Surround Sound Variations

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Surround support is currently available for HDMI multichannel PCM audio streams as standard. This is suitable for most Blu-ray and DVD players, some media streamers and some set-top boxes, although all of these sources downgrade higher precision audio to 48k/16 bit when transmitting multichannel PCM audio over HDMI.

The Linn Surround Module supports encoded multichannel audio streams via HDMI, HDMI-ARC, SPDIF and TOSLINK. This is suitable for playback of surround audio from internal TV sources such as Netflix, or external sources such as Chromecast, Blu-ray players, etc.

Some Surround wiring options can be found HERE

Original Surround capability
This was the original Surround option up to Linn Davaar 37 firmware
Click for more....
  • Up to Davaar 37 firmware, (May 2016), and Majik/Akurate/Klimax products with HDMI-1 boards.
Note: this firmware will not be available for most of the newer Linn DS/DSM products due to hardware changes making this firmware incompatible
  • Multi-channel LPCM support only
  • The HDMI audio could be split to allow the Front Left/Right to play on the Linn DSM and remaining channels fed to the Linn DSM HDMI OUT to a surround processor to deal with the remaining channel.

Details of this operation can be found Surround options up to Davaar 37 & Surround with an additional Processor

Software controlled Surround capability
This is using current Linn DS/DSM internal software/Firmware but WITHOUT any Linn DS/DSM hardware updates
Click for more....
From Davaar 55 (Mar 2017), and Majik/Akurate/Klimax DSM products with Exakt capability.
These products can take multi-channel PCM, (LPCM) audio from the HDMI input. This PCM audio could then be used with the Linn DSM analogue outputs and Exakt-link connections. This now allowed the capabailty of 7.1ch Surround audio, the limitation is that the HDMI source MUST be able to feed this Surround Format.

Details of this operation can be found Surround options from Davaar 55 & Set up and adjusting

Linn Surround Module
This is a hardware upgrade for some Linn DS/DSM products to allow Surround options on external Linn DS/DSM inputs
Click for more....

  • Date of Introduction: March 2018 - December 2022

Direct decoding of surround streams from HDMI / HDMI-ARC / TOSLINK / SPDIF is supported with the addition of a Linn Surround module mounted onto the HDMI-2 board within the DSM. Decoding from HDMI-eARC requires the HDMI 2.0 eARC board.

Assembled carrier placement.jpg

The Linn Surround module is sold only as an upgrade to any:

Selekt or Akurate or Klimax DSM

List of products that support the surround upgrade module

Selekt Products
Akurate Products
Klimax Products

  • The HDMI-2 boards have been fitted as standard since September 2016 and are available as an upgrade to all Akurate and Klimax DSM's.

Sneaky/Sekrit/Kiko & Majik Products
This Linn Surround Module upgrade is either not available or is not supported in these products.

Surround formats supported by the Linn Surround Module

  • Supported codecs on HDMI, HDMI-ARC, HDMI-eARC, TOSLINK and SPDIF connections

  • Dolby Digital
  • Dolby Digital Plus1
  • Dolby TrueHD
  • DTS
  • DTS-HD Master Audio
  • DTS-HD
  • DTS Neo:6

Dolby Atmos, DTS-X & DTS-CD are not supported.
1 Supported on all HDMI inputs and HDMI-ARC connections on the Selekt products. Only supported on HDMI inputs, not HDMI-ARC, on Klimax, Akurate and Majik.

Decode Mode

Available from:

  • Linn Account > Manage Systems > DSM > Surround > Decode Mode
  • DSM Menu > Settings > Surround > Decode Mode

Decode Mode Options:

  • Off - No up-mixing performed
  • Auto - PCM streams up-mixed using DTS Neo 6 Auto algorithm
  • DTS Neo 6 Music - PCM streams up-mixed using DTS Neo 6 Music algorithm
  • DTS Neo 6 Video - PCM streams up-mixed using DTS Neo 6 Movie algorithm

The Decode Mode setting is applicable to audio received by the following sources:

  • HDMI, HDMI ARC, HDMI eARC, SPDIF and Toslink

For all modes above downmixing if required will then be performed based on the number of speakers in the system.

Speaker positioning

Speaker positioning should be achieved through Space Optimisation, however if Space Optimisation is disabled, the speaker distances may be configured from:

  • Linn Account > Manage Systems > DSM > Surround > Speaker Setup

Speaker level adjustments

You can trim the Speakers levels using an inbuilt Pink noise generator within the Linn DSM. But Space Optimisation will need to be set up first to get the correct speaker positioning and timing.
After Space Optimisation has been set up, you can adjust the trim, more details are listed HERE

Surround Songcast

Surround audio is NOT Songcast to other rooms. Songcast will only support Stereo audio. If your DSM front panel is showing a Surround mode, then this audio is not shared via Songcast.

Speaker configurations

To reduce the Exakt hardware requirements for extra channels, it is possible to configure an ExaktBox or ExaktBox-I to drive one non-Exakt speaker per channel, up to a maximum of 8 channels, using either a 6 x channel passthrough or 8 x channel passthrough Exakt filter.
These are FULL-RANGE outputs in accordance to the Surround channel assigned, that can be fed to any Linn or non-Linn loudspeaker.
Space Optimisation will be supported for this configuration, but not Space Optimisation+ (for Exakt speakers).

