I'm running Windows 7 SP1 x64 on an ASUS M2N4-SLI, which has a coaxial digital audio output (see my profile for more HW info - it's system PC1).

How do I force Windows 7 to output 5.1 Surround to my receiver? When I go to the Properties for that sound device, and I select to test Dolby Digital, I get surround output, but after completion it switches to stereo. How can I get 5.1 Surround 24/7?

EDIT: Here's a snapshot of my audio settings:

Audio settings image

It seems that it's being forced into 2 channel mode by something, but I don't know what. I'm open to any suggestions.

As for those of you who would suggest using the 3.5mm jacks, unfortunately my 5.1 amp doesn't have RCA or 3.5mm inputs for use with surround sound. The only inputs that accept surround sound are the coaxial digital and the optical digital. And, of the two, my mobo only has the coaxial digital. Also, the 3.5mm jacks are physically damaged, and I'm too lazy to desolder them and replace them, so they are out of the question.

Here's an illustration of how my receiver's speakers are connected:

Speaker connections

And here's an illustration of how my computer is connected:

PC-Receiver connection

  • I'm trying the solution at this question: superuser.com/questions/30902/… – Daniel Dec 19 '15 at 16:20
  • I'll post if it works. – Daniel Dec 19 '15 at 16:20
  • It failed. That person apparently has a slightly different motherboard. – Daniel Dec 19 '15 at 16:23
  • Answers people, answers we need. – Daniel Dec 23 '15 at 21:54
  • I'm open to using software to upscale 2 channel audio to 5.1, as long as it's free. It also must do it real-time – Daniel Dec 23 '15 at 21:56

OK, so unfortunately I ended up solving this problem like 6 hours after posting the bounty, so that was 50 rep wasted…

Anyways, it wasn't a software problem, or at least not on Windows's end.

Here's what I did:

  1. Go to Sound --> Playback --> Realtek Digital Output --> Properties --> Supported Formats and select only Dolby Digital.

Supported Formats Window

  1. Select |> Test.
  2. While Windows is sending the test signal, set the receiver to Auto Sound Digital mode, and the Listen Mode to Pro Logic.
  3. After test completes, click Yes.

I can now listen to anything I want in 5.1 (ish - see below) surround.

The only issue is that the two rear speakers (the surrounds) are set to play the same signal, so it's really 4.1 surround (FrontR + FrontL + Center + Surround + Sub). This isn't too much of an issue, as it already sounds way awesomer.

I hope this helps someone else, and I'm willing to give the bounty away to somebody (post an answer to get put in the drawing - up votes to Question/Answer appreciated to help recover -50).


It will play true 5.1 surround given a 5.1 source, like a DVD or other movie. But music seems to get 4.1, unless specifically written for 5.1.

And the bounty expired while I was out of town. So +50 really wasted.

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Ill add my $.02. Be sure to be using the correct cables to achieve 5.1, as well as correct audio drivers. Even though the computer may be able to push 5.1, applications web streaming services can achieve 5.1 Yes it can be emulated through the receiver in most cases. Also, always check to make sure your audio devices can support the formats you have selected. Selecting the incorrect formats can damage your equipment.

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  • Well, #1 it's coaxial digital so there's only 1 RCA cable (the kind you used 3 of to hook up your VCR), and #2 because it's digital, any incompatible formats will be ignored because they lack the header information needed to activate the amp. – Daniel Jan 3 '16 at 13:55
  • So, while your answer is a good point, it doesn't really do anything for solving the problem. – Daniel Jan 3 '16 at 13:55

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