5.1 speaker setup, serious problems. Help muchly appreciated =)

By Jakkar ยท 21 replies
Dec 28, 2005
  1. Hey there

    In short, I bought a set of creative Inspire 5.1 speakers along with my new PC back in august, and since then I've simply been unable to make most of them work. It's a high spec computer, fully capable of running such a setup, but the information and help i've recieved has been contradictive and useless to put it in the most polite way I can.

    To save money, I went without a soundcard on the word of a friend, who told me the onboard Nforce sound on the motherboard would handle a 5.1 speaker setup just fine.

    Since then, numerous sources have contradicted each other telling me I need a soundcard or do not.

    Through intense fiddling, I managed to get a few more random speakers working, and through use of the NvMixer software I managed to clone the channels or somesuch and get atleast my Winamp-played mp3s to function on all speakers.

    But in games, the core purpose of my PC, I remain with tinny, dead sound from my fleft and fright speakers, the central speaker occasionally makes quiet sound, and the subwoofer is fine.

    In general, the central speaker does not work, and I don't believe the rear speakers have -ever- functioned in a game, despite months of half-hearted tweaking.

    I can't get help anywhere that isn't a direct and equally useless contradiction of the last rubbish I've been told, and I'm tired of getting no value out of what I've purchased.

    Some people have told me I need a soundcard, some have told me I need a different sound driver, that NvMixer is useless... They tell me to get some obscure Realtek sound system, which I cannot acquire due to dead links and the near impossibility of finding it without knowing what the hell it is.

    I'm an artist, writer and gamer on computers... I know nothing of sound hardware. What do I do?! >.<


    Any help would be very much appreciated... Thankyou.
  2. truflip

    truflip TS Rookie Posts: 390

    Welcome to TechSpot :wave:

    u said u have a high end computer system.. so im assuming u have an atleast 8channel onboard sound... u said it has an nvidia audio driver? ok..

    so what kinda motherboard do u have? and if ur already bought a soundcard (and cannot return it) what soundcard model is it?

    what speaker model?

    I have the Inspire T5400 running on Realtek AC'97 Onboard and games run fine with surround sound. only little thing i did was instead of putting the orange line to the orange slot in my motherbaord.. i put it in the black one instead (and the black one went to the orange.. while the green .. well. stayed in green)

    worked like a charm

    the fright, fleft speakers are not as loud as my rright and rleft speakers.. while my centre is the quietest. u only notice how they work when u watch surround sound movies..

    in games, so far the only one that doesnt seem to utilize 5.1 surround is NFS:MW.. HL2 works nice but i placed my rear surroudn in a bad spot.. often gets me killed cuz i hear the enemy to the left but its actually behind me heh *hits head*
  3. hewybo

    hewybo TS Maniac Posts: 435


    Need some system specs to know how to help. What motherboard do you have? What version of nForce onboard audio? Since most of your speakers work in some fashion, I am assuming your motherboard I/Oplate has the proper number of color-coded audio outputs? If it does, you probably don't have to have a soundcard, although in most cases (almost all) a good card is better than onboard. Without more info, I can only suggest you go to control panel, double-click sounds and audio devices, and be sure you arew configured for 5.1 sound. There is also always the possibility that you got a defective speaker or two. Maybe with a little more info, someone can help. Also, do you have all the latest nForce drivers onboard? :knock:
  4. Jakkar

    Jakkar TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Creative Inspire P5800, just checked...

    Motherboard is a... Asus A8N-SLI Socket 939 PCI-Express

    And i've updated my sound drivers more times than I wish to count...

    The speakers are not the issue. Front and back standard speakers are all identical and I've swapped them all. Whichever speakers are plugged into the front, are dead.

    My primary game to test them with is a fully patched Halflife 2 and it's various mods. I've tried four speaker mode, 7.1 mode and 5.1 mode, all treat me identically.

    I am fairly sure my pc is indeed capable of 8 channel sound, and yes I have my orange black and green plugs set up correctly.

    Why would swapping orange and black help?

