Why no speaker balance with optical out?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by Wheetman, May 21, 2009.

  1. Wheetman macrumors member

    Aug 9, 2007
    Can anyone tell me why there is no speaker balance control enabled for the optical out setting on the Mac? I have Z5500 Digital speakers and the sound output is terrific, but the layout of my room has me offset from centre and my back is beginning to ache from leaning towards the furthest speakers to get the sweet spot. I could add an amp with a balance control, but that seems to be a bit of an overkill. If it can't be done in OSX does anyone know if there is an app somewhere that gets around the problem?
  2. jackerin macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2008
    Did you check the Audio Midi setup.app in Applications/Utilities?
  3. Wheetman thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 9, 2007
    Yes, but there is no speaker balance option when digital output is selected.
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Makes sense to me. Digital output sends a digital stream, un-modified.

    There is no concept of "volume" until you convert the signal to analog. If you were to scale the numbers then you'd run into very serious problems due to quantization noise. The correct way to do this is to scale the volume inside an analog amplifier.

    If they did allow it, you'd loose one bit for every 3db of adjustment. It's pretty easy to see you could get into 8 and 7 bits audio signals
  5. Wheetman thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 9, 2007
    ChrisA, Thank you for your explanation, which I now understand.

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