ProSpeaker Breakout Cable, by Griffin
Posted: 29-Sep-2002

4 1/2 out of 5 Mice

Vendor: Griffin Technology Type: COMMERCIAL

Reviewer: Bill Catambay Class: HARDWARE


Griffin Technology brings us the ProSpeaker Breakout Cable, a cable that allows you to connect any set of home stereo speakers to a Digital Audio PowerMac G4 or new iMac. Your Mac powers the speakers and no additional external amplifier is necessary. It lets you listen to iTunes or movie soundtracks through real audiophile quality speakers like Infinity, Boston Acoustics, B&W, JBL, Polk, and more.

Features

  • Allows you to hook up any home stereo speakers to your iMac or PowerMac
  • Uses Apple's built-in amplifier, no external power or receiver necessary
  • True plug-and-play with no additional software required
  • Industry standard spring-loaded speaker connectors
  • 4-foot cable extends installation options
  • MSRP 25.00

System Requirements

  • LCD iMac or all PowerMac G4ís over 500 MHz
  • MacOS 8.6 or later


Connection
The ProSpeaker Breakout Cable connects to Appleís Pro Speaker Jack available on the new LCD iMac and all PowerMac G4ís over 500 MHz (the same output that Apple uses to connect their Apple Pro Speakers). The other side of the cable contains a pair of spring loaded speaker connectors ready for connecting with speaker wire directly to your speakers. The power comes directly from your Mac ñ no additional hardware or software is necessary.

For this review, I hooked up the speaker to my G4/867, and I connected two Polk Audio speakers to the speaker jacks. It was that simple. The one caveat is that you must disconnect any USB speaker connections (such as iSub or iSticks). Both speaker setups cannot be used simultaneously.

The speaker jacks supports to speaker connections, but you could easily hook up 4 speakers by doubling up on each jack. There is no need to have additional jacks, since the Mac's audio output only supports 2-channel stereo.

In Use
I was very impressed with the setup. Not only was is super easy to connect the speakers, but the thing I liked the most was that these high quality Polk speakers were powered completely through the speaker wire by my G4. With the iSub, and many other computer speakers, you have to worry about power, which means that another power cable is cluttering the already cluttered space under your desk.

The sound was magnificant, just as if it was part of a stereo system. The output is rich and clear, and plays both the highs and lows with great quality. It is amazing to me how such a simple setup could yield such awesome results. Of course, your mileage will vary depending upon the quality of speaker you choose to hook up.

Conclusion
For just $25, you can hook up any set of home speakers to your Digital Audio Mac that you desire. If you already have an iSub, iSticks, or other USB speaker setup that you want to keep, then this cable is not for you, as it does not work with a USB audio system. If you don't have any external speakers, or you have some poor quality ones, then consider getting the ProSpeaker Breakout Cable and hooking up your favorite speakers to your Mac. The output quality matches the performance of the speakers, and best yet, you will get this quality without having another power cable strewn across the floor. With a simple hookup and sweet quality, this cable is highly recommended.

Pros:

  • Speakers powered by Mac - no external power supply required
  • Easy and simple setup
  • Hook up any set of speakers you desire

Cons:

  • Does not work with USB speaker systems
  • Supports only 2 speakers, requiring doubling up to connect 4 speakers


Mac Rating:

4 1/2 out of 5 Mice