Multiple Audio Sources, One Set of Speakers

kenn213

Distinguished
Jul 14, 2009
2
0
18,510
0
I've got a couple audio sources that I would like to connect to my Logitech 5.1 surround system simultaneously. All the inputs are either optical audio (toslink) or 3.5mm (headphone).

Currently I have one computer connected to the speaker system via optical, and a second computer connected to the first via optical as well. This is fine for two systems, but I would like to add more.

I've read what I need is an optical audio mixer, however whenever I search this term I see what looks to me to be professional DJ equipment. All I want is a small box to sit on my desk (not a huge receiver) with 4+ optical and/or 3.5mm inputs and one output (individual volume sliders wouldn't hurt). I also do not want a switch that only outputs from one source at a time.

I'm sure this isn't an uncommon question, I just couldn't find the answers I needed on Google.

Any advice is much appreciated.
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
if you want to have multiple sources simultaneously with their own volume control then yes an audio mixer is what you would want and yes most of them are meant for audio production or dj use. for optical input specifically what you want is a digital audio mixer. expect products which are quite expensive and not be priced for regular consumers.

switches which output from only one at a time are much cheaper and are consumer grade items though of course are of limited function. if you can make do with one source at a time this is the cheapest option for multi-sourcing that speaker set.

analog mixers are much cheaper however given that the set is 5.1 you would need to use 3 channels on the mixer to control each source. so... 3 channel amp = 1 source, 6 channel = 2 sources, 12 channel = 4 sources and if the source is optical and needs to be converted to analog then converters would need to be used which is additional cost unless you stuck with a 2.0 output only for those sources. not a very nice alternative even given the cheaper prices but it could potentially work but will be a whole rats nest of wiring and adapters.

an audio video receiver would not even do what you want. they are for unpowered speakers and (ignoring zone 2 functions here) are for playing from one source at a time not multiples.

i think you already found your answer, but what you want is generally reserved for professional audio.



 

kenn213

Distinguished
Jul 14, 2009
2
0
18,510
0
Thanks ssddx for the reply. Most of what you said sounds along the same lines as what I've heard in the past. It seems crazy to me that there isn't a simple solution for this on the market for someone trying to mix audio signals together.

Is there maybe a sound card with multiple optical/3.5mm inputs I could use and then just run all this through my PC?

Are there speaker systems that have multiple inputs that can be heard simultaneously?
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
outside of the film and music industries there is very little demand for digital mixing which is why consumer grade products do not exist. while you might think it a common question, i've only heard the question on mixing optical signals twice here. the digital mixing typically done by consumers and hobbyists can all be done with the multiple sources of audio commonly found and connected to computers.

now, mixing analog signals is a much more common question as you need to do this when working with microphones, windows sound and headphones/speakers when doing things such as youtube or for home bands. there exist cheap options for this given that there are many people who fiddle around with audio and recording as a hobby in the form of analog mixers and audio interfaces. as i said before you could technically get this to work although it would be a nightmare of a setup.

i'm not aware of any soundcard with more than a single optical input.

i'm not aware of any with multiple digital AND optical or just multiple optical inputs. getting analog input speakers to play from multiple sources is not hard although without a mixer getting unique volume levels from them would not be possible.
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
K Audio 1
D Audio 3
J Audio 1
B Audio 1
P Audio 1
A Audio 1
J Audio 1
J Audio 2
N Audio 5
P Audio 1
J Audio 3
J Audio 2
F Audio 1
W Audio 1
V Audio 1
V Audio 1
B Audio 1
D Audio 2
M Audio 5
G Audio 1

ASK THE COMMUNITY