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I am looking for a way to connect an external speaker as the left speaker to a MacBook Pro to get better stereo sound.

From what I have read in the forums it should be possible to output audio on multiple devices at once, even when connecting over Bluetooth. With the latest updates to surround sound standards (AirPlay 2?) this should be possible.

https://support.apple.com/en-au/guide/audio-midi-setup/ams1005/mac

Can someone please tell if the resulting sound will be balanced - and if the audio balance can be further tweaked in MacOS or using some third party app?

Setup with external speaker

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  • That's going to sound really weird even if you manage to achieve it. Why not just use 2 external speakers?
    – Tetsujin
    May 25, 2021 at 10:58
  • @Tetsujin to achieve realistic stereo sound without going overboard on speakers. the 16” model has very nice speakers and i would pair it with a studio speaker on the left. of course the speaker setup would have to be be balanced and equalized. it does not seem like a terrible hack, but i would prefer to hear from someone who did it about the sound quality support.apple.com/en-au/guide/audio-midi-setup/ams1005/mac May 25, 2021 at 11:20
  • You really are not going to get 'realistic' anything from two completely disparate sound sources. What do you consider a 'studio' speaker? - I know they sell good studio monitors in singles, but people usually buy two or five. You're also going to struggle to EQ each side independently without at least something like SoundSource & appropriate plugins that can handle each side of the stereo pair separately.
    – Tetsujin
    May 25, 2021 at 11:24
  • That’s why I am asking, directly in pre installed apps I could not find such option, third party app would seem a must. And what you describe is exactly my case, the speaker I want is sold separately. I am still trying things out before committing to this speaker amazon.de/dp/B01J66YEU0/… May 25, 2021 at 11:29
  • You are really going to regret it. idk the M-Audio stuff particularly, but you're talking about putting a 100W bi-amped nearfield monitor up against… laptop speakers. you're going to have to cripple the M-A so much you might as well have spent €25 on some cheapo logitechs. At least they'd match. The other thing about internally-amped monitors is you have to be ultra-careful when powering the Mac on/off, as the slightest audio pop as the lappy's amps switch in will blow your face off. I'm speaking from experience here. I have a pair of €1500 dynaudios with the same issue [except these are 400W]
    – Tetsujin
    May 25, 2021 at 11:44

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Here is my proof of concept that this can be done. I connected 2 sets of 2 speakers laid out next to each other and added them to an Aggregate device in MIDI tool.

proof of concept

Then I configured the left speaker of one set to play only L channel and right speaker from second set to play only R channel.

I was unable to assign the entire set of speakers to play one channel. There was an option to setup Quadraphonic sound with 4 speakers, but that did not work for me and I had to use only Stereo with 2 speakers (the far left and far right). It had to do with the app - movies played on all 4 speakers, but music played on the default speakers, bypassing any MIDI settings I made for the aggregate device.

The resulting sound is more spacious than purely from the MBP, but due to not being able to play Quadraphonic sound 2 of my 4 speakers in the middle are sitting idle. This would also cause an even bigger imbalance between the 100W left speaker and just right one of the MBP tiny speakers.

MIDI tool MIDI tool 2

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    Unfortunately, it's not so much a proof of concept as a proof that the concept doesn't work.
    – Tetsujin
    May 25, 2021 at 17:03

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