I'm trying to setup a Soundblaster X-Fi to output 5.1 surround sound to a sound system. I've checked on the sound system itself that all 5.1 speakers work. When I go into the sound settings I see the X-FI sound card as an option and I can also choose everything between and including stereo and 5.1 surround sound. However when I choose 5.1 surround sound and try the speaker test only "left front" and "right front" produce sound and all the other speaker nothing.

There don't seem to be any error messages or anything so I'm not sure where to begin trying to get this working.

Any help would be appreciated.

~$ lsb_release -a
No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description:    Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS
Release:        18.04
Codename:       bionic
  • @guiverc ok thanks, I've added lsb_release -a. I'm not sure what else to post because I can't find any error messages. – kutuzof Apr 18 '20 at 9:19

Well in my case I had Xonar XDG 5.1 and similar issue, what helped me is to specify the exact channel stream in alsamixer type alsamixer choose the sound card with F6 and specify the channel output clicking arrows Up and Down, sometimes it can be written multichannel


  • I'm don't think I'm using Alsa but the default of pulseaudio. I can't seem figure out which should be better and I'm worried if I try out Alsa I'll completely break pulse. Would you recommend trying out Alsa? – kutuzof Apr 21 '20 at 11:28
  • simply install alsa-utils it won't break anything – JoKeR Apr 22 '20 at 13:48

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