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Help with External Sound Card Config

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Buying, Setup & General Help' started by Rob7389, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. Rob7389

    Rob7389 Member

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    Hi,

    I need some advice on what equipment I need, and how to configure it, for my media setup in my room at university. Here's the situation:

    I have a PS3 and a Mac Mini that I wish to connect up to a single pair of relatively low budget 2.0 speakers. I'm thinking the best way to do this on my budget is via an external sound card. What I want to know is, is there a particular external sound card that would allow me to connect the PS3 via optical audio (already have the cable necessary, saves hassle) and the Mac via a standard 3.5mm cable, or an additional optical port via a TOSlink cable. So essentially what I'm after is an external sound card with the following:

    either: 2 x Optical inputs or 1 x Optical AND 1 x 3.5mm input
    and: 1 x 3.5mm output jack.

    Hope this is clear enough, if anyone could help me out and let me know the feasibility of this kind of setup, any potential alternative methods and any recommended equipment.

    Thanks,
    Rob
  2. noiseboy72

    noiseboy72 Reviewer

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    Why not just plug them both in via analogue into the amp via 3.5mm to phono or whatever input your amp for the speakers has ? If it is a budget system, you won't hear the quality improvements over the optical route.
  3. Rob7389

    Rob7389 Member

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    Sorry, think you've misunderstood. All I have is a pair of 2.0 PC speakers that connect only via 3.5mm. There's no amp yet, and the PS3 doesn't have 3.5mm headphone out. It's not really about sound quality in this case, it's just about the way of setting it all up with the least cabling and hassle.
  4. noiseboy72

    noiseboy72 Reviewer

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    Ahh, OK, so you could just use a phono to 3.5mm converter and just plug in the source you want ?

    If the Mac mini has a line in, you could even run the PS3 through it and just fade it up when required.

    Some mini PC speakers also have 2 inputs, so you could just plug both sources in and just mute or switch off the source you are not using.
  5. noiseboy72

    noiseboy72 Reviewer

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  6. Rob7389

    Rob7389 Member

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    Okay thanks for your help. Think I've got it down to a couple of options. Your way would mean I don't need to buy any extra equipment apart from the adapter, although I might just be tempted to either get some new speakers that'll hook up to both as standard, or buy a new monitor that has a pair of HDMI inputs and headphone out port. I'll ponder it for a few weeks, thanks again for your help.

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