connecting both headset and 5.1 system


Aug 7, 2016

So, I got this 5.1 system since like six years or so. To use it with my PC I bought a soundcard that has the necessary slots, and so far that worked well.

Then a while ago I got a new headset, that also uses cinch connections. I don't have enough connections in the card to use both the headset and the 5.1 system. So:
1) I tried using the cinch connections of the front panel of my PCs case. It worked, but the sound quality was horrible, unbearable.
2) I tried using the cinch connections on the back of the case. Same problem.
3) I thought "let's try using an Y-splitting cable for the output of the card". That worked in so far that the audio quality was good, but the channel volumes were of course screwed up.
4) Then I tried a USB soundcard. There the quality was really bad again.
5) Then I bought a soundcard that was like the one I used before, but has connections for the front panel, so that it doesn't use the mainboards onboard card. That didn't work. The card is basically the same (same manufacturer) but my computer couldn't detect it, no matter what drivers or slots or whatever I tried.

Anybody got any advice?
I currently see four options:
1) Buy a more expensive USB soundcard, that might have better audio quality.
2) Buy a different soundcard to which I could connect the cases front panel, and hope that it works on Windows 10.
3) Try to sell my expensive headset, even though I really like it, and get one with an usb connection.
4) Try to use two soundcards in the PC at the same time, one for the headset and one for the 5.1 system, and switch back and forth in the systems settings.

Anybody got any advice?

cinch? i have no idea what you are referring to here.
are you referring to 3.5mm (1/8") stereo jacks?

why headset and speakers at once? you cant

is the headset an analog 5.1? stereo?
what headset specifically?

1. do you have your soundcard hooked up to the front panel audio leads? if not, it will use the onboard.
2. horrible sound quality out the back as well? see earlier question on what headset
3. if using a stereo headset and 5.1 speakers a simple y splitter on the one will not work. all rear channel audio will be cut out. using y splitters across all ports when using a 5.1 analog headset may work.
4. cheap usb soundcards are bad but see #2, we need to know what headset
5. you need to list what soundcards... and what ports you tried to use as well as if you tried uninstalling your soundcard drivers or not.

1. could work although windows does not like outputting to two different sources at once. you may need to use virtual audio cable or similar to get it working right.
2. could work, but see #5 before. same problem as #1 above.
3. you never listed what you have, so its hard to check compatibility.
4. that will be a mess and is no advantage over a single soundcard with front panel connections

i think you need to flesh out some more details on equipment and what you tried