i just bought a pretty high end speaker system from Logitech (the z906) and im not sure if i am connecting it in the best possible way. im not very experienced with audio i usually just deal with the one green 3.5mm that spits out audio. the cable that came with the z906 however has black tan and green, so i figured that if i connect those cables to the back of my pc that everything would work ok. well nothing happens.... im not sure if it is something that i need to enable in windows or what but the only way i can get audio at all is to use the same green audio connector (on the new cable) that i used with my old system... you can hear audio come from all speakers and the sub when playing music or whatever but im not certain that it is correctly configured for 5.1 because in the audio feature in windows, the "test" does not work with all of the speakers it just picks up the front R and L speakers.my motherboard has what seems like quite a few audio options on it so i don't think i need a sound card, but im really not sure. my motherboard is an evga E758-A1. here is a link for a picture of the I/O panel on the back.
windows audio control panel should show what speaker configuration is to be used.
you have to play a surround sound format OR the soundcard has to encode the audio into a surround sound format.
3.5mm outputs are analog and wont have a digital surround sound format going across those cables.
the 'best' way is to choose analog outputs or digital outputs and compare them both.
whichever one makes the speakers sound more detailed is the correct choice.
many video games dont use dolby digital or dts for audio.
that means you have to use the analog outputs for surround sound IF your soundcard doesnt use 'dolby digital live' or 'dts connect'
if you want more detailed help.. tell us what operating system you are using so we know what steps to post that will help you find the location where you can change the speaker configuration setup.
it's probably best to open up any software that goes with the soundcard.
installing the drivers only isn't enough.. you have to install a program that changes the settings on the soundcard to select analog or digital output.
other settings in the software include 'bypass s/pdif' or 'decode s/pdif'
these tell the soundcard to pass the signal directly to the external dolby digital (or dts) decoder.
at the very least..
if the soundcard is configured for surround sound, browse the internet for other people who have the same problem with the windows speaker 'test'
maybe there is a problem with your operating system that is causing the 'test' to work wrong.
it sounds like you have connected the green cord to the soundcard and the speaker system is playing the stereo signal on all four speakers.
i would suggest you learn how to turn that 'virtual surround sound' off and continue trying to get the soundcard to output surround sound.
well i am using windows 7 pro and i am not using a sound card that came with software and such. i have all of those 3.5 jacks coming out of my motherboard in addition to a orange jack that i assume is a digital audio output as well. i guess my question is what do i have to set in windows 7 to be able to either use the analog tan,green,black cable or perhaps the orange one?
first things first: the plugs from the logitech speaker system should be color coded to the plugs on the back panel of your computer. if they aren't color coded then refer to anwaypasible's list.
if you don't have a dedicated sound card then most likely you have integrated sound. this is not a problem. if you assembled the system yourself the motherboard disk should have software drivers. if you bought the system from a retailer then it should already have them installed. you can always check to see which integrated sound chipset you have and then download the latest drivers for them if you haven't already.
you will need to set your audio properties to 5.1 and not 2.1 (or whatever its set at now). i'm not on my windows 7 rig right now so i can't walk you through step by step but i believe its in control panel under audio.
maybe the soundcard is defaulting to stereo output because there arent any drivers or software installed.
since the soundcard is integrated onto the motherboard, the drivers should be on the CD that came with the motherboard.
you could go to the motherboard manufacturer website to download more recently released drivers.
i tried to find instructions for windows 7 to get to the audio control properties, and i couldnt find any instructions.