FAQ: Computer Speakers

How is the ProMedia 2.1 Wireless considered wireless when I have to use wire to connect the speakers to the subwoofer and then plug it in?

There are many misconceptions about wireless audio. Often, when people see the words “wireless” and “speakers” together, they assume the entire sound system is wire and cable free. However, no such speaker system exists—unless it runs off of batteries. Speakers need a power source to drive them and that source needs to connect to electricity.

With the ProMedia 2.1 Wireless, the subwoofer is the power source. This heavy-hitter plugs into a wall outlet and then the two speakers connect to it via wires. Wireless, in the case of the ProMedia, means no wires attach to the computer. This allows users to move their laptops freely around the room without ever losing their 2.1 sound.

How do I re-sync the ProMedia 2.1 Wireless with its wireless transmitter?

The ProMedia and USB wireless transmitter are synced together when they leave the factory. It’s very rare they would ever become un-synced. However, should it happen, there is a button on the subwoofer and a button on the transmitter that you push to get them in tune again.

What type of software do I need for the ProMedia Wireless 2.1?

No software is needed. The ProMedia 2.1 Wireless is a plug-and-play design that uses an RF transmitter to shoot the sound signal from the computer to the ProMedia subwoofer.

Will the ProMedia 2.1 Wireless hook into my wireless internet at home?

No, because it is not a network-based system.

How do I use Apple’s Remote Application with the ProMedia 2.1 Wireless?

First you need to download Apple’s Remote Application to your iPhone or iPod Touch, and then you need a Wi-Fi connection at home. With that, you can use the iPhone or iPod Touch to wirelessly control the iTunes on your computer. The iPhone and iPod Touch do not control the speakers.  

Can I use the ProMedia 2.1 Wireless with different wireless speakers?

No, the USB wireless transmitter that comes with the system only syncs with the ProMedia subwoofer.  

Where can I purchase the ProMedia 2.1 Wireless?

The ProMedia 2.1 Wireless is only available from Klipsch directly. It is listed on our website and Amazon.com, sold by Klipsch Group, Inc.

I hooked up my ProMedia 2.1 Wireless and don't get any sound?

Make sure your media player software, such as iTunes or Windows Media Player, is not running when you plug in the wireless transmitter.  Once your speakers are synced with the transmitter, launch your media player.

If trouble persists, try resetting the connection by pushing the "sync" button on the back of the subwoofer, then the button on the wireless transmitter.

You may be experiencing frequency interference from your wireless router.  You can change the router's frequency with the software provided with the router.

What is the correct fuse used in the ProMedia 2.1 THX?

2 amps, 250 volt  “slow blow"
Radio shack part number - (270-1064)

How do I hook up this device to my ProMedia 2.1/4.1?

For the 4.1, you'll simply disable the center channel. For the 2.1, disable the center and surrounds. You will not hook anything up to the center/sub or surround outputs.

How long are the speaker wires that come with the ProMedia 5.1 system?

19 ½ feet (rear), 13 feet (front and center)—18 gauge

What is the best soundcard for the ProMedia 5.1?

Klipsch does not have an official recommendation for a soundcard, beyond making sure it is a 5.1 soundcard (has outputs for front, rear, and center)

My volume skips as I turn the knob.

The encoder on the volume control towers can be "touchy," especially if they are turned very quickly or very slowly. A steady rotation of the knob yields the best results. If you feel yours is behaving erratically because of internal damage to the tower (knob may feel excessively tight or loose in places), then please contact our returns department at 800-554-7724 for an exchange.

I'm only getting the 2 rear speakers to work.

Switch the green and black plugs in the soundcard. If the rears work when plugged into the front output of the soundcard, then the speakers are fine. Make sure your soundcard is at least a 4 channel card, and check all software settings for 5.1- please refer to the documentation or manufacturer of your soundcard. Also make sure the digital output of the soundcard is disabled.

The back of the subwoofer is warm. Is this normal?

A subwoofer will run warm when in use, by design. However, it should not be uncomfortable to leave your hand on the back panel for 5 seconds.

How long are the speaker wires that come with the ProMedia 4.1 system?

Approx 19 feet (rear), 9 ½ feet (front)—22 gauge

How can I get the headphone jack, auxiliary input jack, and disengage button with my v2-400?

Please visit our webstore to purchase the CP-1 for these features.

All I hear is static and very low volume.

Make sure your digital output in your soundcard software is turned off.

How long are the speaker wires that come with the ProMedia 2.1?

Approx 9 ½ feet—22 gauge

I hear a pop noise when powering on/off the speakers. Is this normal?

The sound is normal for this system. It will not hurt the speakers.

Are the satellites magnetically shielded?

Yes, the satellites are shielded, but the subwoofer is not.

Can I upgrade my 2.1/4.1 to a 5.1 system?

No, the amplifier for the 5.1 was completely redesigned to accommodate the center channel. It is not possible to upgrade.

