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Thread: External soundcard or wireless headset?

  1. #1
    DILLIGAF GoNz0's Avatar
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    External soundcard or wireless headset?

    My problem is this.

    I have been running a Asus Phoebus soundcard without issue for the past couple of years, it has a great headphone amp built in and the features are not that bad.

    I have upgraded the PC and it turns out the shielding on this is rubbish, the new Asus GTX980 interferes over the PCIe bus, It is the microphone thats the problem, anyone in teamspeak can hear a helicopter noise when the GPU is loaded. Asus do not know what to do, or do not care as the case seems to be when searching the internet.

    The onboard sound works but the features are poor, if you set 5.1 on the speakers and put the headset in then remove it the speakers are 2.0, no way round this, rubbish for Asus's premium rampage 5 extreme. oh and the headphone amp thats rated at 600ohms cannot push enough power to 150ohm cans.

    So I bought Creatives top line ZXR soundcard, installed the latest drivers, find out it also has poor shielding in place but the noise reduction kicks in and stops the interference so I thought I was onto a winner.

    IT POPS... This is like a 10 year old creative issue and it is still there...

    I have found one fix, turn exclusive mode off, well that did nothing. All features are disabled and it still did it so it can go back in the box as I am not paying £170 for that.

    I would like to know what options are out there to get decent sound and clear microphone via a headset.

    So far all I can see to do the job is Creatives X7 or Creatives Evo ZXR wireless headset.?

    Anyone got any input on this ?
    Last edited by peterb; 28-02-2015 at 09:37 AM. Reason: Moderate language.

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  2. #2
    Senior Member watercooled's Avatar
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    Re: External soundcard or wireless headset?

    Maybe obvious, but are you using front panel connectors or connecting directly to the card? Shielding problems with front panel are extremely common in my experience, even with expensive cases - FP is pretty much unusable for chat while gaming as sound from the headphones leaks onto mic.
    Last edited by watercooled; 28-02-2015 at 02:30 AM.

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    Re: External soundcard or wireless headset?

    it is obvious to me due to the extensive testing but I didn't put it in the original post, the ZXR has no front panel, nor does the Phoebus I had originally and the onboard does use FP as that was the only option for the headphone amp. As the 1st post says it is caused by the 980 feeding it over the PCIe bus so the only temporary options to use the onboard for the mic and shove the phoebus back in for the headphone amp. Ironically the only way to stop the feedbacks to use the front panel connector... Phoebus and ZXR have no FP but that would not fix it as you can unplug the mic and it still picks it up on the Creative and Asus cards.

    I have always read that you shouldn't have 2 active sound cards as it causes problems.

    Oh and the noise reduction on the onboards crap so I would rather not use that as a solution.

    Those Evo ZXR's are looking mighty tempting due to the price of the X7.

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    The late but legendary peterb - Onward and Upward peterb's Avatar
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    Re: External soundcard or wireless headset?

    Interference problems are notoriously difficult to find and fix.

    It may be radiated noise from the PCI a bus being picked up by the analogue circuitry on the boards, in that case you might be able to add some additional screening to the board, but it would be tricky to do with no gurantee of success. It it is interference being generated by the card's digital circuitry being picked up internally, then it I is an inherent fault. However, the fact that the Phoebus board is affected points to poor design of the mobo.

    If this is a widely reported problem, then short of using an external solution, the only real fix is to change the mobo for a different make/ model. Whether you can get a refund will depend on the age of the board and possibly the goodwill of the retailer.
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    Re: External soundcard or wireless headset?

    The problems been listed for the past 3 years so I doubt a change in the X99 motherboards going to be a fix, it seems certain video cards cause this and for a wild guess it will be SLI enabled boards or maybe all boards as it is following the ground path.

    I have fitted a choke to the soundcards power cable on the phoebus and had no result. People on the internet have exhausted potential fixes so I am not looking to work round this but take the soundcard away from the motherboard and run it via the USB instead as I expect this to fix it.

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    Treasure Hunter extraordinaire herulach's Avatar
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    Re: External soundcard or wireless headset?

    External dac sounds like what you're after. Or maybe mic input on the motherboard and headphones on the sound card?

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    Re: External soundcard or wireless headset?

    My first thought is just get an external mic that plugs in via USB and keep your audio out setup the same. Could be a headband one or a desktop one.

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    DILLIGAF GoNz0's Avatar
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    Re: External soundcard or wireless headset?

    well I stuck the Phoebus back in and tried the onboard mic, while it did work the noise reduction software refuses to work at all so it is picking up the UPS fan, PC Pumps and every keyboard click.
    I assume this is because it only uses the NR software via the front panel, that options out the window.
    I am returning the creative ZXR and have the Creative Evo ZXR Headset on its way.

    I will see if this will play nice with the Phoebus as it will be a bluetooth headset or USB one depending on the connection.

    I will report back tomorrow!

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  9. #9
    DILLIGAF GoNz0's Avatar
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    Re: External soundcard or wireless headset?

    Well the mic issue is fixed, I did like where these were coming from (Soundblaster evo zxr) but I have a few complaints for a £200 layout.

    1, They do not cover my ears, maybe a 14 year old girls tiny tabs but not a 40 year olds so I know they will not be comfy after an hours gaming.
    2, Wireless they sound crap via bluetooth. as good as the onboard headphone amp so what is the point scrapping a set of modded Sennheiser PC350's
    3, If you want good sound you have to connect to the PC via USB, now this is a micro USB connected to a chunky cable that isn't as flexible as most headsets so I can see the USB socket being broken after a few months. (And it is on the right, mines on the left with the PC...)
    4, Lots of reports of broken hinges.

    I think this is another option that is going back to Amazon.

    Capitalization is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack
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