Zenith II Extreme Alpha audiojack static?

Kainzo

Gawd
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Nov 12, 2009
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858
Hey guys, a bit stumped and not sure where else to go with this...

I recently built a new rig and I'm getting horrendous audiojack static (slight crackles in the beginning) when I have my Logitech X530 (or any headphones plugged into the back of the PC.)
The static slowly degrades over time until its complete 100% white noise static, if I go into the sound settings and reset the device or change a setting it immediately "fixes" the issue but then slowly starts again.

I've tried a fresh reinstall of Windows 10, twice.
I've retried going the route of uninstalling all audio drivers and reinstalled but it still exists.
I didn't buy new speakers and these were working 100% fine on my old intel motherboard.
I've tried using the front of the case's jack, no issues with the same device or others.
I've tried using different 3.5mm cables.

I believe its a jack problem because when I'm using my USB wireless headphones, it never happens.

Anyone have similar issues with the Zenith II Extreme?
 
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Spartacus

2[H]4U
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Messages
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I would agree that it's a jack connection problem, except you said you are able to clear the problem by using the sounds settings or resetting the device?

Seems to me that a bad connection could not be fixed with software. That would seem to be a problem with the sound logic/circuitry on the mobo.
You may want to contact customer support for the mobo and see what they say.

I have had mobos with of out of spec audio jacks. They are just slightly too large for the 3.5mm plugs and don't make proper contact.
In that case I've taken pliers and just very slightly smashed the plug into more of an oval shape. Then I was able to rotate the plug so it made solid contact
and it fixed the static problem.

I would not try that on an expensive device that plugs into the jack.... get yourself a 3.5mm extension cable and try it on that if you want to see if that helps.

Other than that, I would say a simple solution would be a PCI-E sound card. Some people do that to get better sound than the mobo provides anyway.

.
 

Kainzo

Gawd
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Nov 12, 2009
Messages
858
I would agree that it's a jack connection problem, except you said you are able to clear the problem by using the sounds settings or resetting the device?

Seems to me that a bad connection could not be fixed with software. That would seem to be a problem with the sound logic/circuitry on the mobo.
You may want to contact customer support for the mobo and see what they say.

I have had mobos with of out of spec audio jacks. They are just slightly too large for the 3.5mm plugs and don't make proper contact.
In that case I've taken pliers and just very slightly smashed the plug into more of an oval shape. Then I was able to rotate the plug so it made solid contact
and it fixed the static problem.

I would not try that on an expensive device that plugs into the jack.... get yourself a 3.5mm extension cable and try it on that if you want to see if that helps.

Other than that, I would say a simple solution would be a PCI-E sound card. Some people do that to get better sound than the mobo provides anyway.

.
This motherboard is $850 from amazon... I just didn't want to go through the trouble of RMAing it and not have the issue fixed.
could it be the grounding or power some how causing it? Just trying to see what it could be.
I'm guessing it could be the jacks... but they look fine and it feels like it fits in great.. so strange.
 

Spartacus

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Try ordering a short audio extension cable and see if the rear audio jack likes that better.

.
 

Kainzo

Gawd
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858
Try ordering a short audio extension cable and see if the rear audio jack likes that better.

.
I've tried two different cables, both with the same issue. So im going to unscrew the motherboard and move it out of the case to see if that fixes it.
I've never had to RMA a motherboard for this... I feel like they wont believe me and I dont know how the ASUS advanced RMA process is...
 

lopoetve

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Messages
31,135
I've tried two different cables, both with the same issue. So im going to unscrew the motherboard and move it out of the case to see if that fixes it.
I've never had to RMA a motherboard for this... I feel like they wont believe me and I dont know how the ASUS advanced RMA process is...

Could also be isolation on the board in general; don't remember reading a lot about the jack quality on it, but for TR3 it's a "usb connected" audio chipset for both front and rear, since TRX40 doesn't include audio in any form. I haven't tried on mine yet, but if taking it out doesn't, buy the highest quality audio extension cable you can find and try that - and try a different set of phones in the rear too.
 