What is the purpose of the auxiliary input?

You can use the auxiliary input to hook up your ProMedia speakers to any device with a mini-plug connection, such as an MP3 or portable disc player.

The speakers are hissing.

If the speakers do not hiss when the computer is turned off, then the hissing is coming from your soundcard. Try muting devices you are not using in the volume control panel, such as Line In, CD Audio, and Mic Input. Also try moving your soundcard to another slot of your motherboard, away from other devices. If the speakers do hiss when the computer is off, please contact technical support at support@klipsch.com for further help.

Are these analog or digital speakers?

The ProMedia v2-400, 2.1, 4.1 and 5.1s have analog connections. Since the Klipsch engineering team focused purely upon audio performance to hit reasonable price targets, features and built-in digital decoding were not priorities. It is important to realize that all speaker systems are analog devices—"digital" speakers simply have a decoder built in. Most newer soundcards and DVD software programs have digital decoding capabilities built in, thus negating the need for an external decoder.

When I plug headphones into the headphone jack, I can still hear the speakers playing.

You must activate the headphone mode by pressing the disengage button (LED light will display red).

I'm only getting the 2 front speakers to work.

Switch the green and black plugs in the soundcard. If the rears work when plugged into the front output of the soundcard, then the speakers are fine. Make sure your soundcard is at least a 4 channel card, and check all software settings for 5.1. In some cases, especially after upgrading or reinstalling Windows XP, you'll need to reinstall your soundcard drivers from the CD ROM. Please refer to the manufacturer of your soundcard for assistance.

I can't get the ProMedia 5.1 center channel to work.

Switch the green and orange plugs in the soundcard. If the center channel works when it's plugged into the front output of the soundcard, then the speakers are fine. Make sure your soundcard is a 5.1 channel card, and check all software settings for 5.1. Keep in mind CDs and MP3s, among other things, are recorded in stereo and do not have a center channel signal. Some soundcards have a “virtual” center channel mode—please refer to the manual or contact the manufacturer of your soundcard for assistance.

One of my channels is not working properly.

When there's a channel not working properly, it could be one of four things: a loose connection to the soundcard, the volume control pod wiring, the sub channel, or the soundcard.

Try this test to help determine:
Switch the green and purple plugs in the soundcard. If the problem stays with the speaker plugged into the (which ever channel is out) channel of the sub, then the problem is in the sub or control pod. If the problem moves to a different speaker, then the problem is with the soundcard (you may need to reinstall your drivers—contact soundcard manufacturer for help). If the problem is fixed, then it was a loose connection.

I'm only getting sound out of one speaker.

First, determine if the problem is with the individual speaker by swapping the wire at the back of the satellites. Also, check the speaker wire itself. Swap the wire for the speaker that is working for the one that is dead. If it's the speaker or wire that doesn't work, contact customer service at 800-554-7724.

If it's a channel is out, make sure the plug is firmly seated into the soundcard. Also, you can test the speakers with another device (you can plug the audio cable into any headphone output jack of devices such as a portable CD player, walkman, or mp3 player) to determine if the problem is with the subwoofer or the soundcard. If a channel is still out when using the other device as a source, please contact technical support at support@klipsch.com. If the speakers work with the other device, you may need to reinstall your soundcard drivers—contact your soundcard manufacturer for further assistance.

Why does the GMX decoder switch back to Pro Logic II Movie mode when I skip tracks on my DVD player?

The GMX decoder uses a mode hierarchy to select the most appropriate post processing mode. For example, Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks will be autodetected and decoded as 5.1.

For Dolby Digital 2.0 signals, the most appropriate mode is assumed to be Pro Logic II Cinema mode. Pressing the surround button in this situation allows to adjust the mode selected by the hierarchy. The need to do so after skipping tracks or pausing your DVD player depends on the operation of the DVD player. In many cases the Dolby Digital signal is lost, and must be reacquired. Once the signal is reacquired, the system runs through the mode hierarchy again, applying Pro Logic II Movie mode.

Why can't I select change the DSP mode while in Dolby Digital?

Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks cannot have DSP modes applied to them. If a 5.1 soundtrack is being received, pressing the Surround button will have no effect.

Why can't I select 5 channel stereo while listening to a Dolby Digital 2.0 signal?

5 channel stereo can not be applied to Dolby Digital 2.0 signals.

My Front channels are too loud. Why can't I adjust their levels?

Due to the nature of the design, unless your speakers are at extremely different distances from the listening position, only minor adjustment should be required. For the system to be set up properly, the center, surrounds, and subwoofer should be adjusted to match the level of the front left and right channels.

How do I reset the GMX decoder?

In the unlikely event the GMX decoder needs to be reset (such as a system lockup), you can do so by shutting down the power switch at the rear panel of the subwoofer; wait 30 seconds and turn the power switch back on.

