Jump to content

Sign up for a free account to remove the pop-up ads

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests and remove the pop-up ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.

- - - - -

Perfect 5.1 surround sound but very low dialogue

  • You cannot start a new topic
  • Please log in to reply
5 replies to this topic

#1 of 6 OFFLINE   jwz-swa



  • 3 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 21 2013

Posted January 21 2013 - 02:26 AM

Hi, I've got an 6 channel speaker system which is connected to my pc with an external spdif cable. (usb to coaxial). I tried a lot of things, but i can never get 5.1 sound including loud voices. My center speaker is perfectly connected. When i select stereo output i can hear the voices, but not when i select 5.1. I tried so many things, and just nothing helped. I hope you guys can help me out. :) Jwz

#2 of 6 OFFLINE   Jason Charlton

Jason Charlton


  • 3,366 posts
  • Join Date: May 16 2002
  • Real Name:Jason Charlton
  • LocationBaltimore, MD

Posted January 21 2013 - 03:24 AM

Not sure I can help you out with your specific problem, but there are a number of additional things we need to know:

- What speakers are you using (manufacturuer and model number)?

- What file(s) are you trying to play from your PC?

- What sound card is installed in your PC?

Even with that information, I have little experience with PCs and surround sound to be able to offer any possible solutions.

From a high-level perspective, you need to understand how digital surround sound works.  Simply connecting x number of speakers to a system does not mean they will all be used.

First, the source material must be properly encoded with a digital 5.1 soundtrack.  CDs and .mp3s DO NOT fit this bill.  Any "ripped" DVDs or other movies may or may not have the original digital 5.1 audio stream preserved.  This will depend on the method and software used to transfer the files from disc to the PC.

Second, the PC (and sound card) must be capable of (and properly configured to) either:

    [*] Output the still properly encoded digital audio stream (via digital optical, coaxial, or HDMI cable) to a device (audio/video receiver, soundbar, etc.) that is capable of decoding the 5.1 signal into its discrete audio channels then routing those individual signals to the appropriate speaker(s).  OR
    [*] Decoding the encoded audio stream into its discrete audio channels and then outputting those discrete audio signals (usually using a separate connection for each speaker) to their respective speakers OR
    [*] Decoding the encoded audio stream into a format that is compatible with the connected speaker system - this will vary depending on the speakers used, some of them include three stereo "minijack" connections - each one carrying two channels of the original 5.1 audio stream, sometimes using a proprietary connector, etc. Really, the possibilities are almost limitless, hence we need to know what speakers you're using.
    [/list] You mentioned a USB output on the soundcard to digital coaxial cable.  I suppose it's perfectly possible that a soundcard would use USB for digital 5.1 output, but personally, I've not heard it mentioned around here before.  Perhaps someone else can verify that a USB output can support digital 5.1?

    Have you tried using an actual DVD or Blu-ray in the PC's drive to ensure that the source audio format is, in fact, the proper format?  Does this sound any better on the external speakers?

    A likely source of the problem is in your sound card settings.  Again, I have no firsthand experience in this, but if you've verified that the speakers are properly connected, my guess would be that they simply aren't getting the correctly decoded audio stream.

Are you new to the Home Theater Forum? Stop by the New Member Introductions area and introduce yourself! See you there!

#3 of 6 OFFLINE   jwz-swa



  • 3 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 21 2013

Posted January 21 2013 - 04:07 AM

Thanks a lot for your first reply! I kinda got a mixed audio system. I got a Pioneer subwoofer/receiver (subwoofer and receiver in one) and 5 JBL speakers. It's a rcs-505h but then with other speakers. I am trying to play a lot of audio formats like AC3, DTS, AAC. I got a very, very old pc: HP workstation xw4100. I dont really know the type of soundcard. :s My original soundcard does not have an digital output. Thats why i have a usb to coaxial digital converter. This is not from the orginal soundcard. It's an external soundcard. This soundcard also requires another driver. I also think it has something to do with the sound settings, but i don't know what to do. Thanks in advance!

#4 of 6 OFFLINE   jwz-swa



  • 3 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 21 2013

Posted January 23 2013 - 02:41 AM

Nobody knows a solution?

#5 of 6 OFFLINE   Gary Seven

Gary Seven

    Grand Poo Pah

  • 1,535 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 15 2003
  • Real Name:Gaston
  • LocationLake Worth, Florida

Posted January 23 2013 - 03:18 AM

1.  Sound card must be able to provide 5.1.

2.  You must have the codecs for dolby digital and DTS installed.

3.  Configure the sound for 5.1 in the sound settings.

4.  Connections to PC must provide 5.1 support (analog connection).

The last one can be a type of receiver that decodes the signal so you can use a optical connector.  A receiver such as this...


which, in this case, comes with the speakers.

I have never heard of using USB for sound but I did google and found this...


Your system config is not what I cam acustomed to so I offer possibilities, not answers.

#6 of 6 ONLINE   schan1269


    HTF Expert

  • 16,749 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 04 2012
  • Real Name:Sam
  • LocationChicago-ish/NW Indiana

Posted January 23 2013 - 03:20 AM

I'm no help here either. When I bought my last three laptops I said... "I need 5.1 audio output on DVD/BD and when available streamed." My last HP DV7 cost $600. The Acer before it was $700.

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users