Converting Surround Sound Headphone Jacks to Optical

rcooper102

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Jan 16, 2014
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Hey there I am looking for some help on how to get my surround sound speakers working on my computer.

The surround sound system uses 4x 3.5 mm headphone jacks. (it looks something like this: http://www.roccat.org/img/ROCCAT/cbbe7aa34fe96073f8ff73b335297db9.jpg with the USB being used for power only)

What I am trying to do is run those through a receiver or converter so that I can convert them to a single toslink optical cable that I can run into the back of my computer.

I have found this device which can do it for 5.1 one, but have been unable to find a similar device for 7.1: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Optical-SPDIF-Coaxial-Dolby-AC3-DTS-Digital-to-5-1-2-1-CH-Analog-Audio-Decoder-/261103761583

Sony also makes a receiver that I think should be able to do it in theory (http://store.sony.ca/7.2channel-4k-wifi-network-a-v-receiver-zid31-STRDN1040/cat-31-catid-All-Receivers-Speakers-and-Stereo-Components), however it does not have 3.5mm headphone jacks in the back, rather the large analogue audio inputs. Is there some sort of adapter that I can use with this device?

Any other advice would be very welcome, I have been googling for hours trying to figure this out but I am more than likely just googling the wrong thing.
 

rcooper102

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Jan 16, 2014
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I'm afraid it is an iMac so there isn't really an option of using an external sound card. The only one on the market I've found is Diamond's Extreme USB soundcard and they haven't updated it, or it's drivers in years. It crashes frequently and the sound quality is poor, which actually is why I am looking to go through the optical port to begin with.
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
does your imac have hdmi out? if so you can use something like this maybe? i'd go with a pc soundcard/dac like the asus below instead though as a preference. likely much better output.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/HDMI-Dolby-DTS-PCM-5-1-7-1-To-Optical-Digital-Audio-Converter-Decoder-/230840436904

but a better choice may be something like this asus dac/soundcard... its usb (even imacs have usb right??) but it lists mac os X support and has 7.1 out. looks like a win-win except the price. cant do anything about that but its top notch quality.
http://www.asus.com/Sound_Cards_and_DigitaltoAnalog_Converters/Xonar_U7/#specifications
 

rcooper102

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Jan 16, 2014
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I'm afraid it is just USB, thundebolt and it has the combo 3.5 mm headphone/optical jack.

That Asus sound card looks promising though, thanks, it looks like it is much higher quality that the card I am using now. I will have to see if I can get my hands on it and see how it fairs. :)
 

rcooper102

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Jan 16, 2014
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I actually had one more quick question that I was hoping you might know the answer to, on the Asus Xonar U7 page ti says the thing has 4x 3.5 mm headphone jacks , but when I look at the product photo I only see 3, however it looks like there are another 2 on the front, would it be accurate to assume on the front is the stereo in, mic in, and then on the back is the front, rear, and sub surround sound inputs??

http://www.raqwe.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/review-asus-xonar-u7-raqwe.com-03.jpg
 
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