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Why can't I get surround sound ?

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January 13, 2013 7:29:25 PM

The user manual for the GA-78LMT-USB3 Rev 4.1 mobo states that the Realtek ALC887 codec can handle up to 7.1-channel audio, but that it has to be configured using the HD front panel audio module, and the multi-channel audio feature must be enabled through the audio driver.
I have the Logitech X-530 speaker system which requires it's three jacks (green,black & orange) to be connected to the PC to obtain surround sound, but the back panel of the PC only has one line in socket (blue), one line out (green), and a Mic (pink). By plugging the green jack into the green line out socket, I am able to get stereo sound through two of the speakers only, but I cannot figure out how to get all of the speakers working in order to receive surround sound.
So far I have plugged headphones into one of the two audio jacks on the front audio panel of the PC and this gives good sound quality. The second audio jack appears to be for SPDIF but I cannot get any sound by connecting any of the three speaker jacks into it.
Plugging the green speaker plug into the same jack as the headphones on the front audio panel also gives good quality stereo sound through two of the speakers, although the playback device display states that headphones are plugged in rather than speakers.
I have tried messing around with the driver settings in Control Panel to no avail and the only conclusion that I can come up with (which may or may not seem obvious to others) , is that the system is unable to provide surround sound using the onboard sound only and that I need to buy a soundcard.
Please can anyone confirm if this is the case ?
P.S. The same surround speaker system works fine with my other PC which has corresponding coloured sockets on it's back panel for the three speaker jacks to connect to.

More about : surround sound

a b V Motherboard
January 14, 2013 12:41:25 AM

Note said .. To configure 7.1-channel audio, you have to use an HD front panel audio module and enable the multi-channel audio feature through the audio driver.
January 14, 2013 1:01:40 PM

Well unless I'm mistaken, and I don't think that I am, the two input jacks on the front of the PC ARE what is referred to as the HD front panel audio module. The problem that I am having is in configuring the surround sound feature in Control Panel. As I said, I have tried messing around with the driver settings, but I really need some instruction on how to configure the audio driver settings to enable surround sound.
My old PC's has the appropriate sockets on the rear panel which makes connection of surround sound speakers a simple matter, but the Gigabyte motherboard manual for the new PC is of very little help in explaining how to enable surround sound.
Related resources
January 14, 2013 1:18:40 PM

Thanks for your suggestion, but what is a 'sound wire' and how do you check the drivers of sound ?
a b V Motherboard
January 15, 2013 12:54:51 AM

in device manager to check your driver.
more accurate i will check it in "program" of control panel.
January 15, 2013 11:16:05 AM

andyman1 said:
The user manual for the GA-78LMT-USB3 Rev 4.1 mobo states that the Realtek ALC887 codec can handle up to 7.1-channel audio, but that it has to be configured using the HD front panel audio module, and the multi-channel audio feature must be enabled through the audio driver.
I have the Logitech X-530 speaker system which requires it's three jacks (green,black & orange) to be connected to the PC to obtain surround sound, but the back panel of the PC only has one line in socket (blue), one line out (green), and a Mic (pink). By plugging the green jack into the green line out socket, I am able to get stereo sound through two of the speakers only, but I cannot figure out how to get all of the speakers working in order to receive surround sound.
So far I have plugged headphones into one of the two audio jacks on the front audio panel of the PC and this gives good sound quality. The second audio jack appears to be for SPDIF but I cannot get any sound by connecting any of the three speaker jacks into it.
Plugging the green speaker plug into the same jack as the headphones on the front audio panel also gives good quality stereo sound through two of the speakers, although the playback device display states that headphones are plugged in rather than speakers.
I have tried messing around with the driver settings in Control Panel to no avail and the only conclusion that I can come up with (which may or may not seem obvious to others) , is that the system is unable to provide surround sound using the onboard sound only and that I need to buy a soundcard.
Please can anyone confirm if this is the case ?
P.S. The same surround speaker system works fine with my other PC which has corresponding coloured sockets on it's back panel for the three speaker jacks to connect to.


