Optimal usage of 5.1 Surround Speakers - Sound Card

lanc3lot

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Sep 30, 2014
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Hello everyone,

I follow this forum many years, but haven't created an account till now, so short of new user around.

Recently i have acquired in rather cheap price Logitech Z-5500 and i am trying to find which is the best and optimal usage with my sound card -> SOUND BLASTER X-FI TITANIUM FATAL1TY PROFESSIONAL SERIES (http://asia.creative.com/p/sound-blaster/sound-blaster-x-fi-titanium-fatal1ty-professional-series)

Till now, i had the opinion, that the best way to connect, would be an optical cable (Tos-Link for example) but recently a friend told me that by using an optical cable, the whole process is being made by speakers itself and not by your sound card and that the best way to maximize the sound i hear and put my sound card to work, is analog connection.

Can someone answer on this? Thank you in advance ;)

PS
If i put it in wrong section, please a mod move it in the right category, ty!
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
in some cases the soundcard can have an effect on optical out... but generally yes with optical the speakers internal dac will be doing everything not your soundcard.

this is why i said to use 3.5mm not optical.
 

lanc3lot

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Sep 30, 2014
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You mean that 3.5mm is the best way to have surround sound in my 5.1 system? I have a rather good card, i mentioned in the op which one.

I ask that, because as far i know, 3.5 can't reproduce surround sound, only stereo.
 

lanc3lot

Estimable
Sep 30, 2014
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Ah i see, ok then ty for the reply friend, so the best usage is via analog to you too. Is it true the statement that with optical cable, all the work is being done by the speakers and not by the sound card?
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
in some cases the soundcard can have an effect on optical out... but generally yes with optical the speakers internal dac will be doing everything not your soundcard.

this is why i said to use 3.5mm not optical.
 

lanc3lot

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Sep 30, 2014
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Ty for the help ssddx on this ;-) I read on the site of the sound card, that it supports Dolby Digital Live and it says: Connects to your home theater system through a single digital cable (available separately) for compelling 5.1 surround sound. So i assumed that it works best with an optical cable too, but maybe it means something else
 

lanc3lot

Estimable
Sep 30, 2014
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Regarding the above, i had sent a question to Creative about the same thing i posted here, and some mins ago, they replied the following:

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With regards to your enquiry, we would recommend a TOSLINK optical connection in this case. There is usage on the soundcard when you connect it via optical. The soundcard would actually do the encoding when you enable Dolby Digital Live!. Your speaker will then 'acknowledge' the signal and will proceed with the playback on the speakers. No matter which audio connection you use, there will be always audio processing going on in the soundcard.
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ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
yes... but DDL (dolby digital live) is compressed audio since optical is physically incapable of sending uncompressed audio in 5.1 (it only can do this for 2.0/2.1).

basically it needs to convert dolby digital and other formats of surround sound into a compressed format that optical can actually use which is DDL. your 3.5mm connections will actually have better sound since it will not be compressed audio.

both will work but 3.5mm will give you slightly better sound (or at least this should be the case)
 

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