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FiiO E10: "Popping noise/jitter" is for OLD batches only???

Discussion in 'Portable Headphone Amps' started by chococya96, Sep 26, 2012.
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  1. chococya96
    UPDATE: I was wondering if this "popping" noise/jitter is produced by old batches only. Or does it produce on newer batches as well?

    Alright, this thread was originally started when I had popping sounds for my first FiiO E10.

    After founding out my E10 was "defective", we made no further attempt to fix it and thus the thread was inactive. As a result, after few weeks of waiting I've just received my second FiiO E10 (replacement for the first one). However, after testing it on different PC/laptops and guess what... I can hear the SAME OLD POPPING SOUND just like the first E10.

    I really really really don't know what to do now... seriously, this is pissing me off so bad that I want to break this piece of junk.

    I just can't afford to waste more return shipping fee (Yes, I had to pay both the posting from my end AND their end; if I pay this once again, then the total of shipping fees that I've paid will exceed the value of E10...) and God knows if they are going to give me another new one or not...

    Someone please tell me that this "popping" noise is normal for E10... please I beg you...

    This is the description that I used when I first started this thread:

    I've recently bought a FiiO E10 DAC for my AKG-K701 and everything has been good except, I can hear popping sound from time to time. At first, I put up with it though right now it's just getting annoying.

    I'm currently using it on my PC and I've tried different USB slots (3.0 and 2.0) however, the popping sound keeps coming back. The device was also installed successfully so I don't know what's causing this "popping" sound...
    I don't think my device is defective as the sound itself has no problem.

    As a result, I'm starting to think if this is a normal behavior? Or is there a way to fix this?

    Moreover, my headphone has 64 ohm rated impedance so do I need to set the gain to high? (You know, the slider on the amp)?

    Thank you.
  2. Zoomer13
    Is there any specific pattern to the popping? Like, when there's silence, or anything like that? 
    Also, I believe 64+ is considered higher gain, so why not experiment with using the higher gain setting?
  3. chococya96
    From what I can tell, the popping happens when its silence. That's why I can clearly hear it.
    As for the time frame, it happens randomly so there are no "set" time frames between each pop sound.
    As for experimenting with gain setting, the only thing I can tell from using high gain setting is that the sound is high when your using that setting. So I guess I leave it as high setting?
  4. HamilcarBarca
    Do you have another computer to test it with? The fastest one you can find.
  5. chococya96
    I'll get a friend's laptop and see how it goes.
    Meanwhile, is there way to tell whats the problem is? or how to fix it?
  6. chococya96
    Okay I've just tested it on my friends laptop and after listening to couple of songs, watching videos, play some games etc, I didn't here any popping sound.
    Does this mean that its got to do with my PC?
    I'm pretty sure there is nothing wrong with my PC as everything works perfectly fine including soundcard, USB slots etc...
    Sigh, this is really giving me a headache...
  7. HamilcarBarca
    Yes, the evidence points to your PC. USB data transfers aren't 100% reliable. When the transfer is to a disk (or something like that) and there's a problem, the system just retries the transfer. But by the time we could retry a USB transmission containing digital audio, it's too late. The time to hear those sounds has passed; by default, there are no retries. If our digital data transfers are reliable enough, we like what we hear.
    What this means is that if there is a temporary USB problem, the symptom can be audible breakup such as popping and cracking. This is likely your problem since the laptop test was successful. I'm not an expert. Your CPU usage is too high or your USB transceiver is marginal or your USB bus is saturated ... or a similar problem has occurred.
    1. Is your CPU usage high?
    2. Is the DAC on a hub or connected directly to the PC?
    I'm sorry I don't have a fix. But you're not the only one with this problem, but I'll bet somebody knows what to do.
    If you have a free slot in your PC, you could consider an inexpensive USB adapter especially for your DAC.
  8. chococya96
    My CPU usage isn't too high when using this DAC. Also, my DAC is directly connected to the USB port on the PC (I've tried both 2.0 and 3.0 ports)
    I've just sent an email regarding to this problem to the seller and FiiO support so I'm hoping a solution or something similar...
    Or even better, I hope I get a good solution from this forum.
    Alright, I narrowed down the problem. The popping sound happens after few seconds when I stop/pause the song or video. It doesn't happen randomly.
    It only happens when the song/video/any forms of media player stopped/paused.
    Also, it seems that the sound is coming from left side only.
  9. chococya96
    Sigh... any other help? I've recently contacted the seller and the FiiO support about this problem and I've still yet to get answers...
    Argh, this is driving me nuts.
  10. chinook9
    I believe I have heard the same popping/clicking sound described by the OP.
    I recently obtained a couple of USB cables so that I can connect my Samsung S3 (as host) through a Micro-B OTG to a USB A adapter into the USB Mini-B on my iBasso D10.
    I tried a few HDtracks and I get the noise regularly.  I had not heard it on any of my normal tracks until tonight and I perceived that they might have been initiated by a loose connection at the Micro-B into the S3.  Once the noise started it continued long enough (10-20 seconds) that I shut down the music player.  I made sure all the connections were snug and I restarted the music without any of the clicking/popping.
    If I am able to isolate it down to the connections I will report back.  I will watch this thread. 
  11. chinook9
    I did some testing and I don't think its the USB connection shorting out.
    I think that its significant that I get the clicking/popping 100% of the time with HDTracks.  Thats using PowerAmp.  The other music players I've tried won't even play the HDtracks at all.
    What music player are you using?  You might try a couple of other music players to see if it makes any difference.
  12. chococya96
    As for me it dosen't only apply for music players. It applies for everything such as watching video through streaming or video player, playing games etc...
    I agree that it's not USB connecting is shorting out. I've tried it on my friend's laptop and I couldn't hear any popping sound. 
    As a result, I've been told that its got to do with drivers and CPU usage.
    I don't think the latter is the case but for the driver I'm not sure which one it is. I'm still waiting for some answers for driver related issue.
  13. chococya96
    Alright, now I'm confused...
    It looks like I get the popping sound when the CPU usage is "high", though it happens time to time.
    It also happens whenever I pause, switch tracks or do some "actions"...
  14. HamilcarBarca
    Here's what I think is happening.
    In your PC, the CPU must read audio samples from your hard disk and send them to the USB bus regularly and on schedule. It has to do this any time and all the time you're playing music, watching a video, etc. and it has to be reliable. (I don't think 100% reliability is required. I don't know.)
    When your CPU usage is too high, you just don't have enough "CPU power" for your computer to do everything you want it to do as fast as you want. If the CPU doesn't get to your digital audio in time, you hear cracking, popping, etc. from the DAC. It's a classic symptom. (Technically, your DAC has become "starved" for data. It responds by making ugly noises.)
    What's using your CPU?
    I'm surprised that it happens when you "pause, switch tracks ..." Is your player using more CPU than other tasks do? What operating system do you use?
  15. chococya96
    Well to be honest with you, I just can't pin point the problem... its really frustrating really.
    I'm using Intel core i7 870 @ 2.93GHz atm. Actually, I'll list full specs here:
    1. Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
    2. Intel core i7 870 @ 2.93GHz
    3. 8GB RAM
    4. GeForce GTX460
    5. 2 x HDD (1TB and 500GB)
    6. Nvidia/Realtek High Def Audio
    Moreover, what I mean by "high" CPU is when my CPU usage is around 10% which, I think its not even high.
    Firefox plugin uses the most CPU (5%) and when playing any media player/video player/games, it only uses 2~5% CPU.
    So yeah.. even I understand your explanation, I still don't understand why this is happening to my PC.
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