Apple's Thunderbolt displays, I understand, have stereo speakers in them. How does it work if you have two Thunderbolt displays plugged into your computer?

  • Do both displays play the same sound, so you get left-and-right sound from your left display and left-and-right sound from your right display?
  • Do you get sound from only one, so you get left-and-right sound but only on one half of your desk?
  • Do both speakers in the left display become the left speaker, and both speakers in the right display become the right speaker?

I'm curious how this works.


Both displays show up as audio input and output devices on your Mac and you can pick one or the other to route audio in to from applications. You might be able to create an aggregate device out of them and use them as a four channel output source, but that would not turn out well sonically speaking. You can see it here.

Display Audio are the Thunderbolt input and output sources available on the machine

  • Ah, I didn't know about aggregate audio devices -- neat! But why would it sound bad? – Ken Aug 29 '12 at 18:57
  • A 4 speaker setup with the speakers side by side? Instead of two front, two rear? That won't work well. :) – Ian C. Aug 29 '12 at 19:58

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