11 Replies Latest reply: Dec 4, 2013 1:02 PM by Shadowraven
rosuna Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

My Mac Pro 3,1 computer with Mountain Lion recognizes the speakers, but they don't play anymore.


Is there a way to get them working again?

MacMini, MacBook Air, MacPro, Mac OS X (10.6.5)
  • Allan Jones Level 7 Level 7 (32,570 points)

    If you mean the ball-shaped Apple Pro speakers, the only non-custom way is with a discontinued Griffin Technologies adaptor that, due to demand and short supply, can sell for over US$200:


    http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B00013MRT8/ref=dp_olp_0?ie=UTF8&condition =all


    Your current issue is that the audo ports on your MP do not provide power. The special audio port on the G4 Cube and other comtemporaries was special in that, in addition to providing an audio signal, it provided power to the speakers. Otherwise the speaker have no power source. Another technology that Apple created, hyped, and then let die.


    Someone posted a link to instructions on how to home-build an adaptor that would work similarly to the Griffin iFire but I can't find the link at the moment. I recall that the build was not a trivial task.

  • rosuna Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you very much Allan.


    Do you know those USB cables with two A conectors?


    Portable external HDs usually have those cables. They need a doble conection to the computer. I think it is due to power needs of the unit.


    One of these cables may do the work...

  • Allan Jones Level 7 Level 7 (32,570 points)

    Let's make sure we are talking about the same speakers. When I hear "G4 Cube speakers" I think of these:




    A special USB cable can't help these. If you are talking about different speakers, please post more details like brand and model name/number.

  • rosuna Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    No, no exactly.


    Those are the Apple Pro Speakers.


    My speakers are those that came with the Apple Cube computer. Very similar, but not the same.


    My speakers have a small amplifier (I think it is that):



  • Allan Jones Level 7 Level 7 (32,570 points)

    Sorry, not familiar with those! What kind of audio plug do they use. It there an Apple part number on them?


    If these worked for you in an older version of OSX and the function ceased with OS 10.8 on teh same computer, you may do better to see if there is information (or a smarter helper!) in the Mountian Lion forum here:


    OS X Mountain Lion

  • rosuna Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    There are no audio plugs at all... just an USB cable, for power and audio.


    Thank you very much...

  • Allan Jones Level 7 Level 7 (32,570 points)

    Then a Y-cable may indeed help if there are no other power sources for the spealers. They must be the H-K version.


    Please keep us posted on what you find. That can always help others.

  • Bo Petersen Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    I have just bought a new Mac Mini and has been very annoyed that probably the best computer speakers ever made (those in the picture above from Rosuna) included with the Cube didn't work with Mac Mini. Putting in an older driver described on another site made the speakers able to play with "only" some nuisance when changing volume but then turning the volume from moderate to full made them totally mute. This thread lead me to the problem of the Mac Mini's USB ports having inadequate power output so I put the speaker USB cable back into the separately powered USB hub I've always used, more because the speaker USB cable is so short it couldn't reach the Cube and later my PowerMac on the floor. With this setup the speakers are able to play at full volume as before with the Mac Mini. It's a more than ten years old USB hub, but I think it's able to deliver 500 mA to each of it's four ports.

  • rosuna Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you very much Bo!


    I will try with a separately powered USB hub!

  • Rajapintaja Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have the cube speakers with a black box and Pyrex cover inside is an amp that is connected to the USB port on the cube.to power the speakers, I will try them on a lamp shade Mac I never did this before ,my cube speakers are damaged the rubber around the driver outside rot away by Sendai Japan high humidity ,I have been researching on how to fix them. Also there is a headphone 3.5 socket female on the black box ,they sounded ok once but ,the humidity in Japan rots paper and the suspension rubber ring around speakers is a big problem and it is difficult to repair and get spares.


    I also have 4 lampshades and 5 sets of Apple pro speakers with that Y shape 2.5 pin ,inside the round part is a chip to detect the connection to the lamp shade Mac socket and many people have tried to connect various plugs inside are red and black short wires plus the blue - white +  and brown - yellow + ,accordind to some the 4 sections of the pin are speaker left right terminals and the shield is part of the red or black from the pin to the mother board the signal activates the speakers but will not work if plugged to 2.5 stereo socket . I bought 2 pair of headphone microphone with the same 2.5 pin 4 section terminal but the female socket is a micro phone headphone socket so the signal is different.


    There have been 3 solutions to these speakers 1 the ifire griffin adapter now not made and really expensive 2 an Apple pro speakers extension 2.5 socket plug 6 foot cable also not made anymore 3 an adapter to fit into the lampshade 2.5 socket and connect speakers to the amp like red black pincher terminals not sure this is also no longer made .


    I cut up 2 Apple pro speaker cables to see where the wires go so I am making an adapter for my 4 sets each speaker is 4 Ohms so they must be connected in series to make 2 x 2 pairs for each channel


    They are difficult to work out because of that chip I do not want to cut out that chip but to by pass it some how.

    Is anyone trying to do the same thing please let's work together and solve this problem the speakers make a good sound and it is a shame Apple went to all the trouble to prevent the speakers being used by themselves.

  • Shadowraven Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have some of these speakers and I too am wondering if there is a way to use them with my computer and iPod. I would be interested in anything you find or if you want to work together, I don't know how but maybe we can figure it out.