I snagged what I thought was a great deal off NewEgg and got a beginner's 5.1 speaker set finally, the Creative Inspire T6160. I followed what sparse instructions there were, carefully labeled all the speakers, arranged them around my desk, and plugged in the subwoofer. I turned them on with the remote control volume and..... nothing.
Windows 8 thinks it's making noise. I know for a fact my onboard sound supports 5.1 (or else I wouldn't have bought these speakers...)
I'm going to root around in my BIOS and see if there's something I need to jiggle in there. If that doesn't fix it, I'm stumped.