How can I connect 5.1 surround sound to my PC and activate in playing games?


Jan 31, 2018
I bought a new 5.1 surround sound bar recent days, and connect to my Pc by using a optical digital cable to my sound card. The windows automatically detected my devices and running smoothly, it can be confirmed the devices can play dolby digital as the windows already recognize the soundbar and all of the speakers are correct being test.
However, when I play my PC games or online games or video on youtubes, none of one can output the sound from my back speakers but only the front speakers.

P.S.: my soundbar can connected by bluetooth and and 3.5mm Aux, but none of them can play the back speakers, Is that the problem related to the videos or music itself can be played by surround sound?

my spec below:
soundbar with true 5.1: Sony HT-RT3
Soundcard: Asus Xonar DGX audio
Motherboard: MSI B150M BAZOOKA


Bluetooth & 3.5mm analog only carry stereo signals.
You can enable the rear speakers from these inputs by using the 'sound field' button on the remote to create virtual surround audio.

There are 5 or 6 different settings.

Via optical & with the xonar dgx you should be able to get real 5.1 audio (it will not work on youtube as 99% of youtube vids are stereo only)

Make sure your xonar is set to 5.1 audio output & also that surround audio is enabled in the actual game audio settings.



Jul 8, 2008
First off: If the audio source isn't encoded to 5.1 or higher, you're only going to get stereo output. Simply having 5.1 speakers doesn't make all your audio magically convert to surround.

Secondly, Optical can carry exactly three audio formats:

2.0 PCM
5.1 Dolby Digital
5.1 DTS

Dolby/DTS are used a lot in the entertainment industry because the formats are compressed and can easily be fit onto whatever storage medium is being used at the time. By contrast, PCs have never typically used either format as storage space has tended to never be a significant issue.

If you want your PC to play back 5.1 when connected via optical, you need to either:

A: Play back audio sources that are already encoded in Dolby/DTS (typically: Movies)

B: Invest in a soundcard that can do realtime encoding of uncompressed 5.1 to either Dolby or DTS formats.

Connecting via 3.5mm avoids needing to mess with Dolby/DTS.
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