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Can You Get Surround Sound From a 3.5 mm?

You can get surround sound from your 3.5 mm cable, but it comes at a cost. True high-quality surround sound is not achievable with a simple 3.5 mm cable. These cables are mainly used for audio purposes such as connecting speakers and the like.

A home theater system with a 3.5mm cable below

Do 3.5 mm Support Multi-channel Sound?

3.5 mm audio cables don’t support multi-channel. This essentially means that you’ll only receive audio from two channels. If you’re looking for multi-channel sound, in particular, 3.5 mm is not the way to go. 

Of course, you can technically get multi-channel sound from a 3.5 mm; setting this up is a tedious process, and you’d be better off changing your connection plan altogether. This system will still not give authentic surround sound. You could, instead, use a 5.1 Dolby digital decoder device to experience better sound quality.

For their popularity in usage, you will most likely find the 3.5 mm audio out ports on your laptops, computers, and phones.

How Do You Get Surround Sound From a 3.5 mm?

In order to adjust your 3.5 mm cable to produce surround sound, you’ll need the Dolby Pro Logic decoder technology or anything similar that allows you to effectively convert your two-channel audio. 

Various angles of a 3.5mm audio cable

In essence, this decoder will adjust the two-channel audio it receives from your 3.5 mm cable and then re-adjust it to 5.1 surround sound. This converted sound will then be emulated to provide you with a surround sound experience.

The only problem with this method is that since the signal is converted from the source, you won’t be experiencing “true” surround sound. This can negatively impact your listening experience and, in some cases, even cause serious disruptions in the emulated sound.

What Can I Use if I Don’t Have a 3.5 mm Jack?

The simplest solution, if you don’t have access to a 3.5 mm jack, is to use converters and adapters. These connectors are extremely useful as they’ll allow you to make wired and wireless connections that you wouldn’t be able to with traditional cables.

Additionally, connectors come in a variety of shapes and sizes. You should be able to find an adapter for any kind of scenario, whatever device you may have. 

Selecting the right adapter will allow you to establish an effective connection among your devices, regardless of whether you have a 3.5 mm audio jack or not.

Can I Connect a 5.1 Speaker With a 3.5 mm Jack to My TV?

Although it’s possible to connect a 5.1 speaker to a 3.5 mm jack on a TV, the results are not desirable. Doing this makes ineffective use of the technology, as you won’t receive the surround sound you intended to. 

The result of doing this, instead, is that your audio signals would be converted to the traditional two-way audio you’d receive from a 3.5 mm jack/cable.


If you’re looking to get surround sound from a 3.5mm audio jack and cable, it’s certainly possible. 

However, this comes at the cost of compromising the integrity of your listening experience, as you’ll have to use external devices to convert two-channel sound signals to surround sound.

Alternatively, you can use external adapters to make connections with your wires in the case that you don’t have access to 3.5 mm jacks or cables.

For more, check out 9 Low-Cost Ways to Soundproof a Bedroom.