Total Noob needs help, how to output sound?

So, even though I've setup my own towers plenty of times, I'm have never in my life used a sound card before. The other day, I saw one on sale on NewEgg, and I happened to have been planning to setup my XBOX 360 alongside my tower. I made the purchase (Here), and this was the setup I thought I was going to do:

Video: HDMI-to-DVI to a monitor
Audio In: Digital Optical from XBOX into sound card
Audio Out: Going to purchase a nice 5.1 or 7.1 headset

Well, I realized after purchasing the card that the headsets are USB. I have USB speakers, and when I tried using them to output sound from the XBOX, I couldn't get any sound to come out. Does this mean I have to have a headset that has a Digital Optical connector that will connect directly to the sound card? Or is there some step that I'm missing in order to output sound from XBOX > Soundcard > USB Speakers / Headset? Thank you!
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  1. Well, your plan is has a few minor problems:

    First and formost: Soundcards can NOT decode Dolby Digital streams transmited over optical. So the only input that will be able to be played back is standard 2.0 PCM. If you are trying to stream a dolby signal over optical to a soundcard, you will get nothing but white noise.

    [Reference thread over at guru3d:]

    Secondly, you need to configure the input/output device from the Windows control panel. More then likey, the optical input is not set as the default audio input device.
  2. Third problem is USB headsets are their own soundcard outright, your HT isnt going to be used with those headphones or your usb speakers. I'm guessing that neither USB set has inputs for your xbox so your choices are to sell the HT and use what you have or get a set of normal headphones to use with the HT.
  3. Well, all I want is to be able to play XBOX and watch movies off my computer with 5.1/7.1 surround sound. I want to also have the option of using either my headset or speakers for it. For the type of gaming I'm looking to do, it is vital that I can clearly distinguish directionality.
  4. ^^ Well, when using optical, there's simply no way to stream 5.1 from the 360 to a PC, because there is no way to decode 5.1 over the optical input port. You will be limited to 2.1, no matter what you do. [Thats the main reason I HATE S/PDIF].
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