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What is the best way to connect a laptop to a Bose 321 system

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hello guys,

 

i have a Bose 321 system, the older one without the HDMI.

THe back of it is as seen on the photo:
 

 

 

I also use a laptop which i have connected to the Bose unit with a 3,5 jack to RCA cable in the AUX in sockets as seen on the photo.

 

It sounds reasonable to my ears that have not experienced a better setup.

I suspect that this Bose unit has an amplifier in it.

 

Question:

What i would like to know is whether this is a valid way to connect my laptop to this Bose system in order to hear from its speakers.

Does this Bose system perform like a DAC in this way or is it just a transfer or digital sound?

 

Question 2:

If i connect a DAC like the cambridge audio model to my laptop and then connect this DAC to the Bose 321 will the sound be better?

 

Is there a better way to connect my laptop to the Bose 321 instead of the 3,5 to RCA cable?

 

 

Looking forward to yoru answer guys

 

Sorry for my sound tech illiteracy 

 

Pan

post #2 of 9

what laptop ???

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

It is a toshiba satellite L640

with intel i5 M450

radeon HD5000

and a conexant cx20671?? sound driver? 

6gb ram

 

Hope that helps.

 

Thank you

post #4 of 9

ok. Some laptops have optical out, in which case you could get a optical toslink cable and run it from your laptop to the optical input on the Bose, in which case the Bose would convert the digital signal to analog, but that won't work for you as your lappie doesn't have optical out.

 

If you just want to use the Bose's speakers, you can run a 3.5mm to RCA cable from your laptop headphone port, to the RCA inputs on the Bose. I think you could also just run a 3.5mm male to male cable from your laptop to the AUX input (below the RCA inputs). In both of these scenario's, you would be using your laptop's onboard DAC and just transferring the analog signal to the Bose for output.

 

You could get an external DAC and put it between the computer and the Bose, and it would probably improve the audio, although it may not be a massive improvement. I think the philosophy is, the most important part of the chain is the output device, and the 2nd most important is your source, so inserting a good quality DAC in the middle will help, but it would probably be a small improvement. 

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

What if i use a USB to digital converter, that can be connected to the USB port of the laptop and output the sound to an optical out which can then be connected to the optical in of the Bose 321?

 

I saw some devices that can do that:

notable the turtle beach one http://www.amazon.com/Turtle-Beach-Advantage-Digital-Adapter/dp/B0036VO4X4/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1402957375&sr=1-3&keywords=Turtle+Beach+Audio

 

and another one from Behringer http://www.amazon.co.uk/Behringer-UCA202-U-Control-low-latency-Interface/dp/B000KW2YEI/ref=cm_cr_pr_sims_t.

 

This should transfer the sound digitally to the Bose receiver.

post #6 of 9
Some laptops have mini optical out connections (different from a regular optical connection). If you have that, you could use it. Otherwise, use a 3.5mm to RCA and run it from the headphone jack like Thievesarmy said.

I wouldn't spend the money on a Cambridge Audio DAC to connect to a Bose lifestyle setup.
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by nisidotatos View Post
 

What if i use a USB to digital converter, that can be connected to the USB port of the laptop and output the sound to an optical out which can then be connected to the optical in of the Bose 321?

 

I saw some devices that can do that:

notable the turtle beach one http://www.amazon.com/Turtle-Beach-Advantage-Digital-Adapter/dp/B0036VO4X4/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1402957375&sr=1-3&keywords=Turtle+Beach+Audio

 

and another one from Behringer http://www.amazon.co.uk/Behringer-UCA202-U-Control-low-latency-Interface/dp/B000KW2YEI/ref=cm_cr_pr_sims_t.

 

This should transfer the sound digitally to the Bose receiver.

 

yes, that should work but again, I don't think that would drastically improve your audio. It really just depends how good your on-board DAC is vs. the one in the Bose (most likely they are pretty close in quality) but even if this helps it probably will not make a significant difference in your sound overall. This is a relatively small part of a much bigger picture. I guess it is one small thing you can do to improve your setup, without changing your output (speakers) or your source (laptop), so if that's what you want, go for it.

post #8 of 9

That Behringer is actually a DAC, so you could get that if you want and then run RCA outs to the RCA inputs on the Bose. Once again, I wouldn't expect a significant audio improvement by doing this.

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the replies.

THread over!

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