1 Copper

Help needed connecting/configuring speakers

I have a new Dell XPS 8920 special edition desktop PC (Win10 Pro 64bit) with integrated 5.1 with WAVE MAXXAudio Pro factory-installed soundcard.

There are 3 color-coded jacks on the back of this soundcard:

Green(Front L/R surround line out port)
Black(Rear L/R surround port)
Orange(Center/subwoofer LFE surround port)

The speakers I want to use are Harman Kardon HK985 2.1 consisting of 2 satelite speakers (these connect to left/right ports on the subwoofer.
& a subwoofer which has a cord with 2 RCA plugs at one end (black & green) for connecting to the soundcard.
The install manual for my speakers can be found here: Kardon HK695.pdf

I'm confused how to correctly connect/configure my speakers to work with my new XPS system.

Specifically, how do I correctly:

1. Connect the green & black rca plugs from my subwoofer to the sound card ports on the back of my PC?
2. Select/Configure my speakers in Windows Sound Playback Devices?
3. Select/Configure my speakers in WAVE MAXXAudio Pro?

I've tried all sorts of different connection/configurations & can't get all three speakers to be seen or test correctly.
If I pick stereo in windows Sound Settings under Playback Devices, I don't see my subwoofer in the display, just the 2 satelites (& both test ok).
If I pick 5.1 in Sound settings, I can also see my subwoofer but testing it produces no sound & one of my two satelite speakers sounds like an alien life form when tested.
I've tried removing the device/drivers: Speakers/Headphones(Realtek Audio) under Audio Inputs and Outputs & Realtek Audio under Sound, video and game controllers via Device Manager & reinstalling the drivers for both from but I hasn't resolved the problem.

These same speakers worked/sounded fine with my Creative SB Live! Value (WDM) card on my old Dell Demension 8200 using the 5.1 speaker configuration in my Creative software so I'm stumped.

Any ideas what I might be doing wrong?

PS: I'm thinking of buying/installing an internal dedicated SoundBlaster ZX card if I can't figure this out.
Would you recommend I do that instead?

Thanks in advance for any advice...
Much appreciated Smiley Happy

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1 Reply
7 Plutonium

RE: Help needed connecting/configuring speakers

From the speaker manual:

Connecting the speaker system to the computer.

Step 1  If you have an integrated sound solution; or a stereo sound card, connect the green connector from the subwoofer into the green jack on the computer, the black connector is not used, leave the rubber cap on the black connector to prevent static from the pin grounding on the system.

Thus only the green connection is used.  

The system should be defaulted to "Stereo" which is what you want. 

If you want a 5.1 setup in the PC then you need a 5.1 speaker system.  I find the Integrated sound systems are as good as SoundBlaster, anymore.   I'm leery of current SoundBlaster, most higher end/gamers are using ASUS Xonar series sound cards, by what I see on other computer forums.

I have a recording studio with high end audio equipment but perfectly happy with my 2.1 PC speaker system and Realtek audio for PC audio.

I am not a Dell Employee

Dell forum member since 2002

Dell Inspiron 15 - 5577 Laptop

Home Built Desktop PC with ASUS ROG Z170, i7 6700K CPU

Windows 10 64 bit Pro and Windows 10 Insider Program Beta Versions. SSD drives. Cakewalk by BandLab and Studio One 4.1 Recordng Studio Software.

Dell S2719dgf Monitor

Member of Nashville based R.O.P.E.

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