Are there any soundcards with 5.1 Analogue Outputs


Active Member
My amplifier has a multi channel board that accepts 5.1 analogue input. As it has no digital decoder, the use of SPDIF on soundcards isn't an option.

Anyone aware of soundcards (medium to high end) that will give me 5.1 analogue output?




Distinguished Member
M-Audio do a 7.1 one. Creative do a few 5.1 ones. Videologic do one. Plenty of others will too. They are out there. I found recently that they're not that easy to search for (esp if you want PLII decoding on one).



Not got 5.1 sound myself but the topic confused me a bit as I was looking into getting a shuttle type pc and there were plenty saying 5.1 onboard sound and I wanted to use some cheap-ish 5.1 speakers. They had digital outputs but I figured that can't be it as isn't that simply taking the direct sound stream and offloading it to an amp to decode (someone please correct me if I'm wrong)? I also wondered then why there aren't more analogue outputs (seeing only speakers, mic and line in).

Anyway I think I now know the answer (again please correct if wrong) and that is that the microphone and line inputs can also be used as outputs for the other speakers. I'm sure soundcards that say they support 5.1 will do this as well. Otherwise, if I've understood this whole sound thing correctly they wouldn't actually be decoding anything at all, just passing the digital output on to something else to decode.

Perhaps someone who is a bit more of an authority on this subject could tell me if that's complete rubbish or not!


Active Member
When the Soundcard is operating i 5.1 mode (there's usually options in the software supplied with the soundcard to set this...) the three output sockets on the soundcard operate as the front L and R, Rear L and R, and the third output carries the centre and LFE signal. You then use three 3.5mm jack to phono pair leads (or use suitable adaptors) and connect the 6 phonos (three pairs......) to the six RCA inputs on your amp.

The choice of soundcard and cabling comes down to how fussy you are about the sound quality..... Remeber to pick a soundcard that will do Dolby Digital decoding.......

This link to a Creative Audigy card specifications indicates that the output sockets carry the signals as here

Hope that helps....................

Sean G.


Active Member
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