I don’t know about you, but I can say with complete confidence that VLC Media Player is, pound for pound, the best media player you can have on your PC.
I have tried several media players. If you watch movies on your laptop a lot like I do, and also have my kind of curiosity to try out new things, you would have tried as many media players like I did.
Most media players promise a lot; and to be frank, most of them do a good job of delivering the basics in video and audio quality. With some, the interface is so beautiful you’d get hooked on them for a while.
But VLC is like the old dependable best friend. No matter how long you go without seeing or talking with them, you always know they can’t fail you anytime you need them. That is VLC for you.
“To sum it up, VLC media player is an application that comes equipped with all you need to fully enjoy media files. A lot can be said about the true power hidden under the simple interface, but the magic is best discovered personally. It is, and represents the true meaning of a media player.” is what the respected Softpedia said about the software.
The equally authoritative CNET said, “VLC Media Player is a favorite of many video watchers thanks to abundant format support, style, and customization options. There aren’t many videos this app can’t play and play amazingly well. It’s more than enough to be the only video player you’ll ever need on your computer.”
In other words, I, those people who reviewed it online, and the millions of people around the world enjoying the software can’t be wrong.
However, millions fail to utilize several features of VLC. And one important feature is the ability to set your audio output to Surround Sound 5.1. The audio quality of VLC is usually set to the default of your system. By tweaking it, you can enjoy the latest and best in terms of audio output.
Basically, Surround Sound 5.1 gives you the feeling of being immersed in the sound. The sounds come from all angles with special filters to pick out certain sounds that can’t be heard in other output systems.
So how do you enable Surround Sound in VLC media player? . It is simple really. But first your computer needs to have compatible hardware. Fortunately most modern PCs built in the last 5 years come with compatible hardware/software features to make them compatible with Surround Sound in VLC.
1.For best results, you need to upgrade to the latest version of VLC.
2.Open VLC Media Player
3.Click on ‘Tools’ at the top of the media player interface and scroll down to ‘Preferences’ and click on that too.
4.At the bottom of the Preferences window is the ‘Show settings‘ section with ‘Simple‘ already ticked. Just tick ‘All‘ to bring up the Advanced Preferences’ window.
5.In the left pane of this window, expand the ‘Audio’ to show the items under it. This should include ‘Output modules’.
6.Expand ‘Output modules’ by clicking on the downwards-pointing arrow beside it. Then click on ‘DirectX’
7.The left hand panel of the window would change to reveal the DirecX section. Change the items as follows.
- Output decvice: High Definition Audio Device
- Tick Use float32 output (it should be ticked already)
- Speaker configuration: 5.1
- Leave the Audio volume the way it is.
8.Then click on save
Note that sometimes, depending on the hardware and audio drivers of your system, you might not see ‘DirectX‘ when the ‘Output modules’ is expanded. In this case, what you should look out for is ‘Digital Dolby.’ Click on that. Then follow the steps in 7.
Now you are ready to enjoy the awesomeness of audio output from VLC. Just play any audio or video file using VLC and feel the power of Surround Sound.
image credit: trishtech.com; austin cyril (screen shots)