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Latest post 11-01-2011 9:01 AM by soundproof. 21 replies.
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  • 07-14-2009 4:04 PM

    Beolab3 and Macbook Pro

    Hi,

    I've a Beolab 3 connected directly to Macbook Pro's headphone output (using cable converter) and if Beolab3 is on and if I unplug the cable from the laptop then it will make a crackling sound. I assume this is not good for the speakers? (I usually have to unplug the Beolab3 before I unplug the cable which is a pain)

    But the main problem is that occasionally (maybe after 2-3hrs) I hear a popping sound from the speakers. I'm not sure if this is the beolab3 problem or the Macbook Pro's problem. What do you think?

    I have an external monitor and external hard drive connected to the laptop too. So I don't if this cause some sort of electrical interference after a period of time??

    Please help! 

    Filed under: , , ,
  • 07-15-2009 6:43 AM In reply to

    Re: Beolab3 and Macbook Pro

    wowmix:
    I've a Beolab 3 connected directly to Macbook Pro's headphone output (using cable converter) and if Beolab3 is on and if I unplug the cable from the laptop then it will make a crackling sound. I assume this is not good for the speakers? (I usually have to unplug the Beolab3 before I unplug the cable which is a pain)

    Is not recommended unplugging active speaker before turning off a laptop (or a computer), but if you have to do it, before unplugging the speakers i recommend you put the laptop in mute mode.

    wowmix:
    But the main problem is that occasionally (maybe after 2-3hrs) I hear a popping sound from the speakers. I'm not sure if this is the beolab3 problem or the Macbook Pro's problem. What do you think?

    I have the same problem with a MacBook Pro + BeoPlink PC 2 Set Up. The solution is to "midvolume" the computer Wink

    Jq. BS4 BL3 A8 Form2

  • 07-15-2009 8:08 AM In reply to

    Re: Beolab3 and Macbook Pro

    Put a Cambridge DacMagic or similar between your computer and the BL3s. The speakers are too good for just the minijack analog out from the computer, and internal noise from the computer's power supply is seriously reducing the quality of what you could otherwise be enjoying.

    You'll also avoid getting the switch-on noises, and you will not be restricting the quality by having to use the volume control in the computer.

    Line OUT from the DAC to the speakers, and optical Toslink or USB from the computer to the DacMagic. You'll get wonderful sound.

  • 07-15-2009 8:34 AM In reply to

    Re: Beolab3 and Macbook Pro

    soundproof:

    Put a Cambridge DacMagic or similar between your computer and the BL3s. The speakers are too good for just the minijack analog out from the computer, and internal noise from the computer's power supply is seriously reducing the quality of what you could otherwise be enjoying.

    You'll also avoid getting the switch-on noises, and you will not be restricting the quality by having to use the volume control in the computer.

    Line OUT from the DAC to the speakers, and optical Toslink or USB from the computer to the DacMagic. You'll get wonderful sound.

    Great idea Yes -  thumbs up

    Jq. BS4 BL3 A8 Form2

  • 07-16-2009 6:59 PM In reply to

    Re: Beolab3 and Macbook Pro

    Can I double checked then before I go out and buy a DAC. So hearing the loud random popping sound doesn't mean that my MacBook Pro has got a problem with its sound card?

    This is not the sound of beolab3 turning on and off, I know that's normal. This is more like electrical interference. So it is normal to hear it with Macbook pro and Beolab3? unless it is something wrong with my speakers? but hope not as I used it recently with other device and it seems fine. I need to know that it is not the problem with the laptop other wise I will do something about it while it is under warrantee. Any confirmation? If I ask Apple they will probably say it is normal!

     

    Thanks.

