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Windows 7: toslink optical connection has intermittent hum

22 Nov 2014   #1

Windows 7 Pro x64
toslink optical connection has intermittent hum

Hi all,

I have an odd problem. I have my pc audio connected to my stereo via the optical out. I am getting an intermittent humming noise (sorta like a ground loop hum but of course that is impossible for optical).

Now, this noise is independent of the volume level I set in windows, BUT if I mute windows audio it stops. It appears connected to google chrome, because if I go into the realtek digital output settings (where you see master volume and the volume for various apps like chrome, etc) and I mute only chrome it goes away. It also goes away on its own for no reason Ii can fathom. It is always the same volume regardless (unless I turn my stereo volume up).

It appears that chrome is outputting a constant low level noise for some unknown reason at unknown times. Does anyone have any explanation/ fixes for this? It is pretty annoying.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Nov 2014   #2

Windows 10 64 bit

Since it apparently is Chrome causing it, different browsers use different methods to speed up display. Some use hardware, some use software. I don't know which method Chrome uses (I don't have Chrome).

But, update the video drivers and see if that makes any difference. I know its far out, but update them and see what happens.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Nov 2014   #3

Windows 7 Pro x64

Thanks for the reply. I won't be able to update for a couple of days but I'll let you know if it works.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

26 Nov 2014   #4

Windows 7 Pro x64

OK, so I updated my drivers and no fix. But it isn't just chrome. I have media monkey to play music and sometimes when I start it up I get hiss as well. Closing the program stops it, but with a few second delay (the noise stops a few seconds after I close). Bah. The whole point of optical out was to avoid this sort of stuff.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Nov 2014   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Are you able to test it with another toslink cable just to eliminate the possibility the cable you're using is not 100% for whatever reason. You don't have any info in "My System Specs" which would help us to help you so please fill it up. Does your stereo have a hum when you play from other sources such as a DVD player and apart from your sound card drivers what other sound drivers if any do you have such as the graphic card sound driver
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Nov 2014   #6

Windows 7 Pro x64


I'll try to test with another toslink cable but since muting the realtek audio control always stops the hum I can't see how it could be the cable (but I will try). I did update my specs. Below is the video driver and AMD sound driver info. I'm not sure exactly how this driver is sued though, since all I see is the realtek controls.

I have no other sources to test, but again since muting the realtek kills the sound it must originate from the computer source. FYI the optical feeds into a minisharc setup, which then goes to the amps.


Driver Packaging Version 14.301.1001-140915a-176154C
Catalyst Version 14.9
2D Driver Version
Direct3D Version
OpenGL Version
Mantle Driver Version
Mantle API Version 94209
AMD Catalyst Control Center Version 2014.0915.1813.30937
AMD Audio Driver Version
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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