3 Simple Options To Get 5.1 Sound From PC with HDMI

Getting 5.1 sound from your PC is becoming more important each day. There are no doubts about it – Internet streaming has become a much more viable option than classic television. More and more people choose to see their favorite shows and movies over the Internet – on demand. It is more convenient, and you can forget about all those ads interrupting you every 20 minutes.

On the same note, the home theater industry keeps evolving with every new year. For this reason, the distance between computers and home cinema systems has become extremely small. These days, you can integrate your classic computer into your home cinema without too many issues.

There is one problem that keeps arising, though – how to get 5.1 sound from PC HDMI. Some TVs seem to be locked on two channels, while others find it impossible to integrate the 5.1 surround sound. Well, these are only some illusions. There are a few good ways to integrate your computer with your home cinema system.

  • Use your computer to set and control the home cinema environment.
  • Use a smart TV or media streamer to access music and video on your computer.
  • Connect your computer to a home cinema system with surround sound.
  • Use the television set as a monitor for music, games, and videos.

Now, no matter what system you have, chances are playing with your settings, a little can provide a great experience.

How to get 5.1 surround sound from Windows 10

Black sound speaker

Unless you perform the following steps to set surround sound over Windows 10, you will probably benefit from a stereo output. It is the default option, even if you have already connected the hardware. There are no significant requirements, yet one of them makes the difference – the sound card should support 5.1 sound.

According to Tech Radar, new computers may already have sound cards that can output 5.1 sounds. Older options do not. At the same time, desktops are more likely to have such support than laptops. This requirement will determine how successful you can be in this venture. Sure, you can get a new sound card for a desktop, but it is more complicated with a laptop.

Assuming that your computer has a proper sound card, here are the steps to learn how to get 5.1 sound from PC HDMI.

  • Go to the sound properties. You can press the Windows key and R at the same time. A Run window will open up. Writing mmsys.cpl will take you to features.
  • Go to the playback tab and choose the device responsible for the surround sound. Different sound cards may show different names. Click on the speakers, then press the button to set default.
  • On the same tab, go to the configuration menu – click the configure button on the lower-left corner.
  • A new speaker setup window will come up with audio channels. Choose 5.1 surrounds and go next.
  • In the next window, you will find a few different configurations. Choose the one closest to how you placed your speakers around the home cinema system.
  • Look below at the optional speakers and check all the boxes, then go next.
  • If the system is not 100% complete or you do not have a subwoofer, disable such equipment. This way, the sound meant for the missing equipment will be sent to an available channel. Otherwise, it will be lost so that you will miss lots of audio.
  • As you go next, you will be asked to choose the full-range speakers. Many 5.1 speaker systems do not come with such speakers. Choose the ones you have and ignore the others, then go next.
  • Click finish.

How to test the new system

There are a few necessary steps to verify your system before actually playing your movie.

  • Go to the sound properties – Windows key and R, then type mmsys.cpl.
  • Go to the playback tab.
  • Choose the speakers you selected before and right-click on them. You will find a button to test them.
  • Sounds should come out from each speaker at a time, so you can tell precisely whether the entire system works or not.
  • Right-click again and choose to stop testing once you are done.

How to get 5.1 surround sound from VLC on Mac

If you use Mac, it depends on what software you rely on for your home cinema experience. Lots of people choose VLC, so here are the steps.

  • Download and install VLC if you have not already, then run it from applications.
  • Go to the File menu and open a file, then select the video you want to watch.
  • Pause the video in case it starts automatically and go to the VLC menu.
  • Choose the option Audio, Audio Device, Built-in Digital Output. The name of this option can be slightly different, as it depends on what Mac type you have, not to mention the VLC version.
  • Keep playing the video, and the audio should not go through your surround sound system.

Home movie theater cables

How to get 5.1 surround sound from VLC on Mac via AirPlay

Based on this article from Lifewire, you have to configure VLC according to the above steps, then implement it into AirPlay.

  • Hit the AirPlay icon in the menu bar.
  • You will find a menu with more options – choose Apple TV.
  • Go to the VLC menu and hit Audio, Audio Device, AirPlay.
  • Play your video, put it on the full screen, and enjoy it on your home cinema system with surround sound.


In the end, you do not need too much experience to learn how to get 5.1 sound from PC HDMI. As long as your system supports everything, a few changes in your settings should get the job done. If you are not sure about anything, this article from Lifewire will tell you how to integrate your computer into your home cinema system – assuming that it is possible.

As for the actual configuration, the steps above are straightforward and intuitive, so you should have no problems at all.

Related Topic: 2 Ways On How To Hook Up Surround Sound To TV and Cable Box