Trouble with Logitech USB 350 headset under OSX 10.5.7
June 10, 2009 9:27 AM   Subscribe

I've just upgraded a G5 tower from 10.2.x to 10.5.7. The upgrade went off without a hitch... but... i do have a problem using my Logitech USB 350 headset with the system now. When making a call with Skype, for example, the headset will typically work for a while (several minutes) before suddenly throwing out massive amounts of horrible noise via the mike channel. When this happens, I can hear the other side of the conversation just fine, they however can't hear anything except an aneurysm-inducing noise. If I hang-up and restart the connection, the game repeats. Sometime the noise sets in sooner, sometimes later - however, it always sets in. Facts: 1.) This headset worked without a hitch before the upgrade (from 10.2.x). 2.) Audio settings on a system level and within Skype are correct. Does anyone have any clue as to what is going on and what might remedy the situation?
posted by oxidizer to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
Have you tried unplugging other devices on the same USB controller? I sometimes run into similar issues with my USB phone when I have too many things drawing power on the same hub.
posted by IanMorr at 10:13 AM on June 10, 2009

(Whoa, 10.2, blast from the past!)

What sort of upgrade did you do? Did you preserve all your settings and such, or did you do a clean reinstall from scratch? My first guess would be that you've still got a vintage driver for the headset left over, something that is incompatible with Leopard (which shouldn't need any driver for that headset).

This thread on Logitech's site has advice to try a different USB port, preferably one on a separate bus. (For example, if your G5 has ports on the front and the back, try switching to the other set)

Oh the other hand, on this thread on the Apple discussion boards (which unfortunately doesn't seem to be resolved), someone states (although there's no verification) that Apple changed some drivers in 10.5 and that manufacturers haven't necessarily done their end of the work to make their hardware work correctly. You may just need to try a different headset.

Sorry none of this is definitive but I hope it's helpful.
posted by bcwinters at 10:15 AM on June 10, 2009

Response by poster: @IanMorr

The headset was plugged into one of the keyboard USB ports. I did try plugging it into the frontside port, but that caused it to work even less reliably. I'll try the other ports as well, as soon as i get the chance, maybe there's one of them that won't act up.

I performed an upgrade and not a clean install. That idea with the stale driver sounds like a possible explanation. I'll do some research in that direction.

Thanks for googling those posts, I'd run across them while researching a solution earlier. One thing I don't quite get is the statement (made by you and others) that Leopard doesn't need a driver for the Logitech headset. Does that mean that Logitech drivers are bundled with Leopard? Or are USB headsets supposed to adhere to some standard so that they can be run with a single catch-all driver?

Thanks for the help guys.
posted by oxidizer at 11:58 AM on June 10, 2009

Or are USB headsets supposed to adhere to some standard so that they can be run with a single catch-all driver?

Yes, they are supposed to adhere to a standard. And there's just one generic driver that supports all USB sound devices.

So, if your headset is old and non-compliant (and it sounds like it is), there may be no better recourse than to get a newer headset.
posted by Netzapper at 3:26 PM on June 10, 2009

Best answer: It turns out that Apple's 10.5.7 update is, essentially, crap - with numerous bugs and oddities reported by users. In particular, Apple managed to mess up the USB audio driver, which to led to the problem described in my initial post.

The solution is to revert the driver back to the version that was bundled with OS 10.5.6. This CERN page describes the problem and how the downgrade is to be performed (ignore "solution A"). At the very bottom of the page there's a link to the needed kernel extension.

What kills me is that Apple has not fixed this problem a full month after the release of 10.5.7 - consequently, my respect for the firm has taken a serious hit.
posted by oxidizer at 5:13 PM on June 12, 2009

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