URGENT HELP - NEW MEMBER - sorry if posted again


Standard Member
Hi there everyone,

Firstly many appologies for being such a new member but I am in a bit of a dilema and really need any help.

I recently purchased Bose 301 Direct/Reflecting Speaker system

the link is here for more details


Now basically I have an apple mac laptop, latest model how do I connect this to the speakers.

Apparently I would need an amp, the bose shop suggested a stereo amp this one

Cambridge Audio TOPAZ AM1 Black | Stereo Amplifier | Richer Sounds

but it has a third dial button thing on the far right which i'm not sure what it would do

Can anyone suggest a suffienct amplifier which would easily out put the watts of the speaker making the sound crystal quality as far as I can see are 10-150watts per channel what ever this means.

I'm only going to run these two speakers through the amp so would it be a 2 channel amp?

:lease: im not good on amps or the wiring i would need from the laptop to amp

my budget is up to roughly 100£s ish

and a website or place to buy these things

Appreciate your help

Jay Jay


Established Member
All you need to do is:

1. Buy an amplifier. The one linked to should do the trick, although bear in mind that model doesn't come with a remote (if that's likely to bother you?).

2. Buy a cable to connect from the 'headphone out' socket on your laptop to a line-level input at the back of you amplifier (e.g. Aux / MP3 in). Cable is something like this, but there should be cheaper ones available that do the same thing: Superfi - QED PERFORMANCE J2P INTERCONNECT (1.5 METRES)

3. Connect your speakers to the amplifier ensuring that + and - at the amplifier end matches + and - on the speaker inputs.

4. Power up the amplifier, turn the input dial to 'Aux / MP3' and enjoy the music. :thumbsup:


Established Member
The sound quality will depend on how good the sound card in you laptop is, and of course, the quality of the MP3's you're listening to.

If you want the best sound quality (assuming all high-quality MP3 files), you'll need a DAC (digital to analogue converter) to create the following chain:

Laptop -> DAC -> Amplifier

DAC's range in price from affordable to very expensive, but something like the DacMagic should work nicely:

Cambridge Audio DACMAGIC Silver | DAC | Richer Sounds

Or the Musical Fidelity V-DAC, which is slightly cheaper. (There are many others out there, these are just examples off the top of my head.)

How you connect your laptop to the DAC depends on the available outputs from the laptop and available inputs on the DAC. Some DAC's accept USB input from the laptop, and I believe the latest DacMagic offers wireless streaming. Some laptops can send a digital signal from the earphone / speaker out socket, which can also plug into a DAC.

Before buying a DAC I'd first suggest connecting directly from the laptop to the amplifier to hear what it sounds like. You might feel that the quality is good enough for your needs. If not, then start looking around for a DAC.


Established Member
You will need a large 12 volt power supply for that amp as it is designed for car/boat use. Though it could work okay.
You'd be better off with a proper hi-fi integrated amp though, the Cambridge one will do. The input selector switch is designed so you can plug a radio tuner or other things into it - but of course you don't need to.


Established Member
ok thanks for this

I just don't basically understand why there is a dial on the amp for like cd, aux/mp3 etc...


You can plug different sources into the amplifier, like a CD player, tuner, laptop, DAC etc. You then use the dial to choose which source you want to hear.


Standard Member
wouldn't then I be able to just get an amp which would just do mp3 aux or have a 2 channel input with a volume dial rather than .....an amp for other sources which i wont be needing :lease:
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Standard Member
sorry just for got to add if i was to go for the cambridge amp if i was to choose the cd dial rather than aux/mp3 would this change sound quality


Established Member
All the inputs will sound the same, they just put labels on to make it easier for you to remember what you've plugged in. Some companies just call their inputs 1, 2, and 4 (or however many they have).

The reason you rarely see Amps with only 2 inputs is because that's not where amps are expensive. The difference in price between 2, 4 or 6 inputs is neither here not there so they give you several so as not to limit you too much.



Distinguished Member
First, you probably paid in the range of £300 to £500 per pair for your speakers, and yet, you only want to spend up to £100 on an amp.

And you have conflicting desires, you want -

"sound crystal quality"

"best sound quality"

...but you only want to pay £100 or less to get it.

The Cambridge amp will be a good casual listening amp, and will likely work with your Bose speakers. It may be all you need to be satisfied in an amp, but I personally don't recommend that you go less than about 40w/channel in an amp.

The difference between a good amp and an OK amps is about an additional £50. If you can't come up with that extra money, they you will have to settle for an OK amp. Now, an OK amp is OK, but just OK.

Personally, I would recommend the Denon PMA510 45/ch for RicherSounds.com for £159. Full features quality amp at a bargain price.

Or the Cambridge Topaz AM5 (£119) which has tone controls, a trace more power (25w/ch), but still no remote control. A remote is not that critical if you are using it for pure music. But if you plan to watch TV or movies, a remote control can be very handy.

Alternatives would be the Pioneer A209R 35w/ch ~£149 with remote.

Pioneer A109R 30w/ch £130.

Onkyo A9155 30w/ch £149.

You might consider this as an alternative, but it is only slightly better than the Cambridge, and cost slightly more -


Again, if you are determined to stay under £100, then the Cambridge Topaz AM1 is probably as good as any. Though you will be better off if you can come up with an additional £50 to put into the amp.

As to the Inputs on the amp, they are all identical regardless of what they are labeled (AUX, CD, TAPE, etc...) WITH ONE EXCEPTION; you can NOT use the PHONO input, that is strictly for turntables.

The amp, which ever one you buy, will come with an owner's manual that will show you how to connect everything.

But then ... that's just one man's opinion.

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