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Issues with surround sound from optical output with x41's

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January 3, 2012 9:41:24 AM

Hi All,

I am having issues with receiving surround sound on my Turtle Beach X41's via optical output, and i think i've found the reason but i still have some concearn

I receive surround when using the headset with xbox360 and when in the optical output settings, if i select 'dolby digital' under 'supported formats' and click 'test' it tests in dolby digital surround, but when gaming, listening to music or videos its just stereo dolby pro logic.

My Motherboard is ASUS P8P67 which has onboard Realtek® ALC 892 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC.
I have read that alot of soundcards dont output 5.1 or 7.1 via optical, and (after hours of searching) that one that has dolby digital live supprt is needed.

My real question here is, if i was to purchase a card that has support for dolby digital live, will that simply (excuse my lack of knowledge) change the stereo 2.1 signal to a sort of 'fake' 5.1 or 7.1? As i dont think this would be suitable, since what im after is TRUE surround sound like i get on my XBOX to pinpoint enemies locations via sound.

Of note might also be the fact that i also have a Tritton AX PRO 5.1 headset which works fine using the analog connections, but really doesnt sound like 5.1, theres no situational awareness to be had.

Id appreciate any help on this as all my hours of researching (which i'm normally good at) has come up fruitless, and im positive many gamers are using surround headsets.

Best solution

January 3, 2012 12:19:07 PM

Quote:
I have read that alot of soundcards dont output 5.1 or 7.1 via optical, and (after hours of searching) that one that has dolby digital live supprt is needed.


Correct. Due to bandwidth limitations, uncompressed 5.1 is too large to be outputted via optical. Only Dolby/DTS formats, which are compressed, can send surround sound via optical.

Quote:
My real question here is, if i was to purchase a card that has support for dolby digital live, will that simply (excuse my lack of knowledge) change the stereo 2.1 signal to a sort of 'fake' 5.1 or 7.1?


No, that would be Pro Logic [which is also supported by most soundcards]. Dolby Digital Live takes a 5.1 audio stream and converts it to 5.1 Dolby Digital.

I'm a bit surprised the AX Pro is having problems via analog, since thats the superior output. I had one a while back, and it wasn't too bad...[wasn't great; I prefer virtualized surround though...]. Might just be how onboard is processing though. Even if you get a soundcard with DDL support, I'd still recommend doing a comparision between optical and analog.
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January 4, 2012 12:42:30 AM

Hey thanks for the reply, I've purchased a Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium PCIe, since only a PCIe would fit in my PC at the moment, so i'll be installing that when it arrives in a day or so and ill update the thread =)

I think my issues with the AX PRO's may be due to the fact that i've been using Earforce X41's with my xbox so much, and they're 7.1 simulated surround, and i've just started using the ax pro's which are 5.1 'true' surround.

I dont know, i just feel as if the ability to pinpoint the locations of enemies with the x41's was waaaay better than the ax pro's, maybe its to do with the difference between 7.1 simulated and 5.1 true surround.

Well we'll find out soon enough when i hook up the X41's to my PC =) ill let you know what the outcome is.

Thanks for your help, much appreciated.
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January 4, 2012 12:58:26 AM

Best answer selected by spastic-nutcase.
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