USB Sound support through upstream connection

Hello,

Does the 4k 144Hz Spectrum monitor support USB sound connection to a Sound Blaster speaker? I know it has a 3.5mm audio jack but wanted some higher quality sound. I will be getting the Xbox Series X and that console does not have an optical out. Please help with advice on speaker connections to Spectrum Monitors.

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Series X will likely support sound over USB. Many gaming-headphone companies are already confirming they will release a patch for this.

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There is no such thing as a USB sound connection. USB works with any compatible USB device. Spectrum has a built in USB 3.1 (type A) and USB C so will work with most devices with no problem.

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Whether or not the monitor is capable of sending HDMI sound out through a USB port is a different question though. Power is power, yes. But otherwise I don’t see it likely that it will be able to redirect as such. You’d need a fair amount of additional logic built into the monitor.

Most monitor USB ports can supply power perfectly fine, but any logic being done is done through a Connected computer. In which case, the USB’s would just act as a hub.

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Hey, guys! We confirm that Spectrum supports USB audio output via the USB Type-A ports and USB Type-C port on the side. A Type-B or Type-C upstream connection to the source device is required for USB audio output to function. This function has partially made it to the shipping firmware (the top Type-A port and the side Type-C port support USB audio output). The bottom Type-A port USB audio output support is expected to be enabled via a user-upgradeable firmware update later down the line.

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Do you know why it is that the monitor has special logic for forwarding USB audio through the hub instead of just forwarding all generic USB data?

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Hey, @Daniel_Herr! Could you please elaborate on this? What will be the impact of forwarding all generic USB data on top of delivering USB audio?

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I just don’t understand this functionality. If the monitor has special handling for USB audio devices, what exactly is the purpose? If USB audio has special handling, why would it not be output from any DisplayPort/HDMI source? If USB audio still needs to be forwarded over the B/C connection, what is the point of the special handling?

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Thank you for the explanation! I now have a better understanding of your question. In short, this is most likely a typical USB hub behavior that we see on Spectrum (generic USB data, no special handling).

This USB audio output function enables audio output on Spectrum from the USB downstream ports on the side, with its source connected via either a Type-B or a Type-C upstream connection at the bottom.

It is due to Spectrum’s built-in USB hub does not support outputting HDMI or DP audio input. Such audio can be outputted via the 3.5mm headphone jack.

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Thanks for the reply. This is not the ideal solution but I do think it is acceptable.
The ideal use case should be, for instance: monitor to Series-X only with HDMI, and USB dongle to Spectrum to extract the audio directly from the monitor without additional wires.
Maybe in the future?

This along with e-arc + Daisy Chain and spectrum would have been a 10/10 on paper specs.

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Exactly; it’s something to consider if we decide to do radical PCB, USB hub, and housing redesign for a future generation (with a new panel, most likely). It’ll be good for us to look for a scaler that supports eARC, a USB hub that channels HDMI & DP audio, and with the additional port (and scaler) support of DP daisy-chaining.

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I don’t believe there’s of-the-shelf Hardware that does something like this. You’re basically converting Audio hdmi packets to USB output. You’ll need some sort of a CPU to set up the connection which means quite a high overhead for SW.

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It would be amazing… but would you have to break HDCP to convert HDMI to USB?

All I want is HDMI-Arc (or eArc). All TVs have it, but computer monitors never have it. I share my monitor between my Series X and PC and I want the audio output of both to go to my soundbar. Such a simple request, but impossible to do, unless I get a 50" TV, which isn’t going to fit on my desk! Right now I have to use an expensive converter boxes from HDFury, but when I use them I lose features such as VRR and high refresh rates (and I’d rather use the monitor to switch inputs, not a device on my desk with cables going everywhere.)

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