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Popping sounds via headphones through external dac


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Hi,

 

I've recently purchased fidelio x2 and decided to upgrade my sound card (xonar dgx) at the same time as there was some slight hissing present.

 

I decided to go with an external dac. I tried a few dacs I can hear a slight silent popping in all of them in certain points of some songs. Although, it's not loud it's quite painful and a deal breaker for me. On usb dacs the quality is even worse and there are some brief cut offs

 

- popping occurs in all dacs I tested regardless of manufacturer (smsl m2/793II, fiio e10k/e18)

- popping occurs regardless of connection usb or spdif

- tried connecting to different usb ports

- drivers are up to date

 

I'm running foobar 2000 on Windows 7 and WASAPI drivers. I played mp3 and flac files.

 

Here is how it sounds.

https://app.box.com/s/4tca9zih82jiekh4x5o7w6vkmdx5ky6v

 

Help much appreciated.

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I tried a few dacs I can hear a slight silent popping in all of them in certain points of some songs.

 

Skywalker99

 

Are the pops at the same locations each time with the different DACs ?

If so, do you have an Audio editing program such as the freeware Audacity where you can check the waveform at that precise point for missing samples /discontinuity in the waveform?

 

Alex

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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Thank you both for your messages

Since my post I've been narrowing down a cause of these pops. I have few more observations:

- pops are present using dacs (usb and spdif) AND sound cards incl. on board

- pops are always at the same moments regardless of sound card used

- increasing buffer size does not help

 

I tried some other "solutions" e.g. turning aero off but to no avail.

 

At the moment I'm at the point where I want to reinstall my system - in other words despair ?

 

My suspicion is that these pops are caused by sound card sharing the same IRQ /resources with other devices. My graphics card, sound card (on board and PCIe) and few other things are all using the same IRQ. And also my on board has 3 different IRQs assigned.

 

Windows assigns IRQs automatically so I can't change them. Neither can I move my dedicated card to a different slot (to obtain a new IRQ) since my 2 x gtx 970s take most of my motherboard's real estate. Strangely all my stuff is shared between just a few IRQs it seems like there should be more (IRQs) available but they're not listed.

 

I disabled some things e.g. com1 to free up IRQs but Windows still prefers to share one IRQ with multiple devices.

 

I will try to record using Audacity.

I will send a screenshot of a list of IRQs later

Thanks

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I will try to record using Audacity.

 

See if you can decide on a time on a track (within a couple of seconds) where you consistently hear a disturbance, then look at the waveform in Audacity at that particular time.

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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See if you can decide on a time on a track (within a couple of seconds) where you consistently hear a disturbance, then look at the waveform in Audacity at that particular time.

 

 

Hi, sorry for delay in replying. So I installed Windows 10 but unfortunately it did not fix my issue with the sound.

 

I recorded it with Audacity: https://app.box.com/s/0gutgyjmpn8gbcuwz9r0nz0lqa7de1dq

On this recording you can hear double clicks but I can actually hear single clicks

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Should have added that sound popping occurs on other players too as well as YouTube, games etc. Basically whatever is outputting sound on windows

 

Tried difrequencies frequencies, disabling effects and recording devices

 

The recorded level was pretty low, but after increasing the gain in Sound Forge 9, several "Glitches" can be seen.

The screen grab shows one of these "Glitches", which are missing Data.

This is normally due to interaction by other processes, possibly via the power supply.

Regards

Alex

 

Sc40Jx.jpg

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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The recorded level was pretty low, but after increasing the gain in Sound Forge 9, several "Glitches" can be seen.

The screen grab shows one of these "Glitches", which are missing Data.

This is normally due to interaction by other processes, possibly via the power supply.

Regards

Alex

 

Sc40Jx.jpg

 

Thank you! that's very useful. starting getting somewhere

 

I've been using Tacima mains power conditioner which supposed to clear up noise coming from the power socket but will look into this "path" more closely.

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I've been using Tacima mains power conditioner which supposed to clear up noise coming from the power socket but will look into this "path" more closely.

It's more likely to be happening due to some internal process. See if you can spot a recurring process using Task Manager (control-alt-delete)

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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  • 2 weeks later...

I managed to fix the problem! :)

 

A key to success was....sound card drivers. I removed xonar (manufacturer's) drivers and installed Uni Xonar drivers (Maxedtech) UNi Xonar Drivers official page - MaxedTech on my old card (xonar dgx) this removed popping but hiss was still there (it was always there with this card btw). Needless to say it was MASSIVE relief as I've tried so many "fixes"

Since then I purchased Xonar essence stx (reasonably priced) and have no hiss (better components, more resistance to interference?) and no popping (thanks to Uni drivers). Happy bunny :)

 

For some reason popping is still there on external DAC (due to different drivers?), onboard (realtek) or when I use ASIO drivers. A bit shame because DAC+AMP (SMSL 793ii) I tested is really really good (prefer it over stx) but nevermind stx is still excellent.

 

So, I'm happy that the issue is gone but I don't really know why this was such a huge issue in the first place. Latency comes to head but when I checked it there was no latency issue. Anyways, I'm enjoying outstanding sound from my Fidelio x2 + stx

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Sounds like the problem was DPC Latency if switching to the UNi Xonar drivers fixed it.

This tool can monitor the system for DPC latency problems: Resplendence Software - LatencyMon: suitability checker for real-time audio and other tasks

Anything under 300 or so should be fine for media playback. Ideally it would be below 200. Lower is better.

Anything over 500 or so and you can have problems with media playback like you were describing.

 

I guess I misinterpreted your first post, as it sounded like you had replaced the Xonar in your system with an external DAC.

I've had similar issues with the Xonar cards (800+µs DPC Latency) which still persisted even when using the UNi Xonar drivers if the Dolby Headphone feature was enabled. After replacing it with a SoundBlaster Z everything was fine.

 

It's not just your audio drivers that can cause DPC Latency issues though.

I had problems after Windows Update installed a newer driver for my Intel NIC that caused there to be DPC Latency of over 4000 every few seconds. Rolling back to an older driver fixed the problem.

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