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Crackling/Popping Sound regardless of output method! USB-Soundcard.

  • Ok, everyone knows the problem with the 3.5mm jack of the PI3 regarding sound quality. So i decided to get me an USB-Soundcard but was shocked after setting it up.

    Still Crackling/Popping Sound but no buzzing. Its basically exactly the same like using the 3.5mm-Jack from the PI3. I have really no idea anymore what could be the problem.

    I tested out via process of elimination:

    1. Scart-Cable works (audio and video) - tested with my DVD Player
    2. Scart-Input from CRT works - tested with my good old SNES
    3. Speaker of my CRT work (see above)
    4. Three different 3.5mm Audio-Cable work
    5. USB-Soundcard works at my PC and Laptop
    6. Official Power-Supply
    7. No Difference between Stock and Overclock

    What i know is:

    1. Soundproblem from the 3.5mm-Jack of PI3 and USB-Soundcard (connected some Headphones and had the Soundproblems)
    2. Same Soundproblems (tiny bit better) when i output the sound with the help of HDMI-Splitter

    Im open to ANY form of help. Im completly out of ideas. Is it reasonable to reinstall the Retropie-Image (software problem)? Can it even be a hardware problem (PI3 defective when i get the same soundproblem from the 3.5mm Jack of the USB-Soundcard)?

    H E L P ! ! !

  • Hello again... anyone tried this out:

    If you're using a Raspberry Pi and notice the output isnt totally clean, some USB Audio
    adapters don't like USB-1.2 and produce crackling in the output. You can work around the
    problem by adding dwc_otg.speed=1 to /boot/cmdline.txt and setting the USB ports to USB-
    1.1 mode.


  • @yuke for the headphone jack in /boot/config.txt i think it is:


  • Hello, im using


    and also

    audio_pwm_mode = 2

    I dont understand why the usb soundcard jack is exactly the same mess as the pi 3.5mm jack. I dont know much about software and hardware used when creating sound but this doesnt make sense to me ... everyone else is claiming to solve all the sound problems with the use of an usb soundcard...

    Can i trash my usb soundcard if it try out forcing usb 1.1? (troubleshooting quote from my last posting)

  • Global Moderator

    @yuke said in Crackling/Popping Sound regardless of output method! USB-Soundcard.:

    Can i trash my usb soundcard if it try out forcing usb 1.1? (troubleshooting quote from my last posting)

    Not likely. You can try removing all the sound related settings from you config.txtfile and re-try to see if the sound improves when using the USB soundcard.
    What USB soundcard are you using ?

  • I had the same issues where an USB soundcard wasn't better then the build in headphone jack. But that was after I tried different ways to enhance the headphone jacks output. After I did a clean install of Retropie, the quality was way better.
    It almost looked like that the clean install noticed the USB card and adapted the settings.

    Another thing I noticed, when I got my second Pi last month, was that any extra cable reduced the quality of the card. I had it plugged in into a cheap, passive hub with a short cable at first. And I could hear it buzzing whenever I accessed my hard drive or on heavy network traffic.
    On my second Pi I was able to plug it directly into one of the USB ports of the Pi, and now the quality is almost perfect.

    I don't know if this is helpful in any way, because I changed nothing in my setup other then having the card connected directly to the Pi.

  • @ectoone said in Crackling/Popping Sound regardless of output method! USB-Soundcard.:

    I had the same issues where an USB soundcard wasn't better then the build in headphone jack.

    What do you mean by "wasn't better" ?

    I dont have problem with background noise or low volume for example but i have crackling/popping sounds (especially with high tunes). I dont want to reinstall it without being sure it could help...sadly my game library is also on the SD card...


    Im using the one of my HyperXcloud2 Headset. It has support for PS4, Mac, Linux and Windows

    Also ordered a cheap one (advertised with retropie support) which isnt here yet (waiting for it before doing something drastic)

  • @yuke I meant that I thought buying an external soundcard was a waste of money, because there barely wasn't any difference between the build in jack and the one from the soundcard. But like I said, that was when I already messed around with different settings to fix the issues with the build in jack.
    I'm using a Speedlink Vigo by the way.

  • Yeah but what sound issues did you have?

    And btw i was testing out three different 3.5mm cables between 20 and 50 cm and there was no difference at all. I think everything under 1 meter will be ok...

  • @yuke Oh, i was having random crackling sounds and constant buzzing. After the new installation, the crackling was gone, but there still was a slight buzzing.
    And I don't think that the length of the 3.5mm cable matters, mine is 3 meters. Although I'm only using some cheap in ear headphones so there still might be some noise but I'm happy now.

  • @yuke If your sound card is being powered by the pi it could well be a simple ground loop. You can get a 3.5mm jack ground loop eliminator which would solve that for a few quid on eBay. You’d need to try powering the sound card from a separate power supply and see if that confirms?

  • thats a good idea i guess and worth trying out

  • in case i decide to reinstall my pi2scart retropie image:

    this is the way to go for usb backup (+ starting games from usb stick in the fture)? (automatic mount method)

  • @fruitybit said in Crackling/Popping Sound regardless of output method! USB-Soundcard.:

    ground loop eliminator

    that saved me a couple of times now

  • ok funny thing i noticed while backupping my sd card to usb.

    the sound problems got worse while the data was transfered to my usb stick. what does that mean?

  • Ok can please anyone just tell me if my Pi is just broken?

    I found an hdmi splitter in the darkest corner of my room and did output the sound over its stereo jack (Its and HDMI -> Component/RCA/Stereo-Jack Splitter) and i still have the sound issues.

    Anyone? Please?

  • retropie image reinstallation helped. what can i do to prevent this from happening tho?

  • Well. Here i am again. Was playing the whole evening and the soundproblems have started again. Its like a degradation over time or something. I know it was perfectly fine after reinstalling the image, was testing it for quite some time out.

    What can be the reason for such a weird problem? Like gimme anything you have. Far-fatched or not i dont mind.

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