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  • 2 channel (stereo sound) to 4 speakers?

    Almost done through the buying phase of my first carputer. Just waiting for my display to come in, but quick question.

    I have an aux input on my Kenwood headunit (L/R stereo). Does that mean I only get stereo sound? I remember my old Nine Inch Nails CD in my old Sony CD headunit had different audio signals to my front and back speakers. What determines if I get basic surround sound? Is it the audio track, the signal, the hardware, or all three?
    2006 Rav4 + iPod, still CarPCless

  • #2
    CD's are stereo, if the sound coming out of your rear speakers isnt the same as the front speakers your headunit is doing something to it
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    • #3
      So regardless of what kind of soundcard I put in (SB 5.1, etc.), I'm going to be limited by my headunit? Can any headunits handle basic Dolby or will I need a separate decoder?
      2006 Rav4 + iPod, still CarPCless

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      • #4
        I dont know why you would want 5.1 in, the mp3s or whatever on your computer are only stereo anyway, the only time it would come out 5.1 would be when you were playing a 5.1 movie, you may as well let the headunit upmix your music to more channels rather than the headunit.

        If you really want 5.1 sound for some reason like movies its probably easiest just to run the headunit straight to amps, i dont know of any headunits that have 5.1 in, but there are probably expensive ones that do
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        • #5
          Not looking for 5.1, just looking for 4 channels basic surround.
          2006 Rav4 + iPod, still CarPCless

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          • #6
            Run one preout into a four-channel amp, run the speakers off that
            Leo

            http://www.talkaudio.co.uk

            A million people can't be wrong, right?

            Well... unless they're all from the red states...

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            • #7
              so run the computer straight into the headunit and let the headunit convert it from 2 channels to 4 channels, this is all your computer is doing anyway seeing as your music will be 2 channels
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              • #8
                As i read it, your headunit is also your amplifier, so it amplifies the sound to your car speakers, depending on the headunit it will amplify 2 or 4 speakers (most do 4 - 2 x front & 2 x rear). The sound sent to the rear speakers is the same that goes to the front speakers, so u get stereo at the front, and at the rear.

                With regards to taking input from your computer, plug the sound card stereo output into your aux L/R inputs on the headunit and the headunit will automatically send it to all 4 speakers. So instead of the soundcard doing the work, the amplifier is (which is the better way to do it!)

                If you wanted stuff like EAX effects with a soundblaster, they you would need a seperate 4 channel amp that takes 2 sets of stereo inputs from your soundcards front and rear outputs, and then amplifies the front and rear sets from those. Not worth it IMO, first option is nice easy and cheap

                Gaz

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                • #9
                  Thanks for the input. Guess I'll live with L/R channel sound for now. Hehe.
                  2006 Rav4 + iPod, still CarPCless

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SwapMeet
                    I remember my old Nine Inch Nails CD in my old Sony CD headunit had different audio signals to my front and back speakers. What determines if I get basic surround sound? Is it the audio track, the signal, the hardware, or all three?
                    If I had to guess your old Sony head unit had a feature called DSO (Dynamic Soundstage Organizer). It was supposed to make the audio sound more "live" but I too have a Sony head unit and have noticed that with certain pieces of audio it seems to quiet the rear speakers. Some Sony head units did allow you to select different outputs for front and rear speakers but usually required an add on device (such as the Sony XT-40V tv tuner). I don't know anything about Kenwoods, but I don't think you will have the same sound experiences you did with the Sony.
                    2006 Chevy Colorado: VIA M10000 EDEN, 1 GB RAM, 80 GB 2.5" Seagate HDD, USB Slim Slot DVD/RW, Holux GPS, MobileVU 10.4" LCD (touch not working yet), VOOMPC Case (blue), 70W DC-DC supply.

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