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Thread: I just got my Astro A40 audio system, and I cannot figure out how to connect it to pc

  1. #1
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    Default I just got my Astro A40 audio system, and I cannot figure out how to connect it to pc

    Ok, so I own an Alienware m17x, I am wanting to use my mixamp pro with my a40's while in games to get dolby 7.1 surround sound but I can barely understand the quick start guide, and the main manual tells me about all these different cables I need. I have my Optical cable, but I do not have that on my m17x, do I need to use the RCA to 3.5mm cable method of hooking up the mixamp, or is there another method? Any and all help will be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
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    Since the M17x doesn't have an optical out you would need to use an external USB sound card. You should look for one that has Dolby Digital Live support.

  3. #3
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    What??? You are telling me I spent $250 for a ****ing headset that does not support USB or other based 7.1 surround sound?!?!?!? THAT IS A RIP OFF! You mean I can buy a $150 Logitech g930 and have it at 7.1 surround just threw its native usb, but not threw my Astro a40's????? That is just lame!

  4. #4
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    You bought an audio system that was designed first for console gaming and second for PC gaming. The MixAmp support a surround sound input through either a coaxial or optical connection, which the original Alienware M17 had btw. Keep in mind that the latest M17x is lacking somewhat in features compared to its earlier iterations.

    Something like the Asus Xonar 3 would work for you though.

  5. #5
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    ....huh. Supposedly, according to Dell's site, the headphone jack doubles as an SPDIF out? Perhaps there's a cheap adapter that can then be used to hook up to the Mixamp, provided that whatever onboard audio is provided supports Dolby Digital Live? Not sure if it'd be a 3.5mm to RCA adapter, or one of those little 3.5mm to optical adapters (sometimes the optical transmitter is embedded back in the headphone jack), but worth looking into.

    Seems to me that if a $1500+ gaming laptop doesn't support the same standards (SPDIF/DDL) one can get out of a $50 sound card, that's an oversight on Dell's part.

    What I was looking at on Dell's site -

    Ports, Slots & Chassis

    Ports
    (1x) Power/DC-in Jack
    (2x) Hi-Speed USB 2.0 ports
    (2x) SuperSpeed USB 3.0/2.0 Combo ports
    (1x) eSATA 3Gb/s + USB 2.0 Combo port(with USB charge function support)
    (3x) Auto-sensing jacks for Line-out (2 line out; 1x SPDIF/Headphone)
    (1x) Microphone Input jack
    (1x) RJ-45 (10/100/1Gb IPv6)
    (1x) HDMI-1.4 output with Audio
    (1x) HDMI-1.3 input4 with Audio5
    (1x) mini-Display Port
    (1x) VGA Port (DB-15)
    (1x) 9-in-1 Media card reader
    Note the bolded. Figure out what's up with that, and if it supports DDL.
    Last edited by carlmcd; 01-07-2012 at 02:48 AM.
    Black A40 UP Walrus | White A30 PAX 2010 LE | 2010 Mixamp
    Green A40 BXR | 2011 Mixamp | I Should Sell Some Of This Crap

  6. #6
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    HuH, you are right o.o Which to be honest no matter what I would not trade my a40s for anything they are amazing. Hmmmm, so what do you suppose I do? I had always heard I could some how use my SPDIF port to get 7.1 Dolby on another thread msg, but they really did not go threw exactly how to do this, do I need the 3.5-RCA Adapter, or should I look for a 3.5-TOSlink? Any thoughts?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelda_FTW View Post
    HuH, you are right o.o Which to be honest no matter what I would not trade my a40s for anything they are amazing. Hmmmm, so what do you suppose I do? I had always heard I could some how use my SPDIF port to get 7.1 Dolby on another thread msg, but they really did not go threw exactly how to do this, do I need the 3.5-RCA Adapter, or should I look for a 3.5-TOSlink? Any thoughts?
    You could use THIS adapter. Make sure that your on-board audio has support for Dolby Digital Live. It is required for surround sound audio from games.

  8. #8
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    A little time on google suggests that the M17x does not support DDL over the optical. So don't bother with that adapter.

    Sucks. Yes, getting set up with a PC on the Mixamp is a bit of a pain; it's intended for consoles, and consoles put out Dolby Digital out of the box (well, except the Wii). But honestly, I'm placing this on Alienware/Dell. Whoever designed a "gaming" laptop with SPDIF out but without DDL support needs to be beaten with a rubber hose.
    Black A40 UP Walrus | White A30 PAX 2010 LE | 2010 Mixamp
    Green A40 BXR | 2011 Mixamp | I Should Sell Some Of This Crap

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by carlmcd View Post
    A little time on google suggests that the M17x does not support DDL over the optical. So don't bother with that adapter.

    Sucks. Yes, getting set up with a PC on the Mixamp is a bit of a pain; it's intended for consoles, and consoles put out Dolby Digital out of the box (well, except the Wii). But honestly, I'm placing this on Alienware/Dell. Whoever designed a "gaming" laptop with SPDIF out but without DDL support needs to be beaten with a rubber hose.
    Hmmmm, well then got a recommendation for a USB sound card? LoL, if the Astro's where not amazing with there Music Sound quality and regular game sound quality I would have sold them and bought a PC based headset, but these are above and beyond the best headset ever! So, about that USB sound card?

  10. #10
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    The ASUS Xonar 3 linked earlier will do the trick. I haven't used it, I have a desktop, but the Xonar cards in general are pretty solid.
    Black A40 UP Walrus | White A30 PAX 2010 LE | 2010 Mixamp
    Green A40 BXR | 2011 Mixamp | I Should Sell Some Of This Crap

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