How to get passthrough audio to work?

Hi all. I’ve been experimenting with some distros with my dad, who has his PC connected to a Sony 7.1 audio amp and 4K HDR TV, essentially living that “the media center” experience (although feeling redundant thanks to smart TV’s and the Roku stick!) We’re looking to see if audio passthrough will work.

Under Windows, applications can take exclusive control of the audio device - which is connected via HDMI into the amp - which allows the device to decode Dolby Atmos, DTS X and other formats just as the director intended. :loudspeaker:

But under Linux, documentation seems a bit scarce with no luck so far.

We tried:

  • Pipewire (Arch) and PulseAudio (Mint) for sound system.
    • Stopped pipewire from respawning, so no apps were playing audio.
  • MPV, VLC, Kodi and Plex
    • We’re using local sample media files known to have Atmos / DTS X audio tracks.
    • plex-media-player seems to be missing the audio options altogether? :man_shrugging:

In all instances, the end result is PCM coming out of the receiver.

Does anyone have experience with getting audio passthrough working? Any commands to run, sound systems to use or specific media players to try/avoid? We’re dealing with an NVIDIA card with proprietary driver, if that could be a possible pain point?

Thanks in advance!

I have only done it with kodi which has/had options to allow audio passthrough.

No experience with what you are trying to do. What about soundux in the AUR. Does that do what you are talking about?