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joev14

5.1 Surround Sound for Playstation 5

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Posted · Original PosterOP

With the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S on the horizon (no pun intended), and me getting a new apartment, I'm looking to get a 5.1 surround sound speaker setup. I have a Q6FN Samsung TV. During the PS5 announcement by Mark Cerny, it sounds like the PS5 will support this, but I've never had one before and am trying to find my best option.

 

My initial thought was the Logitech Z606, but it looks like the only way to attach to the TV is via RCA. I don't think my TV has this as an output option. 

 

I don't have a multi thousand dollar budget, but can probably spend between $100 and $250. Wondering what my best option would be and how challenging the setup process could be. Any advice on how to actually go about setting up is appreciated as well; I've never done this before! 

 

Edit: TV has four HDMI and one Digital Optical Audio Out. 

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Normally want you want to have a av receiver, then plug the speakers into that. With that budget though, your probably gonna want to get used speakresr and recievers as it is hard to find them new for that price.

 

Does your tv have a arc port or optical out?

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Posted · Original PosterOP
Just now, Electronics Wizardy said:

Normally want you want to have a av receiver, then plug the speakers into that. With that budget though, your probably gonna want to get used speakresr and recievers as it is hard to find them new for that price.

 

Does your tv have a arc port or optical out?

Edited the original post. Yes, it has optical out 

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It's gonna be hard to get a full 5.1 channel setup for even $250, unless you wanted something like a soundbar setup, but yes, the PS5 should support 5.1 channel audio. I'd be shocked if it didn't. 

Good thing here is that your TV has an optical out, so you should be in the clear for that part, at least.


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33 minutes ago, joev14 said:

With the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S on the horizon (no pun intended), and me getting a new apartment, I'm looking to get a 5.1 surround sound speaker setup. I have a Q6FN Samsung TV. During the PS5 announcement by Mark Cerny, it sounds like the PS5 will support this, but I've never had one before and am trying to find my best option.

 

My initial thought was the Logitech Z606, but it looks like the only way to attach to the TV is via RCA. I don't think my TV has this as an output option. 

 

I don't have a multi thousand dollar budget, but can probably spend between $100 and $250. Wondering what my best option would be and how challenging the setup process could be. Any advice on how to actually go about setting up is appreciated as well; I've never done this before! 

 

Edit: TV has four HDMI and one Digital Optical Audio Out. 

There are different ways to handle this:

 

1. You can buy an "all-in-one" Computer Surround Package from the likes of Logitech. These come in two varieties: Analog input only or Analog/Digital Input

1a. If you get an Analog Input only variant, you'll need to convert the signal somehow using third party devices (such as an Optical to 5.1 Analog DAC - a small box that you plug an optical cable in from either your TV or your PS5, and then plug the cables from your Analog speaker into the converter DAC) - speakers themselves will likely be the least expensive - cost savings may or may not be worth it after converting the plugs/signal via third party hardware.

1b. If you get a variant with digital input, you just plug the Optical cable in from either your TV or your PS5. This is similar to how a modern AV Receiver works, though usually AV receivers have more versatile inputs.

 

2. You can buy an "all-in-one" home theatre package - most of the modern ones will include Optical and HDMI inputs, so this should easily connect to your PS5 or TV. Cost is generally more than a computer speaker package, but less than a build-your-own type setup. Quality varies considerably, with lower end packages being fairly mediocre.

 

3. You can buy an AV Receiver - modern ones have HDMI and Optical - from there, you buy speakers to use with it. You can often buy speaker sets that pair with a separate AV Receiver - or the manufacture might have bundles with everything. This generally costs more, but you generally get way better quality out of it, if you make good product choices.

 

The Z-606 has Bluetooth, RCA, and an RCA-to-3.5mm adapter.

 

I would not recommend this speaker set - it does have six separate input channels via RCA, but you'll need to convert that into something useful that your TV or PS5 can output. This means a converter box and possibly also adapter cables. I'd also steer clear of Bluetooth - no idea how reliable or well that will work.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
30 minutes ago, handymanshandle said:

It's gonna be hard to get a full 5.1 channel setup for even $250, unless you wanted something like a soundbar setup, but yes, the PS5 should support 5.1 channel audio. I'd be shocked if it didn't. 

Good thing here is that your TV has an optical out, so you should be in the clear for that part, at least.

