• Welcome to Overclockers Forums! Join us to reply in threads, receive reduced ads, and to customize your site experience!

Connecting speakers via analog to sound card for true 7.1

Overclockers is supported by our readers. When you click a link to make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn More.

BLAs68

Registered
Joined
Aug 11, 2016
I have the ASUS ESSENCE STX II 7.1 w/ Daughterboard. I've been using it for a year now and I still have not figured out how to connect my speakers to it. I hate that it's my receiver driving the sound and not the card itself. I know I need an amp since the speakers are to be connected to a receiver via banana plug or bare wife.

Anyone deal with this situation before? Connecting speakers via analog to their sound card for 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound.

I've been looking around for 7.1 speaker systems that would power themselves and use 3.5mm jacks but so far I'm not sure what is and what isn't.
 

Mpegger

Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2001
AV receivers with 7.1 analog inputs are becoming rare, and now-a-days, only available on the high end models (easily $600+++). You might be able to find a older AV receiver with 7.1 analog inputs on eBay or Cragslist.

You could also try the Monoprice solution https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=14566.

You might not like the idea, but HDMI is probably the best solution now. You can stream 8-channel audio uncompressed over HDMI, but of course, any special features of your sound card would no longer be available since it will be the AV receiver doing the job of a DAC instead of your sound card.
 
Last edited:
OP
B

BLAs68

Registered
Joined
Aug 11, 2016
I have a 7.1 Denon AVR receiver, I was asking about a way to connect my speakers to the sound card or any powered or active speakers that don't need a receiver (that are 7.1) so I can plug them directly to my sound card which has L/R outputs for side, rear, front and single individual outputs for sub and center.

So for example the sound card gives 2 holes for REAR, left and right. I don't how it would translate from using bare copper wires.
 

Mpegger

Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2001
I've bolded and underlined the most important parts of my previous post to start you on your search journey.

If you are looking for powered speakers, there are plenty of self powered studio monitors, but mainly only in pairs, so each pair would have it's own volume control. Not exactly something you would want in a 7.1 system.

There were computer self powered 5.1 speaker systems, but those too have gone out of fashion, and I don't think there ever was a 7.1 computer speaker setup.

Again, the easiest, flexible, and best choice was a AV receiver with analog inputs.
 

Jeff G

Member
Joined
May 22, 2016
Powered speakers can plug directly to your analog outputs. If they're powered, they should have an input on the amp. Run the 3.5mm plug from your sound card to the speakers, you'll just need a 3.5mm to whatever-your-speaker-amp-connector is.
Your sound card will handle the processing and your speakers will handle the amplifying. That's basically what your receiver would do using HDMI.
For what it's worth, I played around with this and found my Denon x4200 processed the sound better via HDMI than my computer handled it via the analog outputs.
 

habbajabba

Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2005
Location
Oregon
The card has digital out. Sounds like you need a new av amp is all.
The Onkyo TX-NR646 7.2-Channel Network AV Receiver is ~$400.

Correction, optical is only 2 channel. Either way you need an amp that will connect.
I still have my tv wall mount brand new in the box and HT is still a ways off.
 
Last edited:

Jeff G

Member
Joined
May 22, 2016
I think I read your post wrong. So you have passive speakers and you want them to run off the Asus? Does your receiver have analog inputs? If it does, you could just use the receiver as an amplifier and run it in Pure Direct mode to bypass all processing of the receiver. You would just run analog outputs from the Asus to the receiver and hook your speakers up as normal to the receiver.
 

NiHaoMike

dBa Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2013
You'll have a hard time trying to find a 7.1 analog amplifier. If you're dead set on using the analog outputs, get a few stereo amplifier modules for each pair of channels.
 

Alaric

New Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2011
Location
Satan's Colon, US
You won't be able to run passive speakers directly form your sound card. The sound card is a line level amplifier (pre amp) and will not output sufficient current to drive passive speakers. If you use powered monitor speakers and a powered sub you can still use the sound card's software as a volume control, just set the speakers/sub onboard volume at the desired max setting. In windows set the speakers to the default audio output device. As for the connection to the speakers a 3.5 mm to RCA (likely) cable for each one will be necessary, and then you'll have issues finding them in the necessary lengths. As has been said, receiver or standalone amp with lots of cabling are your only feasible options. With Asus' propensity for using Realtek chips, a receiver with a DAC will give you the best sound, the least work, and the simplest setup. In theory you could use a bunch of little, inexpensive amps from Parts Express or something but the mess and hassle will wear thin quickly.
 
OP
B

BLAs68

Registered
Joined
Aug 11, 2016
Thanks for the help guys and Jeff, I don't think I need to give you anymore info with what you put in your post :)