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SB X AE-5 In Game issue. Volume Lowers during comms.

  1. joelozzy
    Hey Gang,

    I have an interesting sound issue. This is mostly referencing the game Overwatch but effects all sounds.
    Basically when someone else uses a recording device (mic) and it's played through my system (AE5) the overall volume in game dips and slowly increases back after a small delay of no communication from the other person.
    This is extremely annoying and I can't seem to disable it. I've narrowed it down to the soundcard only.

    I have adjusted the Windows communications tab in sound preferences as you would expect this is what the issue is but I have and have always had it set to "do nothing".

    This occurs in teamspeak, discord, Overwatch in game communications and happens across a few games, as well as listening to music.

    There are no options I can find to fix this issue. I have contacted the company with numerous emails back and forth explaining that I have isolated everything within my abilities.

    Their final response was this:
    "We regret to confirm that the issue that you are experiencing is most likely due to a conflict between our software and certain applications such as Discord, which explains why you are not experiencing it on native drivers or with our onboard sound card.

    For this reason, we would once again suggest you contact your retailer for a refund or for an alternative replacement with another product, if this is included in the T&Cs applied".

    I will post the email correspondance of questions they have asked below. This may be of help. Bold is my responses to their questions.

    1. Are you communicating in-game via Discord?I have tried discord, in game communication (Overwatch) and a few other communicating programs each having the same result. They all reduce the headphone volume when the other person activates their microphone.

      2) Did you pick up the volume drop via external speakers, headphones, or the PC's built-in speakers?Headphones. I use Audio Technica ADG1X

      3) Did the other side experience the same problem when you speak? No. It’s when they speak I experience the volume drop.

      4) Can you elaborate further on what you mean by "volume dips and slowly increases back after a small delay of no communication from the other person"?
      Do you mean if the other party stops talking for a while, the volume picks up? Or was the communication cut off, then comes back?The other person in game or in discord activates their mic to use it or they speak > The output of my headphones is dropped by approx 50% for all other sounds other than the person communicating > It returns back to full volume after roughly 3-5 seconds of them stopping use of their mic/communication. If they were to use their mic even a tiny bit every 3-5 seconds I would have constant volume at approx 50%. The volume/output seems to return in a linear increase slowly returning back to full over a 1-2 second period approximately 3-5 seconds once they cease use of the microphone.

    5) Have you tried using other apps like Skype or TeamSpeak? I have tried a variety of different apps in different games and they all have the same effect, some a little more noticeable than others.

    6) Does this happen to a specific game or to other games as well? All games. All apps. Even playing a song in Windows however this is not as noticeable.

    7) Are you using a Windows 10 64-bit desktop PC? Yes

    Just a bit of background, I purchased the soundcard to try obtain the absolute best directional audio in Overwatch I could possibly obtain.

    I am happy with the sound quality however when someone uses their voice comms in game my game volume lowers approx 50% and also becomes muffled like the gain is turned down which renders the sound ques useless. The communication volume of the other party stays steady at full volume.

    At the level that I play at this is absolutely critical to my gameplay to solve this. It may seem like something small but if it cannot be solved then I would need to revert back to my onboard audio, this is not acceptable for a $200 AUD sound card so I am sure the team can solve or develop a solution to it.

    I have tried all the obvious solutions such as Sound Settings > communications > Set to do Nothing (When detecting communication). I have also unchecked the allow apps to take exclusive control of this device. I have tried most things I believe. I am good with tech but far from expert so I am all ears to suggestions.

    Any input would be greatly appreciated, Thanks Guys!

  2. davidcwilliams
    Hi! Registered yesterday just to reply to your post because I am experiencing the exact same problem. It is so frustrating to continue to find every guide and video saying the same thing over and over again. "Go to Windows communications tab in sound preferences and set it to 'do nothing' ".

    My hardware is a built-in Creative Sound Blaster Certified ZxRi 120dB+ Audio, on a GIGABYTE GA-Z170X-Gaming 7 (rev. 1.0) motherboard.

    It's a shot in the dark, but I was hoping that you had found a solution other than simply switching to another soundcard.


  3. joelozzy

    Hi David,

    I reverted back to onboard Audio for a good 6 Months or so while my Sound Blaster X AE-5 just sat in my case and did nothing.

    A Month or two ago I decided to reinstall drivers and software to listen to some music with a decent quality soundcard.

    Just like magic my issue was no longer there and I have been using the soundcard for all PC use including Overwatch which is the main reason why I purchased it.

    I honestly have no idea what may have fixed the issue but it was probably something from their end with their drivers with me downloading an update.

    I am happy to help you where I can if you want to ask questions about my setup or configurations but I havn't changed much at all from default. I use Direct Headphones option in the Sound Blaster Connect 2 Driver.

    Hope this helps

  4. davidcwilliams
    Hi Joel, thanks for the quick response.

    What I didn't mention in my post is, that I've had this problem two other times with the same hardware but different installations of Windows... and the other two times, the problem simply went away eventually leaving me to forget about it. What's strange is, I had this problem before I installed the drivers for my soundcard! I had the problem after too of course, but it tells me that it's not bad drivers, or a bad installation of drivers.

    At any rate, if I have any breakthrough, I'll be sure to keep you posted.

    Thanks again.


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