Odroid N2+ CE sound problems

Just bought an ODROID N2+ and am now suffering through yet another week of humiliating tech fails. The ODROID came with Ubuntu but I pulled the eMMC out to run CoreELEC from microSD (never got dual boot to work: it always resorts back to Linux). Took me hours just to get to that half-failing point. Now I can’t get sound to work. Obviously, I’m NOT good at this.

*The new projector wants 4K HDR10. It’s connected via a 10m long active 2.0b HDMI cable.
*I have an old but good 5.1 sound system. The legacy receiver lacks HDMI.
*To solve this, I tried a HDMI switch with Audio Extraction. Claims 4K 60hz HDMI 2.0b:
Doesn’t say how long the HDMI out cable can run. I figured my cable is active so whatever?
*The extractor worked fine running CoreELEC and 1080p streaming from svt.play; although that source only gives me stereo sound so who knows. As soon as I tried a movie stored on the local HDD I got only sound. Neither 1080 nor 4K material produced any picture, just a black screen. Weird, right? I’m utterly unable to even begin solving this.
*I read some folks managed to use different windows compatible USB soundcard/surround processor/dac boxes. They also should provide better sound quality, so I googled various USB Soundblasters, Asus Xonar, Topping products etc. Even this el-cheapo one looked ok (or will it wreck the sound after all?):
Also read some CoreELEC single board computers have problems with sound from USB. Seems there’s a potential phletora of annoying issues with timing and shit like that.

I just want decent 5.1 sound. For now, I can live without Atmos etc, but I need my DTS-HD files to just work, even if I only get the basic compressed not-HD sound version. Optical SPDIF (with compressed 5.1) can be connected to the AVR, but any solution with separate RCA for front, back, center is preferable for my setup which involves more amplifiers. As I’m still studying I have little money to throw at this and on top of that I feel the planet doesn’t need me to throw away properly working electronics just because some friggin connector is out of date. Therefore a new AVR is not an option today.

Question: what should I aim for to avoid more hurdles and - the horror - complete de-nerdification?
If you know of a USB surround card that just works with ODROID & CoreELEC please tell me! Or by all means, if you know how to solve the HDMI extraction thing. Any advice much appreciated.

I don’t know if this will help you.
We tried it on my friend’s theater system last year.
We got very satisfactory results in both sound and 4K HDR on the AVR, which has a 15mt Hdmi Fiber cable extending to the projector and an HDMI input. All Atmos etc. It was very successful in audio formats.

You said it’s AVR 5.1, so you don’t need 7.1 channels.
If your AVR has an Optic input, Odroid HiFi Shield Plus may help, I haven’t used it so I can’t give any detailed information, but I hope you can find more answers in the Odroid-Forum.
I know this module, but I don’t know if it has multi-channel support.

So if I get right, you use the 5.1 position of your switch and connect it with coax or spdif to your AVR?
(Coax and spdif are 5.1 compressed only compatible)
So you have to configure in kodi the sound to 5.1, disable passtrough, use AC3 etc. Have you already do it?

it seems you are searching this kind of thing

but coreelec has to convert all format to PCM before, → switch /video extractor (hdmi passtrough position) → 7.1 extractor
I’m not sure the 7.1 switch will work in 4K, the amazon review are weird https://www.amazon.com/AllAboutAdapters-Analog-Surround-Decoder-Version/dp/B07J2VZ8DL/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=hdmi+to+7.1&qid=1625565362&sr=8-4

by the way, I guarantee nothing :D, variant: Extracteur Audio 4K 3D 5.1CH, décodage Coaxial vers RCA AC3/DST vers amplificateur 5.1 convertisseur analogique pour PS4 DVD | AliExpress

Thanks istanbulls, but the N2+ has a DAC built in. The HiFi shield is for the C model.

saroujs, I tried toggle sound passthrough and it only worked if allowed. Weird? Don’t know how to use AC3 on all streams. Is that hidden in the menu somewhere?

Kodi is configured to 5.0 sound (large front speakers and no sub).

The first extractor you pointed to is HDMI 2.0 @9mbps, I need 2.1 @18mbps. The second one is unspecified, but since the top claim is 4K 30hx without HDR we can assume it’s unadequate.

Thanks for your help!

If you use “Passthrough” then in Kodi Settings/System/Audio/Number of channels → select 2.0 and for Audio configuration try Best match. I know that sounds illogical, but that way it works for me to get AC3 5.1 on AV receiver.

Thank you Sholander, that was very helpful! Still only got stereo sound up but you really made my life a little easier and there’s hope of a surround-ier tomorrow.

more here about passtrough (expert view mode) Settings/System/Audio - Official Kodi Wiki

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