Ambient Hiss on Headphones
January 14, 2004 5:39 PM   Subscribe

Lately, I've been getting a lot of ambient hiss in the headphones I use with my PC.

Within a couple of weeks of each other, a couple of months ago, both my keyboard and mouse ports died (I had to switch to USB for both), which makes me thing my motherboard may be on its way out. Could the two phenomena be related? Is my sound card dying?
posted by jpoulos to Technology (5 answers total)
One other thing. When I use certain DVD playing software, the films sometimes have trouble "keeping up", and they appear to play at a slightly slower rate (both the audio and the video). With other software, they run OK, but with occasional "clicks" in the audio. Somethings going on. Am I right in fearing my MoBo?
posted by jpoulos at 5:43 PM on January 14, 2004

I trot this one out whenever anyone reports "mysterious hardware problems" on Ask, but -- it's quite possible your power supply is going, and as it fails it's damaging the hardware attached to it. Power supplies fail more often than just about any other PC component I can think of.

So your motherboard may be croaking, but it's pretty likely a murder, not suicide.
posted by majick at 6:02 PM on January 14, 2004

I've fixed something in the neighborhood of 500 - 700 computers. A power supply problem was usually one of the very last things I checked because it wasn't often a problem. A conflict between 2 bits of hardware or software was far more likely a problem. Or an individual component going bad. Check to make sure your Mic or other input devices are turned off in your audio settings by doubleclicking the speaker icon in your system tray. Try flipping a few on and off and testing out some sound playing. Could be a dirty input. That hiss may also be your hard drive or cdrom creating noise in the case as it spins up and down.
posted by madmanz123 at 7:37 PM on January 14, 2004

Hmmmmm....the hiss goes away when I mute the CD Audio in the sound Control Panel.
posted by jpoulos at 8:45 PM on January 14, 2004

a couple of thoughts: some of the outputs on your soundcard may be noisy. if you have other outputs on it that are clean, try using them instead. i guess you probably have a really basic soundcard though.

you could try to move your CD drive. as in, open up your case and physically move it to another bay. you might also attempt moving your soundcard away from other cards.
posted by edlundart at 5:49 AM on January 15, 2004

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