Laptop / projector / Beam / audio extractor - no 5.1 surround sound - only stereo

Another projector question! But I can’t find the answer anywhere.

I’m connecting a laptop (Dell Latitude E7450) to a projector (Epson PJ H849B) and Sonos home theatre system (Beam + two Play:1s).

Problem: I have sound, but NOT 5.1 surround sound

I have HDMI from laptop to an audio extractor (Neoteck HDMI Audio Extractor 4K DAC HDMI Audio Extractor with Volume Adjustment HDMI to Optical Spdif Toslink + R/L(RCA) + 3.5mm Stereo Audio Converter).

Then HDMI out from audio extractor to projector and optical out from extractor to Beam.

I have the extractor switched to 5.1 but when I look in the Sonos ‘about my system’ information I can see that the Beam is only receiving Stereo.

When I go to Sound / Playback on the laptop the audio device is the Epson PJ (i.e. the projector). When I go into configuration I can see the option to configure the Epson as 5.1 surround sound. But when I choose this option and test using the graphic on the laptop only the FL and FR speakers actually sound, i.e. it is not sending 5.1 to the Beam, only stereo. I don’t know why the laptop thinks that audio is going to the projector - maybe that is what the HDMI connection recognises as it does not recognise the (extracted) optical out signal to the Beam?

I wonder whether I need a HDMI matrix rather than an audio extractor, but can’t see why as the audio extractor purports to work for this exact setup (see here).

I know it is nothing to do with my soundcard as HDMI takes sound from the graphics card. I have updated my graphics drivers.

Also: I have tried the setup with my flatmate’s (brand new) Lenovo laptop and have exactly the same problem which makes me suspect it is not the laptop which is the issue.

Any suggestions most gratefully received!

5 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +17

Are you sure the source is a Dolby Digital 5.1 one? 

Hi there,

Yes, I am testing the speakers using the Sound / Playback / Configure function of the laptop.

Here’s what happens when the projector is connected directly to the laptop using HDMI (i.e. no connection to audio extractor, no connection to Sonos):

Stereo only
Limited sample rates available & max channels 2
Only five choices of sample rate & bit depth

And here is what happens when I use the audio extractor & sonos (i.e. laptop to extractor via HDMI then HDMI from extractor to projector and optical out from extractor to Sonos home theatre):

Claims to have 51. surround - but only the FL and FR speakers sound when tested
Claims to have DTS and Dolby Digital and 6 channels
Loads of sample rates in theory - but in practice only the ones that also appear in the list for the projector only actually work

Thank you, Lucy

This is what the audio extractor claims to do:

Is it not working because I have a projector taking the audio out rather than a HDTV?

Userlevel 7
Badge +17


What is selected in the Spatial sound tab? The “available formats” is presumably just showing what’s available rather than what’s selected. What are “Levels” set to?


And I assume you’ve switched to “5.1CH” on the extractor, rather than “2CH”?

Thank you.

The only option in Spatial surround is Windows sonic for headphones.

Yes, is set to 5.1Ch.

New wierdness, if I just plug the laptop HDMI into the audio extractor and the Beam into optical out then I only get stereo showing:

Laptop HDMI in - audio extractor - Beam optical out


So… having both the projector and Beam plugged into the audio extractor means that the laptop can ‘see’ 5.1 (even though it can’t use it) whereas having only the projector or only the Beam plugged into the audio extractor will show up as stereo only.