Surround sound stuff

I currently have a Hercules MuseXL sound card, which supports quad speaker style surround sound. … my speakers though are the full 5.1 surround sound. (I actually have a home theatre style speaker set… the ones you use for DVD players ) … now… my problem is this.

The rear speakers are really quiet. I’d actually have to have them on my chair before they actually have an effect on me. Is this how surround sound is suppose to work*? or is this my sound card being a peice of snot?
If my card is crap - what’s a good cheap sound card i can get that would take full advantage of my 5.1 speakers?

*If this is the case -isn’t this kind of retarded? Surely just because someone walks behind me they don’t automatically talk in a lower volume… that’s for my ears to decide right?

What ever drivers come with your sound card should allow you to adjust the rear outputs of the speakers, or you should be able to adjust rear output via your reciever (I’m assuming you’ve got a reciever hooked up).

As for a alternative sound card: There’s always the Soundblaster Audigy 2. While they rarely update the drivers, you never have to worry about it working in games since it’s the defacto standard.

As stated in the previous post there, your volume levels for your rear speakers sound like they’re down too low, and should be adjustable by your sound card.

If your current sound card cannot adjust it you might want to look at an Audigy or Audigy 2, doubtful you’ll notice much difference between the two, and I’d lean for the cheapest solution possible which would be probably finding an OEM Audigy someone hasn’t sold off yet.

As for how surround sound works for dB levels from where you sit, reference levels for movie listening is 85dB from all source points to your focal location. Now this is quite loud, and most people tweak their systems for 75dB listening (myself included in that, because I feel like my head is going to explode at 85dB). If you have an SPL meter you might try tweaking your setup with some whitenoise and getting a consistant dB reading from all speakers. Otherwise just judge until you feel that each speaker sounds at the same volume level. Generally your rears you’ll throttle down lower than your fronts because they tend to be closer to you, but just experiment until you find the level that seems right to you.



[size=1]the port I thought was rear out was actualy line in - yet it still gave a little out for some reason… meh.[/size]