5.1 vs 4.1

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Dlovely, Jul 5, 2002.

  1. Dlovely

    Dlovely Guest

    I currently have creative 5.1 inspire 5300 which are not bad considering the price however I was looking into the Klipsch pro-media 5.1's. Question is, so far since i've had this system, i have yet to hear the center speaker other than when my Audigy demo plays. I know hardly any music has center speaker support so im wondering if id be better off getting 4.1 instead of the 5.1 ?!? has anyone had this decision to make or any suggestions?
  2. seeme

    seeme Guest

    generally speaking, you would only want 5.1 if your playing games or watching DVD's on your computer. I wouldnt bother with 4.1 at all.

    If you use your computer sound system for the sole purpose of listening to music, then i would set up the computer with a really good quality amp and 2 channel system.

    Also, and this is my personal preference, you CAN have too much bass. I hate sub-woofers, they just muddy the sound. Clarity all the way for me baby

  3. Dlovely

    Dlovely Guest


    What PC games support 5.1?? i have a few and have yet to hear the center speaker working. also what kind do u recommend for music quality? im considering the 4.1 but if there is better quality then im all ears lol
  4. Dlovely

    Dlovely Guest

    ya catch i have them set to 5.1 in both XP and the Audigy sound card setup but most music CD's don't have center speaker sound atleast the music i listen to don't. other than dolby 5.1 dvd movies i don't think its worth it for the center speaker.
  5. Dlovely

    Dlovely Guest

    I feel so dumb for even have purchased 5.1 considering they aren't even digital speakers and nothing plays on the center speaker other than the demo my audigy sound card came with lol
  6. ronenph1

    ronenph1 Guest

    A solution

    If you have an Audigy or any other Creative soundcard with a 5.1 support, you probably got the software "Creative Playcenter".

    In this software you have an option to switch the Speaker setting to a "Movie Mode", by clicking the "CMSS" (Creative multi-speaker surround) option or just click Ctrl+M.
    When the "Movie Mode" option is enabled, the soundcard uses its own AC-3 decoder, and it makes you to hear a full 5.1 sound.

    In this case, your center speaker should start working.

    The "Movie Mode" makes that every speaker will "throw" another "part" of the sound, like, for example, a piano from the rear left speaker, snare drum from the center speaker and etc.

    If the "Movie Mode" is not enabled, the speakers "behave" just like 4 stereo speakers.

    Hope I helped you.
    - Ronen.
  7. dejav00

    dejav00 Guest


    My Inspire 5300's and Audigy work great, even that center speaker...

    Here's what you have to do...

    Install the Creative Gay-Center *cough* Playcenter

    Run the program, and after clicking cancel in all the setup stuff (;))

    Go to the mini-view

    expand it so you can see the numbers for choosing tracks, then, in the bottom left of the panel with the numbers you will see the initials "CMSS"

    From there click those initials, or hit Ctrl+N

    And now that center speaker works...

    however, do not use Playcenter, I'm not sure you can un-install it and it will still work, but as long as you do that the center speaker will work...

    But just FYI, the center speaker just plays both Right and Left Channels, it doesn't really add anything to your music listening experience unless you turn on DREAM, which I don't recommend because you have to use the Gay-Center for it...

    Anyways, if you have ANY problems lemme know since we got the same setup...
  8. dejav00

    dejav00 Guest

    Re: A solution

    OMG...that's great man...but one thing...it is Ctrl+N, I fixed it above...

    This is cool...lol
  9. ronenph1

    ronenph1 Guest

    A question

    What is "the dream"?
  10. dejav00

    dejav00 Guest



    Well, it is a big fancy acronym, something like Dynamic Rotation Environmental Audio Music (That isn't right but it's close enough :p)

    Basically, what it does is makes the left and right channels change from one speaker to another in a circular pattern, with you being able to control 3 aspects of the music in which way it rotates, how fast it rotates, and which part that is applied too...yeah, it's kinda cool to show ur friends, but it's (IMO) not worth using...
  11. Dlovely

