Please help me get surround sound form an iMac G5.
January 22, 2006 12:50 AM   Subscribe

Please help me get surround sound form an iMac G5.

I have a set of Logitech Z-540 4.1 analog speakers circa 2000. I'm reasonably happy with the performance of these speakers. My iMac has a single combo jack that outputs either stereo or digital pass-through, so I can currently only get stereo sound from my Logitech speakers. Should I be looking at an external (USB or firewire) sound card or a set of new digital speakers? Suggestions of specific products would be welcomed.
posted by Asef Jil to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The iMac G5 outputs surround sound from it's optical digital audio port, so you need a new speaker system that can take that as input. Logitech makes some good 5.1 speakers.

Another choice might be to buy a cheap receiver, like this, that can take optical audio input, decode the surround info and output it to normal speakers.
posted by jaimev at 7:44 AM on January 22, 2006

Be careful if you get a regular hi-fi receiver -- I think they're unlikely to have the analog output (i.e 2 or 3 mini headphone jacks) that most PC/multimedia speakers use.

Creative sell a surround decoder -- the DDTS-100 that looks like it'll do what you want. It will take a digital surround sound signal via an optical jack, decode it, and output analog audio via the little minijacks that your analog speaker system uses (see this photo of the rear ports).

Of course, you'll need to make sure that the analog inputs of your speaker system match the analog outputs of the decoder (a stereo jack for front L/R, another stereo jack for rear L/R, and a jack for the center signal/subwoofer). I'd be surprised if they were substantially different though.
posted by chrismear at 9:00 AM on January 22, 2006

The Creative Audigy 2 NX is known to provide surround sound on Macs.
posted by cillit bang at 11:15 AM on January 22, 2006

Thanks for your comments. Seems I have even more options. I won't mark a best answer because all the suggestions are equally viable. Thanks again.
posted by sockpup at 4:19 PM on January 23, 2006

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