Audio Question

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I am new to Mac Forums, today, Hello to everyone. My question I am about to switch to Mac abandoning Windows altogether. I have a question regarding audio. Currently I have a cable running from my PC to my hi fi amplifier. Will it be possible to connect the cable to the rear of the IMac monitor ? Any help that you can give will be very much appreciated.
 

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To give you the best advice about making the connection we'll need a bit more information:

1. Which model iMac are you considering? That will to some extent dictate which output connections are available for use.
2. What make and model is the receiver/ amp you are connecting to? This will give us an idea which audio inputs are available. On newer receivers there may be several possible connections including one or more which provide an all digital connection.
 
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Hello and welcome to the forum! :)

You'll need to provide more information: 1) What Mac computer do you own (model/year/month); 2) What OS X is installed; and 3) What kind of audio cable(s) are you using? Answers to these questions will help. Dave
 
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Audio question

To give you the best advice about making the connection we'll need a bit more information:

1. Which model iMac are you considering? That will to some extent dictate which output connections are available for use.
2. What make and model is the receiver/ amp you are connecting to? This will give us an idea which audio inputs are available. On newer receivers there may be several possible connections including one or more which provide an all digital connection.
Many thanks for all your prompt replies I am grateful for your help. The sound card on the computer motherboard is connected via a cable to my Naim Nait 2 integrated amplifier which in turn is connected to the usual loud speakers placed on stands. My intention is to buy the iMac 27 inch non retina model. I have not heard the audio from the iMac so I am somewhat at a loss as how to compare obviously a demonstration would be ideal, hopefully I could arrange one at my local Apple store. Once again many thanks for answering my query.
 
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Unless things have changed what you will have on the iMac is a combination headphone/TosLink jack.
You can use a regular mini headphone to RCA cable or optical cable if your amp supports it.
 
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Audio question

Thank you once again for your replies. I wonder if there are any hi fi persons out there and have wondered about the quality of the sounds from the speakers from their Mac. Most speakers from PCs leaves much to be desired the sound is so compressed. Anyone had experience?
 
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Thank you once again for your replies. I wonder if there are any hi fi persons out there and have wondered about the quality of the sounds from the speakers from their Mac. Most speakers from PCs leaves much to be desired the sound is so compressed. Anyone had experience?

Well, many of us here know a 'little bit' about audio - ;) I own an iMac (spring, 2013) w/ the back inputs/outputs shown below - the headphone jack obviously will accept a 3.5 mini-stereo plug and of course an adapter could be used for R/L channel RCA audio outputs connected to a tuner or receiver; I'm not sure about an optical option (i.e. Toslink) w/ this port?

As to the iMac's built-in speakers, they are not even as good as my small boombox in the basement, so don't expect hi-fidelity - just not a possibility - NOW, you still have not told us the 'type' of cable coming out of your PC - I looked up the tuner you mentioned (pic of the back below) which seems to have just audio RCA inputs for various sound sources - thus, an RCA/mini-stereo adapter could be used as described above.

In OS X's 'System Preferences', a look at the Sound options shows another output choice called Soundflower, a software DL (info HERE) - I've not used this app, so cannot make any comments.

Finally, keep in mind that your computer will likely be on a Wi-Fi network and has BT (Bluetooth), so 'wireless' sound options are a consideration - about all that I can contribute @ the moment. Dave :)

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Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 5.25.25 PM.png

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Audio question

Thank you very much for the detailed reply. My Naim Nait 2 amp has DIN sockets to the rear the left hand one attaches to the PC. The output socket on the PC is the normal 3.5mm a standard cable runs from this with red and black leads connecting to an adapter to the ribbon lead which in turn connects into the rear panel of the amplifier.

NaimNait2 copy.jpg
 
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Hi again - I have not used a DIN connection but since you are transmitting your PC audio w/ a mini-stereo adapter then this is just a R/L RCA output, i.e. 2 channels - I'm assuming that only 2 of the 5 DIN connectors are being used for this connection - may be wrong?

SO, I would think that if you obtain an iMac w/ a headphone 2-channel output, then the same adapter may work fine; also, if you used the adapter shown below into one of your AUX inputs w/ a red/white connector, then that would seem to function also? About the most that I can offer w/o you giving it a try. Good luck & let us know - Dave :)
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MiniStereoToRCA.jpg
 
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Thank you once again for your replies. I wonder if there are any hi fi persons out there and have wondered about the quality of the sounds from the speakers from their Mac. Most speakers from PCs leaves much to be desired the sound is so compressed. Anyone had experience?


Abysmal. About the same sound quality as from a cheap clock radio.
 
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Audio question

The lead shown in your attachment is precisely the one that I use. It is so good to receive a positive answer to my questions. One last question slightly off centre my apologies in advance. The wonderful Cosmos screen saver on my MacBook is this still there in Yosemite? I suspect that it is not. Once again many. thanks for your replies.
 
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The lead shown in your attachment is precisely the one that I use. It is so good to receive a positive answer to my questions. One last question slightly off centre my apologies in advance. The wonderful Cosmos screen saver on my MacBook is this still there in Yosemite? I suspect that it is not. Once again many. thanks for your replies.

