Sweet Sound System

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by crazycamel01, Jul 2, 2004.

  1. crazycamel01 macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2004

    Does anyone have experience with hooking up home theater system to their powerbooks versus regular computer speakers? I was considering either getting a home theater system that I could hook up via Airport Express (so PB and TV share), or to have the same Airport Express hookup but connect it to new Logitech speakers (so that PC and PB can share speakers).

    Pros/Cons and previous experience with either setup? Thanks!
  2. BakedBeans macrumors 68040


    May 6, 2004
    What's Your Favorite Posish
    well i dont think anyone will have experience with that, due to the airport express hasnt started to ship yet( or at least i dont think they are..... but im sure it will be fairly good... but if you cant wait the harman kardon soundstoks 2 are top...really good sound....

    personally i would wait for the aex but up 2 you
  3. brap macrumors 68000

    May 10, 2004
    I've done both (minus the express, of course), with my old iBook. For totally different reasons.

    The PC speaker sound is... well, immeasurably inferior to a quality home theatre, but the two have totally different strengths. I mean, totally. Why are you comparing apples to oranges? $150 versus $1500 is a big difference.

    I can't seriously imagine someone buying a home theatre just because they want to listen to iTunes in (amplifier upmixed) Prologic. Either you want sweet sounding DTS/Prologic DVDs, or a cheap set of Logitechs. Will the wife allow for thousands of dollars' worth of equipment? Does your TV make it worthwhile? Have you enough space? Did you need a new stereo system anyway? These are a few of the questions I asked myself...

    The advantage you have, now, is Express has optical out. Sure the ADC will be pretty lame, but someone will figure out how to plug this into VLC sooner or later for your AC3 DVD/DivX/Mpeg/etc. enjoyment. I tried getting coaxial throughput with an M-Audio Sonica theatre last year, to no avail. The express may mean you can have your cake, and eat it...

    In a different room ;)
  4. abhishekit macrumors 65816


    Nov 6, 2003
    akron , ohio
    Yes, I have connected my pb to a sony 5.1 receiver (connected to yamaha speakers).
    Of your two setups, the home theatre one looks better to me. First the sound would be much better than logitech speakers.
    Second, you can always play the songs on your PC from your pb through iTunes.

  5. gallagb macrumors 6502


    Apr 28, 2004
    just remember what it has been encoded with!

    the music that is-

    i'm NO audio expert
    however my brother is currently doing something like this
    he's hooked up some sony 5.1 system in his bed room
    and listens to CD's on it
    and then is curious why it sounds odd
    (he's 14)

    remember most music has been recorded in Stereo
    stereo = 2 speakers
    (2.1 is even technically a stretch)

    mp3's, aac's, cd's - are NOT 5.1 audio
    thus- it'll mostly come out of the front 3 speakers

    obviously for movies- (and i've heard some video games- but i'm not sure)
    if it has been encoded at 5.1 it should output as 5.1 - but i'm not sure if the audio card in the PB or an iBook can support this-
    (again- i'm not the expert)
    i've got the H/K sound-sticks- plus isub
    it was a great $150 expense on flea-bay
    plus they just look cool
    many house-guests have just looked @ them in awe and said "what on earth is that!"

    just my thoughts-
  6. brap macrumors 68000

    May 10, 2004
    Sounds like haiku.
    Heh. Mostly the front 3... the algorithm used in Prologic does a pretty good job of upmixing most kinds of music, but yeah, the front 3 are usually dominant :)
    Please remember this all depends on your amp/reciever/processor/whatever you use. The Yamaha I use has a plethora of options of how to use my 5.1 channels with stereo input - definitely not just Prologic.
    AC3 passthrough for DVDs, DivX/mpeg/etc. with AC3 soundtracks. Creative's 'EAX' thing upmixes to prologic for game effects on the PC, however on the Macintosh ...I dunno..
  7. crazycamel01 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2004
    let me clarify the situation a bit

    thanks for your responses, you guys asked some good questions... let me try to clarify.

    I am in college apartment next year, going to buy PB to take to library for studying and also multimedia. I also have an old PC. I was thinking of investing in a $600 range home theater system, for DVDs etc. but also because it is just something good to have for the future; I can keep it after college.

    My goal was to set up the home theater system in main room, and also connect Airport Express so that I can change the music from my PB anywhere I am in the apartment.

    So my question is mostly... I want to listen to DVDs and CD/VCD/SACD from the dvd player connected to the theater system and MP3's from my PB remotely, is this a legit setup or will sound be distorted?
  8. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    The sound will be fine. Anything you've got connected to the home theater itself (i.e., the DVDs, CDs, etc) will sound great. Depending on your system, the fact the CDs are stereo won't stop them from sounding great in 5.1 - and, of course, you can always set the system to play straight stereo as well.

    The Airport Express will let you listen to your iTunes in the same way the the optical out on my G5 does - I've got it hooked up to a home theater setup, and it sounds just great. Try to buy a setup that has optical in - most do - and you'll be very happy.

    Of course, the MP3s might not sound as good as CDs in the stereo, but that depends not only on the quality of the MP3 but also on the quality of your home theater - odds are, you won't notice enough of a difference to care.

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