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Connecting 2.1 speakers to a laptop


dallasxanadu
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I've got a laptop that I'm trying to replace my desktop with. Via USB-C I've got USB, HDMI, card readers, Ethernet, etc. I'm trying to use the 3.5 mm audio input on the hub to drive my older Altec-Lansing 2.1 speaker system. Apparently the grounding protocols aren't compatible. The maker of the hub says theirs uses a standard known as CTIA, no telling what my 20-year-old speakers set uses, but it has fewer notches on the plug than the CTIA plugs I've seen online. I'll attach a pic. Anybody know of an adapter I can use, or a different method of connection? The speakers sound great still, don't really want to buy new ones.

altec plug.jpg

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Is that the only audio connector from your speakers? It is a monaural plug and not appropriate for  2.1, which requires a stereo plug. If I were to guess, that cable and plug connects to the subwoofer of the 2.1 system. The speakers should have another cable for input from the computer. How did you have speakers the connected before? What is the exact model number of your Altec-Lansing system?

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Yep, I realized I had the cables routed wrong.  The mono connects the left and right satellites, the stereo runs from the computer to the sub. i thought I had just unplugged the one cable from the computer, but apparently in moving things around they all were unplugged at some point.  Sometimes I forget to check the most basic and obvious solutions.  Like turning on the power on occasion :$  For the record, Altec-Lansing ACS 48 speakers. I've had them almost 20 years, still haven't found a reason to replace them.

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 Your first post says you are jacking a whole ton of stuff in through USB-C.  I'm failing to see what that has to do with plugging a 3.5mm male cable into 3.5mm female plug on your laptop.  Why do you need to use the third party unsupported hub?

 

Alternate answer is buy a DAC and decent RCA to 3.5mm adapter.  Forgo the hub and run as long of a USB 2.0 cord as needed between laptop and DAC.  This should actually be the first part of my reply but... :)

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The 3.5 mm plugs into the hub, there's no audio out other than USB-C on the laptop.  I figured out the cable issue as described above, and now it works like a charm.  Probably not the most high-fidelity solution (which is mostly to do with the ASUS sound card I have on my desktop vs the one in the laptop), but good enough for what I use it for.  I didn't know until recently how much you could do with USB-C.  I guess I assumed it was a faster version of USB.  Here's what it looks like, printer and scanner into USB, Ethernet, card reader, HDMI out and audio out. Also has a USB-C to replace the one it's using.  Not overly elegant but effective.

WP_20171231_11_03_00_Pro (2).jpg

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