*********************************************************************************************************************************************

Perhaps if I explain things in more detail, then someone would be kind enough to help me. Otherwise I will just have to make do with stereo sound coming from two of the speakers of my Logitach X-530.
Please don't bother answering with vague one line sentences which are of no help to me at all.

Control Panel (Device Manager)/ Sound,video and game controllers (2 drivers installed):

AMD High Definition Audio Device, 11/5/2012, version 7.12.0.7708 - This device is working properly
Realtek H.D.A, 18/10/2011, version 6.0.1.6482 - This device is working properly

The Logitech manual states that the three jacks coloured green,black & orange need to be plugged into the corresponding sockets on a PC in order to obtain surround sound.
I know that all of the speakers are working because I get excellent surround sound when I have the three coloured jacks connected to the corresponding sockets in the back panel of my old PC.
Unfortunately, my new PC has this unfathomable two panel system which is totally alien to me and I am unable to obtain surround sound despite trying various combinations of jack connections and configuration settings when right-clicking the desktop speaker icon and choosing 'playback devices'.

Here is a sample of what I have tried:

With the green jack plugged into one of the two sockets on the front audio panel and nothing plugged into the rear panel, I get the option of two playback devices:
With the default device set to 'Speakers' (Realtek High Definition Audio), the configuration options include 7.1 surround, but running the test reveals that only the left and right speaker is audible and this is the case regardless of whether I set the output sevice as stereo, quadrophonic, 5.1 surround, or 7.1 surround.
With the default device set to 'Realtek Digital Output', the configure options are not even available.

If I plug the black jack into the other front audio panel socket whilst leaving the green jack plugged in, a dialog box opens which requests me to state which device I have just connected and gives a number of options as follows:
Line in, Mic in, Headphone, Front speaker out, Rear speaker out, center/subwoofer speaker out, side speaker out.
As it would be nice to hear some bass, I have set this to 'center/subwoofer speaker out'.

So, with two of the three jacks plugged into the two available front audio panel sockets, I can now get sound from the left front speaker, the right front speaker, the center speaker, and the center/subwoofer speaker. However, this is hardly surround sound and there is no available front panel audio socket for the 'orange' jack.

If I plug the green jack into the green 'line out' socket on the back audio panel of the PC, I can obtain stereo sound through the front left and front right speakers, so I am wondering if I might be able to achieve full surround sound by plugging the other two jacks (black and orange) into the two front panel audio sockets and configuring them as 'center/subwoofer speaker out' and 'side speakers out' devices ?
Does anyone think that this may work ? It means that I'll have to do a bit of cable surgery as the three-ply cable only seperates about 6 inches away from the three jacks, and there is a couple of feet between the PC's front and back audio panels.
I have to say that I cannot for the life of me understand why manufacturers have come up with such a user-unfriendly design as this. Do other new PC owners have to go to the trouble of cutting through speaker cables in order to connect a surround sound speaker system, or what ?
January 15, 2013 11:17:41 AM

Perhaps if I explain things in more detail, then someone would be kind enough to help me. Otherwise I will just have to make do with stereo sound coming from two of the speakers of my Logitach X-530.
Please don't bother answering with vague one line sentences which are of no help to me at all.

Control Panel (Device Manager)/ Sound,video and game controllers (2 drivers installed):

AMD High Definition Audio Device, 11/5/2012, version 7.12.0.7708 - This device is working properly
Realtek H.D.A, 18/10/2011, version 6.0.1.6482 - This device is working properly

The Logitech manual states that the three jacks coloured green,black & orange need to be plugged into the corresponding sockets on a PC in order to obtain surround sound.
I know that all of the speakers are working because I get excellent surround sound when I have the three coloured jacks connected to the corresponding sockets in the back panel of my old PC.
Unfortunately, my new PC has this unfathomable two panel system which is totally alien to me and I am unable to obtain surround sound despite trying various combinations of jack connections and configuration settings when right-clicking the desktop speaker icon and choosing 'playback devices'.

