gen100mek
1 Nickel

[Precision 3630] Noise in background though audio jack

I have a problem with forcing audio to work properly on Precision 3630. When I connect my headset to front combo jack, I can hear irritating noise in the background. I've clicked-through almost everything and nothing helps. How to get rid of it?

Checklist:

-Headset works properly on other devices

-The headset isn't damaged

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7 Replies
bmcowboy
3 Zinc

Re: [Precision 3630] Noise in background though audio jack

Hi @gen100mek ,

Try to plug in your headset and mute it. If you still hear those background noise, it's a kind of electrical interference. It may be caused by "ground loop", or RF signal in your environment jammed with wireless device connected with your workstation (e.g. USB receiver of wireless mouse).

To solve it,

  1. Try to plug everything connected to your workstation (monitors, speakers, whatever related) into a single power source.
  2. Try to disconnect and reconnect the wireless receiver on your workstation if any. 
“May the Force be with Dell.”
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gen100mek
1 Nickel

Re: [Precision 3630] Noise in background though audio jack

Hi @bmcowboy,

I've checked it and the noise is present event after muting volume and after turning off an audio device in system preferences.

My setup (2 monitors and workstation) is connected to one brand new surge protector which is connected to red DATA outlet. Just a moment ago I've tried to connect everything to another outlet (but in the same floorbox) and nothing has changed.

Could it be some kind of problem in electrical installation in my office?

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bmcowboy
3 Zinc

Re: [Precision 3630] Noise in background though audio jack

Just arrived home and tested on my T5600, same symptom. I tried consult a friend of mine who is a music record producer, and he claimed:

"On-board audio? Forget about it! These kind of interference often lead by poor design of mainboard circuit or any parts within the workstation. You can do nothing about it."

Yes, you may easily found lots of inquiries on this kind of problem but seldom with a proper solution. He recommended to use an USB sound card instead. No need to be an expensive one, those around US$10 is good enough.

See if it helps.

“May the Force be with Dell.”
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gen100mek
1 Nickel

Re: [Precision 3630] Noise in background though audio jack

@bmcowboy your friend didn't helped at all Smiley Wink

I'm not talking about a very quiet buzz. This one I hear is really loud and it distorts audio so I don't think that the only solution is to buy an external USB card.

And one more thing - I don't know if my power outlet and/or outlet computer is grounded properly (already reported it to building administrator) - sometimes there is a spark when I touch it.

Could it be a reason?

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Tesla1856
6 Thallium

Re: [Precision 3630] Noise in background though audio jack


@gen100mek wrote:

 

And one more thing - I don't know if my power outlet and/or outlet computer is grounded properly (already reported it to building administrator) - sometimes there is a spark when I touch it.

Could it be a reason?


I think I would fix that first, before the office burns down.

Yes, of course it must be grounded.

Are you in the USA?


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
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Tesla1856
6 Thallium

Re: [Precision 3630] Noise in background though audio jack


@bmcowboy wrote:

Just arrived home and tested on my T5600, same symptom. I tried consult a friend of mine who is a music record producer, and he claimed:

"On-board audio? Forget about it! These kind of interference often lead by poor design of mainboard circuit or any parts within the workstation. You can do nothing about it."

Yes, you may easily found lots of inquiries on this kind of problem but seldom with a proper solution. He recommended to use an USB sound card instead. No need to be an expensive one, those around US$10 is good enough.

See if it helps.


Those external audio-jacks are "analog audio" and the internal cables can pickup EMF interference. You can try re-routing them or adding ferrite rings. 

USB sound-devices are "digital audio" which is newer/cleaner. Also, they sit outside the machine away from interference. The only "analog" part is on the USB-device's output. So, very little wiring.


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.
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bmcowboy
3 Zinc

Re: [Precision 3630] Noise in background though audio jack

Thank you @Tesla1856 for the explanation. I ready don't quite familiar with audio stuff.

Besides, I read a post from another forum regarding a recently launched Lenovo laptop with headphone jack cracking noise problem. What's interesting is that the tester confirmed such noise do not exist in Linux OS on the same machine. That draw my attention to a thought that would it be the same case in Dell workstation?

Then I tried using spare hard drive to install Linux (Ubuntu) and even Hackintosh on my T5600 and see if I can re-produce the problem. Guess what? Those cracking noise are gone really! Now I'm not sure if it's really a problem led by analog audio hardware interference, or actually can be fixed by driver.

Anyway, if an add-on USB sound card running on digital audio can fix the problem, we may not necessary for further investigation.

“May the Force be with Dell.”
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