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ASUS Xonar cards and loud white noise issue

Page about the the loud white/static noise or screech issue on Xonar cards that some experience.

Page updates
  • 16 May 2020: Possible solution 1 updated.
  • 11 May 2020: Page updated.
  • 10 May 2020: Article published.

Why it happens

I personally only had such an issue only 1 time in over 10 years on my old PC, a Intel Core 2 Duo with DFI P35 motherboard, AMD Radeon HD7790, Xonar DX and Windows 7. At that moment my PC was under heavy load and I jumped to a different position on a YouTube video. Most of the reports involve playing a video on YouTube or another video site or in a video desktop application. Currently, I'm thinking it has to do with some sort of big delay in processing the sound which causes the driver to go haywire. Could be related to very high DPC latency or something else.

Some reported having this issue only after updating to Windows 10, never had this on Windows 7.

Other discussions outside this page that have been taken place about this subject #1(head-fi.org), #2, #3, #4.

Possible solutions

1. Disable all of Xonar's recording inputs and use the Microphone or Line In from the onboard audio card or buy a USB microphone

To do so, open Windows Sound (right-click on Windows Volume tray icon-> Sounds or if missing type in Windows search: “change system sounds”)-> Select Recording tab-> Right-click and select Disable for: Microphone (ASUS Xonar...), Line In (ASUS X...), ALT (ASUS X...), AUX (ASUS X...), Stereo Mix(ASUS X...) and Wave (ASUS X...). Then right-click on Microphone (HD Audio.../Realtek.../SupremeFX.../USB Mic...) and select "Set as Default" and "Set as Default Communication Device".

Thanks to Louis for sharing this solution, you can read more about this here. Here is another report that might indicate some of these cases might have something to do with the microphone input.

2. Lower your system DPC latency
  1. Install UNi Xonar drivers with Low DPC Latency or C-Media Panel configuration. Optionally, use XonarSwitch to control the sound card settings. Do not use ASUS Audio Center.
  2. Do not enable any sound enhancements in ASUS/C-Media/XonarSwitch panel.
  3. Disable SpeakerCompensation.
  4. Check this article for other tips to reduce DPC Latency.
3. Avoid IRQ sharing between Xonar card and other devices

To do so you could try switching the other devices interrupts from Line-based to MSI, see info here. Do not switch the Xonar card to MSI as it will prevent your system from booting. You can try this in conjunction with moving the card to a PCI/PCIe in which the Xonar card IRQ is shared with less devices.

Please leave feedback in the comment section below if one of these methods worked for you. Mention your sound card, motherboard, video card, and OS.

General recommendations and what else can you do

As a precautionary measure, you should set the volume in Windows and applications close to 100% and control the volume from the amplifier, speakers or headphones. If you are using headphones that do not have a volume control, you should buy a headphone amplifier so that you can control the volume.

Keep in mind that nothing is worth permanently damaging your ears.

When the issue happens you can try the Xonar Driver Restart instead of restarting the PC.

---

My old answer from the UNi Xonar FAQ page:

Occasionally, I get a loud white/static noise or screech. Why is that and is there something that can be done to prevent this?

There are at least two instances:

  1. It may be a issue or incompatibility between the motherboard and the Xonar audio card. Ironically, ASUS motherboards seem to be most prone to this issue. Unfortunately there isn't much it can be done. You should look into updating the motherboard BIOS to the latest version. If that does not solve the problem a possible solution would be to change the motherboard if you think the card you own is worth it.
  2. A Windows 10 only issue. Discussions for this case are talking place on this page. No solution has been found so far except reverting back to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.

General recommendations: If you run into this issues and have not found a solution you should either buy a different audio card that's not powered by C-Media audio chips (so no ASUS or HTOmega), buy an external DAC or at least take some precautionary measures like controlling the volume with a amplifier while having Windows volume always set to 100%. Keep in mind that nothing is worth permanently damaging your ears.

Applies to:

  • ASUS Xonar DG, Xonar DGX, Xonar DG SI, Xonar DS, Xonar DSX, Xonar D1, Xonar D2, Xonar DX, Xonar D2X, Xonar HDAV, Xonar HDAV Slim, Xonar Essence ST, Xonar Essence STX, Xonar Essence STX II, Xonar Xense.
  • Other C-media CMI8786 and CMI8788  audio chipset cards:
    • Auzentech: HDA X-Purity 7.1, X-Meridian 1G, X-Meridian 2G.
    • HTOmega: Claro, Claro Plus, Claro II, Claro Halo, eClaro.
    • Razer Barracuda AC-1.
    • TempoTec HIFIER Serenade
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58 Comments

  1. TeaTime04 Apr 2021 @ 00:35

    Hi Guys,
    i'm the Dude who posted on the other Topic before of the none working Card on my new B550 Aorus Pro V2.

    Now I've had this Issue with the loud Noise out of nowhere on my old Platform before. It was a Z77 Extreme from ASrock with a 3570k oc.
    I remember the first time it happend was during a Youtube Video on Firefox and a second time on Winamp. Both times i was on my Headphones and it was so damn loud that i thought if i didn't get them off me immediately it would cause damage to my Ears.. Great stuff Asus!
    After that somehow it never happend again. I didn't have changed anything i can tell back then.

    Now after the 4? Years after the last time this happend it just happend again on my new B550 Aorus Pro v2 with a 5800X Ryzen. Again after i've paused a Youtube Video and restart it. Lucky i wasn't on my Headphones and i just could power off my active Speakers.

    I'm realy pissed off about Asus and this hole Essence STX II Problems. I wonder if u even could start a lawsuit against this cause it got potential to permanently Damage hearing..

    Reply

    • CarvedInside05 Apr 2021 @ 12:21

      With this comment, your e-mail address is too made up so it was flagged as spam by the system that I use for spam. While I have another system in place that allows me to manually filter and check the spam, other websites most likely do not have such a thing and your comments would be lost. To avoid such an issue, my recommendation is to make up a more normal looking e-mail address and that ends in .com, .net or .org, and settle on using that. It does not matter if it's fake or not.

      Reply

    • CarvedInside05 Apr 2021 @ 12:34

      Regarding the issue. Please provide the following:
      1. Which driver version have you installed?
      2. Which panel configuration have you chosen in UNi Xonar installer?
      3. What GPU do you have?
      4. Which sample rate have you set in ASUS, C-Media or XonarSwitch audio panels? And in Windows Sound->Playback->Speakers (ASUS Xonar..)?

      Hopefully you've taken a look at what I wrote in the "General recommendations and what else can you do" section.
      This is the most serious issue on the ASUS Xonar cards and should absolutely never happen. It's definitely lawsuit material.

      Reply

      • TeaTime05 Apr 2021 @ 19:53

        Actually it's a real but generatet Email haha
        It's the latest official Asus Driver Version 8.1.11.5. I've got a Asus GTX 1080 OC, the "old" one with slower Memmory speed in the Firmware. But i've Overclocked it manually. Sample Rate is 48Khz/24bit for both. AMP Option is set to 64~300 Ohm for my Sennheiser HD650. Back in the Days when this happend the first time it was Set to the 300< option....

        I may going to try to change the Pcie Slot in the Future and see if a Bios Update do smth.
        But mostly im going to kick that damn thing out of my System and going for a external DAC + AMP combo.
        But like i've sayed before... im pretty pissed at Asus
        Thanks for your time tho

        Reply

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