Leviathan Best Connection Settings | Razer Insider

Leviathan Best Connection Settings

  • 15 October 2020
  • 1 reply

I have been allll over the internet and no one (even reviewers) really gets into how to connect this thing to a PC for the best virtual surround. They just gloss over it, or just connect it and call it good.

I have this external sound card: Sound Blaster Omni Surround 5.1

  • It is capable of analog output up to 5.1 channels, but only through dedicated LR/C-Sub/LR Surround connections.
  • It has SPDIF out. This is capable of digital 2-Channel 16/24bit 48k/96k Hz or Dolby Digital Live.
  • It can further narrow down a receiver's available formats from DTS Audio, Dolby Digital, and MS WMA Pro Audio.

This is on Windows 10, so there's also Spatial Audio available.

And I have the Razer Leviathan, which has the Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic II, and Dolby Virtual Speaker formats.

My question is what is the best way to connect the two?

I've been assuming that since the SPDIF can carry Dolby Digital Live, I should use that. That means setting my primary audio device as SPDIF, going into its Properties -> Advanced, and setting Default Format to Dolby Digital Live. I've also left the Leviathan's Dolby feature on. There's a slight delay from silence to sound, but that's okay.

Is this actually doing anything for me in terms of the virtual surround, though? What is the best way to use the feature?

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Welp, answered my own question.

The Razer Leviathan is a 2.1 device, and if you feed it 5.1 or above signals it gets confused.

There were about 4 or 5 different ways to set up the connects between the Omni sound card and the Leviathan, and after testing absolutely everything it just comes down to raw sound quality and retaining a "center" channel. If you send the Leviathan more than PCM audio you confuse the virtual surround and will get a "center" that's really just left and right combined (and sometimes no actual center at all), and surround channels only sounding like left and right.

SPDIF-out, set to 2-channel, 24 bit, 92k Hz, with Dolby turned on in the Leviathan is the best way to connect.

Not only is the sound just that much more cleaner, when the Leviathan decides an audio queue is surround, it will be a more pronounced surround sound. Trying to control that via stuffing Dolby Digital or 5.1 PCM onto the device just makes it all sound like old MP3 joint stereo.

Plus you get your volume control back.