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Buzzing sound coming from pc. Looking for solutions.

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

There is a buzzing sound when my headphones are plugged into my PC, which from doing a little searching, I hear is pretty common due to electrical interference. I don't notice it while listening to music, but when playing a game, it's intolerable. What I see recommended is buying a soundcard with a DAC, but before spending any cash, I have a couple questions.

 

For anyone who has had this problem, did buying a DAC with a soundcard solve it?

What soundcard and DAC should I buy? Budget isn't really a concern, but I don't need anything high end. I'd say around $100 each unless something significantly better can be had for not much more. 

 

Also it would probably help to say what I'm using:

Sennheiser HD600

Little Dot MK V

post #2 of 22

Buying an external USB DAC cured the problem for me.  I went with a Bithead, then an O2+ODAC, and finally an m903 from Grace.  No more noise from my PC...other than what I tell it to play.

 

You may want to look into the ODAC and make sure it has the connectors / inputs / outputs you want.

post #3 of 22

I need to second the USB DAC approach.  No need for a new soundcard - bypass that entirely.

post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys. I ended up getting a Schiit Modi since I've seen it recommended so often. 

post #5 of 22

Cool - I've been happy with my Modi thus far.

post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 

I just hooked up the Modi and I'm still having the same issue :/. I might need to hook this up to another computer and see if I can replicate the problem there. Any other ideas are appreciated. 

post #7 of 22

Is it a buzz or a hum? could be a grounding issue? Did you try floating the ground on your PC by using a cheater plug?

post #8 of 22

Here are some possible solutions provided from Schiit's site:

 

http://schiit.com/faq/dac-problems

 

Are you sure the sound is not coming from the Amp?

post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NA Blur View Post

Here are some possible solutions provided from Schiit's site:

http://schiit.com/faq/dac-problems

Are you sure the sound is not coming from the Amp?

I don't know that it makes sense to be coming from the amp. The buzzing gets a lot louder while playing games so I'm guessing that it's something that the amp is picking up from the pc.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuwhere View Post

Is it a buzz or a hum? could be a grounding issue? Did you try floating the ground on your PC by using a cheater plug?

I haven't tried floating the ground. I'll need to look into that. The sound is more of a buzz than a hum and changes frequency when doing something system intensive like playing a game. I have another computer that I can hook everything into tomorrow. Hopefully that can get me somewhere.
post #10 of 22

I have definitely heard those sounds too with all of my PC systems.  A good USB cable, DAC, and ground should do the trick.  You do not need anything expensive just something made by people who know what they are doing.  If the ground on the USB cable is bad then there is going to be the possibility of noise getting into the signal as the ground floats.  The same goes for the power strip, cable, and wall plug.

 

I run my three-pronged cable from my m903 to a surge protector and into the wall plug all of which have three sockets including the ground.  I run both my DAC and amp into the same surge protector and of course into the same wall plug.  I have my PC on another surge protector and then plug that one into the same wall plug as the DAC and amp.  I get absolutely no audible hum or buzz.  Give that setup a try and see if it helps.

 

Do any of your plugs only have two prongs?


Edited by NA Blur - 7/13/14 at 7:13pm
post #11 of 22

That's typically a hum when listening to music its drown out by the music. Also hum does not change in volume with music or none, its constant.

post #12 of 22

Get all of the grounds on the same ground plane and report back.


Edited by NA Blur - 7/13/14 at 8:04pm
post #13 of 22

Were you able to resolve your problem?

post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NA Blur View Post
 

Were you able to resolve your problem?

 

I just got home and started to debug this. I took everything into the other room and hooked it up to a different PC, and what do you know, the buzzing is gone. It looks like it's probably related to something in my main PC. I just took everything back and hooked it up to my main PC to see if I can narrow it down. So far I've only tried plugging the amp into the wall instead of the surge protector, but I'm getting the same problem. Any ideas where to move from here?

post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 

Actually, I think I figured it out. I plugged the amp into an outlet on the opposite side of the wall and the buzzing is gone now. 

 

Edit: I did some more tests and I'm not sure what this all means. So far I've tried:

 

  1. Unplugging everything except for the pc, one monitor, and my amp.
  2. Switched the surge protector out for different one.
  3. Plugged the amp into the other plug on the same outlet

 

The only thing that's worked is plugging the amp into a different outlet on the other side of the wall. My guesses so far is this is either a power quality issue with my apartment or something with the amp (shielding?). Any other guesses?


Edited by un4rmed - 7/14/14 at 6:05pm
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