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XPS 8950, 5.1 speakers plugged in, but no 5.1 sound

Is there a way to obtain 5.1 surround sound on the XPS 8950 with no add in sound card?

I have my 5.1 surround sound speakers plugged into the PC but only the Left and Right speakers produce sound.

I have no problem buying and installing a sound card but i don't want to violate the warranty. I would have bought a sound card with the XPS 8950 when I bought it two weeks ago, but I bought it on Amazon and there was no option to buy a sound card.

Thanks.

Solutions (2)

Accepted Solutions
10 Diamond
931

<sigh>

Open Waves Control Panel. Is "Select Output Device" still set correctly?

Open the Windows Sound screen. Is Realtek set as the output device? Then run the Troubleshooter on that screen...

Ron

  Forum Member since 2004
  I am not a Dell employee

View solution in original post

10 Diamond
1151

@Champagne xps8950  Glad to have helped, but what's the "10%" that isn't resolved?

Selecting Realtek Audio as Output on the Win 11 Sound screen has nothing to do with NVidia audio.  Realtek audio is a chip on the motherboard and is used for external speakers.  NVidia audio would be used if you're using audio over HDMI (or DP) from an NVidia GPU to speakers built into the monitor.

In them olden days, they didn't have Realtek chips on the motherboard or audio over HDMI/DP, so sound add-in cards were used.

That all said, there's nothing stopping you from installing an add-in PCI-e sound card and using that instead of Realtek.  One reason OEMs probably don't install add-in sound cards is extra cost to customer...

Lots of reviews about sound cards compatible with Win 11, for example here and here.  Don't know how well any add-in sound card would compare with Realtek in a head-to-head audio test, or how much extra system resources they may need.

There are some threads about installing a sound card in XPS 8950, eg here, so read some of them.

Ron

  Forum Member since 2004
  I am not a Dell employee

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Replies (15)
8 Platinum
967

Start by going to (legacy) Control-Panel / Sound. Be sure your Speaker System is properly configured for 5.1 audio . They must first pass the testing (ie, each speaker plays by itself when called-upon).


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
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959

Thanks. I did what you instructed, but, in Control Panel Sounds, there was no option to configure for 5.1 speakers.

9 Rhodium
957

The Dell Setup and Specs document details what jacks to use for 5.1.  Its not straightforward like old sound cards.

XPS 8950 Setup and Specifications (dell.com)



I am not a Dell Employee

Dell forum member since 2002

Dell Inspiron 15 Gaming 5577 Laptop

Home Built Desktop PC with Gigabyte Designare Z390,  i9 9900K CPU

Windows 11 64 bit Pro, 22H2, SSD drives. Cakewalk by BandLab and Studio One 4.6 Pro Recording Studio Software, MOTU Ultralite MK5 recording interface unit
.

Dell S2719DGF Monitor

956


@Champagne xps8950 wrote:

Thanks. I did what you instructed, but, in Control Panel Sounds, there was no option to configure for 5.1 speakers.


Set your (analog) audio device as the Default. With your audio device selected click Configure button. If it only lists Stereo (ie no 5.1 listed) you have a deeper-rooted problem. Resolve that (maybe as @fireberd suggested) and then come back here to configure them.

5.1 Audio will not work as long as Windows does not detect or think you have the proper number of speakers connected.


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.
10 Diamond
948

XPS 8950 uses Waves MaxxAudio Pro as its sound controller. So you have to configure both Windows and Waves for your surround sound.

  1. Configure Windows as best you can with Realtek Audio set on Windows Sound screen
  2. Power off fully and disconnect all speakers from PC
  3. Power on and get to desktop
  4. Plug in front L/R speakers and wait for Waves to pop up and ask what you connected.
    Select best option on the Waves menu
  5. Plug in rear L/R speakers and wait for Waves...
  6. Plug in subwoofer last and wait for Waves...
  7. Open Waves control panel (may be a "W" icon on taskbar near clock)
  8. Click Playback option
  9. Turn Equalizer on by moving the slider to right
  10. Confirm Output device is set correctly or choose better option on the dropdown menu
  11. Make sure speakers aren't muted on Waves Playback screen and set volume level too
  12. Click Sound Test button at lower right corner of the Waves screen
  13. You may also have to look at settings on the "Dimension" screen in Waves control panel, if it has one (depends on version of Waves)

Ron

  Forum Member since 2004
  I am not a Dell employee

936

I have success now with the 5.1 speaker set up. The KEY and most important step is to Power Off the entire system. Unplug all speakers from the computer. Then Power On. Once on, plug in the speakers One at a Time! You'll be prompted by the computer to proceed to the next step as it detects each newly connected speaker.

10 Diamond
935

@Champagne xps8950  Glad you got speakers working. Waves has its own rules and you have to play its little game...

If my post helped, please mark it as the Accepted Solution. Thanks!

Ron

  Forum Member since 2004
  I am not a Dell employee

933

No, I spoke too soon, Ron. The speakers function during the Test. Yes, that part is fine. 

However, none of the speakers function when I try to use the computer to play a game or use YouTube.

When I first reported the problem, the Left and Right speakers functioned well for all applications. The other speakers were silent. Now, when I try to use the computer none of the speakers work.

 

10 Diamond
932

<sigh>

Open Waves Control Panel. Is "Select Output Device" still set correctly?

Open the Windows Sound screen. Is Realtek set as the output device? Then run the Troubleshooter on that screen...

Ron

  Forum Member since 2004
  I am not a Dell employee

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