There are clearly options though on Amazon and Walmart. There must be one that will work with my setup. I don't need the works. Just something that's gonna give me something better than my TV (which shouldn't be hard), and two rear nodes so I can hear stuff from behind. Is it really that expensive to do that? 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 minute ago, dalekphalm said:

There are different ways to handle this:

 

1. You can buy an "all-in-one" Computer Surround Package from the likes of Logitech. These come in two varieties: Analog input only or Analog/Digital Input

1a. If you get an Analog Input only variant, you'll need to convert the signal somehow using third party devices (such as an Optical to 5.1 Analog DAC - a small box that you plug an optical cable in from either your TV or your PS5, and then plug the cables from your Analog speaker into the converter DAC) - speakers themselves will likely be the least expensive - cost savings may or may not be worth it after converting the plugs/signal via third party hardware.

1b. If you get a variant with digital input, you just plug the Optical cable in from either your TV or your PS5. This is similar to how a modern AV Receiver works, though usually AV receivers have more versatile inputs.

 

2. You can buy an "all-in-one" home theatre package - most of the modern ones will include Optical and HDMI inputs, so this should easily connect to your PS5 or TV. Cost is generally more than a computer speaker package, but less than a build-your-own type setup. Quality varies considerably, with lower end packages being fairly mediocre.

 

3. You can buy an AV Receiver - modern ones have HDMI and Optical - from there, you buy speakers to use with it. You can often buy speaker sets that pair with a separate AV Receiver - or the manufacture might have bundles with everything. This generally costs more, but you generally get way better quality out of it, if you make good product choices.

 

The Z-606 has Bluetooth, RCA, and an RCA-to-3.5mm adapter.

 

I would not recommend this speaker set - it does have six separate input channels via RCA, but you'll need to convert that into something useful that your TV or PS5 can output. This means a converter box and possibly also adapter cables. I'd also steer clear of Bluetooth - no idea how reliable or well that will work.

There's a lot of info here to sort through. Yes, I agree Bluetooth isn't a great choice. Quality is pretty bad from what I've read. Which of these options that you recommended would keep me below my $250 budget? 

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6 minutes ago, joev14 said:

There are clearly options though on Amazon and Walmart. There must be one that will work with my setup. I don't need the works. Just something that's gonna give me something better than my TV (which shouldn't be hard), and two rear nodes so I can hear stuff from behind. Is it really that expensive to do that? 

 

3 minutes ago, joev14 said:

There's a lot of info here to sort through. Yes, I agree Bluetooth isn't a great choice. Quality is pretty bad from what I've read. Which of these options that you recommended would keep me below my $250 budget? 

With a budget of $250, there simply aren't a lot of good options.

 

One option is this:

The Z606 paired with a 5.1 Surround Optical to RCA converter such as this:

https://www.amazon.com/SOUTHSKY-Converter-Decoder-Digital-Optical/dp/B08B1MYDXQ/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=5.1+surround+optical+to+rca&qid=1597438501&sr=8-3

 

However, if the budget isn't strict, for an extra $30-$40, you can get the Logitech Z906 instead:

https://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Surround-Sound-Speaker-System/dp/B004M18O60/ref=sr_1_16?dchild=1&keywords=5.1+surround+optical+to+rca&qid=1597438549&sr=8-16

It's MSRP list price is $400, but Amazon has it listed for $280. The 906 has an optical port built into it, so all you need to do is plug an Optical Cable directly into it from the PS5 or the TV (PS5 is better, as the signal is more direct).

 

Other than that, you could try and get a used AV Receiver and used speakers (or low-end speakers), but it'll be tough on that budget.

 

If you're gonna go the Logitech route, I'd save up a bit extra cash and get the Z906. The Z906 is also significantly more powerful (80W RMS vs 500W RMS. You'll get clearer, louder audio, and much better bass.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
2 minutes ago, dalekphalm said:

 

With a budget of $250, there simply aren't a lot of good options.

 

One option is this:

The Z606 paired with a 5.1 Surround Optical to RCA converter such as this:

https://www.amazon.com/SOUTHSKY-Converter-Decoder-Digital-Optical/dp/B08B1MYDXQ/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=5.1+surround+optical+to+rca&qid=1597438501&sr=8-3

 

However, if the budget isn't strict, for an extra $30-$40, you can get the Logitech Z906 instead:

https://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Surround-Sound-Speaker-System/dp/B004M18O60/ref=sr_1_16?dchild=1&keywords=5.1+surround+optical+to+rca&qid=1597438549&sr=8-16

It's MSRP list price is $400, but Amazon has it listed for $280. The 906 has an optical port built into it, so all you need to do is plug an Optical Cable directly into it from the PS5 or the TV (PS5 is better, as the signal is more direct).

 

Other than that, you could try and get a used AV Receiver and used speakers (or low-end speakers), but it'll be tough on that budget.

 

If you're gonna go the Logitech route, I'd save up a bit extra cash and get the Z906. The Z906 is also significantly more powerful (80W RMS vs 500W RMS. You'll get clearer, louder audio, and much better bass.

