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Digital / analog speakers

By rcs99rcs
Nov 23, 2012
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  1. Hi... I have a basic IBM Thinkpad (2008, model T61). Out of the headphone jacks, I run a splitter and have sound through 2 sets of IBM Infinity speakers (4 speakers in all).

    I recently received a Boston Acoustics BA-735 speaker setup, but I can't get it to work through my PC.

    From reading on-line, I believe these BA speakers are digital, whereas the Infinity speakers likely are analog (or, possibly the other way around).

    I can't upgrade or modify the PC itself (owned by my employer), so new soundcards, etc is not an option.....

    My question: how can I get the BA speaker setup to work with the existing speakers I have in place... are there converters, etc that I can get from an electronics store, that can make them all compatable, and continue to drive sound using the headphone jack?

    My understanding is the BA speakers have great sound, so I"m hoping I can somehow add them to the setup..... thanks.
  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,880   +903

    Hmm; The short answer is you would need a digital sound card and the BA speakers connect to its output.

    Physics 101: A device that transforms one media into another is called a transducer.

    From the beginning, a speaker has been a stationary magnet and a suspended wire coil connected to a 'cone'.
    When the sound amplifier produces an A/C output to the coil, the fluctuating current causes motion and the cone vibrates
    to simulate the A/C pattern that was applied - - not perfectly, but good enough to the human ear.

    This is the Analog transducer: current is transformed into sound.
    The inverse of this design is the phonograph pickup where motion is transformed into a signal.

    Another example is our display monitors; originally these were all VGA (analog) and today a great many are digital.

    ALL digital systems transduce 0's & 1's back into an analog signal to make the speakers work - - but the raw input has to be 0's & 1's.

    Here's a comment from EHOW.COM
    Boston Acoustics Ba735 Speakers are high-performance digital loudspeakers designed for connecting to a personal computer or laptop. The computer must have a digital soundcard to be compatible with the speakers, although this is a standard feature on all new computers. Special software drivers are required to run the speakers on older computers. Boston Acoustics Ba735 speakers can also be hooked up to a DVD player with any digital connection, such as a USB port.​
  3. rcs99rcs

    rcs99rcs TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks jobeard.... appreciate the thorough reply... so, I guess I'll hold onto the BAs and wait for my tech-refresh... maybe with a newer PC, the soundcard will be compatible to both types of speakers, and I can use them all.

    Thanks again

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