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I have 2 different pairs of speakers, one with a sub and one without. I also have only 1 audio jack on my laptop, but I bought an audio Y splitter. I was wondering if it would be possible to use 4.1 surround sound with this, rather than just having both sets of speakers each do the standard 2 channels.

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I'm running Ubuntu 10.04 LTS 64bit.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

If it's a standard TRS mini-jack splitter for stereo, then no, you'll just be splitting stereo out into two stereo outs.

You need a sound device that can support 4.1, and those almost always require two jacks; one for front speakers and one for the rear speakers.

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There is no way for the sound provider to target individual speakers when split like this, so you will not have the rear channels coming from the rear speakers. They will just have the stereo sound duplicated.

In a sense you will have "surround sound" in that the sound will surround you, but it won't give you any spatial information, such as when playing a game, having the sound of action behind your character coming from the rear speakers.

If you are playing games, they will be aware that they are targeting a stereo only system and so shouldn't split the sound into fore and rear channels anyway.

From an audio perspective, I doubt the sensation would be any different to putting the stereo speakers to the exact right and left of your head. There isn't any additional sound information with the extra speakers.

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