Here is a sample of what I have tried:

With the green jack plugged into one of the two sockets on the front audio panel and nothing plugged into the rear panel, I get the option of two playback devices:
With the default device set to 'Speakers' (Realtek High Definition Audio), the configuration options include 7.1 surround, but running the test reveals that only the left and right speaker is audible and this is the case regardless of whether I set the output sevice as stereo, quadrophonic, 5.1 surround, or 7.1 surround.
With the default device set to 'Realtek Digital Output', the configure options are not even available.

If I plug the black jack into the other front audio panel socket whilst leaving the green jack plugged in, a dialog box opens which requests me to state which device I have just connected and gives a number of options as follows:
Line in, Mic in, Headphone, Front speaker out, Rear speaker out, center/subwoofer speaker out, side speaker out.
As it would be nice to hear some bass, I have set this to 'center/subwoofer speaker out'.

So, with two of the three jacks plugged into the two available front audio panel sockets, I can now get sound from the left front speaker, the right front speaker, the center speaker, and the center/subwoofer speaker. However, this is hardly surround sound and there is no available front panel audio socket for the 'orange' jack.

If I plug the green jack into the green 'line out' socket on the back audio panel of the PC, I can obtain stereo sound through the front left and front right speakers, so I am wondering if I might be able to achieve full surround sound by plugging the other two jacks (black and orange) into the two front panel audio sockets and configuring them as 'center/subwoofer speaker out' and 'side speakers out' devices ?
Does anyone think that this may work ? It means that I'll have to do a bit of cable surgery as the three-ply cable only seperates about 6 inches away from the three jacks, and there is a couple of feet between the PC's front and back audio panels.
I have to say that I cannot for the life of me understand why manufacturers have come up with such a user-unfriendly design as this. Do other new PC owners have to go to the trouble of cutting through speaker cables in order to connect a surround sound speaker system, or what ?
a c 558 V Motherboard
January 15, 2013 11:28:29 AM

Hi, Not accustomed also with this system, but you can buy an extension cable and test
http://www.avalive.com/NTI/sa25-12-mf/170193/productDet... .
It seems that's the way to go.
However by getting answers, even if not very helpful you keep the thread alive and eventually you might get the needed answer.
January 15, 2013 11:47:22 AM

alexoiu said:
Hi, Not accustomed also with this system, but you can buy an extension cable and test
http://www.avalive.com/NTI/sa25-12-mf/170193/productDet... .
It seems that's the way to go.
However by getting answers, even if not very helpful you keep the thread alive and eventually you might get the needed answer.


Thanks alexoiu. I think I will buy an extension cable to save me from potentially damaging the existing cable or my fingers.
February 21, 2014 10:20:30 AM

I have the same motherboard as you and am currently listening to 5.1 on my Logitech Z506. I went to http://www.realtek.com.tw/downloads/ and downloaded the High definition Audio Codecs (I'm assuming your not using the AC'97... I have no idea if that makes a difference, however, it might*?*). Restart computer. In the system tray you will find Realtek HD Audio Manager. Open this. Select 5.1 Speaker and make sure all your optional speakers are checked. Now go and plug in the green audio cord to the center plugin an the back. The popup should open and select Front Speaker Out. If there is no pop up then look to the right under ANALOG back panel and double click the center (green) plug just to make sure its front speaker out. Plug the Black cable into the BLUE plug in the back This is your Side Speaker Out (possibly Rear). The Orange plug goes in the remaining back plug and is center/subwoofer. Now if you press test it should be all good. If your playing stereo sound you will still only hear stereo. To fix this select "Speaker Fill" this upmixes to 5.1. Now when you play music it should come out of every speaker whereas 5.1 Movies will play in true 5.1.
Oh and I'm pretty sure (although I haven't properly tested it) If you want 7.1 that's when you have to add the 4th audio cable to your HD FRONT audio and make sure its correctly configured to the appropriate speakers.
February 23, 2014 1:55:59 PM

Thank you so much One_Dead_Headphone . I followed your instructions and now I've got perfect 5.1 surround sound. It would appear that the reference to using the two jacks on the front panel is misleading and totally unnecessary (certainly in the case of the Logitech X-530 speaker system ).
!