  • Speakers can be driven from any combination of:
  • Direct analogue output from the DSM
  • Exakt Speaker
  • Exaktbox configured with crossovers for one or two speakers
  • Exaktbox configured for surround playback
Speaker type set for
"6 x Channel Passthrough" for 5.1ch or
"8 x Channel Passthrough" or 7.1ch
Examples of speaker setups can be found HERE

Konfig setup

Some information for setup in Konfig can be found HERE

Setup via IR handset

  • Use the left/right handset joystick control to adjust the Lip sync. (make sure that in Konfig the "delay mode" for that source is set for "Video Sync"

  • Press the Up/Down buttons to adjust the LFE (subwoofer) settings.


  • Turning OFF the HDMI module in Konfig/Manage systems will also turn OFF the Surround Sound module.

FAQ HDMI issues

Check General HDMI issues

PCM Surround software
This is a software configuration using the Surround decoding WITHIN the HDMI sources.
Click for more....

DSM Surround Sound without DSP module

This page describes how to configure a surround sound system without using a surround decoder module in a DSM. In all the cases below, surround decode is performed in another device connected to the DSM by HDMI or HDMI eARC. Playback of PCM surround audio using SPDIF, TOSLINK or ARC inputs is NOT supported.

Non-encoded (PCM) surround audio playback is supported by the following DSM players

  • Any DSM with HDMI and/or HDMI eARC inputs and Exakt outputs
  • Selekt DSM (Classic and Edition) with HDMI and/or HDMI eARC inputs & 2 or more 2-channel modules


The most reliable configuration is as follows:

  • access video streaming services (Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, etc.) through either Apple TV or Sony PlayStation connected to a DSM HDMI input. Switch the DSM to the HDMI[1…4] source for these
  • access TV channels via eARC. Switch the DSM to the eARC source for these.

Many other configurations are possible. Some may be more appropriate for any given combination of TV, disc player and streaming device. More detailed notes on these are included below. Note that these configurations will need to be tested by the retailer or prospective purchaser case by case.


  • HDMI Source: Any device which can supply audio to the DSM HDMI input
    • Set-top boxes such as Sky Q, Apple TV etc.
    • Streaming devices such as Amazon Firestick, Chromecast, Roku etc.
    • Blu-ray players, Games consoles etc.
  • TV: Any video output device
    • Television
    • Projector


(1) HDMI Source ⇒ DSM HDMI input : DSM HDMI out ⇒ TV

The HDMI source device must supply PCM (i.e. decoded) surround audio to the DSM over HDMI.
If the original content is encoded (Dolby/DTS), the HDMI source device needs to decode to PCM audio and then output to the DSM over HDMI.

(2) TV HDMI eARC out ⇒ DSM HDMI out

The TV must supply PCM audio to the DSM over HDMI eARC
If the original content is encoded (Dolby/DTS), the TV needs to decode to PCM audio and then output over TV HDMI eARC over HDMI.

(3) HDMI Source ⇒ TV HDMI input : TV HDMI eARC out ⇒ DSM HDMI

The TV must supply PCM surround audio to the DSM over HDMI eARC

  • The same requirements as scenario (2) above
  • Additionally, decode of encoded (Dolby/DTS) media may be performed on either TV or HDMI source before passing (decoded) PCM audio out TV HDMI eARC over HDMI.


  • Due to the vast array of available HDMI source and TV devices, it is impossible for Linn to specify whether any given setup will function as required. Even within devices from any given manufacturer, there are different hardware and software variants which can affect this functionality.
  • Behaviour can differ between different streaming services within the same source device

Tested Devices - HDMI & HDMI eARC sources

  • Table shows DSM audio output channels (PCM) when no DSP module fitted
  • All devices and services tested are UK specification
Device Device Source
Sat / Aerial Blu-ray Game Prime Video BBC iPlayer Netflix Plex 7.1 Track External HDMI
Amazon Firestick 4K --- --- --- 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 ---
Apple TV --- --- --- 5.1 2.0 5.1 5.1 ---
Sony PS4 --- 7.1 7.1 5.1 2.0 5.1 5.1 ---
Sony PS5 --- 7.1 7.1 5.1 2.0 5.1 5.1 ---
Nvidia Shield --- --- 5.1 5.1 5.1 ---
Oppo Disc Player --- 7.1 --- --- ---
Sky Q 2.0 --- --- 2.0 2.0 2.0 --- ---
LG eARC TV --- --- 2.0 2.0 2.0 7.1
Sony TV eARC TV --- --- 2.0 2.0 2.0 7.1
Panasonic eARC TV 2.0 --- --- 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0
Samsung eARC TV 2.0 --- --- 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0

Other options

Panasonic / Pioneer / Samsung all offer streaming Blu-ray players that the manual states can output encoded audio over HDMI as up to 7.1 PCM. Other devices will no doubt offer this to but not all devices, please check the manual for the required settings.

Apple TV info

Example setups for multi-channel PCM:

You get the HDMI sources to either detect the coding required or turn OFF the "Passthrough" option.
Apple TV 4
Apple TV > Settings > Video and Audio > Audio Format > AUTO