Great! I have a LOT of MP3 music on my iDevices (old iPod Touch & new iPad Air 2), so when I want to listen to some on my good stereo speakers, I use the same adapter and plug the R/L RCA connectors into an AUX input on my NAD receiver - works fine for me.

Also, use a decent BT (Bluetooth) soundbar w/ my HDTV, so just another option, i.e. Pandora, Spotify, and MP3s from the same iDevices mentioned above - just seems to be SO many choices this day to play your music. Good luck - Dave :)

ADDENDUM: Sorry, did not respond to your 'screen saver' question - don't know - I'm not much of a 'screen saver' guy in my older years (those interests belonged more to my PC days) - BUT, there is plenty on the web - just google 'mac yosemite screen savers' - of course, there are many related to the National Park, which I've visited.
 
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honestly the sound on the macintosh is top's for what it does and any sound system makes it better and better i have never heard of a bad sounding mac even on surround sound
 
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honestly the sound on the macintosh is top's for what it does and any sound system makes it better and better i have never heard of a bad sounding mac even on surround sound

Well, I believe that the question is the 'quality' of the sound emerging from the built-in speakers of the Mac computer - mediocre @ best IMO, as already stated in a previous post; now, using the audio output on the computer and cabled to a decent stereo system, then that is entirely a different listening experience.

Now, as to 'surround sound', not really a possibility w/ just a R/L RCA channel connection which is standard stereo; surround sound is at least a 5:1 speaker setup - HOWEVER, I'm not sure if that headphone output on my iMac (spring 2013) can accept an optical adapter that might output more than a 2-channel signal - others would have to 'chime in' w/ comments and advice (and I'd like to know myself). Dave :)
 

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One last question slightly off centre my apologies in advance. The wonderful Cosmos screen saver on my MacBook is this still there in Yosemite? I suspect that it is not. Once again many. thanks for your replies.

It is there for me in Yosemite but that might be because I did an upgrade installation rather than "clean" install. Here's how to find out if it is there:
1. Open System Preferences>Desktop & Screensaver pane.
2.Click the Screen Saver tab.
3. Look at the Source drop down menu. If Cosmos is installed it will be one of the options there when you click the drop0 down.
 

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Now, as to 'surround sound', not really a possibility w/ just a R/L RCA channel connection which is standard stereo; surround sound is at least a 5:1 speaker setup - HOWEVER, I'm not sure if that headphone output on my iMac (spring 2013) can accept an optical adapter that might output more than a 2-channel signal - others would have to 'chime in' w/ comments and advice (and I'd like to know myself). Dave :)

Ever since the very first Intel Macs:

The Mac Pro typically has separate analog/digital audio ports. On every other "Intel" Mac thus far, the "headphone" jack is a combined analog/digital port capable of 2 channel stereo via analog or "up to" 5.1 output via a mini-toslnk connection.

"Up to" meaning that you will only get 5.1 output from sources that have 5.1 audio. Typically, that means movies. Using the optical output is not going to magically turn all of your 2 channel sources (probably all of your music) into a faux 5.1 output. That would need to be done at your receiver.
 
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The iMac sound out port takes standard RCA cables and I have mine running out to my HIFi and get excellent sound.

No issue to my knowledge. I'd worry more about the original file quality.

I have converted all my CDs to Apple Lossless (ALAC) or FLAC so the quality remains unchanged. iTunes will need ALAC files, but there is plenty of software around to run all the modern formats. iTunes is confined to AAC, mp3, m4a, ALAC, WAV and AIFF (both uncompressed) but will freely convert between them.

XLD [free] will batch convert between formats, no problem if they are lossless.

XBMC [free] will turn your Mac into a multi-media player and plays just about everything.
 
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Ever since the very first Intel Macs:

The Mac Pro typically has separate analog/digital audio ports. On every other "Intel" Mac thus far, the "headphone" jack is a combined analog/digital port capable of 2 channel stereo via analog or "up to" 5.1 output via a mini-toslnk connection.

"Up to" meaning that you will only get 5.1 output from sources that have 5.1 audio. Typically, that means movies. Using the optical output is not going to magically turn all of your 2 channel sources (probably all of your music) into a faux 5.1 output. That would need to be done at your receiver.

Hi Bobtomay - thanks for the additional information; now I do not have 5:1 stereo equipment, so a mini-stereo jack w/ R/L RCA inputs would be fine, as already discussed.

But for those w/ a 'surround sound' system, would the small adapter or the cable (pic) w/ one end looking like a mini-stereo jack make the 'optical' Toslink connection (arrows are where I assume the optical fiber end is located)? I guess my question: is the optical output from the Mac located at the bottom of the headphone output jack (like on my 2013 iMac or even my MBPro, same year)? Dave :)
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ca_toslink.jpg
 
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I have used my Mac Mini (late 2012) with a typical 1/8" stereo to 2 RCA type cables to a mixing console or direct to a stereo receiver with great sound quality. I am currently using a Tascam USB audio interface for audio recording and have the mini feeding its audio via USB back to the Tascam unit and then out to a mixer then to a stereo receiver, again with great sound resulting. I imagine similar options would be available to an iMac.
 

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