  5. truflip

    truflip TS Rookie Posts: 390

    then maybe ur onboard sound is screwed up.. did u try going intro control panel and setting ur sound to surround sound in there?
  6. Jakkar

    Jakkar TS Rookie Topic Starter

    It's been set to 5.1 surround sound for the last six months.

    Update: Just checked my central speaker, that has now died as well.

    They are all fully functioning items if I plug them into diff. sockets, but for games, only left, right, and the subwoofer work.
  7. truflip

    truflip TS Rookie Posts: 390

    try this:

    go to control panel.. and ur sound settings.. there should be a way to test ur speakers where u set it to 5.1 or w/e do the test and make sure all the speakers work..

    then go to HL2 and theres also a surround sound tester ingame.. jus click optoins, audio and speaker settings or w/e

    update us or me.. wit the results

    this is a really odd problem :S so far im thinking ur motherboard's onboard sound is somewhat screwed up
  8. Jakkar

    Jakkar TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Neither the sound options in my control panel nor Halflife 2 have any kind of sound testing features.

    If there is one somewhere in my sound setting, it's not in the WinXP settings. As for HL2, I'm very familiar with it, it's prequel, many different mods and it's interface. There is not and has never been any kind of 'speaker options' or 'speaker test'. In multiplayer mods there is a voice playback test under the Voice tab, for testing your ingame comms. That's the closest you'll find to a test.
  9. truflip

    truflip TS Rookie Posts: 390

    ok thats pretty ghettoo...
    are u sure u dont have these?
    Realtek Sound Manager:
    HL2 CS:Source Mod Speaker Test:
    (click Test speaker settings)
    and u should get the screen back there without the error stuff:

    Please Uninstall all ur audio drivers using DriverCleanerPro by doing the following:
    go to control panel >> add/remove programs and uninstall anything related to ur sound card. then boot into safe mode and run DriverCleanerPro selecting only the sound stuff (which i assume is Realtek) then go to realtek's website and install the latest drivers. AGAIN!! yes. AGAIN

    Drivercleanpro: http://www.drivercleaner.net/
    Realtek Driver: http://drivers.soft32.com/driver/download-REALTEK_Sound_Card_ALC850-24526.html

    if this doesnt work.. then i dono.. dump ur 'high end' computer =] or donate it to me .. or we can trade hehe
  10. Jakkar

    Jakkar TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I cannot afford to uninstall 'all sound related stuff', i've got too many codecs and audio items from my efforts to make movie files work on this damned thing.

    I've had the sound problems since long before then, however.

    I uninstalled my sound drivers before downloading the realtek drivers, which taught me a lesson, when I discovered your link is dead :\

    Not much I can do...

    I'm now listening to music, and have found even the central speaker is silent.
  11. Jakkar

    Jakkar TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Oh, and I found that option in CS:S. I'm not a CS:S player, and that only exists in CS, not in any other Halflife 2 based game.

    As for the realtek interface, as I said, I'm using Nvmixer for my nForce soundd. Nvidia, not realtek...
  12. Jakkar

    Jakkar TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Addition: Just tried playing with the orange and black wires, plugging them instead into two unmarked pale blue ports in the back of my PC. This made the central and rear speakers 'work', but only as basic speakers. Rear right, central and rear left give identical sound, not surround sound.
  13. truflip

    truflip TS Rookie Posts: 390

    first offf.. i dono why ur using nvidia drivers for ur sound.. u have the A8N-SLI correct? according to specs that card uses "REALTEK Sound Card ALC850" so... why have 'nvidia sound drivers' ? when its a realtek audio chip in there?!

    u said u were familiar with HL2 and its mods so i figured u knew CS:S .. sorry sir :blackeye:

    and again.. uninstall ur codecs.. ALL of them and if ur jus gonna be making movies play and work... then u wont need anything more than XP Codec Pack. if ur encoding audio and video u wont need anything more than Ace Mega Codec Packs.

