Question 5.1 Audio not working on 3 separate computers and 2 different sound systems

Nov 30, 2021
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Alright, I've been pretty thorough with my troubleshooting but ultimately I am completely lost.

The issue:

  • I cannot get 5.1 surround sound to run properly on my computer, my girlfriends computer, or my brothers computer. At first I tried Acoustic Audio by Goldwood Bluetooth 5.1 Surround Sound System AA5400 but thought it was just cheap so i switched over to Logitech Z906, which appears to be the gold standard for mid range reliability.
  • When testing through windows configuration, I click test and only sound comes from the front two speakers and not from the rear or center/sub.
What I have tried:

  • I have verified that all ports are plugged in properly (I am using the 3 prong 3.5mm jack).
  • I have gone through windows and selected the configure button and selected 5.1 surround sound.
  • I have tried adding the enhancement options, "speaker fill, room setting", and switching to 24 bit 96000hz.
  • I have updated/rolled back my sound card drivers. I am using Realtek audio and I have read there are some issues with it. I even have gone as far as rebuilding my entire computer with a fresh install of Windows 10.
  • I have verified that they speakers are all wired correctly by using the onboard testing system that comes with the Z906 -- sound comes through all speakers individually during this test.
  • I have factory reset the speaker system.
  • I have verified my hardware is compatible (see system specs below).
Weird things that happen:

  • The Z906 has 4 effect settings: 3d, 4.1, 2.1 and then "no effect" -- When on the effects "3d, 4.1, or 2.1" sound only comes through front speakers. When on "no effect" sound comes through front speaakers, center, sub, and rear left. However, rear left and center are swapped. (how the <Mod Edit> does that even happen?!?!? they are on two completely different channels!)
  • When I switch to have it play in stereo, sound comes through all 6 speakers. However, the sound is drastically quieter in the rear two speakers.
Only reason I am asking this forum rather than just going and buying a different sound system is because the exact same issue happened with both the Logitech Z906 as well as the Acoustic Audio AA5400 (aka I DID think it was just a faulty system but now thats less likely)

Please someone help me. I just want to have surround sound.


System specs:

AMD ryzen 7 5800x
AMD rx 6700xt
32 Gb Ram
X570 Aorus Elite
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Paperdoc

Champion
Ambassador
First thing I spot: you MAY have at least two audio output systems: a Realtek system on your mobo, and an added sound card. Windows can use only ONE of these at one time for audio output, and there's a configuration setting for that. At bottom left in the search window type in sound settings and Enter. The window that pops up starts with a chooser at top to select which device will be used by default for audio output. You should find at least the Realtek system on your mobo, and MAYBE a different system on your sound card. I say MAYBE because, although you refer to updating sound card drivers, your post does NOT identify clearly if you really DO have such a card. IF you have a graphics card installed, it is VERY likely that it also has its own audio output system on it (identified in the drop-down window with a name like the video card); that can be used IF you want stereo audio to be fed via the HDMI cable direct to your monitor, and NOT use the mobo system. For your situation start by ensuring that the Realtek system is chosen for Default Sound Playback Device. (There is a similar system for selecting separately the Default Sound Recording (input) Device.) Exit the Sound Settings app.

With that selection made, ALL your sound outputs should be connected by the set of 3.5mm output jacks on the back panel of your mobo - NOT from the video card or from any sound card. To which jacks? This can get tricky if something has been done oddly before, so we can re-set. The key here is that Realtek has a built-in system to allow you to re-assign jacks for different purposes, and you need to know how that works. So, start by downloading the audio system configuration manual for your mobo here

https://download.gigabyte.com/FileList/Manual/mb_manual_x570-audio.pdf?v=aaa26292301a4ddedabc4b4feafd9fed

Next, UNplug all your connections to those jacks. ALSO UNplug your headset from the front panel jacks. Next, because of the odd behaviour of one rear speaker, re-examine VERY closely the connections on the Z906 Subwoofer back panel. Pay special attention to which speaker's wires are connected to each of the five speaker outputs. After you're SURE they are right, trace back the three cables from the top input jacks (set No. 1) to your computer to identify which goes to which computer output jack.

