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Asus Strix Soar question about some things and weird beahvior

neXus2016
Level 7
Hi everybody.

I recently bought Asus Strix Soar (ordinary version). I have few few questions and to report strange behavior with Sonic Studio or drivers.

Question:

1. Is Soar capable of outputing 5.1 or 7.1 thru SPDIF? Even thou I didn't connected anything to SPDIF, on Sonic Studio SPDIF stereo can be only selected. Question for future AVR 5.1 or 7.1 system. Will aditional options (5.1/7.1) appear when connecting AVR or similar to SPDIF, on SPDIF playback configuration menu?
2. How to use virtual 7.1 on headphones, when certain games or video players go by Windows default (Stereo only selection with headphones)?
3. Sonic studio is a bit slow when opening from systray menu.

Speaking of headphones and virtual 7.1, If in Sonic Studio or drivers could be added that games and video/audio players actually detect that 5.1/7.1 as setted by default. They are not detecting that 7.1, even virtual, is ON. (for Devs and Bahz)
Example: an additional device in Playback devices which is activated when turning virtual surround on and as is recognized as true 7.1 device, but after that card or software will simulate 7.1 system into 2.0 (headphones)

Strange behavior:

When playing music over AIMP (and other media that uses Windows default, WASAPI, ASIO, DirectX device selection) and switching between speakers and headphones, either headphones or speakers first selected before playing audio, second changes to SPDIF. (seen by playback devices option in Windows). In Sonic Studio Headphones/Speakers are normally active, but in Windows Playback devices SPDIF is active.
Bugged me for a while why there is no sound. VLC does that also, sometimes.
Certainly a bug that needed to be fixed. Maybe driver side?

Youtube and other streaming speaker/headphone switching works fine.
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6 REPLIES 6

neXus2016
Level 7
Anyone?

Will try to answer you as best I can in terms of my limited experience with the Soar and the latest 1.1.7 drivers.

My Soar is connected via both a stereo cable and a SPDIF-to-Toslink cable with a JBL soundbar. I did this to test the quality of stereo vs digital playback. At the same time it is also connected to my Razer Carcharias headset. I can ONLY select 7.1 surround sound when outputting to the soundbar via the stereo cable (i.e. selecting speakers). The headset and SPDIF options ONLY accept stereo, i.e. no surround option albeit 4.0, 5.1 or 7.1 is available to select.

Yes the Strix Sonic Studio software does load a bit slow from the system tray, but I wouldn't say it is (much) slower than say that of Creative.

Unfortunately, I cannot confirm the strange behaviour you are experiencing because I have not used the programs you are referring to in such a fashion.

The biggest drawback with the Strix Sonic Studio software for me personally is a smart volume feature. Too many games for example have one loudness in the menu and another whilst in gameplay - it's annoying to keep adjusting your volume accordingly the whole time. Creative has this feature and it truly makes the world of difference.

The Soar's sound quality is pretty good but the software needs work!

Thanks.

I'm also using latest drivers, because they have SSD fix.

JBl sound bars are actually Stereo. All of the "surround" is much virtual. I had Sony sony kdl 32d3000 TV with virtual surround option, which actually bounces and focuses certain Hz spectrum, so it "sounds" like surround.
I need someone with actual 5.1/7.1 home theatre or AVR home theatre speaker system with optical connected, to answer. Thanks anyway.
Maybe Bahz will answer when he hears with DEV team.

Slowness of Sonic studio opening is greater than I had on Creative X-FI xtremegamer Pro Fatality. Console on X-Fi loads about in a 1-2 seconds (SSD or HDD wise).
Due to problems or lasiness with Creative and SSD bug with their certain models, including this one, I had to buy new sound card.

About strange behaviour, you can test it by installing AIMP or VLC or any Audio/Video software that uses DirectX, ASIO, WASAPI...or else, for testing, then switch from speakers and headphones.
But, I found out that on WASAPI exclusive (push), and WASAPI exclusive (event) and ASIO I can switch from both Speakers and Headphones, without loosing audio. Only problem is that they are all exclusive. So, when one program is using WASAPI or ASIO, other cannot.
Problem remains when Using DirectX. Sometimes it does that when Automatic.

On thing that bugs me is, that SPDIF in Windows Playback Devices - Playback tab - SPDIF - Properties - General is registered as L R Rear Panel 3.5mm jack. That is the same for Headphones. Speakers have registration on all ports ( L R, RL RR, C Sub, SL SR).
So I presume that SPDIF is registered on the same port (output) for front speakers, instead on dedicated SR SL port. Actually it has to be registred as Optical port, and only activated, when selected as default device in Sonic Studio or something similar.

Oh, and forgot to add. You have Compressor, onto your right side. Noise (peaks) will be limited to certain level and low noise will be boosted on same level. Didn't tested it, so I do not how it works from Sonic Center.

OK, now to report back. I returned Strix SOAR to my company, because it was purchased for my computer implemented into one of the computers and company bought me SoundBlaster ZX.
So, SB ZX has separate ports for speakers and headphones. And what do you know. It works properly. Not loosing sound (random switching to SPDIF if changed from Speakers to Headphones and vice versa), equilazer on 31Hz and 16KHz works normally (can hear change) and so on.

ASUS Strix is not a failure, but failed in good sound (not muffled) and drivers.

ASUS just needs to fix drivers and EQ and make better sound output and it will be a great card.

SeanTek
Level 7
neXus2016 wrote:
Hi everybody.

I recently bought Asus Strix Soar (ordinary version). I have few few questions and to report strange behavior with Sonic Studio or drivers.

Question:

1. Is Soar capable of outputing 5.1 or 7.1 thru SPDIF? Even thou I didn't connected anything to SPDIF, on Sonic Studio SPDIF stereo can be only selected. Question for future AVR 5.1 or 7.1 system. Will aditional options (5.1/7.1) appear when connecting AVR or similar to SPDIF, on SPDIF playback configuration menu?


S/PDIF can only output two channels of uncompressed PCM audio. This is a limitation of the S/PDIF interface, and not specific to Asus STRIX SOAR or any other particular sound card. S/PDIF can transmit multichannel audio but it has to be compressed (Dolby Digital, DTS, etc.). S/PDIF can't even transmit higher bandwidth codecs like Dolby TrueHD (which also happens to be lossless). The only way to get multichannel audio out of S/PDIF from a sound card is if the sound card itself does the Dolby Digital/DTS encoding on-the-fly. This would be computationally intensive, require licensing, and basically be not worth it.

If you want to stay in the digital realm with multichannel audio, hook up an HDMI cable. The point of high-end sound cards like STRIX is to have a quality DAC to drive analog equipment (speakers and headphones).

SeanTek wrote:
S/PDIF can only output two channels of uncompressed PCM audio. This is a limitation of the S/PDIF interface, and not specific to Asus STRIX SOAR or any other particular sound card. S/PDIF can transmit multichannel audio but it has to be compressed (Dolby Digital, DTS, etc.). S/PDIF can't even transmit higher bandwidth codecs like Dolby TrueHD (which also happens to be lossless). The only way to get multichannel audio out of S/PDIF from a sound card is if the sound card itself does the Dolby Digital/DTS encoding on-the-fly. This would be computationally intensive, require licensing, and basically be not worth it.

If you want to stay in the digital realm with multichannel audio, hook up an HDMI cable. The point of high-end sound cards like STRIX is to have a quality DAC to drive analog equipment (speakers and headphones).
Dude, if you read my last post, I already moved to SB ZX and it works flawlessly.

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