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Loud Buzzing from External Speakers

New Inspiron 17 7779 2-in-1 with combined audio port and Waves MaxxAudio

Logitech Z130 powered external speakers.

I have noticed, if I have external speakers connected and playing music, the sound works fine except for the volume fading in and out.

But a situation has developed where if the music stops or I pause it or shutdown the player, the speakers will start producing a loud static type sound about 30% if the time.  It sounds like what might happen if a speaker was being plugged in but not yet completely seated.

Muting the sound does not cause this.

It is very annoying and means I cannot leave the system playing music if I go out of the room.

Since I have been checking the sound fading situation, I have the latest drivers.  When I plug the speakers in the popup appears and I select medium external speakers.  No problems with this part of the operation.

This could be related to just these particular speakers but I have no other wired external speakers to test.  Limited testing with headsets does not appear to exhibit the problem, but of course, they are not powered...

I am thinking, the utility which sets up the combined audio port for different devices is somehow loosing contact with the plugged in device and allowing those connections to be changed.  Resuming the music stops the noise immediately it does not reoccur during play.

If I am correct, this would appear to be a driver of whatever sets up the combined audio port.. 

Any thoughts?

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XPS 2720, Inspiron 17 7779, Inspiron 15 7567, XPS 13 9365, Inspiron 1545, TB16 Dock

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23 Replies
8 Krypton

RE: Loud Buzzing from External Speakers

Could be interference from electronic devices--cordless phone, fluorescent lights, woofer, other devices. Move to a diff location or remove or move the devices. Experiment to find the source of the problem. Recheck the wired connections.

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8 Krypton

RE: Loud Buzzing from External Speakers

I don't think interference would seem to be a possibility.  This noise is full volume, not a little static and it starts one to two seconds after the music stops.  They are wired, not wireless and nothing changes between the times the problem occurs and when the Speakers are completely silent.

I will try plugging the speakers into a separate plug from the computer to test, just in case.

Thanks for the response

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XPS 2720, Inspiron 17 7779, Inspiron 15 7567, XPS 13 9365, Inspiron 1545, TB16 Dock

8 Krypton

RE: Loud Buzzing from External Speakers

this would appear to be a driver of whatever sets up the combined audio port.. 

Hello Saltgrass. That would be the audio driver. You have probably noticed that I always suggest testing the driver by switching to the native driver and compare results. If the issue manifests with both drivers, then probably not a driver fault because it would be a pretty big coincidence for both drivers to have the same bug at the same time.

Limited testing with headsets does not appear to exhibit the problem

I would complete the test and make sure that it doesn't happen with headphones. If it doesn't happen with the headphones or internal speakers, might be a problem with the Logitech speakers. Can you plug them into another device and check?

Another possible culprit is power management. Power management can be aggressive in shutting down audio functions, but I would expect it to be heard as a popping noise, whether in powered speakers or headphones.

Jim Coates -- 15 years on the Dell Laptop Audio boards -- since 2/6/04 

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8 Krypton

RE: Loud Buzzing from External Speakers

 I always suggest testing the driver by switching to the native driver

I might agree except it does not happen every time.  Headphones probably will not have the problem because they don't have their own power so cannot make any sounds. 

I could try the native driver but since I don't seem to be able to make it happen on cue, it may not do any good.  I suppose I could check the volume fading situation at the same time.

I can try the speakers in another device, will let you know.  This is the only system I have with the combined audio port.

The noise sounds exactly like what happens when you plug in or unplug a power speaker.  I have been checking the plug to make sure it is all the way in and so far it has been.

I will post back if I discover anything to change my initial theory.

Thanks..

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XPS 2720, Inspiron 17 7779, Inspiron 15 7567, XPS 13 9365, Inspiron 1545, TB16 Dock

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8 Krypton

RE: Loud Buzzing from External Speakers

 I always suggest testing the driver by switching to the native driver

I might agree except it does not happen every time.

That's okay, you can keep the native driver installed as long as you like, until you determine whether or not the issue occurs when using it.

The noise sounds exactly like what happens when you plug in or unplug a power speaker.

Then not a loud buzzing.

