TechSpot

5.1 surround not outputting actual 5.1 surround

By HaLo2FrEeEk
Jun 10, 2009
  1. I'll give any information I need to to get this problem solved. I've asked it so many times and never get a proper answer and after 2 or so replies the thread dies. I really do need to get this solved as soon as possible. I didn't pay for my 5.1 system to not be able to use it properly.

    Ok, here's the issue, I've got a Logitech x540 5.1 surround system. My motherboard ("ASUS M2N-E SLI") has a C-Media sound device and drivers ("C-Media CM6501 Like Sound Device"), and has outputs for full 7.1 audio through stereo 3.5mm jacks. There are 4 of those jacks, along with one for the line-in and one for the mic. The x540 has 3 input jacks, they are colored lime-green, orange, and black.

    From my research, the lime-green plug is for front left/right channels; the orange is for rear left/right channels; and the black is for center/sub channels. The x540 came with a cable that had those 3 colored 3.5mm plugs on both ends. I plugged the black plug into my computer and then into my system, followed by the lime-green, and the orange ones. I set up something that had 5.1 surround sound and started playing it. I put my ears up to each of the speakers, starting at front left, front right, rear left...

    At rear left, I stopped, there was no sound coming out. I checked my cables, made sure everything was seated properly, checked that the speakers themselves were plugged in, then tried again, checking both the rear left and rear right speakers. No sound. I checked the center and sub...nothing. Only front left and right were coming out.

    I opened up the windows sound manager and saw that stereo was selected in the list, I changed it to the 5.1 surround option, hit "test" and listened again...no sound from rear speakers. At this point Iwas getting really pissed, I didn't know if I'd bought a defective unit. So I plugged the rear speakers into the front speaker output plugs and tried...sound came out of the rear ones but not the front, so the speakers worked just fine.

    I opened up the C-Media sound config panel and changed a ton of stuff around, trying all manner of different combinations of settings...nothing. Absolutely no surround sound.

    At one point I did get it to work, somehow, by setting it to 7.1 surround output, which led me to believe that I had a plug wrong on my computer. I tried changing it and kept it on the 7.1 setting, no sound came out, so the plugs were right (and the colors matched, besides, those should be standard).

    This is getting extremely frustrating, I've never had true 5.1 surround on my system and I'm doing a project right now where I need it, I'm authoring a blu ray disc and I need to know that the sound going on it is actually 5.1 surround sound, so I can advertise that it is. Please, someone help me out with this.

    Know these things before hand:

    I have the most current drivers
    the plugs are most definately seated properly and fully
    all the plugs are working, which I found through a series of putting the different channel's plugs into different colors
    all the speakers work

    None of those are the problem.

    Thank you in advance to anyone that helps, it's very much appreciated!

    Edit: I found this forum post on another site that seems to verify that replacing the original jumpers on the front panel audio connectors somehow activates the back connectors. I don't remember where the original jumpers went on the front panel audio connector, and I can't find my manual, but I'll look around and let people know if it works.
     
  2. HaLo2FrEeEk

    HaLo2FrEeEk TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 225

    Update: I didn't want to ad this to the first post and make an already long post even longer, so sorry for the double post.

    I read that unplugging the front panel audio connector and replacing the original jumpers would re-enable the back ports, so I tried it. At first I didn't put in the jumpers (as a test) and no sound came out at all, which was weird, so I tried it again, putting the jumpers back in their original positions (I found my manual) and tried it out. Well, it took a little messing, and the 5.1 option still doesn't seem to work, I have to set it to 7.1 to get real 5.1 sound...and even THEN something is wrong. First, the black plug, the one that handles rear left and right channels, well it doesn't output anything at all, I had to plug it into the gray port, which is supposed to handle surround (side) left and right channels, to get any sound from the rear speakers. Annoying but ok. The other thing is, when I put in my Halo 3 Essentials Disc 2 and ran the Surround Sound Test, front left was fine, front right was fine, rear left played from both rear left and right, and rear right played from both rear right and left, then center was fine and bass was fine. Why is it doing that? I want rear left to come out of the rear left speaker and rear right to come out of the rear right speaker, this is so annoying, I mean, I know C-Media sucks, but ASUS had to have a reason for using them, and this is a pretty popular mobo, I know some people have to have this working, what's the freaking deal!
     
  3. Stick'o ram

    Stick'o ram TS Rookie Posts: 233

    I have a Creative X-fi Music, that on occasion the 5.1 surround sound would stop working. I searched for what seems like forever until I found a obscure solution to my problem. It might work for you, it might not.

    Go to 'control panel', select 'sound and audio devices'. Click on Speaker volume and verify all speakers have their volume turned up. For whatever reason sometimes my sound card will decided to mute all of them, even on 5.1 sound, I'm pretty sure it has to do with a driver problem somewhere.

    Good luck
     
  4. HaLo2FrEeEk

    HaLo2FrEeEk TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 225

    I'm on Vista, so all I have in control panel is the "Sound" applet. I clicked into it and opened the sound properties for the device and went to levels and there was only 1 volume option, it's turned up to 50 right now, which is what I set it at.

    However, I got this to work by unplugging the front panel audio connectors and replacing the original jumpers, but I had to put the black plug into the grey port for some reason.
     
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