3x3.5mm to 5.1 output


Standard Member
I'm needing a little help configuring my speaker setup for my Alienware m15x. My laptop outputs audio through three 3.5mm audio jacks that can be reconfigured for 5.1 surround sound in a 'front,centre/subwoofer,rear' format. Unfortunately, I have no HDMI or Optical output directly from the laptop apart from my DisplayPort connection which is currently being used to connect to a Sony LCD monitor.

I have the usual 6 speaker surround sound setup in my computer room (FR,FL,C,SW,BR,BL) all of which connect to a Sony Home Theatre system (DAV-DZ860W). This Home Theatre system takes all of the normal inputs; HDMI, DMPORT, Optical SPDIF, Coaxial and Composite. It does not, however, support 3x3.5mm inputs.

What I require, if such a thing exists, is something that can take the 3 individual 3.5mm audio jack inputs and convert it to a single HDMI or Optical output without costing me insane amounts of money. Thanks very much.
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Well-known Member
You are going to be stuck for a cheap/easy fix to do it that way. Off the top of my head I cannot remember seeing any little bit of kit that does this.

Some sound cards can output the digital signal out of one mini-jack output , normally the left channel if you use a mini-jack to twin phono, you can then feed this into the coaxial input for 5.1 etc.

If you cannot do that then you either need another amp, something old that has 5.1 analogue inputs which you could find on the forums here as you'd only need a pre-hmdi one if you could keep both setup.

Or sometype of usb soundcard or external media player that can read the files from your laptop over the network or usb. There is a cheap one reviewed in this months home cinema mag but loads of options for that route.

Hope that helps with other options if not an easy solution.


Standard Member
You said your receiver takes in composite, as in RCA style plugs right? I think you can very cheaply do this by buying 3.5mm to RCA adapters. That would transform your 3 3.5mm cables into 6 RCA plugs. Then simply plug them into their respective ports on the back of your receiver. If you don't know what type of plug I'm talking about here is the first product link that came up in a google search:

Sample Product


Active Member

As cebs_uk has suggested check to see if you have an optical output on one of your 3.5mm audio jacks.

As an example: Apple laptops have these on their single 3.5mm audio outputs. They either work as a standard analogue stereo jack or as an optical output (with a suitable 3.5mm optical adapter). Check and see if you laptop does the same thing_ that would get you Dolby Digital into your amp. This is a cheap option if your laptop has a optical output.

Wakeboarder3780's suggestion would only work for two channels as your amp only has a 2 channel analogue input. You'd have to set your laptop output to stereo (or Dolby Surround/ProLogic) if you want to do that.

Another option would be to look on ebay (or put an ad in the 'classified' forum) for a Creative Labs DTS-610.
This was a unit (from a few years ago) that could take the 6-ch analogue output from your laptop and convert it to DTS digital audio and output that signal via a coaxial or optical output to your amp. Some people use them to make DTS copies of their SACD or DVD-Audio discs, so they can play them on regular dvd players. These unit's weren't very common in the UK, so you might have to hold off until one appears on ebay or you could have a look on US ebay. They weren't very expensive and they are quite light so it wouldn't be too expensive to ship one from the US.

Hope that helps,


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