Weird noise in my speakers any ideas why?

Abdulrahman

Member
Hi,

I hope all of you are doing well in these troubled times.

I own a pair of JBL305. They have been with me since 2014. Whenever I plug them into the PC via XLR cable, I always hear distortion in the speakers.

To minimize the distortion sound, I had to decrease the volume knob. The volume range on my speakers is from 1 to 10 and I had to put them on 4.5 just to balance between the volume between the PC and speaker.

My PC must be at %50 volume level minimum just to hear things more comfortably.

I need a solution to this problem as what could be causing the speakers to do this sound. The sound is very much like when there is no radio signal.

I've tried using my HDMI audio splitter which splits the audio from the video. Still, the same thing. I feel like it's something to do with how my PC projects the sound.

Could it be the sound card? Should I buy a dedicated soundcard instead of using the one built-in the motherboard?

Perhaps the issue is with the cable itself?

The speakers don't give this sound when the PC is turned OFF. I don't think it's hardware-related.

Also, I tried to switch the cable between the right and left channels. Sadly, the issue is still there.

My motherboard is rather new ASUS ROG MAXIMAS X HERO, so it would be impossible that it can't handle it, right?

Another thing... call me crazy, but when I tried to plug the power cable of one of the speakers to a different power source, the noise suddenly increased! I immediately returned it back to the usual power source. On top of that, I started swinging the cable back and forth noticing how much it's affecting the noise sound. I could say that my swinging does affect it. I'm not sure if the issue is cable-related or perhaps how the cable is touching other cables on the floor and interacting with them.

I'm really confused and have no explanation what on earth is going!
 

Attachments

Michael Antrum

Only the good die young....
I’m confused about what you are plugging into what. XLR cables are typically balanced cables. If you are using your PC‘s built in sound card, then that is typically an unbalanced 3.5mm output. Not quite sure where the HDMI comes in.

An unbalanced connection is typically far more prone to noise and interference, which seemed to be what you are getting.

Personally, I would always use a dedicated sound card, and connect the balanced XLR outputs on my audio interface to my monitors using balanced XLR cables.
 

sostenuto

Big NKS Fan !
Unlikely .... but experienced similar long ago with Yamaha powered monitors. Problem was radiated from a source quite close to speakers. Has anything been moved or place close-by ?? Good luck !
 

rrichard63

Perpetual Novice
Does plugging your speakers into a different power source make the existing noise louder, or does it change the nature of the noise? One very common problem is a humming sound at multiples of 60Hz, which would mean you have a ground loop because different audio components are connected by an audio signal path but are grounded differently through their respective power cables.
 
OP
Abdulrahman

Abdulrahman

Member
I’m confused about what you are plugging into what. XLR cables are typically balanced cables. If you are using your PC‘s built in sound card, then that is typically an unbalanced 3.5mm output. Not quite sure where the HDMI comes in.

An unbalanced connection is typically far more prone to noise and interference, which seemed to be what you are getting.

Personally, I would always use a dedicated sound card, and connect the balanced XLR outputs on my audio interface to my monitors using balanced XLR cables.
Just to clear up any misunderstandings, I took pictures. Kindly, check the attachments. Photo 4-8-20, 1 36 59 AM.jpg Photo 4-8-20, 1 37 15 AM.jpg Photo 4-8-20, 1 37 32 AM.jpg
 
OP
Abdulrahman

Abdulrahman

Member
Does plugging your speakers into a different power source make the existing noise louder, or does it change the nature of the noise? One very common problem is a humming sound at multiples of 60Hz, which would mean you have a ground loop because different audio components are connected by an audio signal path but are grounded differently through their respective power cables.
Same noise, but louder.
 

rrichard63

Perpetual Novice
The "Line Out" jack on your computer is unbalanced and the cable shown is an unbalanced cable. This can sometimes work, even though it's 6 dB quieter than a balanced circuit. Other times, there's a noise problem.

I suggest an external audio interface connect to a USB port on your computer. And, as mentioned above, balanced cables from the interface to your speakers. Probably the most popular example is the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. But there are lots of good ones.
 

Fab

protect your ears!
You probably don't want to use your computer audio out unless it's a fancy rme or lynx sound card. Computers can be noisy with lots of places for interference's to...interfere!

I think the cheap audio interface idea; like the Scarlett suggested (new is better so you can be sure it's working fine) would be a good idea to see if the sound you are talking about goes away.
 

Stringtree

Active Member
Try whacking that “input sensitivity” switch to the other position. At least there is a chance your noise will go down.

