3 Replies Latest reply: Jun 13, 2009 2:54 AM by Kenichi Watanabe
wic Level 1 (0 points)

I recently bought a high-end toslink cable which I connected from the optical/digital out from my iMac to my receiver. The sound quality is excellent, however I noticed that all sounds now gets passed to my Hifi system all the time. The only way (I could find) to route sound to the internal speakers is by physically unplug the cable. This is really not workable in the long run as it wears down the plug and, not to mention, my patience...

So, anyone know any way to switch output to internal speakers w/o having to unplug the cable? Or is there another approach (I'm thinking Airport Express)?


iMac, Mac OS X (10.5.7)
  • rkaufmann87 Level 9 (55,303 points)
    Can you give us an idea of what sound you want output to the receiver and what you want to go to the internal speakers? For example I like to listen to my iTunes content through my home theater system due to it's excellent sound compared to my internal speakers. For that I use and Airport Express and Air Tunes which works very well. For other sounds like email alarms, start up gongs, etc I use the internal speakers.

    I think you are on the right track though with the AEX connecting to your receiver.


  • wic Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for you reply.

    My music is played through iTunes. Also I'm using Spotify from time to time. I'm thinking about using Plex for movies and maybe sound as well since it's easy to use with a hdmi link to my TV setup. Sound effects should of course go to the internal speakers.

    Message was edited by: wic
  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 (33,189 points)
    Unfortunately, you cannot select +Internal speakers+ in System Preferences Sound pane Output tab, if you have something plugged into the audio output port.

    If you got an AirPort Express, its AirTunes feature would certainly work for iTunes output. However, I believe AirTunes would only play the output of iTunes. So it would work great as long as you were only playing songs and videos using iTunes, because all other sounds will come from your computer speakers. No need to change any setting manually, after you are done listening over the stereo system. However, it would not work so great, if you wanted the audio output of some other programs to be played from the stereo system; but there seems to be a third-party solution for that issue


    If you have separate powered computer speakers that connect using a standard mini-jack, one alternative is to get a USB (or possibly FireWire) sound output device (if you want to be able to change the sound output setting manually). The least expensive one may be the Griffin iMic.


    It provides a second sound output port over USB, so it should show up as a separate choice in System Preferences Sound pane Output tab. Therefore, you should be able to use the Sound preference pane to manually switch the sound output from you stereo system to the computer speakers connected over the USB iMic.