Question USB sound card: distortion and crackling but only with my headphones

Jul 13, 2019
2
0
10
0
I'm using a StarTech ICUSBAUDIO USB sound adapter on a Windows 10 laptop. It shows up as a C-Media audio device.

If I plug my -known good- Bose "On Ear Headphones" into the output jack, I get very low volume and a lot of distortion and crackling.

If I plug my speaker plug into the output, the sound is crystal clear.

The headphones work perfectly with my desktop so I know they are good. What could be going on? Is it an impedance mismatch?

I had some trouble finding the input impedance of my Bose "On Ear Headphones", but a reference website measured them at about 25ohms average depending on frequency. I think they're probably rated at 32ohms in specs I'd guess.. Using the industry standard 1/8 rule, the output impedance should be about 3-4ohms. IDK what the actual output impedance is on it.

Could this be causing my problems?
 
Jul 13, 2019
2
0
10
0
They are Bose "On Ear Headphones". As far as I can tell from their website, "On Ear Headphones" is the model.
It's a standard 3.5mm plug and jack..I'll double check that though.
I have a couple other headphones I will test it with.
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
Sounds like you need a better USB sound card. If you want good quality and good enough to drive headphones .
This is probably the cheapest card I would have someone get, even then I would not get it for myself https://www.amazon.com/Creative-Labs-70SB173000000-Sound-Blaster/dp/B06XBZ38ZJ/ref=lp_3015427011_1_3_sspa?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1565662057&sr=1-3-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUExT0lPSVZGU0dRTzBUJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwMjY4OTM4MURSRkNJUzYzUkdRUSZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwNDA3OTcxSERFMFZMWUFMNTlBJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfYXRmX2Jyb3dzZSZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=

This is also marginal but better than the cheaper stuff https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00F7120TQ/ref=psdc_3015427011_t4_B06XBZ38ZJ

The one I would get, and actually did for my car is this https://www.amazon.com/FiiO-Bluetooth-Headphone-Receiver-Transmission/dp/B07JM5ZQPF/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?keywords=fiio+btr1k&qid=1565662383&s=gateway&sr=8-1-spons&smid=AEKTXRC1VF90T&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUExVU9RNE4xVklaTFBaJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwNTQwNjI2M08wQlJXRzA2M1MxSyZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwODgyMjY2MTJRSk1PNDM1WFVGRSZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2F0ZiZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU&th=1 They work fine for computers as a sound card, clears up the audio and adds more punch to headphones. Anything lower end than this I would not use with anything past cheap kid-like headphones. Plus it acts as a very nice bluetooth adapter.

If you will be using this at a desk, this is probably the cheapest decent amp/dac for headphones for desk use https://www.amazon.com/FX-Audio-Optical-Coaxial-Amplifier/dp/B01HERNVQQ
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
I Laptop Tech Support 1
P Laptop Tech Support 6
B Laptop Tech Support 1
P Laptop Tech Support 1
S Laptop Tech Support 1
O Laptop Tech Support 2
H Laptop Tech Support 6
Diamxnd Laptop Tech Support 3
F Laptop Tech Support 2
S Laptop Tech Support 15
B Laptop Tech Support 5
D Laptop Tech Support 1
D Laptop Tech Support 6
P Laptop Tech Support 3
M Laptop Tech Support 1
V Laptop Tech Support 2
A Laptop Tech Support 1
A Laptop Tech Support 4
V Laptop Tech Support 12
G Laptop Tech Support 1

ASK THE COMMUNITY