Will my speakers work with new iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Bghead8che, Nov 17, 2015.

  1. Bghead8che macrumors member

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    #1
  2. martinm0 macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    I think you'd need a 3.5mm to dual RCA cable, but I don't think you need a DAC. Your speakers are powered so I think you just need to plug into the headphone jack on the back of the iMac and you should be good. (Unless I'm missing something about the speakers).
     
  3. Bghead8che thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 15, 2015
    #3
    I think you are right. On my pc I am using an Audioquest 3.5mm to dual RCA converter plug, however that is coming out of my soundcard which sends out an analog signal. I'm just not sure how the iMac audio out works.

    Hopefully someone with more knowledge on the subject can enlighten us on how the audio out works on the iMac.

    Thanks.

    -Brian
     
  4. Maxx Power macrumors 6502a

    Maxx Power

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    Apr 29, 2003
    #4
    The iMac has a few ways to output audio. You can get analog via the 3.5mm jack or digital via optical on the same connector (two-in-one). To use the basic stereo output on the iMac to your monitor speakers, you just need a 3.5 to dual RCA connector as others have said. However, you'll not be getting the balanced connection per speaker, just single-ended. I do not think this will be a big deal. I and many others use my monitor speakers with RCA-unbalanced connections and they are perfectly fine.

    Your other choices are an external DAC (usually cleaner output with or without balanced outs) or pro-audio interface (which has balanced outs), via USB. Forget about the firewire based solutions, as they are being phased out as it is.
     
  5. McScooby macrumors 6502

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    The Paps of Glenn Close, Scotland.
    #5
    Yep, if your speakers work with a phone plugged into them, they'll work with the mac.
     
  6. Bghead8che thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 15, 2015
    #6
    Thanks Maxx.

    What do you mean I won't be "getting the balanced connection per speaker"? Obviously I will get stereo sound, not mono, correct? I'd appreciate it if you could clarify.

    Thanks!

    -Brian
     
  7. Bghead8che thread starter macrumors member

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    #7
    Yo definitely can NOT plug a phone into my speakers. ;-)
     
  8. Maxx Power macrumors 6502a

    Maxx Power

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    #8
    Your monitor speakers support balanced connections (a + and a - signal pair, plus a ground), which is also referred to as differential connections. Using RCA connections out of the iMac straight means you will only get singled-ended (signal is carried by a single line, say + and a ground/return). No consumer computers I know of supports balanced without an external/internal device. The difference is in the way the signal is carried to the device. Balanced connection only uses the difference between the + and - phases of the signal, and thus is immune to a lot of background electrical noises that's picked up by the connecting wire (so you can use a long distance wiring as in a lot of proaudio scenarios). Unbalanced or single-ended only uses the difference between the + phase of the signal and the ground, so it can not cancel out any induced noises on the line.

    Either way, I think if you didn't use this feature before, you are not going to be bothered by it now.
     
  9. G.McGilli macrumors regular

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    Oct 19, 2015
    #9
    Honestly - if you're not a member of Head-Fi forums - don't pay attention to anything regarding balance or unbalanced ;)

    You speaker will work and sound just fine with any regular 3.5 to RCA cable.
     
  10. McScooby macrumors 6502

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    The Paps of Glenn Close, Scotland.
    #10
    Don't see how not? use the jack to phono leads, this is what the above posts all allude to, the iMac audio out is just a headphone jack that also doubles as a optical toslink connection if you have kit that can use that also, the speakers are powered so this is where the amplification is done, you could buy a Airport Express & use them as wireless should you wish.
     
  11. jerwin, Nov 18, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2015

    jerwin macrumors 65816

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    Jun 13, 2015
    #11
    Forget all that stuff about interlinks. Those are for the A3 and A5 speakers

    Just get a minijack to RCA adapter, and two mono RCA patch cords...

    [​IMG]

    one goes to each unbalanced in.

    Done.

    If you want, you could get a DAC with XLR outs, but be sure that the outs are balanced, instead of just XLR connectors. Otherwise you'll be wasting your money without any benefit.
     

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