Sound Blaster ZXR no sound through Optical output

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  1. NickEclipse's Avatar
    Posts : 10
    Windows 10 1903
       #11

    You're not alone. Exact same issue here of not being able to select encoders, with the same error messages. Also no sound coming out when selecting Speakers device, only SPDIF-Out works through TosLink.

    More details here:
    Sound Blaster Z Driver for latest Windows 1903 Update : SoundBlasterOfficial
    Creative Sound Blaster Zx driver in 1903? : SoundBlasterOfficial

    Creative don't seem to be in an hurry to address the issue. If they ever will. And I'm not wasting my time with MS's "support", they're too robotic, and threat you as IT noobs with their boring step by step process that fix nothing, and that most people already did anyway. I think I re-installed the drivers over 10 times.

    Using various methods/approaches. Driver cleaner, safe mode, un-installing all other sound drivers from other devices, etc. Always the same.
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  2. jds63's Avatar
    Posts : 3,139
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit
    Thread Starter
       #12

    duxdaro said:
    @jds63
    Try this, as @boombastik told me, "uninstall the driver from device manager without deleting it and then restart your PC.
    wait a little to finish the installation after the restart." Worked for me as a charm

    Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD not working properly in Windows 10 Insi
    Thanks but doesn't work for me i tried it and tried something similar to this by repairing the drivers and software from March 2017 drivers and software package.
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  3. jds63's Avatar
    Posts : 3,139
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit
    Thread Starter
       #13

    NickEclipse said:
    You're not alone. Exact same issue here of not being able to select encoders, with the same error messages. Also no sound coming out when selecting Speakers device, only SPDIF-Out works through TosLink.

    More details here:
    Sound Blaster Z Driver for latest Windows 1903 Update : SoundBlasterOfficial
    Creative Sound Blaster Zx driver in 1903? : SoundBlasterOfficial

    Creative don't seem to be in an hurry to address the issue. If they ever will. And I'm not wasting my time with MS's "support", they're too robotic, and threat you as IT noobs with their boring step by step process that fix nothing, and that most people already did anyway. I think I re-installed the drivers over 10 times.

    Using various methods/approaches. Driver cleaner, safe mode, un-installing all other sound drivers from other devices, etc. Always the same.

    Welcome to Ten Forums !!

    I do get sound out of speakers device by utilizing the output 3.5mm jacks and RCA jacks on Creative Sound Blaster ZXR to my Logitech Z906 speakers. Did not think of trying to use the toslink and setting Digital Audio (S/PDIF) out as the default device in the sound properties.
    Sound Blaster ZXR no sound through Optical output-untitled.jpg

    I do get sound this way but still unable to use Dolby Digital Live or DTS Connect and do not get sound through setting speakers as the default device in Sound properties because i am unable set set Dolby Digital Live or DTS under encoders in Creative control panel.

    Believe this may be an issue with the Dolby Digital Live pack and DTS Connect pack which get installed with driver software.

    Read most of those Reddit issues like ours in my past research, closest i came to others having this problem.
    True i feel Creative needs to solve this with updated software and drivers.

    Good people here keep checking back with us !!
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  4. NickEclipse's Avatar
    Posts : 10
    Windows 10 1903
       #14

    Thank you. Speakers device is not only for 3.5m audio jacks, it fools Windows into thinking the TosLink is actually 5.1 (3.5m cables) instead of 2.0. And works in conjoncture with the DTS Connect & Dolby Digital Live Encoders. I was able to get audio out of Speakers before, not anymore. And Encoders won't load like yourself. S/PDIF is only 2.0 audio except for originally DTS or Dolby encoded sources. Example: Movie track.

    Otherwise it always outputs 2.0 audio. Many PC games have real positional uncompressed surround sound that is not DTS or Dolby licensed, and need HDMI or the 3.5 jacks to output the 5.1 correctly. Or DTS Connect / Dolby Live Encoders through Toslink.

    My scenario is the same as yours, except I only have a Sound Blaster Z (basic), and don't use 3.5m cables.

    But if you have the 3.5m cables, use that instead of TosLink for now. It will be infinitely better. At least you'll get uncompressed 5.1 from supported sources.

    I have a Home Theater myself so I'm stuck with TosLink, or HDMI. I use HDMI right now, better than S/PDIF 2.0 from the SB card...Downside is you loose the Creative's audio enchantments, which are great.

    You don't get that downside yourself with the 3.5m cables. You still get 5.1 and have the bonus of the enchantments. That's the best scenario for you.

