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Can't get surround sound from optical jack (Asus Z87-Plus)

This is a discussion on Can't get surround sound from optical jack (Asus Z87-Plus) within the Sound Cards forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. I don't know if this is a hardware problem or a driver problem. For some reason I can only get


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Old 03-08-2015, 01:43 PM   #1
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I don't know if this is a hardware problem or a driver problem.

For some reason I can only get sound from the optical jack to come in through two speakers. I just tried out the latest drivers for my motherboard from both Realtek and Asus's websites. The box for my motherboard says it supports DTS. However, no matter what I do I can't find any configuration options for the optical output, not in the Windows control panel and not using the Realtek Audio Manager.

I can get surround sound for videos and using the test in the windows control panel, but not for any PC games (I've tested out ones that are known to have 7.1). People tell me I need to configure something called "DTS-Interactive," but I haven't found anything by that name in the Realtek Manager.

Right now, any game, along with my system audio, sounds like what's supposed to be 7 channels but it's all coming in through two speakers.

I added an attachment to show what my Realtek Manager looks like.
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Old 03-10-2015, 10:35 AM   #2
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Optical outputs will only output surround audio from a digital surround source (ie: audio test, and DVD/Blu-Ray discs with surround tracks).

All Windows audio, mp3's, video files, etc. are stereo and will only output in stereo. To get surround sound for gaming, you will need to use analog outputs.

The DTS support applies to source material in that format (ie: DVD/Blu-Ray discs).
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Old 03-10-2015, 01:18 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimE View Post
Optical outputs will only output surround audio from a digital surround source (ie: audio test, and DVD/Blu-Ray discs with surround tracks).

All Windows audio, mp3's, video files, etc. are stereo and will only output in stereo. To get surround sound for gaming, you will need to use analog outputs.

The DTS support applies to source material in that format (ie: DVD/Blu-Ray discs).
If this is true then I have grossly misunderstood how I'm supposed to use my Astro MixAmp (another device I use to try to get surround sound). With the MixAmp I've been able to get surround sound for console games but not PC games.

On the back of the MixAmp there is an optical input, two composite inputs, and a coaxial input. I'm guessing the coaxial is what I need to use to get surround sound for PC games? If that's how it is, what's the proper port on the back of my motherboard? If my motherboard doesn't already have one, can I install some kind of adapter?
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Old 03-11-2015, 10:33 AM   #4
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Optical and coaxial are both digital outputs and function the same.

Most sound cards don't have the ability to process audio (ie: encode) into a DD51 or DTS stream for output. Thus, as noted above, only sources (ie: DVD movies) with those stream types are output over digital as surround. Otherwise, the digital output is stereo only.

For reference (s/pdf noted towards end of article: How to set up your PC for great surround sound | Home Cinema Audio News | TechRadar
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Old 03-11-2015, 01:01 PM   #5
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Okay. I'm just trying to understand what's going on in this FAQ at Astro's website.

https://support.astrogaming.com/arti...ixAmp-to-my-PC

Quote:
Step 1 - Connect the Main (Game) Audio

As it does for console games, the MixAmp™ will give any connected PC the benefits of Dolby Surround and high-quality
amplification without using processor cycles or internal hardware. There are many different ways to connect your
new MixAmp™ -- we’ll list the connections you can use (in the preferred order of quality).

A) Coaxial Digital - (cable not included)

Connecting to the MixAmp’s™ rear COAX input: this type of connector is very durable and long runs are reasonably inexpensive. Many PC motherboards and sound cards come standard with a coaxial digital output, and we recommend using your MixAmp™ with this type of input. You may need to adjust your PC’s Audio Properties, and enable Digital I/O (usually a check box). Consult your motherboard user’s manual for further information.

B) ToSlink Optical Digital - (cable not included)

Connecting to the MixAmp’s™ rear OPTICAL input: Many PC motherboards and sound cards come standard with an optical (Toslink) digital output. You may need to adjust your PC’s Audio Properties, and enable Digital output (with XP, this is usually
a check box). Consult your motherboard or soundcard user manual for further information.
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Old 03-13-2015, 11:40 AM   #6
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And neither of those options state you will get surround audio.

To the best of my knowledge, everything that I've stated is accurate. This is the very reason I an using analog instead of optical to my Logitech Z5500 surround sound speakers.

With Optical, from either the Realtek chipset or from my Asus Xonar D2X, I do not get surround audio while gaming. The speaker test works, and movie playback is fine.
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