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Surround Sound

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The Davaar 55 software release introduces Surround Sound (multichannel) support to all existing DSM products that feature both HDMI and Exakt functionality. This document gives an overview of the surround feature and provides examples of the various configuration options available.

If you are using Exaktboxes please be aware that these will ONLY support loudspeakers that are listed HERE


To support surround functionality, a DSM must have an Exakt interface to allow multiple speakers to be connected. The DSM must have an HDMI interface to enable delivery of surround audio content. A 3rd party source device (ex. Blu Ray player) must be used to deliver surround audio to the DSM via HDMI.
The source device must be capable of delivering (non-encoded/uncompressed) PCM multichannel content.


Surround speaker configurations are expressed using two numbers separated by a dot (example "7.1"). The first number indicates the quantity of full frequency range (FFR) speakers in the system and the second number indicates the quantity of low frequency (subwoofer) speakers. A 5.2 system would therefore contain 5 FFR speakers and 2 subwoofers. Linn surround systems support a maximum of 7 FFR speakers with no limit on the number of subwoofers. Each speaker in the system has a specific role (type) which dictates the audio content that it plays.

The available FFR speaker types are:

  • Front Left (FL)
  • FrontRight (FR)
  • Surround Left (SL)
  • Surround Right (SR)
  • Rear Left (RL)
  • Rear Right (RR)
  • Centre (C)

The available subwoofer (sub) speaker types are:

  • Sub Mono (LFM)
  • Sub Left (LFL)
  • Sub Right (LFR)
  • Sub LFE (LFE)


When configuring a surround system the following rules apply:

  • No FFR duplicates: Only one of each FFR speaker type can be used.
  • No partial groups: The speaker types FL/FR, SL/SR, RL/RR, LFL/LFR must always exist in pairs.
  • Fronts must be present: FL and FR must always exist
  • No Rears without Surrounds: The RL/RR pair cannot be present if SL/SR are not present

If these rules are not adhered to, the surround speaker configuration will be invalid. The front panel will indicate this by displaying a "!" near the volume display. The audio may also be muted automatically.

Room Setup

The following diagrams show a range of typical valid surround room setups, indicating speaker types and positioning. Also shown are some invalid setups that break one or more of the rules outlined earlier.
Channel assignment and speaker offsets are set up in Konfig

Symbol Key

Key (Room Setup)

Stereo 2.0

Stereo 2.1

Surround 3.1

Surround 4.0

Surround 4.1

Surround 5.1

Surround 7.1

Surround 7.2

Invalid Surround Setup (No Fronts)

Invalid Surround Setup (No Surrounds)

Invalid Surround Setup (Partial Front Group)

Invalid Surround Setup (Partial Surround Group)

Invalid Surround Setup (Partial Rear Group)

Speaker Setup

In a traditional hardware surround system, speakers are assigned their type implicitly by the physical output they are connected to. With Exakt, any type can be applied to any speaker, using Konfig, regardless of how the speakers are physically connected. The following diagrams show various typical speaker connection examples for a range of surround configurations.

Symbol Key

Stereo 2.0

Surround 3.1 With Non Exakt Centre and Sub

Surround 4.0 All Exakt

Surround 5.1 With Integrated Exakt Fronts

Surround 5.1 With Non Exakt Centre and Sub

Surround 5.1 With Integrated Exakt Fronts & Surrounds, Non Exakt Centre & Sub

Surround 7.1 With Integrated Exakt Centre And Sub

Surround 7.1 With Integrated Exakt Fronts, Surrounds And Rears

Surround 7.1 With Non Exakt Centre And Sub

Surround 7.1 All Exakt Box

Encoded Setups

Some HDMI source devices (e.g. Sky Q) only output encoded audio streams. To use these devices with a Linn DSM, a 3rd party AV processor or HDMI repeater must be used to decode the stream. The diagrams below indicate how these setups may be connected.

Encoded 7.1 Without Exakt

Encoded 5.1 With Integrated Exakt Fronts