What type of sound (card) on mac mini?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by dlsife, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. dlsife macrumors member

    Mar 15, 2011
    Looking at buying my first mac and looking at a mini. I listen to a lot of music on high quality speakers attached to my pc, so I'm wondering if there's a sound quality difference between the MBP, the iMac and the Mac Mini.

    Any help you can give me would be appreciated.

  2. stridemat Moderator


    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    I have no evidence for this, but I can't see the audio quality being different between the various models.
  3. dlsife thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 15, 2011
    Thanks. To clarify, I'm not running surround (5.1). I just listen to music on 2.1 speakers. So, my question is simply whether there's any sound card difference between the mini and the iMac.
  4. mgartner0622 macrumors 65816


    Jun 6, 2010
    Colorado, USA
    All modern sound cards are good enough (read, perfect) for anyone that does not have a professional DJ set up, ten thousand dollar speakers, or something of that sort.
    In that case, they'd probably use an external sound device via USB, but that's besides the point.
    Anyway, I'm pretty sure the Mini and iMac both use Intel High-Definition Audio cards, which support digital output.

    You can also adjust the Equalizer in iTunes if you're not happy with the bass, treble, or frequency ranges when playing music.
  5. mr.steevo macrumors 65816


    Jul 21, 2004
    If sound quality is that important you could buy an external Digital to Analog Converter (DAC) to bypass the computer sound card. Here's one that comes with vacuum tubes:

  6. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    I have a lot of hi end speakers. I don't like the connection on the imac the mac pro or the mac mini for 2.1 sound.

    I use usb dacs. Note I said I don't like using the connection on the machines. The connection is a 3.5mm headphone jack which can also be used with an optical cord. Over time the connection tends to get loose and can pick up a buzz. USB based dacs tend to work better.

    I have a Musiland MD10 that works great with my mac pro.


    I have a low cost behringer for my mac mini works great

  7. Baby Mac macrumors regular

    Baby Mac

    Jul 28, 2010

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