Jim Coates -- 15 years on the Dell Laptop Audio boards -- since 2/6/04 

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8 Krypton

RE: Loud Buzzing from External Speakers

Then not a loud buzzing.

Obviously, you have not plugged in powered speakers with the power on..  A real "what the heck" moment..

Testing speakers on other system did not show problem, but doesn't really eliminate that possibility since the problem is intermittent.

Uninstalled Dell Driver and allowed HD Audio driver to install (hdaudio.inf)

Got a lot of static in left channel...unacceptable...(possibly related to Waves which was still running)

Loaded Realtek driver from Realtek.  Some static in left channel, but realized Waves was still running.  Turned off Waves in the Processes tab of Task Manager and stopped the Waves in services.  Appears static has stopped.  I listen to one operatic singer and can accept absolutely no distortion in her voice.

Since no Waves popup, only way to recognize headphones plugged in is to reboot with them plugged in.  If unplugged, the system will not give popup or switch back to headphones and they don't show as a playback device...   Bluetooth does not have the restriction, although you may need to disable the internal speakers in the playback devices or restart the music app.

Waves was still running after the initial uninstall, so you can disable it in the Task Manager Startup section and reboot or in the process section and chose to End Task.  There is also a Waves service in the services section which you can stop.

I will be continuing testing for the volume fade and noise the rest of the day..

Thanks again..

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XPS 2720, Inspiron 17 7779, Inspiron 15 7567, XPS 13 9365, Inspiron 1545, TB16 Dock

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8 Krypton

RE: Loud Buzzing from External Speakers

Obviously, you have not plugged in powered speakers with the power on..

You assume too much.

Jim Coates -- 15 years on the Dell Laptop Audio boards -- since 2/6/04 

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8 Krypton

RE: Loud Buzzing from External Speakers

Well, I did not see the noise on the XPS 2720 but it did not take long for the Inspiron 17 to show the problem.

First thing I did was check the connection.  Waves MaxxAudio was not running, so it isn't involved.  I am running a Realtek driver I got directly from their site, 6.0.1.8004.

The speakers are plugged into a separate circuit, not just another plug.

I stopped the music and the noise started.  I was going to record it but when I opened the Voice Recorder the noise stopped.  When I closed it the noise started again.  If I opened the Playback dialog to check the microphone, the noise stopped and re-started when it was closed.  

Almost anything will stop the noise, at least temporarily.  Even plugging in my iPhone stops the noise, for a second or two.

I have a recording of the noise on my iPhone, just have to find a way to get it to you.

I would say my conclusion has been confirmed.  So far, getting no distortions or volume fades.

This research is mostly for the use in this forum, if it were to be relevant.  Otherwise, maybe Dell will see some problem which is related to the Combined Audio plug...

Thanks again..

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XPS 2720, Inspiron 17 7779, Inspiron 15 7567, XPS 13 9365, Inspiron 1545, TB16 Dock

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RE: Loud Buzzing from External Speakers

I have an Insperon 17-7779 with the same problem. The buzzing sounds like 60 cycle hum. I am connecting a small amplifier to the computer and driving speakers with the amp. I think it might be associated with the power management. The computer turns things off when not in use. I think the audio amplifier is being turned off and the output goes to a high impedance. This makes the output very vulnerable to interference. I have a test for you to try. Connect your external speakers and get the system in the mode such that you hear the "buzzing". Now unplug the ac power to the computer and run off batteries. Does the "buzzing" stop. My "buzzing" does stop. Now plug the ac in again. Get to where the "buzzing" is again active. Connect a wire from the metal housing of the external speakers to metal ground of the computer. Even with the ac connected the "buzzing" should stop. My "buzzing" does stop. The computer and the external speakers dc power are basically floating on there own dc power supply. The computer disabling the audio output driver allows power supply "hum" "noise" "buzzing" to be coupled into the external amplifiers. Grounding the two devices is a reasonable solution. A filter can also be put in the line between them.

Note: When connecting the ground between devices note that it is hard to find a good ground on the computer. You would think that the housing around the computer would all be grounded. It is not. The metal ground around the usb ports is a good location. Just pull a usb plug out far enough to make contact.

Good luck and please let me know if this helps.

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