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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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75 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

  2. Marc21 May 2021 @ 20:34

    Hi guys,

    i am using the latest Uni Xonar Drivers from this Site here, running Win10 21H1 currently (19043.985 build exactly) and when i do listen to youtube music videos, and want to skip a bit forward, i get a loud "tack" or "plopp" sound from my Xonar DX..since i've just upgraded after 15 Years from my Soundblaster Xtreme Music, this is 100% a Xonar Soundcard related issue - or with the OS, Win10 here...and/or the current state of (UNi) Xonar Audio Drivers - they're from 2016, so >= 5 years, way old already....why is that, no new Drivers are being avialable from C-Media or AsusTek?

    Thanks
    Marc

    Reply

    • CarvedInside25 May 2021 @ 13:03

      1. I don't understand what kind of noise is that. Is it a single short noise or a continuous noise which only gets resolved when you restart the Xonar driver or the system?
      2. Mention your motherboard and video card.
      3. Have you tried the possible solutions from the article above?
      4. What sample rate have you set in the Xonar panel and in Windows sound?

      See FAQ Q&A 13 about why there are no new drivers.

      Reply

  3. Mazern26 Jul 2021 @ 22:55

    So last time I posted was: 30 Jan 2021

    I haven't had the issue for all this time. Now today directly after updating my NVIDIA GPU drivers, the issue occurred inside of Firefox. I only updated the graphic sdrivers and unchecked everything else (disabled hd audio driver, usb-c, etc.). And BAM the issue is here again.

    Reply

  4. david vincent11 Sep 2021 @ 17:27

    I have the loud white noise issue and when I disable all of Xonar's recording inputs, I have BSODs...
    I think I'm better buying a Sound Blaster card 🙁

    Reply

  5. Jason11 Nov 2021 @ 08:55

    Did you test your issue under "mute" or volume level to "0" in Input mixers instead of disable them?

    Reply

    • CarvedInside12 Nov 2021 @ 02:01

      I assume you wanted to reply to someone else's comment. When replying to an existing discussion use the "REPLY" button floating on the right of the comment you are replying to. Please remake the comment as a reply and I will delete this separate comment.

      Reply

  6. Healp26 Nov 2021 @ 00:04

    There are reports of people fixing this issue by disabling HPET in their bios or in the windows settings.

    Reply

  7. Murat Gundogdu19 Jan 2022 @ 17:43

    This week I bought a new PC and put STX II in it. And I still have this issue.

    Old PC: Windows 10 with latest Updates, Asus Z87-PRO mainboard, i7-4770K CPU, GTX 1080 graphic card. + UNi Xonar STXII 11.5 v1.80b r3
    New PC: Windows 11 with latest updates, Asus ROG STRIX Z690-F mainboard, i9-12900k CPU, GTX 3080 Ti graphic card. + latest official Asus drivers for STX II (Version 8.1.11.5 @2019/12/25)

    Irrevelant with the issue, since I saw the date on official drivers seems newer (2019/12/25) than UNi Xonar dates I though it is newer. Is that the real status? Or they just updated old drivers with driver signing and a newer date? Do you suggest UNi Xonar STXII 11.5 v1.80b r3 over official ones?

    Reply

    • CarvedInside25 Jan 2022 @ 23:55

      Did you try any of the possible solutions I've presented in the article above?

      As for the driver questions. ASUS removed the beta tag from previous STX II 2014 driver package and re-released them in 2019/12/25. They have the same audio driver as those in UNi Xonar 1.80b driver package. In your case, install UNi Xonar driver if you want to lower your system DPC latency, which is also on the list of possible solutions.

      Reply

      • Murat Gundogdu26 Jan 2022 @ 21:58

        Thanks a lot for the clarification! I'm using Uni Xonar for years, I'd this issue occasionally, but I've never used the possible solutions you listed here. After my post I decided to try them: I removed official drivers and installed Uni Xonar v1.80b r3 with dpc latency option, disabled most of the input outputs of the card that I've never used, only left Headphone output. I faced the issue once after all of these, but still seems better than before.

        Reply

        • CarvedInside01 Feb 2022 @ 22:56

          How often did you get the issue before and how often do you get it now?

          Let me know if you will notice that a particular solution has a bigger impact on reducing this issue as this could help us figuring this thing out.

          Reply

          • Murat Gundogdu10 Feb 2022 @ 17:33

            Sorry for the late reply. I've just noticed your post here. I'm getting this issue like once a week for these days, but I think it is because I'm digging deep in my system, and making some simple overclocks trials on my brand new gaming PC. I believe it will be much less with standard daily usage, like once a month or even better, as in my old PC with same card.

            I'm not sure if I can find a way to fix this problem since I'm having this issue for years now and on my second PC. But somehow if I can find a way, I'll surely inform you.

            Thanks a lot for your attention and great work you've done here!

            Reply

  8. Semyonoff15 May 2022 @ 15:34

    Hi everyone,
    Let me tell my story with this noise problem on my Xonar DX cards.
    I have two Asus Xonar DX cards. First of them was heavily used on Z370 8700k computer. No problems with noise at all. Only right channel problem. The second card was on B450 Ryzen 3600 computer. Same here, no noise at all. Then I upgraded the first computer to Z590 i7 11700k (Asus ROG Strix E Gaming) and this problem with noise appeared. This motherboard has only 3 Full-Sized PCI-E slots. The funny thing is that I have tried both of my Xonar DX card on this system and both of them have noise problem. One thing, pretty strange, that solved this problem is to switch system power plan to High Performance mode, then the noise problem goes away. So, for me, it looks like it's somehow related to CPU power states maybe or whole system power saving algorithms. Those of you who have this noise problem, give a try for High Performance System Power plan in Windows and please report if problem persists. I think that those who reinstalled Windows had the Balanced Power plan by default when this noise happens.
    And, the last piece of information: I have upgraded second Ryzen computer to X570 Asus Dark Hero and Ryzen 5900X. No problems with noise on DX Card at all.

    Reply

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