Audio Setup - Logitech Z680s and SB Live!



I am running a soundblaster Live! 5.1 sound card and Logitech Z680 Speaker system( with built in Dolby Digital DTS). Currently they are simply connected via color coded analog ie front, rear and centre sub/speaker.

My questions are for those with a similar set up who may know. I have read the Logitech support site and whilst helpful does not really specifically address the following.

1. Under this setup, when I watch DVD's. Am I getting Dolby Digital Sound or do I need to connect using a digital coax or optical cable to do this?

2. Following my first question, If I cannot get digital sound under my setup, should I set the Logitech Speaker control panel effect to "6 channel direct" or "PL2 Movie"? What do you guys recommend? I think Im confused here because the soundcard has its own dolby digital decoded if Im not incorrect?

3. I have been told that using a digital connection between my PC Card and Logitech z680 is pointless because by doing so I will lose all the technology features of my card as as EA3 etc? In other words, Ill get more impressive sound using the Soundcards inbuilt technology? But when comparing to something like a standalone DVD unit, then Digital coax or optical is OK because the DVD player it doesnt have any alternative technology of its own (compared to soundcards and software).

4. For normal audio CD's and MP3's - do I gain any increase (or even decrease) in sound quality by going digital compared to my current analog setup?

Thanks guys. What I'm trying to work out is do I need to utilise a digital connection from my PC to Logi Z680 in order to get awesome Dolby DTS sound or can I still achieve this (perhaps its better?) by using just a 6 channel audio input. Hopefully some of you guys are audiophiles!! :)

I don't know your equipment specificly but if no one else relies, try The all-digital connection is usually cleaner but I would be concerned about question #3.

New member
Username: Doctor_t

Post Number: 1
Registered: May-04
You don't *need* to use the digital output. You could use the 5.1 analog out. IMO the Live! is an outdated card, specially with CD and MP3 audio where its digital creating 44.1 -> 48 Khz resampler adds a little bit of noise to the sound (specially noticable with headphones) but then that's neither here nor there.
With up to date DVD / Audio players and drivers you should be able to choose either outputting digital passthrough for dvds or stereo sound or analog output. If you play games, you will have to use the analog output for that.

New member
Username: Doctor_t

Post Number: 2
Registered: May-04
To answer each question:
1. Yes if you use PowerDVD or WinDVD or a modern DVD player, you are using the software's 5.1 dolby digital or DTS modes. They produce very good output.
Make sure you configure the sound in your DVD player software to output 5.1
2. Use 6 channel direct
3. Yes this is true. EAX is only for games though. Never turn it on for music unless you have a tin ear and love the loudness mode of cheap car stereos.
4. For DVDs the audio is 48khz and the Live does a decent job (not as good as an audigy 2 zs though). For stereo it WILL resample the audio even if you use the digital out. The drivers are just like that. There is no saving in stereo, and its questionable whether the Z680 DAC is any better than your live in DD or DTS 5.1. Try it and see.

The Z680s DD and DTS is most useful for connecting a console in my opinion. A high quality soundcard is what you need for PC sound.

Unregistered guest
Considering from the responses you all are a knowledgeable bunch my actual question should pose no problem. I have an creative audigy es card not supported by creative. I want to enjoy the digital output on my logitech z 640's but I cannot get it to work. I have the speakers connected to the analog ports on the sound card and considering the speaker instructions I should receive digital output but it doesn't work. I have a dvd-rw drive that I could use with windvd installed but still can't get it to work right. My center channel speaker actually doesn't make a sound until I press the "matrix" option the actual speaker which emulates a center speaker which shouldn't happen since I have it setup for 5.1 in every menu that needs it. How do I fix this problems? A response would be greatly

Unregistered guest
I recently acquired a (cheap) computer with a SB Live Value sound card (no manual).I need to connect a multimedia headset for internet phone calls.Does anyone know what each of the 5 coloured RCA sockets are used for?
Thank's in advance,Trevor.Australia.

Unregistered guest
Trevor, you have the game port, then a black (rear) green (front) pink (mic) blue (line in) and if its more recent, orange (digital/center-sub analog) (note the pink and blue might be reversed :P tho most soundcards have little symbols next to the plugs

the bull
Unregistered guest
Can i get a hand from someone out there plz! My problem is this, i have just purchased the logitech x530 6 speaker system, also i have a sb-live 5.1 audio card. The prob is that i get no sound from the center speaker when playing music or dvd's. However, i do get the complete test (front left, center, front right...etc) when in the speaker setup in the software program. i know it sounds weird, but i have updated the drivers, and made sure every single setting shows "5.1". Does anyone know what could be the problem? do i need a more modern sound card

thanks for any help you can give me

New member
Username: Can2000

Post Number: 1
Registered: Apr-05
Hi the bull, I have the same problem like you. Have you fixed center speaker or not?
Anyone can help this problem? (I am using ASUS P4P800VM mother board)


Unregistered guest
I just bought a set of z680 and im trying to connect them, with a digital cable, to my audigy sound card (which is linked to a pci slot that has a digital out). I don't get any sound what so ever. Any suggestions?

Unregistered guest
Did you manage to solve the problem, as i have the same one. Would appreciate advice on how to solve it.


Johnny B

Unregistered guest
the programs you are all using is the cause of this, not the speakers

this is becoz they don't upmix into 5.1 but most programs split the stereo channel to run on the four speakers

investing in powerdvd will allow you to use a built in upmixer to split the music and dvds to 5.1

note i bet you are all using either Media player or Winamp

New member
Username: Nickolas

Panama, Panama Panama

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jun-05
casually I have the same problem of the x-530 on the sb live. when I make the diagnostics, the center sounds correctly. But, when I go back to the normal sound, there's still no sound on the center speaker. does somebody got the answer for that. Thanks

Unregistered guest
Danial is correct - I also have a SB and had same trouble with center speaker not working - if you use power DVD (with multi channel sound packs) all speakers can be set to work after some fiddling with options - if you want the feature to work without buying all the power DVD stuff, sugjest you get a 6.1 or 7.1 soundcard :/ ... I might do that myself for my games and music.

Unregistered guest
hi all. i have one sb live and my gabinet kit have 2 connection one for microphone and one for speak on from. but i have't not manual about used it. Who was one manual for me? tank you. this pic is the from to my pc .

Unregistered guest
Ok for the Sound Blaster live 5.1 this is how you get the center speaker to work!
It's freaking crazy I looked all over the place but finally just figured it out. You have to get the Creative Play Center. (but don't worry you don't have to use it to play MP3's) Load the Play Center, then shrink it down to the small size by hitting the little mark next to the minimize X, then on the right you will see the EAX with On/off right above it . left of EAX there is a little arrow tab, click that to extend it out, a keypad will appear. The number pad you see will have ESC and ENETER between that is 0 at the bottom, "Under" ESC is CMSS, click it and pick ON now your center speaker will work. This has to be one of the most retarded things I have ever seen.

Unregistered guest
Hey, thanks for that, i just got a 530 too, had the same problem, i have to thank you with my life because you saved me a whole heap of trouble of doing what you did.

Screw buying a 6.1, 7.1 sound card, a 5.1 should freaken work! Great job once again, rep rep.


New member
Username: Anonymously

Post Number: 1
Registered: Sep-06
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