Receiver ONLY has COAX input. Looking to play mp3s in digital quality.


Feb 1, 2010
Thank you so much for taking the time to look at my newbie question!

My receiver ONLY has digital COAX input. (its a cheap receiver/dvdplayer with 6 speakers plugging directly into the back of the receiver.

My goal is to upgrade from the 3.5 aux cable i currently use to connect the receiver to my PC.

Currently I can only get LEFT and RIGHT (NO center/subwoover) because the data is going through a stereo 3.5 aux cable plugged into the headphones output on the front of my pc.

Unfortunately my receiver does not have optical input ONLY COAXIAL.

I spent 200 dollars on my phillips 1000watt 5.1 speaker/receiver system.

Right now when I listen to music (with WinAmp) I know im missing some tracks and when i play movies with VLC the background audio is VERY loud yet the actual speaking parts of the movie are VERY quiet.

I really want to upgrade from analog to digital audio.

I have many high quality mp3s and FLACs that deserve to be heard.

I believe i need to buy a soundcard that has coaxial outputs on it (but for some reason this type of soundcard has been blackballed from amazon and newegg!!!!) Go ahead and seach for "Coax sound card" on newegg and youll only get 3 results of nonrelated items. Amazon isnt helping either.

however i have managed to find the soundcards hidden on the site...

here are a few that I think MAY work...any help deciding would be massively appreciated!

StarTech PCISOUND7 : 40 dollars including shipping

HT | OMEGA STRIKER 7.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz : this one is twice as expensive at 80 dollars but looks much fancier

So there you have it...two soundcards that appear to solve my problem right? will I be able to hear my mp3s through winamp pushed through digital coaxial?

And is it okay to buy a 7.1 sound card when I only have a 5.1 speaker setup?

Thank you so much for reading this...I seriously have been struggling with different analog cords for over a year trying to get this thing to sound half way decent.

If you want to IM me please go ahead im usually online.
AIM: Monkeystoyou


What motherboard do you currently have? many include digital coaxial already.

If you're after a decent quality soundcard the Asus Xonar are among the best.

Going for a cheap soundcard may be no better than the onboard sound!
Welcome to the forums!

Usually I would agree that the ASUS Xonar line is the way to go.
In your particular case though, get the HT|Omega Striker.

The Striker has a Coaxial output and supports both DDL and DTS Connect 5.1 encoding.
This will allow you to enjoy full Dolby Digital or DTS 5.1 surround directly from your computer to the receiver.

Unfortunately, the cheap card you list does not support DDL or DTS Connect encoding.
As such, it will be limited to Stereo PCM or passing through DVD surround.


Feb 1, 2010
my mother board is a Intel DQ965GFKR S775 mATX Motherboard w/Gigabit LAN

and im sorry i didnt provide more specs guys....this is what im running

windows xp service pack 2 with 1 gig of RAM

(1) Systemax Support Kit
(1) Free DOS
(1) Intel Pentium D 915 Processor 2.8GHz
(1) 1GB PC4200 533MHz DDR2 Memory (1GB x 1)
(1) Intel DQ965GFKR S775 mATX Motherboard w/Gigabit LAN
(1) 80GB 7200RPM 3G SATA II Hard Drive
(1) 520 Watt Power Supply
(1) 16X DVD Drive Black

I agree about the striker sounds pretty nice.

Oddly enough i just made a stupid purchase under the guidance of the bestbuy geek squad (typical) to buy this Rocket Fish 5.1 pci sound card Model: RF-51SDCD
shown here;+-+5.1-Channel+PCI+Sound+Card/9180405.p?id=1218047304449&skuId=9180405&st=rocketfish%20sound%20card&cp=1&lp=2

So it has an optical out...I am on the verge of returning it to buy that striker sound card when i had the idea to call a local computer outlet store and ask them what sound cards they had...and none of them have coax output HOWEVER they tell me they have a converter that converts from optical to coaxial digital sound for 25 dollars. I asked him if it degrades the sound quality and he tells me no its still digital....What do you guys think?

Is a converter a bad idea? I really am shooting for near-audiophile quality here for a few special FLAC albums ( not getting any bass!)

so to compare the two choices i can

keep my rocket fish sound card from bb : 30 dollars
keep the coax cord i got from best buy : 12 dollars
buy a converter: 25 dollars
buy a fiber optical cable : who knows

OR buy the fancy striker card for 80 bucks and keeping my 12 dollar coax cord total 92 bucks?
Ugh, 'Best' Buy and their 'knowledgeable' staff :pfff:
Yeah, that Rocketfish Sound Card is pretty low end.
It does NOT support DDL or DTS Connect encoding so you will still be limited to Stereo PCM or passing through DVD audio.
If you wanted to get 5.1 sound from your system to the receiver from sources other than DVD's, you are still SOL :??:

Also, BB is kinda ripping you off on the cable....
A Coax is a Coax is a Coax.
The cheap ones will transmit the same digital signal and sound exactly the same.
There are higher margins pushing the same cables with fancy labels so BB tries to make them sound like the best thing since sliced bread :pfff:

What I would recommend is returning the overpriced Coax and the Rocketfish sound card.
You can than pick up a Striker and Inexpensive Coax for about $93.

One further thing (just to make sure you are thoroughly confused :p ).
If you are shooting for audiophile quality sound from your FLAC albums, you should probably reconnect the analogue line to the receiver.
If possible, use a 3.5mm TRS to RCA cable.

Reason being, I can 100% guarantee you that the Striker has a better DAC than your receiver does.
When you are playing only music (a Stereo only source), switch it to analogue output, for every thing else use the Coaxial.
Both lines can coexist connected together, you will just have to manually switch over the receiver + sound card as needed.
A bit of a PITA but it will give you the highest quality possible.