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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Feb 09, 2008
    5.1 sound on a macbook
    what do i use to get get true 5.1 sound from my macbook? is there a cord i can get or do i need an external sound card?

  2. #2

    Member Since
    Feb 25, 2009
    Late 2013 rMBP, i7, 750m gpu, OSX versions 10.9.3, 10.10
    Your options - to my knowledge (which I admit is limited) - is between only a few choices:

    You can get an external usb or firewire 5.1 sound card and hook it up (see: Configuring 5.1 Surround Output in Mac OS X - Mac Guides ) one that I know of that is specifically made for mac is the Griffin Firewave which is no longer being sold new, but can still be gotten used on ebay. Appears to top out at leopard for known compatibility - don't know if it'll work on SL. Other external units I'm sure will work, but I don't know which ones.

    If the audio file you are playing is AC3, you should be able to hook an optical cable from the audio jack (I'm pretty sure the jack on the MB is one that supports optical as well as analog) into a receiver (or 5.1 speaker system that will accept optical audio like the Logitech Z5500). There are special software packages that can emulate a 5.1 audio setup and feed the audio into an ac3 stream for optical, but I really don't know much about them (ac3jack and jack os x)

    Hope that helps
    1) Find a way to hook up the optical feed to a device that will decode the optical and play audio - the flaw is that I think it still outputs stereo unless it has a 5.1 stream that the Apple
    My Macs: Late 2013 rMBP w/ 750m, 16Gig ram; 2013 Mac Pro 6 core w/ D700, 16Gig Ram; Mac mini G4, 1.25 GHz, 512m ram (server); Late 2011 11" MBA, 1.8GHz i7, 4Gig Ram, 256Gig SSD, HD3000; Powerbook 12" G4 1.33GHz running Linux; Apple TV (1080p version)

  3. #3

    TattooedMac's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 19, 2009
    Waiting for a mate . . .
    21" iMac 2.9Ghz 16GB RAM & 13"MBP 2.9Ghz i7 8GB RAM 10.10.3, iPhone5 & iPad Air 2 iOS 8.3, ATV3
    I have a Macbook and am running 5.1 surround out of it.
    For the life of me i cant find the exact cable i am using but i hope this points you in the right direction.

    Check this link out.

    I have the same or very similar cable running to a black splitter box.
    The 2 red and white Belkin cable in one side then the brown, black and green cords from my 5.1 system in the other.
    Its been a while since i have purchased this 5.1 but im pretty sure the splitter box was with that and not the Belkin cable.
    Here is image to help out.

    Click for full size - Uploaded with plasq's Skitch[/IMG]

    Im sure there will be other brands to look for too.

    Hope this gives you a course to take.

    Excellent sound once you have it hooked up.
    Im running my Eye TV though my Macbook and as well as watching DVD and i always think im in a theatre

    You dont need a external sound card
    Dont forget to use the Reputation System if someone has helped you out !!!
    Arguing with a zealot is only slightly easier than tunneling through a mountain with your forehead!!!!!
    MoTM ☆☆☆

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