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Hard Drive noise over Headphones

s3rial ones3rial one Registered User
This problem has me ready to take an axe to my computer.

My roommate recently got a new HDTV. Since he practically lives in front of the damned thing, now, which is in the living room, right outside my room, I decided to get a pair of headphones for my computer. I figured that would be a step up from my monitor's built-in speakers, plus drown out the TV. I wound up buying the Razer HP-1s.

The problem is that ever since I bought these things, I've begun to notice all sorts of noise from inside my case; particularly the hard drive and the CPU. No amount of volume tweaking fixes the problem. Even with the system volume on mute and the speaker volume turned all the way off, I can still hear it. The only way to stop it is to stop whatever the PC is doing that's using the hard drive.

I've used almost a dozen different revisions of Realtek's drivers (I was using onboard sound), and when that didn't work, I gave up on onboard audio and bought a dedicated sound card: an Asus Xonar DS. While this cut down on the CPU noise, I can still hear the hard drive noise. I'm a little irritated that I just pissed away $50 on a sound card that doesn't solve my problem.

I have no idea what to do at this point.

s3rial one on


  • stigweardstigweard Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    High spl headphones will pick up just about any electrical noise. You've already invested in a soundcard, but I would give a ground loop isolator a try instead. They are designed to eliminate electrical noise. Your other option would be an attenuator, but I don't know how well that would work.

    stigweard on
  • s3rial ones3rial one Registered User
    edited December 2009
    Solved it. Someone over at Ars had the great idea that it was electrical noise, and not mechanical. Turns out it wasn't the analog plugs picking up ambient noise, which is what I thought. My headphones have an amp that draws power from USB. Turns out, the hard drive hitting the power supply was causing electrical interference on the USB bus, which the amp was picking up.

    All I had to do was plug the amp into a powered USB hub. They headphones work flawlessly now.

    s3rial one on
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