^ Pretty much this.
In the audio portion of the windows control panel, there's also a tab allows you test to verify that 5.1 is functional. As long as you have 5.1 enabled in control panel (windows) and SBX surround turned on, you'll get 5.1.
I'm still really impressed by how well this card handles music. I know creative received flak for the recon3d (which was completely deserved) but IMO they really hit a home run with the Z series. I haven't found anything that I do not like.
So what was it about the Recon series that was so awful? I never tried it, but doesn't it use the same Core3D processing as the Z?