Kainzo

Gawd
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Could also be isolation on the board in general; don't remember reading a lot about the jack quality on it, but for TR3 it's a "usb connected" audio chipset for both front and rear, since TRX40 doesn't include audio in any form. I haven't tried on mine yet, but if taking it out doesn't, buy the highest quality audio extension cable you can find and try that - and try a different set of phones in the rear too.
I highly doubt it is the 3 devices I've tried thats the problem and if it is thats really shoddy engineering...
Could it be something I plugged in wrong ON the board? Maybe I'm really daft and plugged in a USB somewhere...
 

lopoetve

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I highly doubt it is the 3 devices I've tried thats the problem and if it is thats really shoddy engineering...
Could it be something I plugged in wrong ON the board? Maybe I'm really daft and plugged in a USB somewhere...

Can’t hurt to try. Unplug the extra usb connections. Also might try turning off the lighting in case that’s causing issues. You’re using the headphone out on the rear?
 

Kainzo

Gawd
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Can’t hurt to try. Unplug the extra usb connections. Also might try turning off the lighting in case that’s causing issues. You’re using the headphone out on the rear?
I have a 7.1 surround sound speaker system and a 3.5mm headphone jack/headset that causes static when plugged into the rear. The headset is wireless and when I transfer it to USB it doesnt happen. When I plug the speaker system into the front, it also doesnt cause static.
Both of these items worked 100% fine on an intelmotherboard

I'll give it some time to see if I can pin point the issue...
 

lopoetve

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Ok. That I can test. Been needing to swap over anyway. Will take a bit as I need to find my cables.
 

Kainzo

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so I got rid of the crackle for a temporary period by disabling all devices and re-enabling... and then it came back in two or three hours.
this is magic.
 

Spartacus

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so I got rid of the crackle for a temporary period by disabling all devices and re-enabling... and then it came back in two or three hours.
this is magic.

That makes no sense why you can get rid of the rear jack noise by messing with drivers, but the case jack always works ok.

If you rotate the plug in the rear jack does that cause noise or no? (Leave it fully inserted, just turn it a little cw & ccw)

Can you get rid of the noise that way?


.
 

ManofGod

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This motherboard is $850 from amazon... I just didn't want to go through the trouble of RMAing it and not have the issue fixed.
could it be the grounding or power some how causing it? Just trying to see what it could be.
I'm guessing it could be the jacks... but they look fine and it feels like it fits in great.. so strange.

Does the same thing happen with speakers plugged in? Does it occur if you plug in your headphones into the front panel audio jack?

Edit: I saw that no matter what you plug into that jack, it always happens. In my opinion, without having the board in my hand, the best I can guess is that the board should be replaced.
 

Kainzo

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That makes no sense why you can get rid of the rear jack noise by messing with drivers, but the case jack always works ok.

If you rotate the plug in the rear jack does that cause noise or no? (Leave it fully inserted, just turn it a little cw & ccw)

Can you get rid of the noise that way?


.
rotating does nothing... could it be board if I can fix it through software? I want to try reinstalling windows again but I dont think this will be resolved.
I will say I was having issues installing the Armory Crate from ASUS... I dont believe it ever allowed me to install the full platform but I dont know how that relates to this.
 

Kainzo

Gawd
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Does the same thing happen with speakers plugged in? Does it occur if you plug in your headphones into the front panel audio jack?

Edit: I saw that no matter what you plug into that jack, it always happens. In my opinion, without having the board in my hand, the best I can guess is that the board should be replaced.
Yeah, I was hoping its not the board... its $850 and the RMA process will be a complete bitch, not to mention reseating everything
 

Spartacus

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This helps explain what's going on:

"A separate audio codec is exclusively utilized for the audio jack on the front I/O panel. The chip used here is ESS's ESS9018Q2C, which is paired with an AMP to help drive deep bass notes to headphones."

https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/asus-rog-zenith-ii-extreme

The front and rear audio jacks have different circuitry.

