Logitech Z906 Surround System, rear speakers too low.

Ivan Ivanov

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Apr 28, 2009
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Hi All

I need some help with my new Z906 I recently bought.

Everything is connected correctly and the hardware sound test passes fine, I can hear loud white noise from every speaker (including the rear ones) and low rumble from the sub-woofer.
Since during the test an LED on the console lights in accordance to the speaker that currently play sound (the white noise) I can tell that all the speakers are connected to their proper positions.

The system is connected to the sound card via optical cable. And I think this is a big part of the problem. Because when the system is set to receive signal from the ordinary input of three 3.5mm jacks (front, rear, center/sub-woofer) I have the option to independently adjust the level of the rear speakers, center speaker and sub-woofer. However when the optical cable is the active input I can only adjust the level of the sub-woofer. In both cases by "Adjusting the levels" I mean adjusting through the console. There is a button to toggle through the different speakers and adjust the level through the central knob.
Actually that ability to adjust the levels is very "funny" because some times I can only adjust the sub-woofer level, other times I can adjust the rear speakers but the adjustment has no effect. the speakers are still weak even when they are at max level. Also there is no independent adjustment of the front speakers, their level is the master volume.

Now the sound card. I think that's the other big problem. It's a Realtek sound card integrated into my ASUS X99-E WS mother board. It's a high-end sound card with many features and flashy control panel software. I think that's the main problem. The way to listen to surround sound on this card is to activate an option called "Interactive DTS 5.1". But even on that option while listening to true 5.1 source the sound still predominantly comes from the front I can't feel any surround effect. the rear speakers are so quiet that I have to put my ear to them to check if they even work.

The sound card software gives no option to adjust the level of every channel independently, which is a huge omission now when I think of it. Windows allows for independent channel adjustment which improves things greatly but is not remembered, I have to adjust the levels every time I turn on the PC.

So should I buy another sound card or return the whole system.

Thanks in advance.
 

nitinvaid20

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Jan 3, 2013
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Well i am using the Logitech Z906 Speakers With Soundblaster Zxr Sound card and using optical connection but the Live DTS encoding is enabled in Creative Sound panel

if your sound card has DTS encoding then only use the optical otherwise use normal 3.5mm jacks input
and what are you playing? that you are feeeling very low sound from rear speakers?
have you isntalled media player classic and tried playing any 5.1DTS or AC3 Movies?
 

nitinvaid20

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Jan 3, 2013
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Well i am using the Logitech Z906 Speakers With Soundblaster Zxr Sound card and using optical connection but the Live DTS encoding is enabled in Creative Sound panel

if your sound card has DTS encoding then only use the optical otherwise use normal 3.5mm jacks input
and what are you playing? that you are feeeling very low sound from rear speakers?
have you isntalled media player classic and tried playing any 5.1DTS or AC3 Movies?
 

Ivan Ivanov

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Apr 28, 2009
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Hi nitinvaid20

It turns out that my speakers were too far back, also I think it's a weakness in the Logitech Z906 it self, to be honest I'm not very happy it. The sound is clear but as it something is missing. To me it sounds like sound with no bass plus a really really low rumble, which is kind of disconnected from the music. As if frequencies in the range 80-120Hz are missing of too low... But anyway nothing can be gone about that. And about the speakers being too far, I managed to find places to put them closer, but they're still weak, and that's after I did everything if make them as louder as I can in comparison to the front ones.
In games that support true 3D sound however, they are really loud, louder than the front ones (because of the settings I have in effect). That leads me to believe that the algorithm that makes 5.1 from stereo is the weak part...

And yes the on-board sound card does gave DTS but for me it worked sub-optimally... I didn't like it because of what I mentioned above, and also I could hear loud rumbles and scratching noises when I'm listening to loud music, as it the decoding fails. Those aren't present when I'm playing through the 3.5mm...

My solution was to buy an USB sound card. It's a CREATIVE X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro. I did this because it turns out that the software of my on-board sound card treats it's outputs differently. The 3.5mm jacks have full spectrum of settings and adjustment. However when I activate the optical output. almost all of those settings disappear from the panel. For example: No individual speaker volume adjustment. Even though it's present when the 3.5mm jacks are active. Oh, and before I forget my setup is such that the 3.5mm cable of the Z906 can't reach the back of the PC, by a long margin. That's why I have to use a separate card. My first solution was the optical cable but it didn't work well because of the reasons I mentioned above.

Anyway the sound is plausible now, even though Z906 isn't the end solution I thought it would be...

Thanks for your replay anyway.
 

Ivan Ivanov

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Apr 28, 2009
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Hi all It's me again.

Due to the large amount of reads this thread received I though I should amend my writings, now that I've spend some time using the Z906, because I feel like I wasn't fair to it.

Firstly to summarize the whole ordeal with the optical cable was caused solely by the integrated sound card, or more specifically because the optical connectivity was apparently an after thought (in the software that is...). They didn't pay nearly as much attention to it than the 3.5mm jacks. Aside form the lack of adjustability there was a bug where I would hear loud sound artifacts (scritching and rumpling) at specific points in a track. So that has nothing to do with the Z906

After I installed the CREATIVE X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro and connected the Z906 to it using the 3.5mm jacks thing did improve. Later I found a way to put the read speakers closer and that pretty much fixed the issue.

And about the "missing" frequencies range in the range 80-120Hz. That was more of me whining than anything else XP. I've gotten used to it and have not problem with the sound reproduction now. Apparently (as I explain it to myself) the low quality speakers I had before had this range of frequencies exaggerated. So it was matter of getting used to the higher quality sound.

So now I am happy with my Z906.
 
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