5.1 Surround Sound Anyone?

When I first saw details of the Griffin Firewave I almost wet my pants, I would have paid a lot more (don't tell anyone) for such a device. It took a long time materialising, but it is finally here.

Griffin Technology Inc., announced today that they have begun shipping FireWave, their affordable 5.1 Surround Sound solution for Macintosh. Price is US $99.99 which will probably equate to £80 or so.

FireWave extends to Mac users the ability to affordably and effectively upgrade their sound systems by way of their FireWire ports — with spectacular results.

FireWave's small size makes it easy to incorporate into any computer setup, and makes it portable enough for use with laptops. FireWave gets its power through the FireWire connection, so there are no separate cables, batteries, or power supplies to tote. FireWave's extra FireWire port lets you daisy-chain other FireWire devices, so it won't hog your FireWire port.

FireWave lets you enjoy Dolby Digital encoded DVDs in 5.1 surround, or use Dolby Prol Logic II to make any audio source alive, whether from iTunes, QuickTime, or streaming audio. In addition, FireWave’s support of multi-channel playback from cross-platform OpenAL games like World of Warcraft and Unreal Tournament make it a must-have for gamers.

Technical Specifications:
Complies with IEEE1394 specification
Sample Rates supported:
32kHz, 44.1kHz, 48kHz and 96kHz playback in MBLA mode (non-Dolby)
32kHz, 44.1kHz, 48kHz in Dolby Pro Logic II
48kHz Encoded Digital in Dolby Digital
Outputs: 6-Channel, 24-bit
Frequency Response: (-3dBr, 24-bit 48kHz input) = < 20Hz – 20kHz
Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 100dB
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Link to product.