Hook up surround sound to pc

So why does the technology industry feel it's in the right to put artificial barrier between you and your entertainment? It is an ongoing struggle, ever since the first PC sound card there have been issues trying to entice beautiful music from the contraptions.

How to set up your PC for great surround sound

Today hardware in many ways is far better behaved, largely as it's integrated on an industrial scale to the despair of poor Creative. This is backed up with far less complexity within Windows itself. The issues that many people face are ensuring they get the best experience from their existing set up, while making the PC or laptop play nice with external entertainment devices. This can be tracked back to when the first CD drive was connected to the PC. Someone had the bright idea to use a cable even though it was perfectly possible to redirect the sound digitally, and would lead to people without CD audio.

So PC Format is here to cut through all the connectors, cables, standards and settings so you can get the best sound — surround or not — from your PC for ear-pleasing games, music and films. We all take sound for granted. Hearing's the neglected sense, constantly running second place to vision.

But without sound Michael Bay films would be an unintelligible kaleidoscope of fire and posing pseudo-teen actors. Next time you're playing a game or watching a film, switch off the sound and see how long you last. With games, audio adds vital subtle clues as to your enemy's whereabouts and actions that visuals just can't do. While for films a mixture of atmospheric soundtrack and a range of effects builds tension and emotions.

Before we start unravelling the yards of wires involved with surround speakers, let's quickly cover the sound systems Windows uses in Vista and 7. This lists what Windows considers to be all of your audio output devices, it's useful as it enables separate configurations for your main speakers, headphones and digital output for films to an amp or HDTV.

Connect Surround Sound

If you select 'Speakers' this will highlight the 'Configure' and 'Properties' buttons. You should click and run through 'Configure' at least once, it tells Windows how many and how the speakers are set up. It's unlikely you have full-range speakers, these are capable of producing reasonable base response and are not satellite speakers. If you're running a 2. Once Windows knows how many speakers you're running click 'Properties'.

This enables you to adjust just how Windows treats the audio, what connections it thinks are available and how they are configured. Click the 'Enhancements' tab and this provides a number of genuinely useful real-time effects. Bass Management, Virtual Surround and Loudness Equalization all provide adjustments to the audio to suite your tastes. Bass Management is useful for satellites as you can specify the 'cross-over' point for bass effects handled by the sub-woofer.

The standard is 80Hz; raising this to Hz or even Hz provides a smoother transition from the satellites to the sub. Room Correction is especially useful; it's an auto-configuration for your surround system. Using a microphone it will tweak the delay for each surround speaker to enhance the surround effect for the room and speaker positions.


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This means that you won't have to worry about precise placement of the satellite speakers. The most common integrated sound manager is from Realtek and it's the orange speaker Notification area icon that you have probably seen. Double-click this and, while the interface is somewhat more complex, it offers the same base settings as Windows does, from Room Correction to speaker selection.

It does provide jack selection, so you can switch the function of jacks around, which saves a level of demeaning crawling around the back of your PC. A major inspiration for writing this feature has been the amount of emails we get from readers regarding problems they have encountered with HDMI audio.

How to Hook Up Surround Sound to PC - [Solved] - Systems

It sounds like such a simple idea: But the depth of the complexity is only matched by the despair of trying to get audio and video to where you want it. To begin, HDMI is a digital connection and it's designed to carry audio, video and control signals over the same data channels and wires.

Technically, the audio and any control data is transmitted in the horizontal and vertical blank periods of the video signal. For us PC users we know that graphics cards can generate the video but how does the audio get into the video signal? We're glad you asked. Ever since the GeForce 3xx and Radeon HD 2xxx series sported integrated sound cards the audio has to be 'injected' into the signal by the graphics card.

At one end the cable will have a plug to go into the headphone jack of your computer. The plug will look like the plug on the end of any pair of headphones.

How to Connect Surround Sound to a Computer

At the other end, the cable will have two RCA-type plugs red and white. These go into your stereo. Plug the computer end of the cable into the headphone jack on your computer. There may be a few jacks; the headphone one is usually green.

Scenario 2: Sound Blaster X-Fi card

Connect the other end of the cable to the free set of inputs on the back of your stereo. Be sure to match red to red and white to white. Select the input to which you connected the Y adapter.

For example, if you connected to "Aux," press the "Aux" button on the front of your stereo. Adjust the volume of your computer to around 80 percent.


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  6. You should hear the sound of your computer playing through your stereo. I assume he wants 5. Happy surround, the Prisoner How to hook up a 5. I need to figure out what I'll need to hook them up to my computer for surround sound. I d - Forum How do I hook up an old 5. Bobby, can you tell me what motherboard you are using? Or do you have analog outputs lime green you do have black and orange?