    DTS Connect and Dolby Digital Live is mostly for TosLink. Don't need it with 3.5m cables as far as I know.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Awesome PC build by the way. Get yourself a Corsair K70 and a M65 Elite to go with that :P. You use your PC mostly for work with that trackball mouse?
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  5. jds63's Avatar
    Posts : 3,139
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit
    Thread Starter
       #15

    NickEclipse said:
    Thank you. Speakers device is not only for 3.5m audio jacks, it fools Windows into thinking the TosLink is actually 5.1 (3.5m cables) instead of 2.0. And works in conjoncture with the DTS Connect & Dolby Digital Live Encoders. I was able to get audio out of Speakers before, not anymore. And Encoders won't load like yourself. S/PDIF is only 2.0 audio except for originally DTS or Dolby encoded sources. Example: Movie track.

    Otherwise it always outputs 2.0 audio. Many PC games have real positional uncompressed surround sound that is not DTS or Dolby licensed, and need HDMI or the 3.5 jacks to output the 5.1 correctly. Or DTS Connect / Dolby Live Encoders through Toslink.

    My scenario is the same as yours, except I only have a Sound Blaster Z (basic), and don't use 3.5m cables.

    But if you have the 3.5m cables, use that instead of TosLink for now. It will be infinitely better. At least you'll get uncompressed 5.1 from supported sources.

    I have a Home Theater myself so I'm stuck with TosLink, or HDMI. I use HDMI right now, better than S/PDIF 2.0 from the SB card...Downside is you loose the Creative's audio enchantments, which are great.

    You don't get that downside yourself with the 3.5m cables. You still get 5.1 and have the bonus of the enchantments. That's the best scenario for you.

    DTS Connect and Dolby Digital Live is mostly for TosLink. Don't need it with 3.5m cables as far as I know.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Awesome PC build by the way. Get yourself a Corsair K70 and a M65 Elite to go with that :P. You use your PC mostly for work with that trackball mouse?
    When i use an optical cable hooked to the sound cards output i do get sound out of all 5.1 speakers now and even before regardless of the source Movie, Music and Games. You are saying the optical output on this card has or uses only 2 channels unless there is a encoded source e.g. Dolby Digital ?

    I was told before my type of card would do better through 3.5mm jacks rather then optical output unless using A/V Receiver especially a good one.

    HDMI is all i use for my Home Theater since High Definition came around.

    As said before most likely the culprit may be part of the drivers software Dolby Digital and DTS Packs you'll find them showing separately in installed programs.

    Thanks, could use an even better motherboard, i love this K800 keyboard so smooth for typing not much into mechanical style keyboards unless using it for gaming but have a Razer Orbweaver Chroma Mechanical Switch Gaming Keypad - Razer Orbweaver Chroma
    for games and an XBOX Elite Controller https://www.xbox.com/en-US/xbox-one/...ess-controller

    And this Trackball is nicer then the previous Logitech i used M570 and no i use PC for pleasure not business.
    Last edited by jds63; 20 Jun 2019 at 17:47.
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  6. NickEclipse's Avatar
    Posts : 10
    Windows 10 1903
       #16

    jds63 said:
    When i do use a optical cable hooked to the sound cards output i do get sound out of all 5.1 speakers now and even before regardless of the source Movie, Music and games. You are saying optical ouput on this card is only stereo unless there is a encoded source e.g. Dolby Digital ?

    I was told before my type of card would do better through 3.5mm jacks rather then optical output unless like you using A/V Receiver especially a good one.

    I said before most likely the culprit may be part of the drivers software Dolby Digital and DTS Packs find them showing separately in installed programs.

    Thanks could use a better motherboard though, i love this K800 keyboard so smooth for typing not much into mechanical style keyboards unless using it for gaming but i have a Razer Orbweaver Chroma Mechanical Switch Gaming Keypad - Razer Orbweaver Chroma
    for games and an XBOX Elite Controllerhttps://www.xbox.com/en-US/xbox-one/...ess-controller

    And this Trackball is nicer then the previous Logitech i used M570, no i use PC for pleasure not business.
    The xBox One Elite Controller looks sweet, but damn is it pricey. Optical is only able to output 2.0 from uncompressed Surround sources. So if you get sound on all speakers no matter what the source is, you're most likely using some kind of fake Surround on your device. AKA Dolby Pro Logic/DTS Neo:6.

    But since you're not using an A/V receiver, I don't get how you're able to get all speakers to output audio no matter the source with S/PDIF selected. Let me show you screenshots that will maybe make you understand what I mean.

    If you test DTS/Dolby here, it's compressed, so it will output audio on the 6 speakers:

    Imgur: The magic of the Internet

    But now see how it says 2 Channel here, and see how Configure is grayed out on the left:

    Imgur: The magic of the Internet

    Now compare this to the Speakers device, which works with 3.5m cables, or Optical with the Dobly and DTS Encoders from Creative that are now broken. And see how you can configure the setup as Surround:

    Imgur: The magic of the Internet

    And if you go to Advanced, the same place where it says 2 Channel for S/PDIF, it doesn't says 2 Channel anymore. Because it is 5.1 or better.

