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saminam

Audio static or ground loop ?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

So i built my PC over christmas this year. I have learned so much about computers and such. I have upgraded my gpu and cpu cooler. overall im very happy with my PC. But since the start iv had this feeling with my motherboards audio. i started out with the old earphones in front jack setup. I decided to go get some new headphones for gaming. I went with the hyperx cloud 2 headset. Got it plugged in and noticed a small static from the audio. Since then iv had another 2 headsets which did not have the 7.1 surround extension the cloud 2s have.

 

Im beginning to think im crazy. In all headphones while audio plays i feel like i hear a small static. when i watch youtubers i feel like i hear static from them. Is this just normal or am i experiencing a ground loop or something ? I bought a ground loop isolator and noticed the static was much more diminished but at the same time made the audio much quieter. I then noticed that if i change the realtek settings from 24 bit highest studio quality to 16 bit lowest cd quality the static is much worse. On the cd quality if i play any audio and pause it i get a loud static for around 10 seconds then it stops. Im just lost with this and really dont know what to do. is this small static normal from audio headphones ? Anyone iv asked to listen doesnt hear it but i definitely hear it both when in cd quality and with headphones on. really cant tell if its normal or what. Any help is appreciated.

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That sounds like normal noise, not a ground loop. Odd that you're hearing the difference between 16 and 24 bit; that would imply that something's limiting your dynamic range and it's not strictly a hardware problem. Do you have any other audio software in your chain that might be controlling the volume, like an equalizer?

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Posted · Original PosterOP
10 hours ago, Nimrodor said:

That sounds like normal noise, not a ground loop. Odd that you're hearing the difference between 16 and 24 bit; that would imply that something's limiting your dynamic range and it's not strictly a hardware problem. Do you have any other audio software in your chain that might be controlling the volume, like an equalizer?

Hi thanks for the reply. My setup is literally just an extension from the motherboard audio jack to the front of my pc and then i plug in my headphones. Im guessing its just a normal static and im just noticing it more (?). I really dont know. The best way i can explain the sound is if you go into sounds, right click your audio output and click test. After it plays the noise theres 1 or 2 seconds of static. Its like that but much more diminished.

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6 hours ago, saminam said:

Hi thanks for the reply. My setup is literally just an extension from the motherboard audio jack to the front of my pc and then i plug in my headphones. Im guessing its just a normal static and im just noticing it more (?). I really dont know. The best way i can explain the sound is if you go into sounds, right click your audio output and click test. After it plays the noise theres 1 or 2 seconds of static. Its like that but much more diminished.

This noise is normal, I used to get it in some of my old desktops and phones. The intriguing bit to me is that there's a marked difference between 16 and 24 bits for you. This is abnormal because 16 bit noise should be -96dB and inaudible under normal circumstances. Do you normally listen to your music at near-minimum volume (below "10/100" in Windows)?

 

Is the noise is happening both plugged into the motherboard (front and back headphone outputs) and using the USB dongle, and without the ground loop isolator? If your setup is PC -> ground loop isolator -> headphones, feel free to remove the isolator; it's impossible for a ground loop to happen there and the isolator can only degrade performance. I ask that you try both headphone outputs because one should be limited to 16 bit resolution while the other isn't. If you can hear the difference between 16 and 24 bit noise on both, this implies that the issue is software.

 

One more thing you might want to try: download Rightmark audio analyzer (RMAA 6.4.5) and connect your headphone output to your rear panel microphone using an aux cable (front panel microphone is probably fine too; rear is just a bit better). For the test parameters within the program select MME - your output and input jacks, and use 24 or 32 bit test signals. Press the button at the lower left corner (Playback/Recording) to run the test. Adjust your system volume until the summary box turns green, then start the test. Compare the results between your system sound set to 16 bit and 24 bit. Try running one again with your system volume set to whatever you normally listen to music at (the program will likely say your input level is too low – ignore it and run the test anyways). I'm curious to see what the results look like.

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Sometimes people have ground loops from their headphones and microphone. Try with the microphone disconnected and see if things improve.

 

Other than that, it may just be noise. Sometimes the audio device will turn itself off to save power, and during this period, the noise is reduced. When you play something, you turn it back on and then hear the noise.

 

I am surprised that you actually heard the noise difference between 16 bit and 24 bit. 16 bit has greater quanitzation noise, but to be able to hear it, you have to be at low volume and you have to have a somewhat good dac with low noise, or else the dac's noise will prevent you from hearing the digital format's noise.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
On 6/4/2019 at 6:52 PM, Nimrodor said:

This noise is normal, I used to get it in some of my old desktops and phones. The intriguing bit to me is that there's a marked difference between 16 and 24 bits for you. This is abnormal because 16 bit noise should be -96dB and inaudible under normal circumstances. Do you normally listen to your music at near-minimum volume (below "10/100" in Windows)?

 

Is the noise is happening both plugged into the motherboard (front and back headphone outputs) and using the USB dongle, and without the ground loop isolator? If your setup is PC -> ground loop isolator -> headphones, feel free to remove the isolator; it's impossible for a ground loop to happen there and the isolator can only degrade performance. I ask that you try both headphone outputs because one should be limited to 16 bit resolution while the other isn't. If you can hear the difference between 16 and 24 bit noise on both, this implies that the issue is software.

 

One more thing you might want to try: download Rightmark audio analyzer (RMAA 6.4.5) and connect your headphone output to your rear panel microphone using an aux cable (front panel microphone is probably fine too; rear is just a bit better). For the test parameters within the program select MME - your output and input jacks, and use 24 or 32 bit test signals. Press the button at the lower left corner (Playback/Recording) to run the test. Adjust your system volume until the summary box turns green, then start the test. Compare the results between your system sound set to 16 bit and 24 bit. Try running one again with your system volume set to whatever you normally listen to music at (the program will likely say your input level is too low – ignore it and run the test anyways). I'm curious to see what the results look like.

Hi i apologise for the long wait. I am unable to do the test as i had already returned the cloud 2 headset. Im at the point where i think im hearing a higher pitch noise than some people could hear. im aware how stupid that sounds. Im currently using an extension cable from the 3.5 jack and have my earbuds plugged into the extension. It seems to minimise the sound alot and i can barely hear it. I do have an old pair or razer headsets that i could try. One has the usb cable tangled up and if i move the headset at all the sound cuts out. The other has a snapped headphone holder so one side just dangles. In both i hear the static when the volume is turned above 70 in windows. I also hear ringing in the left side only of both headsets. If i open CSGO (the game i play most) i get no static until i click something on the menu and then the static plays for a solid 10 seconds like it did when i had he cloud 2s. I can post images of the inside of my pc if you would like or anything that may help. Im unsure if this noise is normal and i just happen to notice it alot more. Im also looking at purchasing cloud 2s again and trying it all over again to find the problem. Again sorry for the long wait i had some other things going on.

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