewire) that supports surround sound and Macs.
     
  7. MadDog31 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 20, 2007
    #7
  8. bollweevil macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    #9
    Your suspicion that you can get real 5.1 surround straight out of the headphone jack is correct, but it requires this cable and a speaker system or receiver with an optical input. The cable is just a Mac-to-optical adapter, it has no logic in it or anything, but it costs at least $20 plus shipping. My research indicates that S/PDIF (like Dolby Digital on DVDs) is what comes out of the MacBook's optical jacks normally, but I don't own a MacBook myself.

    You said that you can't utilize the optical output, so your cheapest option would probably be a USB sound card, as others have said. This one is less than $23, but it might be crap. It has three separate, analog, stereo outputs serving as the 5.1 outputs, which will work if your speaker system takes analog input (which always involves either three or six cables and jacks). Other USB sound cards have S/PDIF digital audio output, and that is my favorite kind of surround sound input/output/cable. S/PDIF involves only one cable for all 5.1 channels, and the plugs look like RCA (coax) plugs. My desktop PC outputs 5.1 via an S/PDIF cable into my Pioneer amplifier, and it sounds phenomenal.
     
  9. eldaria thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Location:
    Sweden
    #10
    Ok, well it look like either get a External Firewire/USB sound card, or Get other Speakers.

    Thanks a lot guys.
    Brian.
     

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