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Windows 7: Crackling

12 Dec 2011   #1
seekermeister

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 
Crackling

The audio on my HTPC has developed a very noticeable crackling sound, regardless which speakers that I use, and the connections are good. Am I correct in thinking that this is a sign of impending sound card failure?

If so, what is the least expensive card in which I can get an equivalent sound quality to the old Audigy 2 ZS Platinum which is in the machine now? Since it just connects to the TV/monitor's speakers and the Sennheiser headset, I think that I only need 2.1 capability, but would buy better...if the price difference wasn't too great___just for flexibility. Also, a regular PCI card would probably be best, because I don't think I have an extra PCIe slot on that board.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Dec 2011   #2
fireberd

Windows 7/10 64 bit
 
 

Popping and Crackling is a common complaint on here. There are many posts about it and many potential causes/fixes. No "one fix" for the problem.

I see you have two sound cards listed. Two sound cards installed and enabled can cause conflicts and potentially the problem you have. Also, if you have Integrated Audio (on the motherboard) and it's not disabled in the BIOS that can also cause sound conflicts.

Two suggestions. One, reseat the SoundBlaster card and see if that helps with the problem. If your motherboard has Integrated audio (on the motherboard), uninstall (remove) the SoundBlaster and enable the Integrated audio in the BIOS and install the drivers and see if that has the noise problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2011   #3
Sub Styler

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

You can always try a contact spray on your connections and volume pots.

Such as this one (although i'm sure cheaper are available)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Dec 2011   #4
seekermeister

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by fireberd View Post
Popping and Crackling is a common complaint on here. There are many posts about it and many potential causes/fixes. No "one fix" for the problem.

I see you have two sound cards listed. Two sound cards installed and enabled can cause conflicts and potentially the problem you have. Also, if you have Integrated Audio (on the motherboard) and it's not disabled in the BIOS that can also cause sound conflicts.

Two suggestions. One, reseat the SoundBlaster card and see if that helps with the problem. If your motherboard has Integrated audio (on the motherboard), uninstall (remove) the SoundBlaster and enable the Integrated audio in the BIOS and install the drivers and see if that has the noise problem.
No, there is only one sound card installed. There reason that it appears otherwise, is because my specs lists both of my computers...for the desktop and after the ** the HTPC. Using the integrated audio would only be useful as a diagnostic step, because I would never use it on a permanent basis, however that would only crackle if their was a contact problem of some kind, or the speakers were bad, which I do not believe is the case. However, I will take the advise of the post after your's and try a contact spray.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2011   #5
Wishmaster

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Theres a possibility Uninstalling the drivers, rebooting and reinstalling can resolve the issue.

Of, course, reseating the card is a good idea as well first.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Dec 2011   #6
Sub Styler

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Yes drivers, and re-seating are good suggestions (also free) other possibilities include the induction of static into the audio loop somewhere, (do you still get a crackle using headphones on the soundcard) for test purposes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Dec 2011   #7
seekermeister

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 

Yes, it crackles whether I use the speakers or the headset.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Dec 2011   #8
Sub Styler

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Then you can safely say it's an issue with your card or drivers,

You can get the latest driver here: Creative Worldwide Support > Audigy 2 ZS

Have you tried Wishmasters suggestion of re-seating the card (I always clean the contacts when doing this) I wont tell you what I use because it's probably not something to be recommended.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Dec 2011   #9
seekermeister

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 

I'm going to wait until a can of cleaner that I ordered arrives to do much of anything else about this yet.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jan 2012   #10
seekermeister

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 

In my unique "speedy" fashion, I finally got around to trying to cleaning the sound card and the PCI slot it fits into, plus the sound cables to the speakers, but now instead of getting crackling, I get no sound at all. Well, that's not exactly true, if I turn the volume so high that the white noise is loud, I can barely hear the voices of a movie that I used to test with. It was kind of as though the sound was muted, but it wasn't.

Therefore, I guess the verdict is to buy a new sound card, but since it is on the HTPC on which all that I ever use is the monitor's speaker or the headset, all that I need is a good 2.1 card. I do not want a bottom line card, because the sound quality is noticeablly poorer, but I don't need a high end card either. Any suggestion as to a good candidate for the replacement?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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