  • 07-16-2009 11:11 PM In reply to

    • TWG
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • Joined on 04-17-2007
    • Germany
    • Posts 950
    • Gold Member

    Re: Beolab3 and Macbook Pro

    wowmix:

    Hi,

    I've a Beolab 3 connected directly to Macbook Pro's headphone output (using cable converter) and if Beolab3 is on and if I unplug the cable from the laptop then it will make a crackling sound. I assume this is not good for the speakers? (I usually have to unplug the Beolab3 before I unplug the cable which is a pain)

    But the main problem is that occasionally (maybe after 2-3hrs) I hear a popping sound from the speakers. I'm not sure if this is the beolab3 problem or the Macbook Pro's problem. What do you think?

    Please help! 

    I think you should connect your speakers to another source (e.g. a MP3 player, portable CD player ...) and test if they produce the same popping sound  after 2-3hrs while connected to another system. Then you know if your speakers or the Computer has a problem.

    But after my experience with the Macbook Pros I think the computer is the problem because of its lousy audio hardware - which is very funny as this should be a "PRO" notebook even for musicians ;-)

     

  • 07-17-2009 3:00 AM In reply to

    Re: Beolab3 and Macbook Pro

    @TWG

    Hey, don't diss Apple! Strictly forbidden!!! Big Smile

    Actually, the Macbook Pro, and even the puny little Mac mini, is just perfect for music production - but in music production you connect via Firewire or USB, preferably Firewire for pro grade satellite equipment (soundcards, etc.) And you do not use the on-board "iPod and plastic speakers" intended DAC circuitry.

    The analog minijack out is not useful for much other than earbuds, really. The DAC circuitry inside is not very good, and the unit is prone to noise from the power supply. (Jitter is substantially lower when the laptop runs on battery, for instance.)

    The amp's in the BL3s are very sensitive, and a build-up of static electricity will produce those pops. The level at which you have to set the volume (very low) tells you how sensitive those speakers are. You could also be getting pops from the minijack being moved slightly in the connecting jack.

    As Alex says - it makes absolutely no sense to have speakers as good as the BL3s, and then connecting to that minijack. There are less expensive DACs out there, but the advantage with a unit such as the DacMagic is that you can connect a variety of sources to it, and in this particular instance that you can use either the toslink optical or USB from the Mac.

    I use Firewire from my Mac mini to my soundcard, which is connected to my BL5s - with Firewire, you can slave the computer to the soundcard, which means that the computer will adjust to any settings in the soundcard (sample rate, etc), without my having to do so in the Audio MIDI Setup application. Also, Firewire has very good jitter-performance (which is why it is preferred by the music industry). But an FW connection is not crucial with the BL3s.

    The main reason why you want to put something between your Mac and the BL3s is to protect the speakers; a just as important reason is to get the sound they are capable of out of them. If B&O was smart, it would long ago have built a DAC intended to be used between computers and their active speakers, to be sold as a package. The next big wave in audiophile systems is going to be active speakers, and it's kind of a mystery why B&O isn't exploiting it better, given their total head start.

  • 07-17-2009 5:56 AM In reply to

    Re: Beolab3 and Macbook Pro

    So according to soundproof it is normal to expect the popping sound? I don't need to contact Apple to get my Macbook Pro fixed?

    I have no problem in investing a DAC once I know that the pops are something normal for the sensitive speakers such as Beolab3.

  • 07-17-2009 6:31 AM In reply to

    Re: Beolab3 and Macbook Pro

    Hi wowmix,

    You'll notice that when you insert the minijack, or disconnect it, no matter how carefully and slowly you do it, you'll get a lot of scraping in the speakers - at B&O this was explained to me as the result of changes in impedance while you are making the connection, and as the speakers are extremely responsive to anything coming down the wire (due to the in-built amplifiers), you get the scratching and loud pops.

    Similarly, if there's noise in the signal, for instance from static electricity, you'll get low pops and noise. Nothing wrong with either the speakers or the Mac - it's just that the circuit for the BL3s isn't designed to ignore this kind of signal noise, as it's assumed that they will be connected to a better source, and you want them as sensitive as possible.

    A DAC fixes the problem.

