Since I got the Blue Dragon running, one thing I've been playing with is the 5.1 surround sound. The speakers I bought have optical input (TOSLINK
), support both Dolby Digital
and are THX
certified. I bought them after a bunch of research on really good computer speaker systems--and I kept running across this set. At first I thought all that hype about the various supported formats and being THX certified was just a collection of marketing adjectives. But I knew that the sound quality should be good--everyone who reviewed the system agreed on that. To my surprise, however, the marketing adjectives are a bit more then bragging.
I picked up a TOSLINK cable to connect the Blue Dragon to the speaker system more or less to keep the analog inputs free for the Red Dragon. The optical was kind of cool--it just worked--and I like that. I then tried to see if I couldn't find something I could test the system out with. I started with some Bjorn Lynne
. This is only of the only artists I know that has music mixed in surround. After playing around with some settings, I was able to get the audio stream to be directly sent over the optical cable and decoded by the speaker system. The results were what I expected--a very clean sound with a lot of direction. Bjorn Lynne (or Dr. Awesome to those who knew of his work back in the day) is always amazing. But I wanted to see what my speakers did for movies.
There is no shortage of movies to select from, but I only have a few here that were not mixed down to 2 channels. After finding one, it took a bit of reading about Video LAN client (VLC) to figure out how to get it to use digital pass-through so I could have the speakers decode the audio. Once I did, I could hardly believe the difference--the sound is amazing. So I have to give props when they are due, and Logitech's Z-5500 speakers deserve the credit.