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Question Slight buzzing static in front panel headphone jack ( [H]ard|Forum Computer Audio )
Updated: 2010-07-23 19:56:11 (12)
Slight buzzing static in front panel headphone jack

Just wondering if anyone could point me in the right direction here. I'm trying to figure out where I can start troubleshooting a slight buzzing/static noise that I'm hearing from headphones when plugged into the front panel jack on my case.

A bit of background on the hardware:
Antec P183 case
Gigabyte GA-MA790X-UD4P motherboard
AMD PhenomII X3 720 CPU
Asus Xonar Essence STX sound card

Just for comparison - the speakers don't exhibit the same buzzing sound using the speaker out on the actual card itself - only from the front panel output. My instinct is the front panel cable or maybe grounding? While it isn't a super big deal it's annoying when I hear the buzz when the scene is supposed to be quiet.

Any suggestions? I'm not exactly sure if the cable itself can be replaced as it's wired to the front panel of case...

Answers: Slight buzzing static in front panel headphone jack ( [H]ard|Forum Computer Audio )
Slight buzzing static in front panel headphone jack

I just started using the front audio jacks on my Antec 900 and noticed this same thing. Poking around with it today I noticed that as well as the individual ground wires in the audio, USB and firewire jacks there is a case ground as well.

Disconnecting the front panel case ground (single black wire with a crimped eyelet screwed into the top of the case) minimized the noise to the point where I can no longer hear it. I just unscrewed it from the case, wrapped the eyelet and exposed metal on the wire in electrical tape to protect from shorts and tucked it out of the way.

As far as I can tell there should be no need to remove anything else. The front panel connectors are all sealed in a molded plastic housing that would be a pain in the ass to crack open to play around in and this appears to have completely fixed the issue for me. YMMV.

Goofball

Slight buzzing static in front panel headphone jack

Quote:
Originally Posted by h4rb1ng3r
hey folks. i have seen this issue with Antec cases that use the moulded front panel connectors.

From my testing its a grounding issue with the other front panel devices. To confirm this, try disconnecting the other USB/FW on the front panel from the motherboard so only the audio component is connected to the motherboard.

If your results are anything like mine the buzzing should stop. Reconnect any USB/FW header to the board and its back again.

Id be interested to see if anyone else can duplicate my findings.
I'll give it a try tonight when I can shut down my PC and give it a shot and let you know what i find out.

syee

Slight buzzing static in front panel headphone jack

I have an Antec 900 and have never really used the front audio jack before. I recently picked up some 595 headphones and can pick up the same slight static noise through it. I am just using onboard sound, but when I plug it into the back I have no problems. Just the wiring I guess to the front. I plug my headphones into my speakers now which use the rear jack, no distortion now.

RedLegos

Slight buzzing static in front panel headphone jack

I apologize for the thread necromancy, but I'm having this issue now and looking for a solution. I have the same case: Antec P183. When I use the front audio jacks, both the headphones and microphones have some line noise. I'm not sure if it is just crosstalk or a ground-loop, but either way, it's pretty awful. I've considered contacting Antec support but I'm not sure what they could possibly do.

I have also considered shielding the entire front-panel audio connector and cable using aluminum foil-tape, but I would need to then ground the shielding, probably to the case, and I don't have an easy way to doing that in mind.

Has anyone come up with a solution to this problem? Is it just a USB grounding issue that could be solved with a better soldering job?

Gigas-VII

Slight buzzing static in front panel headphone jack

I had the same problem with my Antec Three Hundred case. I ended up changing the wiring and made it long enough so so it wasn't draped over my graphics card. Still not completely quiet but better than it was.

Audiochris

Slight buzzing static in front panel headphone jack

hey folks. i have seen this issue with Antec cases that use the moulded front panel connectors.

From my testing its a grounding issue with the other front panel devices. To confirm this, try disconnecting the other USB/FW on the front panel from the motherboard so only the audio component is connected to the motherboard.

If your results are anything like mine the buzzing should stop. Reconnect any USB/FW header to the board and its back again.

