How come surround sound in Vista only works with certain programs?

by on June 4, 2009

Q: I need help with Vista surround sound.

I have a 5.1 surround sound hooked up to a Dynex 5.1 card. The problem is when I go to Sound –> Digital Output Device (SPDIF) –> Supported Formats –> Dolby Digital, all my speakers and bass work great for surround sound. But when I use another program to test my surround sound, only the front two speakers work, but in the test they work great?

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7 Responses to “How come surround sound in Vista only works with certain programs?”

    What programs are you using to test the surround sound, and are you running into any issues using it in any specific games or playing DVDs/Blu-Ray ?


    I am just using a media file i downloaded to test and whenever i play games it dosnt work either. But when i hook my xbox 360 it works great.


    Do you have the model number of the Dynex sound card you’re trying to use?

    Also, the media file you downloaded might not have had surround sound encoding. I’d suggest you try popping a good action DVD movie and see how that works.


    Alright ill try the DVD and heres the sound card is


    Wait the DVD worked great with sorround sound what does that mean?

    Picked as best answer

    What the means is that the games you’re playing or the other files you’re playing back are only encoded to play in stereo.

    For the games double check in their settings to see if there are any sound options in there for enabling surround sound.

    Depending on the audio receiver you’re using it might have some kind of an option to ‘mix up’ the stereo signal and attempt to make it more of a surround sound experience.


    Thanks a lot for your help Mark.