    Im guessing ur computer is full of codecs and different drivers and now there are driver conflicts and posisbly codec confusing each other when trying to play surroudn sound movies and whatnot..

    either u do what i suggest and give it a try.. or jus live with what u have.. i dont know what else i can suggest to help u fix ur problem
  14. truflip

    truflip TS Rookie Posts: 390

    by the way, was this a custom built computer? if it is, u can try checking to make sure the FP audio wires (all of them) are connected in the right spots in ur motherboard (this is needed so the computer can complete the circuit enabling proper audio output from the back audio slots)

    if u left out some pins then it might not work properly for 5.1 surroudn sound
  15. Jakkar

    Jakkar TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The codecs and drivers are not the issue, this is one thing I know for sure after months of messing with this thing.

    Having been given the drive to experiment a seemingly lost cause further i've had some small success by actually getting down behind my PC and finding very faint text near some uncoloured ports, telling me the colourisation is actually wrong and my rear and central speakers were going into the wrong ports. I've corrected this and i've had slightly better luck, now getting sound out of all speakers.

    I'm still getting front and central sounds confusingly out of the rear speakers sometimes, but in general there is an improvement.

    Either way, your help has been appreciated =)

    Oh, and I am using Nvidia drivers because the onboard sound is Nvidia made, and the provided mixer software for the motherboard was NvMixer, another Nvidia product.

    I'll head back and update this thread if I have any further problems.

  16. truflip

    truflip TS Rookie Posts: 390

    Alrighty no problem, sorry i couldnt help u fix ur problem. anywho, good luck with ur adventure to fix that :grinthumb take care
  17. vlatko

    vlatko TS Rookie Posts: 18

    jakkar, i have the sam motherboard and am having the exact same problem. i tempered in the realtek sound manager and when i selected 8 channel, even though i have 5.1 surround(genius wood system), all my speakers started to work. now on first look that's great but after a short while i noticed that i dont have surround sound i have 5 speakers that are playing the same sound. :( i'm really disapointed with this. i bought a new pc a week ago, after 5 years of saving up, and now this.

    anyway, my specs, if anyone has any idea on what to do:
    windows xp
    amd sempron 3500+
    1gb ddr
    abit an8 sli
    gainward 6600 gt "golden sample" 128mb
    realtek ac'97 driver ver. 5.10
  18. Jakkar

    Jakkar TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hey Vlatko.

    Try this... Take the black and orange plugs in the back of your pc, remove them from their coloured ports, and swap them around between the pale blue/uncoloured ports. Those colours don't always indicate the right ports, check if there is any faint writing in the metal plate the sockets are set into.

    I fixed it this way, pretty much :)
  19. vlatko

    vlatko TS Rookie Posts: 18

    hey thanks for the tip, though i did fix it as well. i was just about to tell you how but you beat me to it. while switching wires i was running realtek sound manager and when i switched the first a screen came up that the connections are not in place and there's a picture on how they should be connected.

    works like a charm now as well. :)
  20. Merca

    Merca TS Rookie

    Hi. I am new here and i am having the same problem. I got a creative t6100 5.1 speaker set and the 2 rear spakers did not seem to work. I tried the changing the sockets bit (black to orange and viceversa) and it made the rear speakers work but now the cneter speaker is not working. Can anybody help me?

    I have

    Windows Xp
    Amd Athlon 64, 3000+
    Asus A8N SLI Deluxe
    nvidia nforce4 SLI, amd hammer
    Realtek AC97 audio
  21. Jakkar

    Jakkar TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I'm tech-useless but I'll do what I can on an old thread...

    You've only swapped through black and orange, swap like crazy and make sure you've got centre plugged into green.

    On my Asus A8N I found the colours didn't match the way they should have, though I can't remember what the setup -was-, as that PC fried in a power surge 6 months ago.. *sigh*

    I think the key to making surround sound work is as follows -

    A: Don't be a perfectionist, it never seems to work without flaw

    B: Abandon all hope before trying

    C: Buy a soundcard, gods, just buy a soundcard.

    Speaking purely from experience in trying to make it work on anyone's PC, anywhere.
  22. Merca

    Merca TS Rookie

    thanks. i did manage to make the speakers work and it would be perfect were it not for the fact that the sound seems to die out after a while and the speakers seem to start giving me crap. I am gonna save money when i comeback to college and start working again and a soundcard will definitely be on my shopping list.
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