Connect Home Theater Speakers Directly to Sound Card?

Mar 16, 2006
So I currently have a 5.1 home theater speaker setup and a receiver that has multi-channel input (so I am effectively just using my receiver as an amp) via 3 3.5mm to RCA cables to my sound card on my PC. My 5 speakers are all 6 Ohm and I have an 80 W sub that has an RCA input. My sound card is a Creative Sound Blaster Z. There is nothing else hooked up to the receiver.

I was wondering if I could take my receiver out of the loop and connect my speakers directly to my PC via 5 RCA to A/V terminal adapters (plugging the 6th RCA output directly into the sub). My receiver is rated at 525W so I would like to save a bit of power and heat output (this sucker warms up the room when on). I don't need my speakers to be earth shockingly loud, but I do need to be able to hear them and I normally keep my sound levels fairly low, 12-20% output level from my receiver (w/130W per speaker max) with my PC level at 100%.

Will this work? If not, is there another option that is ~$50 or less (other than just using what I have now)? I don't want to spend a ton of cash on this and I would rather not just toss $8 down the drain if it won't work but I am willing to give it a try if you guys think it will work. My main reason for doing this is to reduce the heat output when my speakers are on as my PC is on the 3rd story of my house (not moving it) and boy does the heat rise during the Summer months. Only downside is that my cat loves to sit on top of the receiver when it is on.


Jun 13, 2003
Cheap solution is three really cheap stereo amps... which will work, but if you can find efficient stereo amps that aren't noisy, they probably won't be as cheap.