    Now, Speakers device is totally silent for me through Optical, and Encoders won't load, just like yourself, since the 1903 Update. I don't get how you get sound from all speakers through Optical with S/PDIF-Out. Maybe your Speakers Set come with an artificial Surround method, like A/V Receivers do, but that would surprise me.

    Be sure it isn't real positional surround if you're on S/PDIF-Out though (Again, unless the source is originally compressed Dolby/DTS). And yes, if you got those cables, use them instead of Optical. You won't even need the DDL/DTS Encoders that aren't working at the moment. And you'll still get the audio enhancements from Creative. Something I myself loose because I now use HDMI audio for Surround.
    Last edited by NickEclipse; 20 Jun 2019 at 18:50.
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  7. NickEclipse's Avatar
    Posts : 10
    Windows 10 1903
       #17

    You will only get Surround from compressed AND uncompressed 5.1/7.1 sources on the 3.5m cables though. Not from Stereo music or YouTube videos for example. But at least it will be real Positional Surround, not fake Surround. With S/PDIF-Out through Optical, you can't get uncompressed Surround, only compressed Surround. Most games don't have that. Most movies do though. Again, if you're getting sound from all 6 speakers with S/PDIF-Out through Optical, there's some sort of fake Surround being applied.

    - - - Updated - - -

    If you want more details on this confusing subject, here's a website where a guy explains the same thing to me in more details. And I can confirm 100%, fake Surround doesn't sound nearly as good as real positional Surround. The Surround I get through HDMI is way better, and I don't have to use fake Dolby Pro Logic/ DTS Neo:6 on my receiver anymore. Downside is I loose Creative audio enhancements (Crystallizer, Dialogue Plus, etc.).

    Well, I still use fake Surround, when the source is 2.0. But when the source is 5.1, I stick to the PCM on DIRECT Mode on the Receiver. On Optical, I had to use Dolby Pro Logic in games through S/PDIF, because it wouldn't output uncompressed Surround. That was the purpose of the Dolby Digital Live/DTS Connect Encoders before they broke (Didn't have to use Pro Logic on the Receiver then). To encode uncompressed Surround on the fly so the bandwidth of Optical could output it.

    Many games output uncompressed Surround which will only work with HDMI or 3.5m cables. Diablo 3, The Division, DOOM, etc. Most big AAA titles have that. A few games with less budget will only output 2.0. Now fake Surround is a viable option. But uncompressed positional Surround blows it out of the water in matters of quality and immersion.

    Here's the thread where it's being discussed. Starting at the end of page 1: 1903 v145 and SoundBlaster Z - Microsoft Windows - Neowin

    - - - Updated - - -

    To be more specific if you're confused, there's little difference between compressed and uncompressed Surround. It's still real Surround. The point is, Optical can only output compressed Surround (From originally compressed Dolby/DTS 5.1 sources, or sources encoded by Dolby Digital Live/DTS Connect on the fly). The difference is between fake Surround (simulated Surround from a 2.0 source) and positional Surround. Compressed, or not.

    Again, if you're always getting 5.1 no matter the source, be it YouTube or Stereo music, there's some sort of fake Surround being applied. It's not really a problem, but it is when the source is really 5.1, and you're either on Optical with DDL/DTS-C Encoders, 3.5m cables, or HDMI. Because it overrides the true positional Surround in such a situation. In short, you loose true Surround if you don't disable the fake Surround.

    I know it is kind of confusing, but that's pretty much how that works. In short, only apply fake Surround on 2.0 sources, otherwise disable it if you can. Now, the source of your fake Surround since you're not on a A/V Receiver is still a mystery to me. Maybe someone else could figure it out.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Logitech Z906 5.1 Surround Sound Speakers System, THX, Dolby, DTS Certified

    That is your Speakers set right? Well you got a decoder included with it. I'm not familiar with such product, but the name speaks for itself. "Decode". Dolby Digital Live and DTS Connect ENCODE the 5.1 signal so the bandwidth of TosLink can transport it, then your receiver DECODES the signal.

    But since DDL/DTS-C are now broken, how are you still getting sound on all speakers from any sources? I don't know. Maybe there is a fake Surround option on that thing. Otherwise, I don't know...

    I see a Stereo indicator with a 3D, 4.1 and 2.1 LED. That may be your fake Surround right there. Anyway, I advise you to use 3.5m until Creative fix the issue, if they ever do. And make sure your Logitech Receiver isn't using 3D/4.1/2.1 Stereo Mode when you know the source is 5.1.

    If the receiver doesn't switch to Direct Surround automatically when it detects real Surround (The LEDs on the Right). Maybe it does. But right now, since you're on Optical, it's definitely using fake Surround in most occasions. Should not happen with 3.5m cables.