I was looking at the 906 but steered away because a lot of the recent reviews said it was DOA or broke shortly after. Doesn't sound the most durable. Thoughts?

 

What about the Polk TL1600? I found that one on Newegg and Amazon for $260, down from $400.

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0043M666S/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_YUVnFbYBPF4SA

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Just now, joev14 said:

I was looking at the 906 but steered away because a lot of the recent reviews said it was DOA or broke shortly after. Doesn't sound the most durable. Thoughts?

I haven't seen a lot of reviews for it in general, but I would imagine it's build quality is similar to that of the Z606. So if you're concerned about the one, I'd stay away from both.

 

I own an old school Logitech Z5300 and it still works rock solid - had it at least 15 years now.

Just now, joev14 said:

What about the Polk TL1600? I found that one on Newegg and Amazon for $260, down from $400.

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0043M666S/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_YUVnFbYBPF4SA

I'd hard pass stay away from that. Polk make decent speakers, so I'm sure they sound alright, but it has a single pair (L/R) RCA input - so you'll never get true 5.1 Surround Sound. At best, you'll get the Dolby Digital EX/Pro Logic fake surround sound where they take a Stereo 2.0 signal and then "matrix" extract the other channels - which means that everything will sound less good as a result.

 

I'd choose the Z906 over the Polk in an instant.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 minute ago, dalekphalm said:

I haven't seen a lot of reviews for it in general, but I would imagine it's build quality is similar to that of the Z606. So if you're concerned about the one, I'd stay away from both.

 

I own an old school Logitech Z5300 and it still works rock solid - had it at least 15 years now.

I'd hard pass stay away from that. Polk make decent speakers, so I'm sure they sound alright, but it has a single pair (L/R) RCA input - so you'll never get true 5.1 Surround Sound. At best, you'll get the Dolby Digital EX/Pro Logic fake surround sound where they take a Stereo 2.0 signal and then "matrix" extract the other channels - which means that everything will sound less good as a result.

 

I'd choose the Z906 over the Polk in an instant.

Any other options, or is the Z906 kinda the only one that comes close to my range? I'm up for it. 

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Just now, joev14 said:

Any other options, or is the Z906 kinda the only one that comes close to my range? I'm up for it. 

There may be other Computer 5.1 surround speaker systems in that range, but I'm not personally familiar with any that include a digital input. 5.1 systems like the Z906 are very rare these days.

 

You could also check out your local Walmart/Costco/Sams Club/Best Buy, etc, and see what they have in stock for "Home Theater in a Box" systems. Just make sure that the system has an Optical Input or an HDMI input. These used to be very common from the likes of Samsung, Sony, Pioneer, etc.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
5 hours ago, dalekphalm said:

There may be other Computer 5.1 surround speaker systems in that range, but I'm not personally familiar with any that include a digital input. 5.1 systems like the Z906 are very rare these days.

 

You could also check out your local Walmart/Costco/Sams Club/Best Buy, etc, and see what they have in stock for "Home Theater in a Box" systems. Just make sure that the system has an Optical Input or an HDMI input. These used to be very common from the likes of Samsung, Sony, Pioneer, etc.

Will I have everything I need in the box, or will I need to buy any cables or anything? 

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21 hours ago, joev14 said:

Will I have everything I need in the box, or will I need to buy any cables or anything? 

Depends on what you buy.

 

A Z906 has almost everything you need. You'll need to buy an Optical cable (though you should check the package contents just in case an optical cable is included in the box). This is what I suggest you get.

 

In terms of a HTIB (Home theater in a box), it entirely depends on what one you buy. You'll likely need to get an optical or HDMI cable.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
On 8/15/2020 at 7:27 PM, dalekphalm said:

Depends on what you buy.

 

A Z906 has almost everything you need. You'll need to buy an Optical cable (though you should check the package contents just in case an optical cable is included in the box). This is what I suggest you get.

 

In terms of a HTIB (Home theater in a box), it entirely depends on what one you buy. You'll likely need to get an optical or HDMI cable.

Price dropped to $250 over the weekend on Amazon. That's a steal I didn't want to pass up, so I pulled the trigger. Hope it works out well! 

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2 minutes ago, joev14 said:

Price dropped to $250 over the weekend on Amazon. That's a steal I didn't want to pass up, so I pulled the trigger. Hope it works out well! 

Let us know how it works out when it arrives and you get a chance to set it up.


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On 8/14/2020 at 10:47 PM, joev14 said:

There are clearly options though on Amazon and Walmart. There must be one that will work with my setup. I don't need the works. Just something that's gonna give me something better than my TV (which shouldn't be hard), and two rear nodes so I can hear stuff from behind. Is it really that expensive to do that? 

