Skip navigation

Outputting 5.1 Channel Surround Sound from your Mac

75359 Views 83 Replies Latest reply: Apr 15, 2014 10:21 AM by jacbey_portes RSS Branched to a new discussion.
  • waldo3125 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the response Lance.  Things still aren't working well for me, my receiver is still being shown as a stereo LCD TV for some reason.  I'll keep fooling around with it.

  • Lance Mcvickar Level 1 Level 1 (95 points)

    Here's an idea, try removing your television from the equation and just have your av amp connected to your Mac. Then if it shows up as the AV amp  not LCD TV try plugging the TV while everything is turned on and see what happens there.

    I have my macbookpro connected directly to my av amp then the ampt to the TV. My pioneer plasma doesn't have any speakers. Perhaps there is some kind of pass through going on because your tv has speakers, try and set the TV audio in to analog so they are not seen by the amp, I know I'm reaching here but my guess is your tv is taking control of the audio some how.

  • prismoe Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I've followed your guide and I'm getting noise out of all my speakers (5.1) when I click on the test buttons in the Audio MIDI Setup. When I'm trying to do a 5.1 sound test from youtube or when I try to play a .MKV file I'm only getting sound out of two speakers, any ideas that can help me?


    I used 48000.0 HZ and 8ch-16bit Integer so that I could choose 5.1 in the dropdown meny in Audio MIDI Setup.

  • Lance Mcvickar Level 1 Level 1 (95 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 22, 2013 8:08 AM (in response to prismoe)

    VLC should be able to output the surround track of a .mkv file. I have never tried surround off YouTube.

    Again the audio midi setup  surround settings 5.1 etc are for when you are using apps like logic and Final Cut Pro.

    If yo are using VLC selecting the proper audio track and output in vlc's preferences should auto switch your amp to surround mode. I have found that iTunes only does surroundsound if you purchased or rent a movie from iTunes, if it was a video that you converted with handbrake and it has a surround track iTunes still won't play that surround track but VLC will.

  • Lance Mcvickar Level 1 Level 1 (95 points)

    My comments were based on mini display port to hdmi, not toslink, but I just  currently connected with toslinki so will do some testing with it when I get some time. And see what the differences are. I guess not all macs are created equal when it comes to surround sound and then you have all the different AV amps as part of the mix.

  • prismoe Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 22, 2013 10:15 AM (in response to parker612)

    I've managed to get 5.1 out of my speakers when watching the .mkv file but I'm still not able to get 5.1 out off the YouTube Video (The exact same video plays just fine in 5.1 when I watch it from my PS3 connected to the same receiver).


    Thank you for the guide btw without it I would still have been stuck with my old 2.0 setup.

  • prismoe Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    My Mac is connected via Thunderbolt to hdmi to reciever and yes I'm watching the YouTube video in 720p.

  • prismoe Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    That seems really strange to me will I be able to have both cables connected at the same time and do I need to do some kind of switching / settings fixing when going from watching a YouTube video to a .mkv file?

  • Jon Braeley Level 2 Level 2 (170 points)

    I am connecting a retina MBP to a new Denon receiver as I could not find a replacement for my Saffire interface that died. I want to get 5.1 from FCPX so I can monitor and mix.


    I tried the Toslink optical and as Parker says - you can get 5.1 even though it states stereo but the problem is that I find it is not true 5.1. I get all 5 speakers outputting the same audio channel from FCPX.


    I will go out and by a HDMI cable and try that.  There is a lot of misinofrmation out there because I saw some posts that said retina's HDMI does not output 5.1.


    I will check in here later. thanks.

  • Jon Braeley Level 2 Level 2 (170 points)

    It appears that the Retina HDMI port has a problem when attaching an ext. display like my thunderbolt display. When I attached the HDMI cable and turn on the Denon receiver my thunderbolt display goes blank or at least no menus and folders are visible. If I turn off the receiver it goes back to normal.


    Here is the thread -


    Not sure what my options are... not use the HDMI port? But why should I buy a thunderbolt-hdmi adapter when I alraedy have an HDMI port? This a terrible bug.

  • Unmesh_va Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 13, 2013 12:02 AM (in response to waldo3125)

    Hi Waldo, Did you resolved the isse you had because I am in the same situation. I am trying to route the sound to my HT system but the MBP is recognizing only stereo out thru my optical out from headphone jack even if I remove the mini display port cable and try. Can you help me if you fixed it.


More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (4)


  • This solved my question - 10 points
  • This helped me - 5 points
This site contains user submitted content, comments and opinions and is for informational purposes only. Apple disclaims any and all liability for the acts, omissions and conduct of any third parties in connection with or related to your use of the site. All postings and use of the content on this site are subject to the Apple Support Communities Terms of Use.