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Extremely loud noise when testing Creative 5.1 speakers

Last response: in Components
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January 16, 2012 11:54:07 AM

I have been using my Creative speakers and soundcard since Feb 2003. Yes they are about 9 years old already but still in very good condition. This is the 3rd computer I'm using them. Specifications listed below:

Creative Inspire 5200 5.1 Speakers
Creative Sound Blaster Live 5.1 SE (PCI slot)

Yesterday I changed the PSU and mobo/intel CPU because my old computer refused to POST and could be due to failing PSU and mobo/intel CPU. I re-installed the sound card and used the Creative Surround Mixer to test the 5.1 speakers one by one in this order : front left, centre, front right, rear left, rear right.

The problem is when one speaker is being tested, one of the remaining speakers will emit an extremely loud noise (either buzzing or hissing or high pitch sound). The speaker being tested will produce the correct sound but at the same time one of the other speakers produce an extremely loud noise which overshadows the sound of the speaker being tested. So when the speakers are tested one by one, the other speakers take turns to produce the extremely loud buzzing or hissing or high pitch noise. eg when the front left is being tested, the centre speaker will emit an extremely loud buzzing. when the centre speaker is being tested, the rear left speaker will emit an extremely loud high pitch noise. There is no consistent pattern in the order which the other speakers emit the loud noise or type of noise.

The good thing is the speakers work all right (no extremely loud buzzing or hissing or high pitch noise) when I'm playing music or watching movies using Windows Media Player.

Any suggestions what is happening? I regularly use the testing feature to make sure all my speakers are working all right. Now I can't test at all.

I have uninstalled and reinstalled the sound drivers and checked that the sound card is plugged in firmly. I don't think it is interferrence from PSU or other electrical sources since the speakers work all right when playing music. They only give problems during one-by-one testing.
January 16, 2012 12:18:17 PM

Although I don't really have an answer to your problem.... why do you need to test them 1 by 1? If they all work when used together, and they all work when playing music/video? Why the need to even test them?

It should be obvious if they are working or not due to sound either being produced, or not produced?
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January 16, 2012 12:25:55 PM

how do I know all 5 are working if I don't test them one by one? the front left speaker could be spoilt. or the centre speaker could be spoilt. unless I hold them one by one to my ear when I'm playing music/video, which is very troublesome.
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January 16, 2012 1:00:07 PM

If when listening to music, you can't tell the difference between all 5 speakers working or not, I wouldn't even worry about it.

If 1 speaker breaks, but the system still sounds the same as it did to you before, then there's really nothing lost.

Not to mention if you've had the system 9 years....It's probably out of Warranty and so you wouldn't be able to get a replacement anyway?

Just seems like a long unnecessary process that's all :) 
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January 16, 2012 4:03:13 PM

Check a number of things:

1) Windows Sound Properties in the Control Panel (forgot the exact name)
- make sure that the default sample bit rate is set to what it should be (usually 96 KHz @ 24 bit)
- if it is too high or too low it causes your described sounds of interference
- I'm pretty sure this is the cause

2) Check your connections (i know "duh" but who knows, just check in case)
- loose or faulty connections can cause that interference noise, just give it a wiggle to see if its from bad connections

3) Drivers? Make sure you're using the latest and that it's compatible with your version of Windows and also that the onboard drivers (I think new mobos use REALTEK drivers?) are uninstalled to prevent conflict.

4) Number 3 reminds me.... if you're using a soundcard you can test if it's ur speakers fault by testing using onboard sound. If your speakers don't have a problem then you know its your soundcard.
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