Neil’s Messy Basement 33: How to Get Sound Blaster to Work With HDMI 5.1, VR Headsets, and MORE!

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Creative Labs AE-5 is easily one of the market’s go-to sound cards for superior video game audio. Unfortunately, it’s not designed to be connected to HDMI audio solutions like 5.1 surround sound speakers or virtual reality head mounted displays or even Bluetooth headphones. A missed opportunity!

In this special episode of Neil’s Messy Basement (been awhile!), Neil shares his discovery of how to use a Sound Blaster sound card with audio solutions run through HDMI, DisplayPort, and more. HDMI surround sound systems, PC virtual reality headsets like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, Bluetooth headphones, and more all apply. This will probably also work with PC-linked wireless VR headsets too (e.g. HTC Vive on PC linked through 5K wireless). Instructions are also included for easy in-app volume control.

It’s possible that this technique will work with other discrete sound card options too; feel free to experiment!

Since this episode of Neil’s Messy Basement, a full text guide was published and MTBS worked with the Volume2 author to make it even more seamless – especially for VR gamers!

Neil’s Messy Basement: Episode 32

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Wow has this episode of Neil’s Messy Basement been a long time coming!

This edition is all about sound on PC.  While it started as a review of the Creative Labs Sound BlasterX AE5 sound card, the process of reviewing this product made this episode so much more.

In brief, I really like the Sound BlasterX AE5 card; there shouldn’t be any surprises there.  The bigger question is why, and to answer this, I needed to get a fundamental understanding of how audio works, the terminology regularly boasted by the marketing gurus, what the modern day baseline is for PC audio so I have what to compare to, and factor in the unique needs and perspectives of a VR gamer versus a traditional gamer.

While it’s much better to watch from beginning to end, the episode has been divided into chapters if you need to fastforward to specific parts.

This whole episode was a learning experience and I know that much was simplified here.  Feel free to share your own knowledge and experiences below.

Neil’s Messy Basement: Episode 31

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Neil gives a very detailed rundown of the Acer Windows Mixed Reality HMD along with the Windows Mixed Reality ecosystem.  Running at over 40 minutes (we warned you), this will be useful to anyone looking to buy the device and for those that took the plunge and need a little help to make sure their experience is the correct one.