Id be interested to see if anyone else can duplicate my findings.

h4rb1ng3r

Slight buzzing static in front panel headphone jack

Quote:
Originally Posted by syee
I guess what I meant to say is that I don't know of a plug and play solution for the front panel I/O. I could get a TRS extension cable from the back, but I'd have to check to see if the rear output is amplified or not. I was looking for the amplified output to drive my headphones.
the rear TRS output on the STX/ST is connected to the headphone amplifier circuitry, yes

obobski

Slight buzzing static in front panel headphone jack

Quote:
Originally Posted by obobski
why can't you replace it? just buy something thats respectably shielded and wire it in (or do the lazy thing and get a TRS extension cable and run it from the back)
I guess what I meant to say is that I don't know of a plug and play solution for the front panel I/O. I could get a TRS extension cable from the back, but I'd have to check to see if the rear output is amplified or not. I was looking for the amplified output to drive my headphones.

syee

Slight buzzing static in front panel headphone jack

Quote:
Originally Posted by syee
That's what I'm suspecting. I'll have to check where it's routed through. I don't think it's under the MB, but it's been a while since I've cracked the case open to see where the FP I/O cables go. I know it's not near the power supply since that's at the back of the case but in any case I'll make sure it's not running near any power. I kind of wanted to use the front panel since that's where I'll be plugging in my headphones. The cable is a bit too short to use the one at the back.

I haven't seen any "higher quality" front panel I/O replacements so I guess replacing the cable is out of the question as well...

Thanks for the suggestions guys!
why can't you replace it? just buy something thats respectably shielded and wire it in (or do the lazy thing and get a TRS extension cable and run it from the back)

obobski

Slight buzzing static in front panel headphone jack

Quote:
Originally Posted by fss69
Isn't the headphone output on the backslot for the STX? I have the Essence ST - PCI version, but I don't recall if there was a front panel connection. (Sorry, I never use the FP and I can't check, I'm on my laptop.) If you're still connected to onboard - there's your problem right there. Also there might be some EMI problems if your sound card is too close to another PCI/e card. Space them out if you can.
There is a headphone jack at the back, but there's also a connection internally on the card for the front panel. I believe the front panel jack is the one that is amplified. It's definitely not connected to the on board sound as I can toggle the sound on the Xonar app between the speakers/rear headphone/front panel with the app and it routes it to the right place. The sound card is right next to the video card. Unfortunately it's the only mounting option on my board so moving the sound card is not a possibility.

Quote:
Originally Posted by obobski
very likely the FP cable, especially if you've routed it under or around something like the mainboard or power supply (the shielding on some internal wiring jobs is a joke)

as far as the EMI gremlins, wouldn't pay them much mind, if you've got no interference from the rear outputs, card itself is fine, issue is somewhere between it and your transducers
That's what I'm suspecting. I'll have to check where it's routed through. I don't think it's under the MB, but it's been a while since I've cracked the case open to see where the FP I/O cables go. I know it's not near the power supply since that's at the back of the case but in any case I'll make sure it's not running near any power. I kind of wanted to use the front panel since that's where I'll be plugging in my headphones. The cable is a bit too short to use the one at the back.

I haven't seen any "higher quality" front panel I/O replacements so I guess replacing the cable is out of the question as well...

Thanks for the suggestions guys!

syee

Slight buzzing static in front panel headphone jack

Isn't the headphone output on the backslot for the STX? I have the Essence ST - PCI version, but I don't recall if there was a front panel connection. (Sorry, I never use the FP and I can't check, I'm on my laptop.) If you're still connected to onboard - there's your problem right there. Also there might be some EMI problems if your sound card is too close to another PCI/e card. Space them out if you can.

fss69

Slight buzzing static in front panel headphone jack

very likely the FP cable, especially if you've routed it under or around something like the mainboard or power supply (the shielding on some internal wiring jobs is a joke)

as far as the EMI gremlins, wouldn't pay them much mind, if you've got no interference from the rear outputs, card itself is fine, issue is somewhere between it and your transducers

obobski

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