    Dlovely Guest

    deja- i appreciate your help but that CMSS thing sucks it cuts off the rest of the speakers pretty much and blares out the middle for music argh! playcenter sucks and has always driven me nuts cuz it locks up and freezes and forces me to use media player unless i reboot. im not sure if its a microsoft media player rogue trying to override my pc with media playing or cuz creative makes shitty drivers.
  12. Dlovely

    Dlovely Guest

    also if im planning on getting the Soyo Dragon kt333 ultra with the onboard audio, how is it compared to the Audigy platinum?
    im wondering if i will still need it or just give it to my friend.
  13. seeme

    seeme Guest

    actually, no speakers are digital. they are all analogue. regardless of what it says on the box. i dont know the full ins and outs of it since im only a newbie audiophile, but thats a fact.

    someone else can fill the details if they know....

    umm, for top quality sound on a budget, get maybe a yamaha amp (Yamaha is the AMD version of sound equipment..think of everyone else as intel :) ) and for speakers? well, they all sound different. spend about US$1000 on a pair and your doing well.
  14. Taurus

    Taurus hardware monkey

    Sacramento, CA
    i've always thought 5.1 sound on a computer is useless unless you like sitting in your computer chair for 2-3 hours and watching movie. 4.1 is perfect for games and music alike. also, 5.1 systems that i've seen have most of the sound come out of the center channel, even in games, which is just kinda dumb. if i wanted one-channel sound, i'd get an apple.

    and as far as digital speakers go, i have a set. digital means they use the digital out port on your sound card (if applicable) so that no quality is lost between the sound card and the amp. my digital speakers convert the digital signal to analog right in my sub where the amplifier is. of course the actual sound that comes out of the speakers is analog since, well... that's what sound is.
  15. dejav00

    dejav00 Guest


    Uhmm, well Dlovely, I'm getting the same board, and have been wondering the same thing...so...obviously...I can't help ya with that one lol...
  16. seeme

    seeme Guest

    exactly. the speakers are not completely digital.

    i dont think completely digital speakers are possible with current technology?

    Does anyone know anything about research in this field? id love to read up on it!

    ....anyway, have a great week everyone! im off skiing for 7 days! YEEE HAA grandpa!

  17. dreamliner77

    dreamliner77 The Analog Kid

    Red Sox Nation
    Speakers can never be digital. Digital is only 1's and 0's. Sound is an analog wave. That is why sampling rate is important in digital audio. Digital can try to recreate the wave, but it can never be continous therefore the less space between the samples, the less likely you are to hear it. (I guess in all reality, if you had a driver [speaker] for each frequency, you could reproduce digital full spectrum sound, with the speaker either being 'on' or 'off'.

    As for digital sound cards and speakers, the only difference between analog is where the digital to analog converter is in the chain (and the quality of the DA converter). As long as you have a good DA converter and good interconnects, it really doesn't matter where it lies, on the sound card or in the speakers/amp.

    As Chuck D once said "Don't believe the hype!"

    ps, Seeme, feel free to IM me or email me any questions you have, If I don't know the answers, I can always at least point you in the right direction
  18. Gnu

    Gnu OSNN Addict

    Honestly, I don't see much point in having a centre channel with 19" and smaller monitors. Imaging with that small a viewing area is more than sufficient with only stereo front channels. A 4-channel system is plenty for most PC setups.

    When people talk about digital speakers, they mean the connection from the hardware to the amp.
  19. dreamliner77

    dreamliner77 The Analog Kid

    Red Sox Nation
    Exactly, Gnu. But go to what I said before. If the DA converter on the sound card is of decent quality, and you use good interconnects, it doesn't matter, you will never see any difference in quality. The digital signal still has to be converted somewhere. Digital Amps are just advertising hype. They don't exist. They are class D amps that are still analog but work differently then class A or B amps.
  20. Gnu

    Gnu OSNN Addict

    That's the problem with most consumer sound cards, though -- poor D/A conversion and/or analog outputs. The Live! series in particular is notorious for both sub-par analog output and non-standard digital output (TTL sync instead of real S/PDIF). Mini-jack outputs aren't the end of the world, but they just can't beat discrete phased connectors. (However, I recently purchased a Hercules Gamesurround for US$30, and was more than impressed with its fidelity through my old 4-channel Cambridge Soundworks rig ... best budget card I've ever seen.)