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Windows 7: Multiple Speaker Systems from One Computer


12 Feb 2013   #1

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 
Multiple Speaker Systems from One Computer

My computer build (which is currently on hold because the MOBO I want is out of stock everywhere I trust) will eventually need to drive two or (preferably) three powered sound systems similar to this one (I wouldn't use that one; when the time comes, I would buy locally so I can actually hear them first and they would be much nicer). Each sound system would be in a different room and I would have to run cables to each one. Would the MOBO's (ASUS P877Z-V DELUXE or PREMIUM) built in audio be able to drive them by using simple Y splitters coming out of the computer or would I need to add a sound card for each extra speaker system? All speakers would be playing the same thing.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Feb 2013   #2

Windows 7, 64 bit Home SP1, Win 8.1.1 Pro 64 bit
 
 

You can only have one default audio playback device so multiple sound cards are not an option.

The audio out (Speaker out) will handle more than one system, whether it will handle 3 ???? You will have to be concerned with distance from the PC, too. Much over about 20 ft and there will be signal loss and some audio deterioration. The output from the PC is not a low impedence "speaker" type, it's a higher impedence audio signal and thus can be affected by cable length (how much ??? but it will have some deterioration. I'm a musician and an guitar amp tech and run a recording studio).

You can give it a try, but if it doesn't work you will have to use some type of distribution amplifier.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Feb 2013   #3

Windows 7 Premium 64
 
 

It seems like it might be a better idea to just buy one stereo receiver/amplifier that had the features you require along with several sets of floorstanding or bookshelf speakers and hook the amp up to your computer and run nice thick speaker wire from the amp to the speakers. I might not be understanding what you're suggesting, but I really don't see how it would work based on the way I'm reading your post as the wire that would connect the computer to the powered systems (would it be headphone extension cable?) is really crappy and thin, plus the length from the computer to the systems seems like it would require lots of extension cables involving several interconnects, with interconnects being the weakest links that can be quite prone to shorting out. By the time you bought all the cables/powered systems it seems like it would more than add up to the price of a good stereo receiver plus speakers.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Feb 2013   #4

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

For the two longer runs, I was going to make up my own cables from at least 16 AWG shielded cable so there would be only the connector at the splitter and at the system amp.

I wouldn't be running all three sets of speakers at the same time, depending where I was and what I was doing. When I move to different quarters in the future (a travel trailer), I would want a set of speakers at the computer desk which will be in the living room and another set facing the couch, which would be 90 from the computer desk. Needless to say, if I'm listening from the couch, I wouldn't want the computer desk speakers running (and vice versa). I would also want the speakers facing the couch to be fed from the TV as well as the computer (not both at the same time, obviously). There would also be a set of speakers in the bedroom which I would like to receive input from both the computer and from a TV in the bedroom (again, not at the same time). Running cable for speakers from a central amp and switching them on and off at each location would be a nightmare. By using separate systems (2.1 since there won't be a place to put the rear speakers behind me although I might run a 5.1 system in the bedroom and opposite the couch to get the center speaker to avoid the hole in the middle; all speakers except the sub would have to be on the one wall), I can easily switch them on and off at each location with the systems' power switches. Another problem is that the speakers can't be large because of a lack of room (it's a travel trailer, remember?) and would have to hang off the wall.

Boosting the signal with an amp before the split is possible but I'm trying to minimize the boxes in the system (again, space constraints, not to mention the associated wiring jungle). Would a sound card have a stronger signal output than the on-board audio from the MOBO?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Feb 2013   #5

Windows 7 Pro-x64
 
 

I got two sets of Cyber Acoustics Model CA-3602 for the PC but I've since moved one set to the bedroom TV. These have a desktop control pod with On / off switch, Master volume, Bass volume, Headphone output jack and Aux in. It's 30 Watts RMS (6,6,18) in a 2.1 configuration. The pod would allow you to turn the speakers on or off in the individual rooms and control the volume in that room. It will rattle the walls if turned up full with bass. It uses a single stereo mini jack at the PC so it's 3-wire high impedance. The problem is that this type of interconnect is limited to about 20-30'. The shorter the better as the cable starts chopping or attenuating the high frequencies because of capacitance.

You didn't mention if this was for your personal listening while roaming from room to room or for individual listeners in the rooms. If this is just for roaming, you might consider wireless headphones. You could run your system speakers and the headphone transmitter off a stereo Y-splitter. I also have the wireless headphones for the bedroom TV.

For long runs, it's better to have long speaker wire than to have long interconnects.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Feb 2013   #6

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

It's personal listening and I would be spending most of my time in one room at a time (other than quick pit stops). Wireless headphones aren't an option except, maybe, for outside; I wouldn't want to be listening to them while in bed, for example.

I already have a 5.1 Logitech system very similar to what you have. I had thought of getting a pair of Bose when I went shopping for speakers a few years ago after hearing a pair on a friend's MAC (we have "interesting" and fun discussions re: MAC vs. Windows) but, after listening in the store (yeah, I know, lousy acoustics) but I liked the sound of the Logitech better (5.1 hasn't worked out well, though, since there isn't room for proper placement of the back speakers; I'll probably move them up front with the front speakers and run the system on 2.1 ). I also liked the control pod the Logitech has since the speakers had to go on a high bookshelf (there just isn't room on the desk for them). I feel Bose is overrated (and overpriced) for computer speakers.

Long runs are going to be the bugaboo. The living room run would be roughly 30-35 ft and the bedroom run would be roughly 45-50 ft. The living room speakers would be located in a slide out and I might be able to locate the sub and amp (both are one unit) in the non-slide area (where to put it would be a problem) and run separate speaker wires to the wall in the slide but I couldn't do that in the bedroom since the sub would have to be in that room.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Feb 2013   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

I have those Logitech Z313 speakers....let me tell you...I was overly surprised and the sound quality they produced. To boot (slang), I got them as a gift for christmas one year. Let me tell you, they are the best bang for the buck on the 2.1 side of it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Feb 2013   #8

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Actually, the ones I have are the now discontinued X-540. I paid only half at Best Buy of what Amazon's MarketPlace Thief...er...Vendor wants. Considering how the value has increased, mayhap I should sell mine and buy two better ones.

I agree, the sound is much better than one would expect from such small speakers.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Feb 2013   #9

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7600
 
 

i have my computer connected to an amplifier , my amp has several speaker connections and a feature to select different speakers. so set A front room ,set B bedroom or whatever way you want them.
Its a Technics amp and around 10 years old, i suspect that newer amps have these features for more sets.
maybe A,B,C,D this would be a decent solution
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Feb 2013   #10

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by boohbah View Post
i have my computer connected to an amplifier , my amp has several speaker connections and a feature to select different speakers. so set A front room ,set B bedroom or whatever way you want them.
Its a Technics amp and around 10 years old, i suspect that newer amps have these features for more sets.
maybe A,B,C,D this would be a decent solution
Except where do I place the amp (I'm not kidding when I say space will be a problem; heck it's a problem where I'm at now and it's larger)? I would also have to go from the bedroom to the living room to turn things on and off.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Multiple Speaker Systems from One Computer




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