Question Options for Computer 5.1 Surround?

Eeshen

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I've used my Klipsch 5.1 computer speakers for a long time now and the controller just went out again. The sound is great, but I would really like to get past using their control box and move to something more standard (A/V receiver with 5.1 speakers).

What options and hardware would I require?
Would I just use the same 3.5mm outputs from the MB audio jacks (I have ROG Strix X570-E Motherboard, Realtek Audio) and buy 3.5mm to RCA splitters ? Was wondering if there is a better option with buying a separate soundcard and connecting in another manner to a receiver.

Overall, just looking for ideas.

Thank you.
 

boju

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If you're thinking of investing in an avr then your graphics card audio (up to 7.1) via hdmi is the simplest way forward. Assuming you have a gpu, they all do surround these days, for quite sometime actually.

Sound card can be another option but look into dolby digital live technology if want encoded surround on the fly via optical. Rca will be an issue using analogue jacks from a sound card meant for pc speakers which modern avr's lack. It's either hdmi or optical. Graphics card audio is most logical choice i think to get what you want.
 

Eeshen

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@boju
Can you go into a bit more detail regarding the graphics card? I have the AMD 6900XT.
Just so I'm clear, I would just need to hook an HDMI cable from graphics card to an A/V receiver and that would take care of all the latest decoding of surround I would need for gaming and such?
Would I continue to use the display port from my card to my monitor also?
 

boju

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@boju
Can you go into a bit more detail regarding the graphics card? I have the AMD 6900XT.
Just so I'm clear, I would just need to hook an HDMI cable from graphics card to an A/V receiver and that would take care of all the latest decoding of surround I would need for gaming and such?
Would I continue to use the display port from my card to my monitor also?
Yes you can route hdmi audio to avr and use dp as display, no problem.

Trouble with motherboard optical is motherboard's don't implement dolby digital live encoding chips so surround is dependent on source content for already compressed audio. Dvd movies is fine as they have compressed tracks on disc but games do not, it's all lossless uncompressed audio. Optical is bandwidth constrained so encoders is necessary to compress which particular sound cards can do on the fly with ddl. Hdmi can handle uncompressed surround and your gpu can do that.
 

Eeshen

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Using the HDMI from GPU setup, can I still control volume via Windows or must use Receiver volume knob?

Also, if I were to get a Creative AE-7 (or something similar, having digital output), would this be worse/same/better than using HDMI?
 
Dvd movies is fine as they have compressed tracks on disc but games do not, it's all lossless uncompressed audio
never noticed a difference in games.
my Sony 5.1 receiver through optical handles game's surround audio perfectly fine.
if a game has settings for Dolby Surround or basic 5.1 it seems to perform with no issue.

though this older receiver has no HDMI input for me to compare a difference.
 

boju

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Using the HDMI from GPU setup, can I still control volume via Windows or must use Receiver volume knob?
Yes gpu volume is still governed by OS.

never noticed a difference in games.
my Sony 5.1 receiver through optical handles game's surround audio perfectly fine.
if a game has settings for Dolby Surround or basic 5.1 it seems to perform with no issue.

though this older receiver has no HDMI input for me to compare a difference.
No game has dolby digital compressed tracks afaik. For any that do or don't, gpu audio will still be vastly supported unconditionally.
 

Eeshen

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Yes gpu volume is still governed by OS.



No game has dolby digital compressed tracks afaik. For any that do or don't, gpu audio will still be vastly supported unconditionally.

@boju

So I took your advice and picked up a Sony A/V Receiver:
https://www.amazon.com/Sony-STR-DH790-7-2-ch-Receiver-Vision/dp/B079YW5VQL?th=1

Although Win 11 detects the Sony receiver, it will only allow me to pick Stereo as an option. The drop down menu shows 5.1 and 7.1, but when I try to select one of those two, it reverts back to Stereo.

When I try using an optical cable connected to the onboard Realtek audio of my motherboard, I can test and do get 5.1 surround, but using HDMI out of my 6900XT, I can only get stereo.

Any ideas what I might be doing wrong?

Thank you
 

boju

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Eeshen

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Yeah, that fixes my issue getting 5.1, but now I can't get the sub to play in anything normal (Spotify) unless I go back to Stereo.
Is that to be expected?

For example, when I play Lord of the Rings online, in 5.1 windows mode, I get surround but no sub. When I switch Windows back to stereo, I get my sub in LotRO.

Thanks for your help @boju
 
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Eeshen

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Detect automatically, but I have tried also all the options it has.

Does anyone reading this, have the option to listen to Spotify on a 5.1 system and see if their subwoofer works. I figure, without receiver option, rear wouldn't work either. But at this point, Im more interested in the sub working in 5.1 applications.

My sub works running this test (only first test). On all the other speaker tests, only my front and center work, sub and rear do not. All the speakers only work on the first test, which appears to be a AAC test, if that means anything.

https://archive.org/details/5.1SurroundSoundTestFilesVariousFormatsAACAC3MP4DTSWAV/5.1+Surround+Sound+AAC+Test.mp4


Also appears that LotRo works in 5.1 with no issues, cept for me :)
 
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Eeshen

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So a quick update:

I plugged in an optical cable, sub works with Spotify and also the "Splash" playback in the above link. So has something to do with the HDMI connection, I just can't figure out what.

Checking LotRo....
 

Eeshen

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LOL, if it isn't one thing it is another.
Got into LotRo, have no surround, but sub works !

Switch back to HDMI in game, get my positional audio back, but no sub. Go back to optical input, lose my positional audio but gain sub.
 

Eeshen

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Scroll down here to #4 speaker fill option and see if that helps your sub in 5.1.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.thewindowsclub.com/channel-surround-sound-not-working-in-windows?amp

Games usually use raw wav audio, no compression, so not surprised surround speakers aren't working with optical. Hopefully speaker fill gets your sub working with hdmi.

I messed with it again, and I guess I was wrong. I'm getting an extreme little sound of audio from surround speaker in-game using optical.
The positional sound using HDMI is super good, so I'd rather keep that if possible.
 

Eeshen

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None that I saw.
Worst thing about all this, is I can't tell if it is a Windows issue or a receiver issue.
The 5.1 windows test works fine, just nothing outside of that has a sub, other than the above first track for 5.1 testing (AAC file).
 

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