+4 dB is for interconnection of professional equipment. The output of a soundcard is not that.

You attached the speakers’ power to another electric source and there was more noise. They no longer shared the same ground. So plug both the computer and speakers into the same outlet or power strip. C’est fixe!

Next, the three hole thing is an xlr. What you are using is a cable that goes from the teeny 1/8” mini stereo and breaks it out to left and right unbalanced 1/4”. You’re not using the xlr at all, which would truly sound awesome.

Here’s the thing. Those 1/4” inputs (the holes you’re plugged into on the speakers) can accept unbalanced or balanced connections. Balanced means quiet and awesome.

Seize the day and get a decent audio interface. The 2i2 is a good suggestion. It features balanced outputs, so you can use 1/4” balanced cables.

Pull one of those cables out of your speaker. Look at it. Two metal parts on the business end. This is unbalanced. A balanced cable will have three metal parts separated by two pieces of plastic. Balanced.

Just like the XLR. Three active bits. Three holes in a triangle.

The soundcard cannot give you the benefits of a balanced connection.

Greg
 
OP
Abdulrahman

Abdulrahman

Member
The "Line Out" jack on your computer is unbalanced and the cable shown is an unbalanced cable. This can sometimes work, even though it's 6 dB quieter than a balanced circuit. Other times, there's a noise problem.

I suggest an external audio interface connect to a USB port on your computer. And, as mentioned above, balanced cables from the interface to your speakers. Probably the most popular example is the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. But there are lots of good ones.
Thanks for the explanation!

So, if I decided to get the Scarlett, why would I choose 2i2 over solo? Does 2i2 mean stereo?
Also, will this connection enhance the sound quality as I do all my orchestration and mixing on my PC?
 
OP
Abdulrahman

Abdulrahman

Member
You probably don't want to use your computer audio out unless it's a fancy rme or lynx sound card. Computers can be noisy with lots of places for interference's to...interfere!

I think the cheap audio interface idea; like the Scarlett suggested (new is better so you can be sure it's working fine) would be a good idea to see if the sound you are talking about goes away.
Does Native Instruments have an audio interface of their own? If they do, how do you compare it to the one suggested here?
 
OP
Abdulrahman

Abdulrahman

Member
Try whacking that “input sensitivity” switch to the other position. At least there is a chance your noise will go down.

+4 dB is for interconnection of professional equipment. The output of a soundcard is not that.

You attached the speakers’ power to another electric source and there was more noise. They no longer shared the same ground. So plug both the computer and speakers into the same outlet or power strip. C’est fixe!

Next, the three hole thing is an xlr. What you are using is a cable that goes from the teeny 1/8” mini stereo and breaks it out to left and right unbalanced 1/4”. You’re not using the xlr at all, which would truly sound awesome.

Here’s the thing. Those 1/4” inputs (the holes you’re plugged into on the speakers) can accept unbalanced or balanced connections. Balanced means quiet and awesome.

Seize the day and get a decent audio interface. The 2i2 is a good suggestion. It features balanced outputs, so you can use 1/4” balanced cables.

Pull one of those cables out of your speaker. Look at it. Two metal parts on the business end. This is unbalanced. A balanced cable will have three metal parts separated by two pieces of plastic. Balanced.

Just like the XLR. Three active bits. Three holes in a triangle.

The soundcard cannot give you the benefits of a balanced connection.

Greg
I appreciate the information!

All of you are pointing at the same solution which is buying an audio interface. I had a feeling that this would be the case, but I'm not that expert when it comes to audio interfaces.
 

rrichard63

Perpetual Novice
... if I decided to get the Scarlett, why would I choose 2i2 over solo? Does 2i2 mean stereo?
Also, will this connection enhance the sound quality as I do all my orchestration and mixing on my PC?
Both the Solo and 2i2 have a stereo output. The difference is in the inputs (which can accept signals from microphones, electric guitars/basses and line-level sources). The Solo has one (mono) and the 2i2 has two (stereo). Focusrite and most other audio interfaces will give you better sound than the audio circuitry on any computer motherboard. As you have the discovered, and as already pointed out by @Fab, the main difference is noise level.
Does Native Instruments have an audio interface of their own? If they do, how do you compare it to the one suggested here?
I can't comment on the current Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6, but I have an older version that I stopped using because I concluded that the driver software was sometimes unstable. I've had two Focusrite interfaces (one USB, one Firewire) that I believe are reliable.
 