Now, with all those three cables UNplugged from the computer's rear panel jacks, reboot. This will force the Realtek system to recognize that it has nothing connected. On the computer Start Menu, click on the Realtek Audio Console app, per the manual. Arrange your equipment so you can access those rear panel jacks and cables, AND see your monitor and use your mouse. Now select the cable that feeds the FRONT stereo speakers to your Z906 system and plug that into the mobo rear panel jack for Front Speaker Out (middle right). Watch the screen for a pop-up that says it detected something plugged in, suggests what that MIGHT be, and asks for confirmation. You MUST respond to this. If you ignore it it may disappear but it will NOT use that default suggestion. So use the drop-down chooser if necessary to correct what you just plugged in, then click on OK. Now, plug in the next cable from the Z906 system - say, the Centre / Subwoofer line - and plug that into the proper jack (upper left) on the mobo rear panel. Again, check the screen and RESPOND to tell it what you just plugged in. Finally, connect the last line (Stereo Rear Speakers) to its jack (middle left) and respond to that, too.

Now the Realtek system has been re-educated about exactly which signals go out of which jack. On the computer, go to the Speakers screen to select the 5.1 Speaker configuration. After that you can also connect and arrange your headset (headphones and mic) through the front panel jacks, as detailed in the audio manual.

This should have made all your connections properly. On the control box for the Z906 system you must ensure that the Input is the 3-jack Group No. 1 set. You have some tools with that system to test and adjust each speaker to verify they work, and each is in the right location. Beyond that you can add some special effects. Most of those should be turned off for now while you let your computer's Realtek system generate sounds. You can come back and use the Z906 system controls for special things later.

On your computer, use the Realtek Audio Console to test and verify outputs. Go back to the Windows Sound Settings app. Near the bottom click on Sound Control Panel. On the Playback tab click on the Speakers at top, then on Configure at lower left. There you can select the speaker system you are feeding and click on the TEST button to run a sequence through your speakers. Or you can click on one speaker at a time to test it only. Click on the Next button to confirm the speakers you are using. Clicking Next again lets you choose a special setting for speakers that do NOT include a Subwoofer - you do NOT need that option. Next will take you to an exit screen to confirm all your sound output settings. Exit back out of Sound Settings.
 
Last edited:
Nov 30, 2021
6
0
10
0
First thing I spot: you MAY have at least two audio output systems: a Realtek system on your mobo, and an added sound card. Windows can use only ONE of these at one time for audio output, and there's a configuration setting for that. At bottom left in the search window type in sound settings and Enter. The window that pops up starts with a chooser at top to select which device will be used by default for audio output. You should find at least the Realtek system on your mobo, and MAYBE a different system on your sound card. I say MAYBE because, although you refer to updating sound card drivers, your post does NOT identify clearly if you really DO have such a card. IF you have a graphics card installed, it is VERY likely that it also has its own audio output system on it (identified in the drop-down window with a name like the video card); that can be used IF you want stereo audio to be fed via the HDMI cable direct to your monitor, and NOT use the mobo system. For your situation start by ensuring that the Realtek system is chosen for Default Sound Playback Device. (There is a similar system for selecting separately the Default Sound Recording (input) Device.) Exit the Sound Settings app.

With that selection made, ALL your sound outputs should be connected by the set of 3.5mm output jacks on the back panel of your mobo - NOT from the video card or from any sound card. To which jacks? This can get tricky if something has been done oddly before, so we can re-set. The key here is that Realtek has a built-in system to allow you to re-assign jacks for different purposes, and you need to know how that works. So, start by downloading the audio system configuration manual for your mobo here

https://download.gigabyte.com/FileList/Manual/mb_manual_x570-audio.pdf?v=aaa26292301a4ddedabc4b4feafd9fed

Next, UNplug all your connections to those jacks. ALSO UNplug your headset from the front panel jacks. Next, because of the odd behaviour of one rear speaker, re-examine VERY closely the connections on the Z906 Subwoofer back panel. Pay special attention to which speaker's wires are connected to each of the five speaker outputs. After you're SURE they are right, trace back the three cables from the top input jacks (set No. 1) to your computer to identify which goes to which computer output jack.

