Friday, March 20, 2009

Creative Labs surround sound tests (and Logitech Z-5500)

There are some interesting issues with the Creative Labs surround sound tests of my SoundBlaster X-Fi Xtreme Gamer (connected on a Logitech Z-5500 Digital sound system.

Interesting to know: The device is connected to my soundblaster via it's optical digital input (S/PDIF). The speaker system is supposed to automatically detect the kind of sound input received. Means Dolby Surround or Stereo of different kinds.

I noticed that in the speaker tests (including the ones in the THX panel) in the creative sound console always seem to send a stereo signal. I found in the changelog of the latest drivers of February that there is a problem with the optical connector that is fixed in this updated driver release. Still the same situation however: In Vista X64's own speaker/sound tests, the front and rear speakers are detected correctly, in the speaker tests of creative's sound panel all rear channels are played in the front speakers, too! However this time the logitech system detected a dolby surround signal and played it. However the speaker tests strangely still failed (I have the latest version of the sound console of creative labs!). Even re-assigning them did not fix it.

In the end I decided to use Creative's 3D Midi Player! And guess what, it plays perfectly well in the right speakers! So forget about the speaker tests, use instead the 3D Midi Player they offer for making your tests!

PS: I found out to make it work in all situations you actually need the Dolby Digital Live and DTS Connect Pack.

Well, at least it's not pricey!



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