Xonar configuration for 2 speakers and a standalone subwoofer

Guide on how to configure the Xonar card to work with 2 speakers and one standalone subwoofer that is connected directly to the audio card.

Guide for Windows 7/8/10:

  1. Connect subwoofer to Center/Subwoofer output jack.
  2. You need to have "Stereo upmix" enabled if you are using UNi Xonar drivers. Depending on your setup you either have to install drivers installed with "Re-enable stereo upmix to 4, 5.1 & 7.1" option checked or enable it in XonarSwitch.
  3. In the audio panel set the following: 2 channels and 5.1 speakers.
  4. If subwoofer isn’t sounding right, exchange center/bass channels in the audio panel.

To configure the bass frequencies for the 2 front speakers go in the audio panel, select FlexBass option page, set the L/R speakers size to Small and set the Center speaker to Large.

Volume for each speaker can be controlled in the Mixer tab of the cards audio panel.

It's recommended that you install UNi Xonar drivers because they fix the Rear and Center channel delays which would affect the sound with the above configuration.

Applies to:

  • ASUS Xonar DG, Xonar DGX, Xonar DG SI, Xonar DS, Xonar DSX, Xonar D1, Xonar D2, Xonar DX, Xonar D2X, Xonar HDAV with daughterboard, Xonar HDAV Slim with daughterboard, Xonar Essence ST with daughterboard, Xonar Essence STX with daughterboard, Xonar Essence STX II with daughterboard, Xonar Xense.
  • Other C-media CMI8786, CMI8787 and CMI8788  audio chipset cards:
    • Auzentech: HDA X-Purity 7.1, X-Meridian 1G, X-Meridian 2G.
    • HTOmega: Claro, Claro Plus, Claro II, Claro Halo, eClaro.
    • Razer Barracuda AC-1.
    • TempoTec HIFIER Serenade
Donation notice
Was this helpful? Please consider supporting us by making a donation.


  1. Arne25 Mar 2019 @ 17:33

    What do I have to change in the Windows audio settings? 🙂


    • CarvedInside26 Mar 2019 @ 00:34

      You don't have to change anything in Windows. Are you having problems making this work?


      • Arne26 Mar 2019 @ 15:29

        I just set it to stereo sound in Windows (because you can also change it to 5.1). I didn't have a problem with it, but I was just wondering 🙂
        But I do have some questions left:
        1. Everytime I start my computer, the subwoofer makes a loud and short noise. Nothing big, but do you have an idea how to fix this?
        2. Can I put the volume of the center and the side speakers to zero in the mixer (as I don't have them in my 2.1 setup)?
        3. Do I also have to set the side speakers to small in the FlexBass option? 🙂

        Thanks for your description for this 2.1 setup, it really helped me! 😀


        • CarvedInside28 Mar 2019 @ 20:56

          Keep it to stereo in Windows as it will not work if you change it.

          1. I think it's a subwoofer problem, maybe it does this when the sound source becomes active. If you would connect the speakers to card's jack where the subwoofer is connected and restart the PC, do they make a similar noise?
          2. You can, but it won't make any difference.
          3. No, it does not matter. It will only matter if you had additional speakers connected to the side/rear output jack.

          Glad to hear.


  2. Jason20 Apr 2019 @ 11:45

    The Xonar Essence STX doesn't have a sub or center out. It only has a L, a R, and an SPDIF out. Not sure if it is best to combine and then resplit the L/R or try to find an adapter to use the spdif.


  3. Roxette27 May 2019 @ 14:28

    I do not understand how can two channel an two output work? Whether you set this in windows or the xonar application, all it does is default you two two speakers. The sub is then nonexistent.
    You have to set it to 5.1 output IN windows, not in the Asus panel. The panel does not override Windows.

    My sub only engages when Windows is on 5.1 (with a setting of two speaker, one subwoofer). The Xonar settings are irrelevant at that stage.
    And while the sub works during a Windows sound test, applications and music/games do not recognize the subwoofer.


    • CarvedInside31 May 2019 @ 01:25

      With the guide above the subwoofer will not get the subwoofer channel from 5.1 content (5.1/7.1 movies, 5.1 games) but it will work for all content as a mix of Left and Right channels. This will work for all content including 2.0.

      If you want the subwoofer to be directly addressable and receive the subwoofer channel from 5.1 content then you need to select 6 channels and 5.1 speakers. In this mode, 2.0 (stereo) content like music, youtube videos and 2.0 movies will not send sounds to the subwoofer. To overcome this you would need to mix the left and right channels (stereo upmix) and send them to the subwoofer channel. You could do this either at the Audio/video player level (see "2. Through players settings" section). Or you could mix them globally for all applications by following "1. Through Equalizer APO" section of the stereo upmix guide, at step 5 you could use "Copy: MIX=0.5*L+0.5*R C=MIX RC=MIX SUB=MIX" instead.


