Crackling noise in my AKG K702's
Jul 2, 2015 at 6:15 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 14

ForestHowl

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Hi,
I just bought myself a pair of AKG K702's and they are sounding amazing!

However, I have noticed that there sometimes is a strange "crackling" noise when listening to music or just watching YouTube videos.
I have looked through some other threads and it seems like it's a "common" problem with the K702's?
It isn't there all the time though, it just comes and goes as it pleases. Sometimes it goes away when i put them down for a moment.
And i got them 2 days ago, so there shouldn't be anything stuck in the drivers?
 
I'm powering them through my Sound Blaster Zx sound card and i'm not even at 45% volume the majority of the time.

I would really appreciate your guys help as i don't know what to do, and it is really getting on my nerves..
Thanks
 
Jul 4, 2015 at 11:55 AM Post #3 of 14

Me x3

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Can you explain more the crackling noise?
 
A- Is it a sound that comes from the drivers or is it a noise that comes from the other headphone parts (ie, headband, cups, ...)?
 
B- Does it happen at any listening levels?
 
C- Have you tried recordings that sounded fine (no noise) and then tried them again (same file) and the noise appeared?
 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Hypothesis:
 
1- If the noise comes from the drivers is possible that the noise is sort of clipping present on the recordings, K702 is very revealing of recording's flaws. (If this is the case, then quality recordings should not have the noise)
 
Try these quality samples ('Tundra' should do the trick):
http://www.hdtracks.com/sessions-from-the-17th-ward-binaural-134421
 
2- It can be that the ZX can't drive the K702, and despite being at 45%, it can run out of current with the hungry K702. This typically produce high levels of distortion that you can perceive as crackling noise. (If this is the case then you shouldn't hear any noise when the volume is lower)
 
Jul 5, 2015 at 5:57 AM Post #4 of 14

ForestHowl

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The sound does indeed come from the drivers. It sounds like a "crackling" or "clicking" noise.
It doesn't seem like the listening levels affect the noise being present or not. It kinda happens at random.
However, i am using the external volume controller that comes with the ZX, so my volume level in Windows is at 100% all the time.
I am 99% sure that it isn't from the recordings, because the noise doesn't necessarily appear again if i scroll back in the song.

I am starting to learn towards that i might need an amp, however i kinda used all the money i had on the headphones. I assumed the ZX would have enough juice to run them without any problem.
Well, either that, or can it be possible that the there is a problem with the headphones themselves? 
 
Jul 5, 2015 at 6:52 AM Post #5 of 14

ForestHowl

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I have found an old Sony TA-FE310R Stereo Amplifier, which i will use to test if the amplification is the problem.
It is preeety overkill in terms of juice, but i'll just keep the volume low on the amp.
I'll report back when i have found out if it worked or not.
And thanks for the help, i really appreciate it! 
k701smile.gif

 
Jul 5, 2015 at 7:03 AM Post #6 of 14

ForestHowl

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So that was quick.. I heard the crackling noise again, even when listening to "Tundra". As i said before, it comes and goes. Sometimes it goes away again if i put them down for a minute.
It's very strange. I bought them on amazon, should i ask for a replacement?
 
Jul 5, 2015 at 7:23 AM Post #7 of 14

Me x3

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Can you try the headphones with a different source? Just plug them into a phone or portable player (volume at 50%-60% no more)
 
Jul 5, 2015 at 7:35 AM Post #8 of 14

ForestHowl

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As far as i can tell, there isn't any problem when plugging them into my phone.
I was starting to think that maybe it could be something about my sound card, so i dived into the settings and tried turning things off. It has alot of post processing settings and i just gave them the kill switch. Since then i haven't noticed anything, so maybe the post processing stuff on it is a little buggy? I really have no idea.
These are the settings i turned off:

I had Surround, Crystalizer and Bass turned on
 
Jul 5, 2015 at 7:44 AM Post #9 of 14

Me x3

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Yeah, sound processing can be really tricky. It's always nice to know that all those things are turned off.
 
Jul 5, 2015 at 1:20 PM Post #12 of 14

Me x3

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There are many many flawed youtube videos. More so there's plenty of clipped audio files all over the net, even some .flac files.

Some modern music clips due to processing at thse studio. Some other music due to the way it was ripped and finally there are also many recordings with clips, noise because they were not encoded properly, likely more than one transcode (let's say clean flac to 128kbps mp3, then down to 96kbps mp3 then up to 320kbps mp3, and then up to flac again (senseless, since a lot of info is lost at this point), then back to 192kbps mp3 and uploaded: HD youtube video, there you go)

That file can sound really bad.

Problem solved? Unless you are still listenting clips and noise with quality music and different sources, I would say problrm solved.

Welcome to the K702 world.

You can get a free quality album from HDTracks. Just sign in and download the Sampler album. (yeah, it's free)

Best Luck!
 
Jul 5, 2015 at 4:15 PM Post #14 of 14

Me x3

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You're welcome! Happy Listening!
 

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