Just wanted to hop in and say that technically the satellites in a 5.1 system are surrounds, they go to your side. Rears come into play in a 7.1 and up system. Doesn't mean you can't put them behind you (Dolby spec says 90-110 degrees on your side), but know that the sound they are supposed to play is "side sound".

 

Anyway, hope it works out. I'm still rocking my Logitech Z523 2.1 set after 6 years and no trouble yet.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
On 8/17/2020 at 8:35 AM, dalekphalm said:

Let us know how it works out when it arrives and you get a chance to set it up.

Arrived in the mail earlier this week and got to set it up today. I won't be moving into my new place until the end of next month, so the setup isn't perfect but still leagues better than my TV. The sound is incredible across the board. Really impressed that it can do lots of different music genres but also do solid with video games. Waiting on a digital optical cable that's arriving tomorrow to test it with my TV. Hoping that will sound good as I watch Alien Covenant in the evening. 

On 8/18/2020 at 3:42 PM, tikker said:

Just wanted to hop in and say that technically the satellites in a 5.1 system are surrounds, they go to your side. Rears come into play in a 7.1 and up system. Doesn't mean you can't put them behind you (Dolby spec says 90-110 degrees on your side), but know that the sound they are supposed to play is "side sound".

 

Anyway, hope it works out. I'm still rocking my Logitech Z523 2.1 set after 6 years and no trouble yet.

Didn't realize this. According to the labels on the sub and the instructions, the two additional sattelites are labeled as rear. Is there some sort of setup I'll need to do with my TV to get that sound from behind? I'm especially excited to see how it will work on PS5 and PC games, potentially being able to hear enemies from behind. 

 

Edit: one other thing I'd like to try adding is a Bluetooth receiver to stream my phone music to the subs. Normally I'm not a fan of Bluetooth Earbuds because of the reduced quality. Do you think the sound would still be good as long as all the sattelites and sub are connected, just the source is Bluetooth? Or should I stick with an aux cord exclusively? 

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9 hours ago, joev14 said:

Arrived in the mail earlier this week and got to set it up today. I won't be moving into my new place until the end of next month, so the setup isn't perfect but still leagues better than my TV. The sound is incredible across the board. Really impressed that it can do lots of different music genres but also do solid with video games. Waiting on a digital optical cable that's arriving tomorrow to test it with my TV. Hoping that will sound good as I watch Alien Covenant in the evening. 

Didn't realize this. According to the labels on the sub and the instructions, the two additional sattelites are labeled as rear. Is there some sort of setup I'll need to do with my TV to get that sound from behind? I'm especially excited to see how it will work on PS5 and PC games, potentially being able to hear enemies from behind. 

 

Edit: one other thing I'd like to try adding is a Bluetooth receiver to stream my phone music to the subs. Normally I'm not a fan of Bluetooth Earbuds because of the reduced quality. Do you think the sound would still be good as long as all the sattelites and sub are connected, just the source is Bluetooth? Or should I stick with an aux cord exclusively? 

Well technically they are not rears, but I imagine for a lot of people it's easier to put them behind you (read hide them away out of sight :P) rather than to the side. Plus the satellites are doing a bit of a mixed side / rear job in the case of a 5.1 setup as they're not exactly at your sides. You'll still get a great surround experience with 5.1, don't worry :) 

 

As for the Bluetooth, it depends on the quality of the connection I guess. Personally I prefer wired.

 

For illustration, the Dolby spec for a 5.1 setup is this: a subwoofer somewhere, left / center / right up front and surround left/right to the sides slightly behind the listening position.

spacer.png

Upgrading to 7.1 or higher gets you rears:

 

spacer.png


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Posted · Original PosterOP
4 hours ago, tikker said:

Well technically they are not rears, but I imagine for a lot of people it's easier to put them behind you (read hide them away out of sight :P) rather than to the side. Plus the satellites are doing a bit of a mixed side / rear job in the case of a 5.1 setup as they're not exactly at your sides. You'll still get a great surround experience with 5.1, don't worry :) 

 

As for the Bluetooth, it depends on the quality of the connection I guess. Personally I prefer wired.

 

For illustration, the Dolby spec for a 5.1 setup is this: a subwoofer somewhere, left / center / right up front and surround left/right to the sides slightly behind the listening position.

spacer.png

Upgrading to 7.1 or higher gets you rears:

 

spacer.png

My setup is the exact same as the 5.1 you have pictured, except my sub is almost directly below the right front sattelite. Otherwise the spacing is pretty much the same. 

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7 hours ago, joev14 said:

My setup is the exact same as the 5.1 you have pictured, except my sub is almost directly below the right front sattelite. Otherwise the spacing is pretty much the same. 

Perfect! Ignore the sub there. There are means to determine the optimal location of a sub (search for sub crawl), but other than that sounds like you're golden.


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