PC front panel audio a lot louder than back - new soundcard?
May 10, 2012 at 4:01 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 11

ich1ban

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Hey guys,

The sound seems to be a fair bit (15-20%ish) louder in the front ports than the back on my computer, even if it has VERY noticeable static interference.

my mobo; 
asus z68 extreme 3 gen 3
using onboard audio and realtek hd audio manager drivers


would getting a new sound card be the fix? I looked into getting a Fiio portable AMP/DAC unit but they don't support mic input and my headsets' mics dont work at all when plugged in.

should I look at getting a sound card? something like the ASUS Xonar STX or something?

I'm using ETYMOTIC E.D.G.E acoustics GX400 and Sennheiser PC300s atm.

 
May 10, 2012 at 4:15 AM Post #2 of 11

proton007

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A soundcard is definitely an upgrade over the stock sound. The Xonar STX is pretty good for the money.
 
May 10, 2012 at 5:11 AM Post #4 of 11

proton007

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How much are you willing to spend?
You can look at Creative Sound Blaster Titanium, cheaper I think.
 
May 10, 2012 at 5:36 AM Post #6 of 11

proton007

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No Problem.
Thats what I thought too but I wasn't sure, thing is the back ports are line outs meant to be plugged into amps/receivers, not headphone outs. Maybe the front ones are, hence the volume difference.
The Xonar Essence STX though, has a pretty decent dedicated headphone amplifier built in, and a dedicated headphone out : http://www.asus.com/Multimedia/Audio_Cards/Xonar_Essence_STX/#specifications
 
May 10, 2012 at 5:52 AM Post #7 of 11

stv014

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Quote:
The sound seems to be a fair bit (15-20%ish) louder in the front ports than the back on my computer, even if it has VERY noticeable static interference.

 
The front panel jack is amplified and has lower output impedance, while the rear one is intended to be used only as a line output. That is why it is quieter. The reason why the front panel is so noisy is that it is often poorly implemented in the PC chassis, and tends to have grounding issues, which can be fixed by some modding if you have the necessary tools and skills. It is also noisy with sensitive headphones because the volume control is digital (i.e. turning down the volume does not reduce the absolute noise level). You can try one of the following:
- an external amplifier like the FiiO E11 from the line output
- Xonar DG sound card for only ~$30 (not sure how well it would work with IEMs)
- FiiO E10 USB DAC+amplifier
Xonar sound cards are generally decent for the price, but even the most expensive Essence ST/STX models are not ideal for driving low impedance headphones and IEMs.
 
May 10, 2012 at 9:36 AM Post #8 of 11

ich1ban

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ah okay, i just want it to sound like the front ports without the static interference.
 
the sennheisers were fine before but the etymotics sound extremely bad on the back ports, and that's probably an understatement
 
I looked into getting the Fiio E10s as its a DAC/AMP unit but since I have etymotic E.D.G.E acoustics gx400 and the sennheiser PC300s, the mic doesn't work anymore if I put the headset through the external amp. 
 
so my only option is the sound card really
 
thanks
 
+REP'ed
 
Jul 7, 2012 at 1:44 AM Post #10 of 11

torchlord

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I've been having a lot trouble with this very same problem recently. After doing some research to no avail, but I've had problems like this in the past and i some how brought a bit of a memory that monitors near high powered speakers cause sound issues. I decided to give a shot at moving my speakers around away from my PC monitor. My speakers are Behringer truth speakers with the amplifier on the outside of the box. I decided to move the speakers 1.5' behind my lg 24" monitor and it did help reduce some of the loud static interferance i was getting when i moved windows around in PC. The sounds are not completely gone, but its significantly reduce to almost tolerable levels.
 

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