Do I need a sound card to play 7.1 surround sound?

I am trying to figure what is hardware and components are needed for a 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound

Is it that you need a 5.1 sound card, a 5.1 speakers and a video file that can play surround sound?

Or is it ok to have a HD audio controller on a laptop and a pair of in built speakers and a video file that can play surround sound?
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  1. Hi frozenfire29
    there are many options open to you
    1. you can get a soundcard that supports 7.1 surround, external or internal
    2. a motherboard that has onboard audio that supports 7.1 surround,
    3. external speakers that convert standard audio to 7.1 surround
  2. Best answer
    The built in speakers in your laptop would be incapable of playing surround sound. True surround sound (at least 5.1) require a front left and right speaker, rear left and right, centre and subwoofer. This can be achieved through cable types such as optical, or through individual jacks on the back of motherboards.

    As your laptop only has a stereo 3.5mm output (most likely) then it is only capable of stereo sound (either 2.0 or 2.1). You would have to invest in a sound card with an optical output/individual surround outputs to output TRUE surround sound.

    However, if you plugged in a speaker set, such as the logitech 5.1 system, then it would work perfectly fine.
  3. Normally ur video or audio file should have 6 channels (5.1)or 8 channel(7.1) to support hardware. or else u will have same sound on ur left rear, left front speaker and similarly right side sound on rear and front. it is muxed by decoders. On laptop it is difficult to have 5.1 sound or use a external sound card like creative external USB sound card with 5.1 speakers.
    Rest windows have settings for mixing 7.1 sounds to 5.1 surround sound.
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