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5.1 surround troubles -- rear speakers not playing sound

By n3burgener
Jun 22, 2008
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  1. I've been using the onboard audio/sound from my motherboard on my XP desktop for the past 4 years. I bought a 5.1 surround sound set of speakers from Logitech (x-530) about 3 years ago, but only used the FL, FR, and subwoofer, because my mobo doesn't support surround sound -- it doesn't have the rear / center+subwoofer jacks that my speakers need to plug into.

    Today I bought a Dynex 5.1 sound card from Best Buy ($30) -- opened my tower, popped the sound card into an available port, installed the drivers from the CD, restarted the computer, set the output to 5.1 in the Sounds and Audio Devices window from the control panel, in the "Audio Deck" (the software that came with the card) I set it to 6 channel, made sure all of the speakers were plugged into the subwoofer which connects to the front-right speaker, and plugged the green, black, and orange plugs from the FR speaker into the proper jacks on the sound card, turned some test music on....

    And it's just coming out of the same two front speakers and the subwoofer like it was when I was running just the mobo audio. I've tried a few DVDs with PowerDVD but likewise, the sound is not coming out of the rear or center speakers. Then again I'm using the free version, I think. At least, under the audio tab in configurations it doesn't have any settings that specify surround, just 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8 speakers. I tried each setting, but there's never any sound coming from the rear speakers except a very faint and dull static noise (if I listen very carefully with the speaker up to my ear).

    Is there something I'm missing, like do I need to disable the motherboard's audio (it's an Asus, if that makes a difference, I bought it years ago and the box / manuals have long been misplaced)? Are the speakers responding from the sound card but the computer's responding from the mobo or something? The sound card's got jacks for "analog auxiliary audio in," "analog CD audio in," and "wavetable sub-board connector," but I don't believe I need to mess with any of that or plug anything else into the sound card (or do I?).

    I've done a few "dummy" tests, the usual double-checking cables and testing the jacks one by one. Using "Audio Deck" I was able to play a sample drum beat through each of the five speakers and subwoofer on cue, so I know that the speakers work fine. I'm beginning to think that the surround is functioning fine, I just don't have surround-compatible software or media?

    Perhaps I'm not looking for an actual, genuine surround-sound system coming from my 5.1 set up. Is it possible to just have the rear speakers mirror what the front speakers are playing? Like having a 2.1 system coming out of 4 speakers? Basically I just want to play games and music while being immersed in the sound, rather than have it coming at me. How can I do this?

    Or am I just making myself look like an ***** with my ignorance?

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    This is C&P'd from the Dynex website regarding the card's specs:

    Product Features

    Compatible with DirectSound 3D, A3D 1.0, EAX 1.0, EAX 2.0, PC 2001, PCI specification rev. 2.1/2.2 and PCI bus power management interface specification 1.0

    18-bit multichannel performance/48kHz stereo
    Extended full-duplex stereo for recording & playback (mono/stereo)

    Supports 2-, 4-, 6-channel output switch function and headset output port

    Record and playback all audio sources

    Supports DVD 5.1-channel sound output (requires DVD playback software support)

    Supports game 5.1-channel sound output (requires game software support)

    Audio mixer with individual level controls for all audio sources

    Onboard connectors: 1 CD stereo audio input, 1 auxiliary input and Wavetable MIDI connector

    External connectors: 3 line outputs, 1 headphone output, 1 line input, 1 microphone input, 1 digital optical (SPDIF) output



    Product Details

    Sound Type Supported: 5.1-channel surround sound
    Internal or External: Internal

    Interface Slot Type: PCI

    External Ports/Connectors: 3 line outputs, 1 headphone output, 1 line input, 1 microphone input, 1 digital optical (SPDIF) output

    Digital Output: Yes

    Speaker Support: 2.0 | 4.1 | 5.1

    System Requirements: Intel® Pentium® III or AMD-K6® III processor 500MHz or faster; Windows 2000 or XP; 64MB RAM; 1 free PCI 2.1-compatible PCI slot and 1 other free slot; CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive; 800 x 600 screen resolution with 16-bit color
  2. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,909

    Dynex is not a company known for quality in their products, so it may be simply that the sound card is of poor build quality. However, I think it is more likely that you simply do not have any surround capable games or programs. Since these programs do not support surround sound, nothing will come out of the rear speakers. I have experienced this problem with my Logitech X-540s when I use a program with no surround support.
  3. Chad05tl

    Chad05tl TS Rookie

    I just bought a Asus P5QL mobo and it has that Audio Desk crap software too. And so far I can only get my front speakers to play also. The only way I have been able to make it work is by uninstalling audio deck and picking the driver directory from the control panel to install the audio driver separately from the actual installation exe file, which includes that crappy "ADECK or Audio Deck" software.

    While ADECK was installed I looked under the configuration and it said rear speakers were enabled but no sound! So I did the test, and the test made the rear speakers work, but NO MUSIC!!! No sound coming from Media player and none from Windows start up or shut down process. But the "TEST" feature makes sound come from the rear. So i got it connected right..

    btw, without the ADECK or Audio Deck software, and when I pick out the drivers manually from the control panel to install the sound drivers, as I said I can get the rear speakers to work that way.. but the Sound has no bass! I guess thats ASUS and VIA's way of making HI DEF sound. just take out the BASS. Thanks a LOT! Thinking about returning this POS mobo with their so called "HI DEF SOUND".
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