I hear a low level hiss from all five speakers when nothing is playing.

All electronics create noise, even digital electronics.

All recordings have noise, since all signals in a recording studio must pass through electronics.  GMX D-5.1 speakers have tweeters, which in a Klipsch way of thinking, improves the sound quality over the majority of multimedia speakers that don't.  The wider bandwidth, in addition to the Klipsch mantra of high sensitivity and high efficiency, forces us to pay special attention to the noise floor of the electronics.  If the sensitivity of the speakers goes up by 3dB, the noise in the electronics has to go down 3dB to keep the same noise floor

Although the GMX D-5.1 decoder is a complex piece, it has a relatively simple signal path, which is typical of other systems in its price category.  There is a digital receiver which takes the bitstream (PCM or S/PDIF) from an optical or coaxial digital cable and routes it to the DSP (digital signal processor).  There is an ADC (analog to digital converter) that takes the analog input signal and routes it to the DSP.  The DSP itself takes the bitstream and decodes it into multiple digital signals, which are then sent to the DAC (digital to analog converter).  The ADC and DAC are integrated into a CODEC (coder/decoder), which also does the volume control in the digital domain.  The DSP performs bass management duties through the use of digital filters, specifically tailored to the needs of the GMX speakers (no canned “large” and “small” setting here).  After the DAC is a low-noise buffer/gain stage which sends the now analog signals to the power amplifier.  The GMX uses high quality Crystal 493xx DSPs and 24 bit CODECs, as well as 5532 op amps.

The typical ProMedia system has about 30dB of gain.  This allows a wide variety of signal sources to be connected and still produce full system output.  If there is any noise in the input signal, it is multiplied by the same gain factor.  The difference between a sound card's “line level” output and that of an MP3 player can be as much as 18dB.  If the input signal has noise, the output signal will have 30dB more noise at full volume, and there is nothing anyone can do about it.

One of the decisions in a system like the GMX is where to set the gain.  As mentioned before there is a wide variation in the level of the analog input signals.  The gain has to be high enough so that people using MP3 player are not disappointed, and still allow the higher level inputs of sound cards without causing problems from overdriving the inputs.  With the system architecture of the GMX, if you add 6dB of gain you add 6dB of noise, and the analog input is like an “open mic.”  There is no way for the DSP to know whether a signal is present or not, so it applies gain to the signal, even when no “signal” is present.

If you connect the digital output of a sound card, you would expect that when there is nothing “playing” that the system would mute in the same way, but that is not the case.  The sound card can behave like an “open mic” as well.  Look at the sliders on the Windows volume control.  The sound card takes all these inputs, mixes them, and puts out a digital bitstream based on the sum off all the inputs.  Even with all the sources muted, the soundcard spits out a digital bitstream.  When the DSP in the GMX decoder detects a digital bitstream it un-mutes.  Usually this isn't much to worry about, but it can add up, and some sound cards are better than others. On the other hand, with the digital inputs, if the DSP does not detect a bitstream, then we have the option of “muting” the outputs of the decoder, which we do.  So if you connect the GMX to a DVD player through the optical connector and pause or stop the movie, the GMX recognizes the loss of the digital bitstream and the system mutes.  

During times when your not listening to your system, like at night when the hiss might bother you, the mute or power button can be used to silence the speakers.

Regarding Soundcard connectivity:

  • To connect a soundcard's digital output to the GMX system, you may use the included dual RCA to mini plug y adapter.     
  • For Soundblaster cards, plug the mini plug end into the S/PDIF output of the card, and the white RCA plug into the Coax In of the GMX decoder.     
  • For Turtle Beach Santa Cruz, plug the mini plug end into the S/PDIF output of the card, and the red RCA plug into the Coax In of the GMX decoder.

Note: When playing an analog signal (mp3s, music CD, PC sounds, etc) through the S/PDIF output, you will hear the front two speakers and subwoofer when the decoder is in stereo mode. Changing the Surround mode to 5CH Stereo or PLII will allow you to listen through all 5 speakers.

How do I hook the speakers up to my receiver/TV/gaming console/DVD player?

The 2.1s can be hooked up directly to a headphone output jack. The 4.1s and 5.1s can be hooked up to a headphone jack with a stereo mini-plug y adapter. This set up will give you stereo sound from 4 speakers (not true surround)—the 5.1 center channel will not be utilized.

When I turn the wire jacks in the back of the satellites (v2-400, 2.1 or 4.1), I hear a static noise.

Clean the metal plugs at the end of the wires with rubbing alcohol to improve the connection.

What soundcard do you recommend for my computer speaker system?

Klipsch does not have an official recommendation for soundcards. If you have the 5.1 ProMedia system, you'll need a 5.1 soundcard to take full advantage of the surround sound effects. The 4.1 will need at least a 4 channel card; 2.1 a two channel card. All the ProMedia products have mini plug connections.