Does a 3.5 AUX Cable Carry a 5.1 Surround Sound Signal
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If you have a 5.1 channel surround sound system but you don’t have a HDMI or optical (Toslink or mini-optical) cable, you may be wondering if a 3.5 AUX cable can carry a 5.1 surround sound signal. 

No, a 3.5 AUX cable cannot carry a 5.1 surround sound signal, unless you use 3 of them to get matrix surround sound or use Pro Logic. A 3.5 AUX cable only carries only 2 channels – analog left and right signals. This means you will not get the stereo sound from your 5.1 channel system because the two channels will play across all five speakers.

Can You Play 5.1 Through AUX?

There are a few options that you have to get somewhat 5.1 surround sound from your 3.5 AUX cables. Here they are:

Use three 3.5 Cables: One of the easiest ways to get 5.1 surround using AUX cables is to split the signal using multiple connectors.

three 3.5 Cables play 5.1 through aux

In this case, you can use three AUX cables. You would use one for the front two speakers, one for the rear two speakers, and another one for the centre speaker and subwoofer. You can also opt to use an additional cable and give the subwoofer and center separate connectors.

USe Pro Logic or Matrix Sound: Pro Logic or Matrix sound is an analog approach to surround sound. With this system, a third and sometimes fourth channels of sound are combined into the two front stereo channels. After that, this combined sound is then partially decoded. Examples are SQ, QS, and Dolby Surround.

dolby pro logic matrix sound

In other words, this system uses smart encoding to convert a 2 channel system to produce front left, right, and center channels.

In this case, you will not have a dedicated subwoofer and both rear speakers actually produce the same sound. 

So remember, a 3.5 AUX cable can carry a Dolby surround, which is a matrix surround.  Remember, the cable is designed to carry analog left and right signals. So, you need three 3.5mm AUX to be able to get sound from the five channels.

One AUX cable for the front left and right and the other for the rear left and right. The last one should take care of the center speaker and the subwoofer.

In short, since a 3.5 AUX carries a matrix surround, it can add some practical value to surround your stereo recording.

What is Matrix Surround Sound?

When we say you get matrix surround by playing 5.1 through AUX, we mean the cable can fold about five channels of sound into the two stereo channels. It can also partially decode the sound in a reverse operation.

It’s important to note that since the sounds are folded in a few cables, some music enthusiasts may prefer a digital surround to a matrix surround.

Can You Get Surround Sound Through 3.5mm Jack?

This is the same as using a 3.5mm cable. No, you cannot directly get surround sound through a 3.5mm jack uness you use 3 of them or use Pro Logic. You can do the same if you use White, Black, and Green 3.5mm jacks. Alternatively, you can use optical digital.

How Do I Get Surround through AUX?

As you know, a 3.5mm plug only outputs stereo sound. So, suppose you want to get surround sound through your personal computer, smartphone, or any other similar device. In that case, you should connect multiple 3.5 AUX cables to 2x RCA from the device to the amplifier or use a coaxial cable or optical cable.

You can also split the AUX cable without reducing the sound quality. A quality AUX splitter will split the analog sound signal and allow you to get better quality surround sound.

How Do I Connect A Mobile’s 3.5mm Jack and 5.1 Channel Speakers?

The simplest way to do this is to use a Stereo to RCA connection. You can connect the TV’s headphones out to the audio system’s red/white AUX jack with this. That’s all. You’ve enabled your amp to split the two audio channels into 5.1 channels.

On the other hand, if you simply want to connect up speakers with speaker wires, we have a guide on how to connect black and red speaker wires to a 3.5 mm audio jack.

Which is the Best, Matrix or Digital Surround?

You can see that 3.5 AUX gives you the rare opportunity to enjoy matrix surround. So, if you want true Dolby digital and DTS 5.1 surround, you have to consider HDMI, digital coax, or Optical.

To choose which of these options suits your needs, you should consider the types of cables you have and your entertainment taste. Try to experiment with each of these surrounds to choose one that perfectly meets your entertainment needs.