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Ask Max: Do I need special speakers for the new macs with digital audio?

Asked on 11/02/2006:

Have an Intel iMac.. The new Macs have a 5.1 audio out.... does this mean I can't use any old external speakers? Do I need special ones that accept a digital signal? Are there 2.1 systems that will work? Any recommendations?THANK YOU !!


The Mac has always been about connection options and the Intel iMac is near the top of the heap for connectivity. The audio out jack on your iMac is a "Headphone/optical digital audio output (minijack)." That means it can connect to headphones, stereo speakers, and 2.1 PC speakers all through the analog 1/8th inch minijack. Also, a special fiber optic cable can be used from that same minijack to get digital audio to a home stereo. For a recommendation on good 2.1 speakers I asked our Trade-In manager. He listens to many speakers that come in on trade and has just recently bought himself the Logitec Z-4 2.1 speakers (Logitech Speakers). He liked the quality and range of the sound along with the additional line-in jack on the volume controller.Hope you like them.. Let me know what you think.

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