How to connect your laptop to 5.1 home theater surround system

Its been a big problem for audio lovers to get true 5.1 output from laptop into their home theater systems because most of the laptops only supports 2.1 output,that is just stereo with a passive subwoofer. And playing your beautiful 5.1 content is almost impossible.

But there is a way for playing 5.1 content on every laptop. Actually there is 2 options

  1. Use the hdmi output (if your receiver supports it)
  2. Use an external usb sound card

yes i’m going to talk about the second method and i’m using it for a while now.

you can buy an external usb sound card for your laptop, there is a whole lot of them in market price ranges from cheap to premium.

Like

 

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro USB Audio System

 

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Creative Sound Blaster Omni USB Surround Sound Card

 

creative-sound-blaster-omni-surround-5-1-usb-sound-card-with-high-performance-headphone-amp-and-integrated-beam-forming-microphone-300x138

 

Asus Xonar U7 -Compact 7.1-channel USB soundcard

 

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etc …………… 🙂

But i’m going to focus on a cheaper variant, Sure premium devices had their advantages.

But there is  someone who does the job on a budget.

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You can find it on internet on so many names there is so many sellers sold this 5.1 usb sound card under their brand. It is a generic product designed and manufactured by

CMedia

http://www.cmedia.com.tw/

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This card supports audio channels upto  7.1 and also optical output.

You can find it on online shopping sites under different price tags actually i bought it from aliexpress for just $8. That’s pretty cheap right ?

Features

 

  • High Quality.New USB 6 Channel 5.1 External Sound Audio Card For PC Laptop OS support: win98 / XP / 2000 / Vista / Win7/8/10
  • USB sound is and USB audio controller. It supports 32KBz, 44.1khz. (which two need driver or application software support) and 48Khz sampling rate in digital recording, 48KHz sampling in digital\analog audio playback.
  • In digital playback mode, it receives audio stream form PC via USB interface and transmits audio data according to the AES\EBU, IEC60958, S\PDIF cnsumer interface standards. Only R L channel PCM audio in 5.1 channel can be conveyed in digital playback mode.
  • In analog playback mode, it supports 6 channels codec for analog playback In digital recording mode, it receives S\PDIF digital audio input and sends back to PC through USB. Three sampling rates, includes 32KHz,44.1KHz are automatically locked internally. In analog recording mode, fixed 48KHz sampling rate is supported by analog audio recording.

 

It Uses a cmedia CM6206-LX chipset.

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Its supports

2.1 audio channel

4.1 audio channel

5.1 audio channel

and also 7.1 audio channel through a virtual mode

You also get a optical input and output but it only supports stereo channels

Line in & Mic input is also present.

Fully powered by usb and no external power supply required

 

Inside view of the chipset

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Just connect your laptop or PC and install the driver and change playback device to “USB multi channel Audio Device” from sound settings and your good to go  🙂

I’m using it on  Windows 8.1 and it works pretty good

 

My verdict

Absolutely nothing fancy about this but it works just fine.

I  would have to say this external sound adapter is very well made firstly. secondly the sound quality is amazing

Its even better than my laptops inbuilt beats audio when connect to the 5.1

You get true awesome 5.1 experience on a cheap device what else you want from a device that cost only $8.

Give it a try before you go for a premium device