Michael Antrum

Only the good die young....
At the entry level price point we are talking about, nearly all the audio interfaces from reputable companies at this level are much of a muchness as they say - until it comes to drivers and latency, where some stand above the others - but so does the pricing.

Focusrite are cool and Audient are also highly regarded, as are Steinberg, Roland, in the entry level area. If you are feeling a bit flush you could look at RME (renown for their rock solid drivers and low latency), and of course the legend that is UAD. (My 2nd interface is an Apollo twin, and the Unison technology I simply adore - to say nothing of some of their plug-ins)

Also some of them have unique features. I use a Nord Stage 2EX which doubles as my main composing keyboard too. So sometimes I want to play it straight through my monitors, and sometimes I want to use it a s a master keyboard. I have all this setup through an SPL Crimson Audio interface, which allows you to use it as a monitor mixer without having to boot up the computer every time. Killer feature for me - monitor controller, midi interface and a warm sounding audio interface in one box.

One thing, which sounds pretty silly on the face of it, but is a royal pain in the backside. If this is for a desktop use, get a reasonably sized/heavy interface, as there is nothing more annoying that your interface going sliding all over the desk every time you want to adjust a cable or plug something in. (or buy Velcro).

If you work on headphones a lot, some bus powered interfaces don't drive headphones too well as they simply haven't got the current. I had an Audient ID14 interface that could run either with bus power, or you could also use a (supplied) mains transformer with it. When the mains transformer was used the headphone output was far superior.

So whilst we are all locked down, you can have a bit of fun looking. But asking which is the best audio interface - well it's like asking everyone one here if you could only buy one string library......

(BTW some re-seller will bundle interfaces with cables and sometimes an entry level mic and shield - and these can be better value than just buying the interface on its own.)
 

rrichard63

Perpetual Novice
If you work on headphones a lot, some bus powered interfaces don't drive headphones too well as they simply haven't got the current.
This is an important issue for those who use headphones often. That said, some headphones need more power than others. If you only use them occasionally, then less demanding headphones might be just fine.

My Scarlett 2i2 works well with the AKG 240 Studio phones I use with my laptop, but might not with the better quality AKG 701 I use with my studio computer.
 

Michael Antrum

Only the good die young....
Actually, you might want to check out the newly released audio interfaces from industry giants Solid State Logic (SSL).

I've seen the entry model for £ 173 and the higher model isn't much more. Looks like a nice bit of kit and it comes form a manufacturer whose product has a fair few zeros on the the price tag. Looks like a nice made piece of kit and is getting good reviews..
 

dzilizzi

I just hang around pretending I know something
I have a solo and a 6i6. Both work well. There may be more latency with a Scarlett than an RME, but for the price you can't beat it. The solo is perfect for my travel kit. I used the 6i6 for my studio setup because more ins and outs. Though really? I think I have only used the 2 mic inputs at one time at the most. Think about your max mic/line inputs you will use and go from there.
 
OP
Abdulrahman

Abdulrahman

Member
This is an important issue for those who use headphones often. That said, some headphones need more power than others. If you only use them occasionally, then less demanding headphones might be just fine.

My Scarlett 2i2 works well with the AKG 240 Studio phones I use with my laptop, but might not with the better quality AKG 701 I use with my studio computer.
I hate using headphones. It makes me feel uncomfortable. I'm only going to use my speakers.

Btw, will I be experiencing a lot of latency when using the Scarlett?

Also, I'm thinking about upgrading my studio monitors to Focal Alpha 80.
 
OP
Abdulrahman

Abdulrahman

Member
I have a solo and a 6i6. Both work well. There may be more latency with a Scarlett than an RME, but for the price you can't beat it. The solo is perfect for my travel kit. I used the 6i6 for my studio setup because more ins and outs. Though really? I think I have only used the 2 mic inputs at one time at the most. Think about your max mic/line inputs you will use and go from there.
I already have a dedicated HDMI audio splitter which I use with my 4K Player and PS4 Pro. I'm only going to use the Scarlett for my PC. Possibly, I will use it to connect my keyboard as well.
 
OP
Abdulrahman

Abdulrahman

Member
Actually, you might want to check out the newly released audio interfaces from industry giants Solid State Logic (SSL).

I've seen the entry model for £ 173 and the higher model isn't much more. Looks like a nice bit of kit and it comes form a manufacturer whose product has a fair few zeros on the the price tag. Looks like a nice made piece of kit and is getting good reviews..
How does the SSL stand up against the Scarlett?