USB Headset distorted sound, narrowing down problem...

I've got a USB headset (cyber acoustics) that I have been using for about a year. Starting this week the inbound and outbound sound has become crackling/distorted. I have made no changes to my system regarding sound (or any hardware for that matter). The sound is bad whether I'm playing mp3s, gaming, or using ventrilo. I did upgrade my ventrilo client this week to 3.0, however I can't say whether that has been the culprit.

To find the problem:
- DXDIAG sound tests did not discover any problems, and the sound tests it provided were very generic.
- I tested the sound on my sound card by plugging in another mic and speakers into it, and that worked fine
- I tested the headset on my laptop and it works fine on the laptop (Visio), yet not on my desktop (XP)
- Lowered all volume controls on my system that would directly affect the headset
- Uninstalled Ventrilo completely

I bought the same headset yesterday after finding out my sound card wasn't affecting my other accessories. The new headset is producing the same results as the old one.

I've looked for drivers for the headset but there aren't any other than the default drivers that XP provides (and has been in use for a year).

So now I'm wondering if it's a problem with my motherboard, or if my sound card is doing something odd internally? I have not yet gone to buy a new sound card, simply because I don't wanna waste more $$$ as I already have with buying a new headset which didn't solve anything.

My sound is AC97 audio, integrated audio. The motherboard is no more than 2 years old. As stated, it just happened this week. I tried searching Tom's forums for USB headset and USB sound, which didn't give any results. If anyone has a clue why my headset is now acting up, I am interested in possible problems. thanks!
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  1. I am having the exact same issue, I am using a "GN 2000 USB OC" it's a basic USB headset, on windows XP. Headset worked fine in the past, now is distorted on the XP machine but works fine on a different XP machine.
  2. And hooray I've found a fix, although it's pretty dumb.

    Turns out the issue is caused by some other conflicting usb device, the issue manifests after a reboot. The fix is to boot the machine with the headset unplugged. And then connect the headset after bootup.

    Stupid? Yes.

    Effective? Very!
  3. This is not working for me.
    I'm using Windows 7 but my headphones work great on a laptop XP.
    I have updated the drivers, updated the Firmware of the Headphones, and tried everything else I can think of.
    I saw that someone said they had the same problem and they bought a USB hub and tried that, so I have one coming in the mail next week. If anyone else knows any possible fixes, please tell me!
  4. ^^ This is why I say away from USB headsets; the USB bus only has so much power it can put out, and assuming you have a standard MS mouse (which eats half of that avaliable power up by itself!), you don't have much to play with. Lots of USB devices can cause the issue you are running into. Rebooting usually fixes the issue, but once you hotswap, the issue returns.

    Try unplugging some devices, and see if you can narrow down which ones are causing the problems.
  5. I got the problem fixed. Thanks for your help!
    Just in case it might help anyone in the future, all I had to do was update my motherboards bios to the latest version, and reset cmos. Everything works great now =).
    Sounds like the bios my motherboard uses did cause some clashes between audio USB and regular USB.
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