    Pay close attention to the LEDs.
    Last edited by NickEclipse; 20 Jun 2019 at 20:16.
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  8. jds63's Avatar
    Posts : 3,139
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit
    Thread Starter
       #18

    I understand all you explained to me.
    Sound Blaster ZXR no sound through Optical output-spdif.jpgSound Blaster ZXR no sound through Optical output-general-tab.jpgSound Blaster ZXR no sound through Optical output-advanced-tab.jpg

    My mistake,there is sound coming through all 5.1 speakers through optical hookup when selecting S/PDIF as default but the sound is all the same in each speaker.


    Logitech Z906 has 5 inputs, when a stereo source is detected it will make use of the 3 different stereo effects 3D, 4.1 and 2.1 as you call fake surround i forgot to mention this because i have not made use of 2.0 connection in years with these speakers. This is how i am getting sound on all speakers with these speakers. Regardless of the source through optical always that way.


    True until Creative makes new drivers software to correct the problems with there DTS and Dolby Digital encoder packs it will not work through optical.

    Some Sound Blaster cards are having no sound at all since Windows 1903 update. Maybe Microsoft will solve it first.
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  9. NickEclipse's Avatar
    Posts : 10
    Windows 10 1903
       #19

    I'm glad you understand, and that I was indeed right about the virtual Surround. That is the right way to call it, virtual, not fake. I just forgot about it.

    Yes, maybe it comes from Microsoft themselves. In the past, the same issue occurred with major updates, and subsequent MS updates fixed the issue. But it's been 2 months, and I'm on the early update program (Windows Insider), and still the issue persists.

    I thought the issue could be between the DTSC/DDL packs and Windows' audio layer at first, and not the drivers. But a guy with an old cheap C-Media tested DTSC/DDL with it and it works. SO an old cheap C-Media sound card is more reliable than 100$+ Creative sound card.

    Plus, I've been on Reddit about this issue for 2 months now, and the moderator is kind of a jerk. And they don't seem to be working that hard on fixing the issue. They first tried to make it look as if it was an isolated incident, but more and more people are coming forward.

    And that's good. The Ryan guy tried to excuse the fact the support wasn't stellar because the SBZ is a 7 years old card, but it's still being sold like hotcakes on multiple websites. And is advertised as Windows 10 compatible.

    So all in all, the guy gave me a really bad impression. He pointed out I was being sarcastic by himself being sarcastic. He was subtly condescending to me on multiple occasion. I'm not an emotional guy, but it shows a clear lack of professionalism.

    I, as a customer, can voice my opinion, as long as I'm not vulgar. Him, on the other hand, can keep his little commentaries to himself as a company-man. All in all, he's the face of the company being on social medias, and he reflects well their own professionalism to me, after 2 months of no updates on the matter.
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  10. jds63's Avatar
    Posts : 3,139
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit
    Thread Starter
       #20

    NickEclipse said:
    I'm glad you understand, and that I was indeed right about the virtual Surround. That is the right way to call it, virtual, not fake. I just forgot about it.

    Yes, maybe it comes from Microsoft themselves. In the past, the same issue occurred with major updates, and subsequent MS updates fixed the issue. But it's been 2 months, and I'm on the early update program (Windows Insider), and still the issue persists.

    I thought the issue could be between the DTSC/DDL packs and Windows' audio layer at first, and not the drivers. But a guy with an old cheap C-Media tested DTSC/DDL with it and it works. SO an old cheap C-Media sound card is more reliable than 100$+ Creative sound card.

    Plus, I've been on Reddit about this issue for 2 months now, and the moderator is kind of a jerk. And they don't seem to be working that hard on fixing the issue. They first tried to make it look as if it was an isolated incident, but more and more people are coming forward.

    And that's good. The Ryan guy tried to excuse the fact the support wasn't stellar because the SBZ is a 7 years old card, but it's still being sold like hotcakes on multiple websites. And is advertised as Windows 10 compatible.

    So all in all, the guy gave me a really bad impression. He pointed out I was being sarcastic by himself being sarcastic. He was subtly condescending to me on multiple occasion. I'm not an emotional guy, but it shows a clear lack of professionalism.

    I, as a customer, can voice my opinion, as long as I'm not vulgar. Him, on the other hand, can keep his little commentaries to himself as a company-man. All in all, he's the face of the company being on social medias, and he reflects well their own professionalism to me, after 2 months of no updates on the matter.
    No Problem !

    I have been using computers for a long time and have learned a lot about them and how to fix issues and a lot of it came from doing research, reading and coming to these forums.

    Never used Reddit before so i can't really speak on it. Told someone before here this Forum like EightForum, SevenForum and VistaForum before that, this is always a good place to get help, help others and learn and nobody is ever nasty some maybe opinionated, but that's it.

    I am looking for is a solution to this issues once i get one or someone else gets one it will help all who reads it.
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