Now, with all those three cables UNplugged from the computer's rear panel jacks, reboot. This will force the Realtek system to recognize that it has nothing connected. On the computer Start Menu, click on the Realtek Audio Console app, per the manual. Arrange your equipment so you can access those rear panel jacks and cables, AND see your monitor and use your mouse. Now select the cable that feeds the FRONT stereo speakers to your Z906 system and plug that into the mobo rear panel jack for Front Speaker Out (middle right). Watch the screen for a pop-up that says it detected something plugged in, suggests what that MIGHT be, and asks for confirmation. You MUST respond to this. If you ignore it it may disappear but it will NOT use that default suggestion. So use the drop-down chooser if necessary to correct what you just plugged in, then click on OK. Now, plug in the next cable from the Z906 system - say, the Centre / Subwoofer line - and plug that into the proper jack (upper left) on the mobo rear panel. Again, check the screen and RESPOND to tell it what you just plugged in. Finally, connect the last line (Stereo Rear Speakers) to its jack (middle left) and respond to that, too.

Now the Realtek system has been re-educated about exactly which signals go out of which jack. On the computer, go to the Speakers screen to select the 5.1 Speaker configuration. After that you can also connect and arrange your headset (headphones and mic) through the front panel jacks, as detailed in the audio manual.

This should have made all your connections properly. On the control box for the Z906 system you must ensure that the Input is the 3-jack Group No. 1 set. You have some tools with that system to test and adjust each speaker to verify they work, and each is in the right location. Beyond that you can add some special effects. Most of those should be turned off for now while you let your computer's Realtek system generate sounds. You can come back and use the Z906 system controls for special things later.

On your computer, use the Realtek Audio Console to test and verify outputs. Go back to the Windows Sound Settings app. Near the bottom click on Sound Control Panel. On the Playback tab click on the Speakers at top, then on Configure at lower left. There you can select the speaker system you are feeding and click on the TEST button to run a sequence through your speakers. Or you can click on one speaker at a time to test it only. Click on the Next button to confirm the speakers you are using. Clicking Next again lets you choose a special setting for speakers that do NOT include a Subwoofer - you do NOT need that option. Next will take you to an exit screen to confirm all your sound output settings. Exit back out of Sound Settings.
Thank you so much for your incredibly thorough reply. The only thing I hadn't tried was manually accepting each time Windows prompted me to verify which port had which speakers. I went ahead and did everything the exact way you instructed with the whole reboot with cables UNplugged and after the boot plug them in one at a time and confirm with windows. After that I went ahead and configured it to 5.1 just like you said but unfortunately the same issue is happening. No sound from the rear or center/sub speakers during the test. When the speaker system is set to 4.1 I can manually click on each individual speaker and they all work except the rear right speaker. That, and the center speaker and the rear left speaker are swapped as I stated before.

To be clear, I am ONLY using the 3.5mm jacks in the rear. No other sound peripheral is plugged into my computer (i.e. headpones). I am NOT using HDMI and I am NOT using the optical cable. I did attempt to use the optical cable but that only provided me with stereo sound. I couldn't get it to be 5.1 with that type of input. I did have an external sound card to use as a test but I do not have that plugged in. Are there any other work arounds that might help this situation? Thank you again in advance!!

Side note: I currently have ordered a new set of speakers to see if perhaps the subwoofer control panel has some wires all mixed and such. Updates will come when that arrives on Dec 7th
 

Paperdoc

Champion
Ambassador
Your last Side Note gets to my big suspicion. The mix-up performance you detail sounds a LOT like wrong connections inside the compnents of the Z906 system. That does not happen often, but is not impossible. I have had for 5 years a different Logitech 5.1 speaker-only system I'm happy with. But after a couple years it deveoped an odd weak and noisy sound problem. After investigating many items, I found inside one rear speaker that the wire coming onto the case was never soldered onto the terminals inside, so connection was haphazard, depending on how the speaker got bumped. A little solder fixed it!
 

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