  • 07-17-2009 6:35 AM In reply to

    Re: Beolab3 and Macbook Pro

    ok, that is clear. Thank you very much!

  • 07-17-2009 8:27 AM In reply to

    • TWG
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • Joined on 04-17-2007
    • Germany
    • Posts 950
    • Gold Member

    Re: Beolab3 and Macbook Pro

    @Soundproof:

    I'm sorry that I talked negative about Apple ;-)
    But serious: Actualy their product line and quality is not the best. The audio part on my old Powerbook G4 is much better than on the modern Macbook Pro and than this glossy only display - nothing you can realy use on the move. It's ok at home but not while traveling.

    But yes, Apple is the better operating system, I still love it while my Mac mini is my little workhorse at home - it does everything fine :-)


    Back to topic:
    The noise problem while disconnecting audioplugs is normal on various systems if they are powered on and you pull the plugs. That's why most of the manuals say "turn all components off BEFORE making connections" :-)
     

  • 08-11-2009 6:20 AM In reply to

    Re: Beolab3 and Macbook Pro

    Hi soundproof,

    I bought a pair of Beolab 3 for my PC / Media Center and would like to throw in the Cambridge Audio DAC Magic. But I have a question: how am I suppose to control the volume of all other digital inputs (apart from the USB PC connect which i suppose i can control with Window's volume control.) Appreciate any thoughts and suggests.

    JC

    Filed under:
  • 10-27-2009 3:06 PM In reply to

    Re: Beolab3 and Macbook Pro

    I have a DACMAGIC. Download this and you will be able to control just as how you normally control the sound volumn on the laptop:

    http://www.cycling74.com/products/soundflower

  • 11-25-2009 3:32 PM In reply to

    Re: Beolab3 and Macbook Pro

    What kind of converter are you using to connect the Beolab 3's to your MBP, I want to buy the Beolab 3's and I already have a MacBook Pro but I don't seem to find any converter usable, so do you have a link to a shop?

  • 11-25-2009 11:35 PM In reply to

    Re: Beolab3 and Macbook Pro

    There is 2 ways to do that,

    you can buy an external DAC which might be delivering a better signal then what Apple dishes out on their "Line Out" plug.

    These DACS sometimes connect through USB or via optical out on the Macbook.

     

    The other way is, you go straight from the analogue line out on the Macbook to the "Powerlink" in on the BL3. Your dealer can supply the adapter for that. You will need this cable anyhow since the DAC will either support 3.5mm stereo (headphone) or a cinch plug.

     

    BL3 is an excellent choice. Enjoy. 

    BS9000, BS2300, BC2, BL2500, BL3, Bl2, BS1, BV8, BC4, A8

  • 11-26-2009 1:03 AM In reply to

    Re: Beolab3 and Macbook Pro

    The cable you are talking about, is that able to connect to a set of two, I'm going to buy a set of two BeoLab 3's and I want to connect them both as a setero set in my 3,5mm output.

    I know it's not the best solution for audio quality but I want to control the volume with my keyboard and remote(hardware), I don't know if that is possible with say a FireWire DAC. And the output always needs to be analog or an it be digital as well?

    I know this are some dumb questions but I don't want to mess up such a nice speakerset.

  • 11-26-2009 9:33 AM In reply to

    Re: Beolab3 and Macbook Pro

    I am not sure how that cable looks but I know they can order that, connecting 2 won't be a problem. I know about the soldering but would not recommend that since BL3 have issues with "hissing" if the wrong cable is used.

    I guess the DAC under the MAC would be controlled like any other audio device, with it's dedicated volume setting within system controls.

    Not sure if that reacts to the Apple Remote, it may not. Regardless, you may find the volume control too sensitive - that is the only thing I can see that could get messy.

     

    See below for some interesting info on Lab 3, Macs and DAB.

