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TheSpawnAngel

Audio card with optical connection for 5.1

If you must use the optical cable, Soundblaster Z indeed still support Dolby Digital Live encoding (as well as the slightly superior DTS Connect encoding). 

 

I was using one in my home theater for the last few years, works great. Down to a 2 speaker config now as I'm in early stages of preparing to move. 

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hello,

 

Let me just start by telling you guys that I am a total virgin, when it comes to audio. Spend a lot of time trying to figure out what to buy, but in the end I feel even more confused. So I am sorry if there are other topics on this subject, but I couldn't understand 90% of the stuff. 

Topics I read always say that the card must have DDL and DTS. But some cards do not support it via optical connection (or so I understand), some have problems with driver license (O_o), others have different issues (I guess). Saw recommendations for Xonar dx, dgx, d1 (all kind of alphabetical combinations), soundblaster z, soundblaster z + more letters. But then I read specific comments about the card and some people say it works, some that it does not. I am so baffled that the cable I purchased collects dust for the past year, because every couple of months I decide to finally buy an audio card and a week later I end up totally lost.

 

So I will try to be as narrow as I can on my question.

Setup: Motherboard - Asus z170 pro gaming, Sound system - Logitech z906, OS - Windows 10

What I want - Entry level audio card so I can watch 5.1 movies (different formats I think) and play games with surround option when using optical cable. Video player used to watch movies - Media Player classic. No need of audiophile cards. Budged option, because I can not hear the difference (especially now with the annoying tinnitus in my left ear), nor can z906 produce a decent sound for any audiophile card (from what I understand). 

 

For comparison: I have LG 55UH605V connected to z906 via optical cable, used for Netflix and movies from external HDD and I think its great.

 

Would appreciate any help!

Thanks in advance!

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So, you want something with DDL. The asus xonar dx does do this when configured properly. Alternatively, you might be able to find modded realtek drivers with DDL functionality for your current motherboard.

 

This is a very niche subject, and I am surprised that there are two threads about this now lol.

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3 hours ago, TheSpawnAngel said:

Thank you for the reply, but I am confused. I don't see optical connection on asus xonar dx.

One of the jacks is a combination spdif out, line in/mic in. You use it with a minitoslink adapter.

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You have computer specific 5.1 speakers, so rather than using an optical cable, just use the triple 3.5 mm cable that came with the Z906 and connect it to your computer's onboard sound output. Match pink to pink (surround left and right), black to black (center and subwoofer), and green to green (front left and right). Your computer will then decode any 5.1 channel audio tracks regardless if it's DTS, Dolby Digital, 5.1 channel FLAC, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, etc.

 

EDIT: I forgot to mention that you may need to specify in the Windows audio control panel that you are using a 5.1 configuration rather than stereo, though. However, I've noticed that the newer versions of Windows 10 seem to auto detect this, and I can't find those old built-in controls anymore. If you have the Realtek config manager installed or something similar, you can likely change this setting there, too.

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Posted · Best Answer

If you must use the optical cable, Soundblaster Z indeed still support Dolby Digital Live encoding (as well as the slightly superior DTS Connect encoding). 

 

I was using one in my home theater for the last few years, works great. Down to a 2 speaker config now as I'm in early stages of preparing to move. 


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Posted · Original PosterOP

Thank a lot to everyone for the recommendations. I think I will go with Soundblaster Z. Considering what I need, I think its the optimal solution. 

 

Wish you all a happy holidays. 

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