I've just received my lovely shiny Mac Pro along with 23" Cinema display, and I'm in the process of getting everything set up so that I can replace my old Windows PC. One thing I did have set up with my PC was surround sound, using a Logitech 5.1 surround speaker set (Z-680), which worked very nicely for playing games and DVDs. Naturally, given the Mac Pro has an optical digital output (and the Z-680 has built-in Dolby Digital and DTS decoding) I figured I'd just be able to plug it in and I'd be away. Unfortunately there seem to be two big problems: first of all, by using digital output, I immediately lose the ability to control the system volume from within Mac OS X itself things like the volume buttons on the keyboard, the menu bar control and Remote Buddy all have no effect. Secondly, and this is the one that's really irritating, the volume is simply too low to be usable. When I used these speakers with Windows, they were almost a problem because they are so powerful; I had to run them with the subwoofer set on its lowest level so as to not irritate neighbours with the bass, and I almost never put the volume above about 40% of its scale, in fact typically it would be around the 25% mark. So you can imagine my surprise when I plugged these speakers into my Mac and discovered that even with the volume controller set to 100%, they are barely a whisper of their previous volume. Yet more mysteriously, this behaviour seems to affect standard line output too. The output is so quiet, that I get better (louder, rather than 'better', really) results when I set the output to internal speaker. Clearly this is going to get on my nerves before long; you don't spend premium price for a Mac Pro only to suffer sub-par audio. From discussions I've had with various other Mac experts, it seems that not allowing volume control ('pre-amplification'?) of the optical output is a 'good' thing, in that if you were doing professional audio editing you'd most likely be plugging it into hardware with an amplifier which you wanted to use rather than anything built-in. But this doesn't explain why the volume is so very low for both optical and analog output - obviously the speakers I'm using have their own amplifier and even at the highest level they're not able to produce usable output. So what can I do? Is there any software that will allow me to 'pre-amp' my digital output? If not, what surround speakers would people recommend for use with a Mac Pro? (if this problem is the fault of the way the Mac handles optical output, I don't want to buy another set of speakers and find they do the same thing!). Any advice or suggestions would be most appreciated!