I have to agree with the post above that says it's RMA time. :meh:

The other option would be to disable the onboard sound in Device Manager and add a sound card.

ETA: Can you swap the mobo with the retailer or is it too late for that?

.
 

Kainzo

Gawd
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Messages
858
This helps explain what's going on:

"A separate audio codec is exclusively utilized for the audio jack on the front I/O panel. The chip used here is ESS's ESS9018Q2C, which is paired with an AMP to help drive deep bass notes to headphones."

https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/asus-rog-zenith-ii-extreme

The front and rear audio jacks have different circuitry.

I have to agree with the post above that says it's RMA time. :meh:

The other option would be to disable the onboard sound in Device Manager and add a sound card.

ETA: Can you swap the mobo with the retailer or is it too late for that?

.
Its too late unless I open the box and do a switch-a-roo from a physical retailer :/
 

Kainzo

Gawd
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So I used a headset plugged into the front of the case... and after about a week of use, I got static out of it just now today. so BOTH jacks are getting it.

Thoughts? :3
 

lopoetve

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Ok, I finally got around to plugging in mine. I get some static on test sounds, but music/etc plays fine (the test tones from windows have static). It's like the initial connection is weird. Does that match yours, or do you ahve static all the time?
 

Kainzo

Gawd
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Ok, I finally got around to plugging in mine. I get some static on test sounds, but music/etc plays fine (the test tones from windows have static). It's like the initial connection is weird. Does that match yours, or do you ahve static all the time?
So at this point, I would say "sometimes" there is no crackle/static and then after hours of use it starts. I was able to reset the device (in sounds) and then it would go away immediately but after a week of doing that, it stopped working and a reboot fixed it.

It starts out as dissortion / static to FULL BLOWN, EAR PIERCING MEGA LOUDWHITE NOISE.
I thought I would lose my hearing at one point because I had volume at 100%
 

lopoetve

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Definitely not happening on mine - and I'm using 20 year old Cambridge soundworks speakers from the early 90s.
 

Technocrat

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Mar 29, 2021
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I'm lost, ugh. I think RMAing it or reinstalling again may fix it.
Kainzo Did you ever get this case solved?

I'm experiencing just the same issue, same motherboard (Asus Zenith ii Extreme, Ryzen 3970x) , except i can get the problem not only on the 'front' jack but also on the audio jack at the back of the PC.

Essentially it goes like this
- Sound playing all fine and normal (either back or front),
- Suddenly i can hear a small distortion to the sound, little 'ticks' and a funny edge to the sound - this state may continue for a while, perhaps an hour
- Then, all of a sudden, it switches over to very loud full-on white noise (well, perhaps pink noise or whatever color). This noise then plays on and on.

If i then do something to the sound settings, such as disabling and re-enabling the device, the sound is back to normal.

In that brief period when it switches to white noise, there can be s short moment, say 5-10 seconds, where the audio sounds like it is a 4-bit sampling or similar.

My uneducated guess is that this is a driver/motherboard issue/bug - nothing is broken, no electrical problem, but rather a software / signal transport problem at some very hardware-low level.

Any ideas anyone?

A few more clues to the case:
* The windows 10 taskbar volume slider exhibits a slightly "laggy" behaviour as if having "communications problems with the sound chip".
* Switching Win10 default output between speakers/headphones while playing music does not mitigate the faint distorted, "crackling", ticks sound,
* However, when full-on static noise mode has kicked in, switching the output to headphones does resolve the noise issue (and also the crackling/ticks!),
* Switching output has a slight delay, around a second
* Some days none of these problems are present at all. (reboot / hibernate between)


* UPDATE *

It appears a way to trigger the issue is to switch Windows power plans from standard to power saver and back. I think this is a major lead
 
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