Thunderbolt Display and USB speakers

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by tekksan, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. tekksan macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    #1
    Are there any speakers with subwoofer that you can connect to the Thunderbolt Display via USB so one doesn't have to connect a 3.5mm audio cable to their laptop when 'docking'? Will the USB speakers work via the Thunderbolt Display cable?
     
  2. Blaine macrumors 6502a

    Blaine

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2007
    Location:
    Abilene TX
    #2
    I'd like to know this as well. My next set of speakers will probably be USB, and I'd like to rout them through a Thunderbolt Display. Idk if that will cause any problems or not, because the monitors USB ports are routed through the thunderbolt cable.
     
  3. PatriotInvasion macrumors 65816

    PatriotInvasion

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #3
    How about picking up a new wireless Bluetooth speaker system instead? HK now has Soundsticks wireless and so does Edifier Prisma for reasonable prices. Both are 2.1 systems with a subwoofer.
     
  4. LaazyEye macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    #4
    Data is data, you should have no more problems using USB speakers on a Thunderbolt Display than you would hooking them up to your laptop directly.
     
  5. Outrigger macrumors 68000

    Outrigger

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    #5
    Mine are connected to an amp which are connected via USB to my TBD.
     
  6. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
    #6
    I'm using a $8 USB>headphone port adapter off a hub connected to my TB display. Works great...and have an automator shortcut that switches the input back and forth for me.
     
  7. zen macrumors 68000

    zen

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    #7
    Just a bump on this, as I'm looking for something with a subwoofer to go with my TBD.

    I've looked at the Harmon Kardon Soundsticks, and also the Edifier Prisma, but apparently the bluetooth is for iPhones/iPads, etc, and doesn't work with Macs.

    I have a Mac mini and TBD and am still looking for a solution. Any ideas?
     
  8. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #8
    Get the normal Soundsticks (or any wired speakers) and use something like this adapter. I'd actual recommend the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 speakers.
     
  9. JeffiJers macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2012
    Location:
    U.S.
    #9
    Or you can get a cheap DAC and really improve your sound quality all together.

    I have TB display > Fiio e10 > Audioengine a5+

    Amazing set up.
     
  10. zen macrumors 68000

    zen

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    #10
    Ah, I love Klipsch. We have a small iPod sound system in our kitchen and it is amazing.

    I run a Mac mini with this Thunderbolt Display, and apart from the display audio I actually use a Griffin iMic for my headphones, as that allows me to manually switch between the headphones and display output from the Finder menu bar.

    Given the Klipsch uses a headphone input port, I could just use the spare headphone port on the back of the Mac mini, right? Is there any advantage to using the USB adaptor?
     
  11. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #11
    I know on the iMac that if you use the audio output jack the internal speakers are disabled. I am not sure if that is also true on a Mac mini.
     
  12. zen macrumors 68000

    zen

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    #12
    Yes, that is correct, and you can't change the audio output back to the speakers either - it just immediately flicks back to headphones.

    However, that's fine for me because I use the Griffin iMic for my headphones. If you plug headphones into the mini's headphone socket, the Thunderbolt Display's speakers are disabled. But I can re-select the iMic to use my headphones.

    Which means to say: I'll still be able to select either headphones or speakers - only in this case, the speakers are now the Klipsch system. The Thunderbolt Display speakers will be disabled, but I don't want to use them anyway.

    I was just wondering if the audio quality would be higher via a USB adaptor.
     
  13. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #13
    There's a chance is you got a very high end USB sound card that the might would be better. But I'm not sure you would really hear a difference unless you got rather expensive speakers to go with it.
     
  14. cdrhoek macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2013
    #14
    The Bose Companion 5 should do what you want. They connect to a USB port and work fine with Macs.
     

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