     

    http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/Volume-using-USB-PS-Audio-DAC-III

    BS9000, BS2300, BC2, BL2500, BL3, Bl2, BS1, BV8, BC4, A8

  • 11-26-2009 10:48 AM In reply to

    Re: Beolab3 and Macbook Pro

    I think I've found something usable;

    http://www.audio-magus.com/Super_Pro_DAC707SE_USB_p/109401.htm

    Looks like you can connect it with  USB (maybe the remote controls will work) or with toslink, then the volume surely will be controlable with my Mac's remote etc. But does USB sound better dan toslink?

    The output is okay because I know there are cables from RCA to 8-pin powerlink but I cannot find any of those cables on the internet, I searched for cinch/phono/rca to powerlink mk3/8-pin din but hadn't any luck.

  • 11-27-2009 3:00 AM In reply to

    • kallasr
    • Top 75 Contributor
      Male
    • Joined on 04-19-2007
    • Willich, NRW, Germany
    • Posts 1,077
    • Founder

    Re: Beolab3 and Macbook Pro

    My Beo: Beosound 3000, Beolab 4000, Beo 4 DVD,  Beolab 5000/Beomaster 5000, Beovox S45.2 with Stands, Beosystem 7000 black with Beolink 7000, Beolink 1000, F1000 (3 cubes), Beovox 5000, Beovox 3000, Attyca 1.

  • 11-27-2009 4:28 AM In reply to

    Re: Beolab3 and Macbook Pro

    I wouldn't recomment connecting BL3s directly to the analog out from a Mac. I've done so with both BL3s and BL5s, just for testing, and there are issues. One is that you have to be wary of what volume you have your Mac set at - it can get very loud due to these being active speakers.

    Worse is the fact that you might get the cable disconnected while the speakers are on - and you definitely find out what impedance-scratching sounds like, might also not be too good for your speakers.

    And then there's the fact that the in-built DAC in Macs doesn't do these speakers justice.
    I use DAC's with volume control. I have a Grace m902 for the BL3s when I use those for listening, and I have a Konnekt 24D from t.c. electronics for the BL5s. The latter is quite inexpensive, and does a wonderful job sending a digital signal to the BL5s. It's also got analogue out, and a volume control in front - it's simple to use, and has FireWire initerface to the Mac.

    However, for ease of use I would recommend one of the DACs coming on the market now precisely for this kind of use, if you don't want to spend as much money as a Benchmark DAC-1 USB or Grace m902 would cost you. The Dac Magic is a good choice, though without volume control, but you do get a buffer between the Mac and the speakers, and the DAC inside this unit is very good - volume is controlled via the Mac (I use an iPod Touch both for music selection, speaker/room selection and volume control.)

    Best regards.

  • 11-01-2011 6:34 AM In reply to

    Re: Beolab3 and Macbook Pro

    Sorry to ressurect an ancient topic, but I did quite a lot of research before solving this problem!

    My solution was to connect my MacBook Pro to a Beresford Caiman DAC via USB, then on to the Beolab 3s using Sounds Heavanly's RCA Pre-Out to Beolab Line In Cables. The Beresford DAC has a pre-amp in it - one of the few DACs I could find which does so - it controls the volume of the Beolbab 3s accurately. Volume is controlled by the DAC's hardware volume knob rather than the Mac's volume setting. For my office desk I find this setup is great.

    I have no affiliation with either Beresford or Sounds Heavenly.

  • 11-01-2011 9:01 AM In reply to

    Re: Beolab3 and Macbook Pro

    A wise set-up. You get a very good signal out of the MBP, your DAC processes it, and you can control volume from the DAC. This way, the inferior DAC in the MBP is not part of the signal chain, and your speakers are protected from surges, particularly if you should connect or disconnect via the minijack on the MBP directly to the speakers, as I see some here strangely recommend one should do.

    At any rate, you're not really getting the best the BL3s can do if you're letting the MBP connected to a powersupply deliver the analog signal to them. Porting a digital signal to a stand-alone DAC is the solution, as you've done.

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