  4. Scott11 Dec 2019 @ 07:32

    Pretty new to all this. So I have Z5500 speakers. Currently not using 5.1 for it, but 2.1. There's 1 cable from the control panel (which also connects to the sub where the speakers connect) that plugs directly into my sound card.

    If I'm using 2.1, do I still need the following: 2 channel output and 5.1 analog?


    • CarvedInside12 Dec 2019 @ 02:25

      There are 2 ways a subwoofer could work in a 2.1 sound system, one is deriving the signal from left and right channels and the second one is having it's own sound source/signal and which can also be directly addressed and might be better with 5.1 sound content. This guide addresses the second situation.
      Does the subwoofer work with your current setup? If it does not, you may have to change the settings in your Logitech Z5500 control.
      But if you want to configure so that subwoofer has it's own sound source, you need to add the subwoofer cable between the card and z5500 control) and follow the above instructions.

      If you haven't read it, also check the Xonar best settings guide.


  5. Isaev5421 Apr 2020 @ 19:32

    hello! I've got STX II 7.1 with stereo speakers and standalone subwoofer, I've installed xonar switch and low DPC drivers, but my problem is I cant use LFE for subwoofer with eqApo.
    I set 2 channels and 5.1 config
    what should i do? 6channels doesn't work good in games( or i do something wrong)


  6. Behoston04 Jul 2020 @ 12:44

    I have UniXonar Driver with stereo upmix enabled. Also I checked in XonarSwitch if it's enabled. Only if I switch sub with center, sub works with music/yt. However, in audio panel I can test sub and it works without switching center/sub, sub works with music only when connected as central speaker. I want to use sub as sub not as center speaker.

    My setup: Windows 7 x64, UniXonar, Xonar DS


  7. tomy03ful13 Oct 2020 @ 01:50

    If I set 2 channels and 5.1 speakers, what is happening with the center end rear channels? because there is not any speaker connected to center and rear jacks.


    • CarvedInside13 Oct 2020 @ 22:11

      Nothing. Center and rear outputs for the Xonar card are enabled, but Windows and other software only see 2 channels available (Front Left and Front Right).
      What is your use case? The current method combines front left and right channels for the subwoofer output, but the subwoofer does not use its own channel source, meaning the subwoofer does not output the dedicated subwoofer channel from 5.1 content (movies or games).


      • tomy03ful13 Oct 2020 @ 23:54

        So the rear and center channels get the same as the front and sub (if they were connected)?
        My case is: a stereo speaker (front left and right) and a subwoofer which is connected to Xonar d1 's sub connector.
        I thought the lack of center and rear speakers has a negative effect on sound. So far I used only stereo speakers, so there wasn't any problem (2 channels, 2 speakers).


        • CarvedInside14 Oct 2020 @ 13:17

          With the settings from the guide above, rear left will get the sound from front left, rear right will get a the sound from front right, center and subwoofer will get a mix of front left and front right. As far as Windows and other software are concerned your system only has 2 channels (2 front speakers).
          With which content you use your setup (music, movies, 5.1 movies, games)? Would you say the subwoofer sounds fine with the settings from this guide?


          • tomy03ful01 Nov 2020 @ 23:43

            I see.
            Usually stereo music and stereo movies which I listen but in the future I want to play 5.1 movies too.
            I haven’t bought the sub yet, I just asked in theory.



Leave a new commentReply to comment

Comment received.
Your comment may be held for moderation. If it does not show up immediately, please be patient. Comments have to comply with these rules:
  • English language only
  • Don't post insults or threats
  • Try to keep the discussion constructive and informative
  • Don't post questions without doing a search beforehand
  • For replies to individuals regarding the SAME discussion, use Reply to write to that individual. For a NEW issue write a new comment.
  • Make your comment easly readable. Write the product names how they are originally written or at least capitalize their first letter. Write "i" as "I". Add a space after end of a sentence and beginning of another (e.g. ".I" -> ". I").

We've noticed that you're using an AdBlocker

It's not just you, over 66% of our site's visitors are blocking the ads.

Please disable adblock for this website and refresh this page if you:
find the content useful
want us to create more useful content and software
want tech support through the comment section

The ads are placed so that there is minimal interference with page reading. There are no pop-up, pop-under or sticky ads.

Alternatively, you can support us by making a donation.