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Asus Xonar DG: No Sound from Rear/Central Speakers

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June 28, 2012 9:54:32 PM

Hello Tom's Hardware,

This is a problem that I can't seem to find a solution for on Google, which is a very upsetting first.

I recently bought the Asus Xonar DG 5.1 card (http://www.dabs.com/products/asus-xonar-dg-5-1-pci-gamer-soundcard-with-built-in-headphone-amp-to-power-up-every-detail-in-game-75TF.html) and set it up into a new PC.

I tried plugging an optical cable between the sound card and a home theatre system (Sony S-Master STR-KS1000: http://pdf.crse.com/manuals/2661769142.pdf).
However, when trying to play sound from the system, only sound that is supposed to come through the left or right speakers can be heard. Any sound that is directed to the central, rear left, rear right or subwoofer speakers cannot be heard.

The drivers are installed and up to date. The utility provided hasn't got any glaring errors in the settings, that I can see - the "SPDIF out" option is checked, for example, which is a common error my googling has shown. The default sound device in Windows has been set to "Speakers", which is another common error I see around, although people with this problem report that sound that should come out of their rear speakers instead comes out of the front speakers, rather than nothing happening at all.

Here's a screenshot summarising my previous paragraph: http://oi45.tinypic.com/2dhzku8.jpg

The speakers do work as I can use the very same cable and have all the speakers working on other devices that I own.

One thing that comes to mind is that perhaps the home theatre system somehow doesn't support the input coming from the computer, but I doubt that. Given that sound that should be coming out of the rear speakers, etc, is silent, it leads me to believe that this sound is being sent to the right places but is getting lost on the way, somehow.

Any help would be appreciated!
June 28, 2012 10:15:21 PM

Have you verified that your Sony receiver is not set to 2CH mode, or AFD? Those older HTIB units were pretty stupid about some of the decoding modes. Try setting it to Auto, or PLII. With these modes, even if your PC isn't sending a 5 channel signal, your HTIB should decode it the best it can. Also, you can try playing a DVD in your PC, and see if the Dolby Digital signal gets picked up.
June 28, 2012 10:37:02 PM

Trying to change the receiver to "2CH mode" or "AFD" mode, using the remote, causes the display to tell me "not used". I see no "auto" or "PLII" buttons anywhere, although there is a button for "Movie" and "Music", both of which give the same error.

Trying to play a DVD results in the sound that should be coming out of the two front speakers being audible, but all other sound is silent - i.e half the sound from the movie was missing. As I skipped through the film, I noticed that a couple of scenes were totally silent as a result, was quite interesting. :) 

Here is an image of the remote: http://oi49.tinypic.com/s67oz5.jpg
Zoomed in: http://oi50.tinypic.com/2mc94ra.jpg

Edit again: It seems that the box will not let me change any of the modes you've mentioned on an optical-in "channel" - it will let me on some inputs, but not the optical cable, even through using the menu commands on the remote.

Also, through the display, despite my film definitely being Dolby Digital (it's the DVD of Harry Potter 4, and even WMP - forgive me, it's a fresh install of Windows - has detected the Dolby signal), I can see that it's not detecting a Dolby signal (see page 6 of the manual). In addition, the display is showing me that only the left and right "channels" are being "played back" (again, see page 6 of the manual). The only other light on the display is "OPT", for obvious reasons.
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July 1, 2012 11:23:33 AM

Update: also tried unplugging the sound card and plugging it back again (because why not?), to no avail.
October 16, 2012 2:37:04 AM

The Asus Xonar DG will ONLY output 2 channel stereo through the optical connector.
a b Ĉ ASUS
October 16, 2012 12:40:44 PM

Not quite. SPDIF can only carry surround audio via Dolby/DTS audio streams, otherwise its limited to just 2.0. Now, movies off a DVD *should* be able to pass through their Dolby/DTS streams, so its possible the media player is trying to decode the audio natively, instead of passing it through SPDIF.
October 16, 2012 10:45:03 PM

gamerk316 said:
Not quite. SPDIF can only carry surround audio via Dolby/DTS audio streams, otherwise its limited to just 2.0. Now, movies off a DVD *should* be able to pass through their Dolby/DTS streams, so its possible the media player is trying to decode the audio natively, instead of passing it through SPDIF.


You're right, that's normally how it would work. But on this particular card, it only outputs 2.0 regardless of the source.
November 4, 2012 6:19:17 PM

The card only outputs 2.0 through the optical connector? I'm not sure how I missed that particular detail. It also seems quite mad, why would you want 2.0 through an optical connector?

Once I get back home in a few months, I shall try and see what I can d with this new information. Thanks.
February 12, 2014 2:52:36 AM

hello lethay... i have a solution to your problem if u havent found yet. kindly let know
February 12, 2014 8:14:37 AM

coolfriend693 said:
hello lethay... i have a solution to your problem if u havent found yet. kindly let know


I had indeed never found a solution.
July 3, 2014 10:30:57 PM

if you found a solution could you please kindly email it to me at luistx1984@gmail.com

!