I own a z-5500 speakerset. I've owned it for about 4 months now and I never really set the volume very high.

Just today I was on skype with a couple of friends, when suddenly my headphones started crackling really loud and really frequently. All sound dropped, the control pod still works but whatever I do, I can not get sound from my speakerset.

It's now on Input: Optical and it says "No Digital Data". It used to say that, until I started playing something, then it went from No Digital Data to Effect: Digital.

Resetting the pod didn't work, turning the set off and on didn't work, restarting the computer didn't work... it stays on No Digital Data. Direct input mode doesn't work either, and when I plug in my headset into the control pod it doesn't give any sound either. When I check windows the green bars do fill up from the appropriate device.

I've checked all the settings, everything is how it should be, and I still had sound today. It just stopped and went silent after a real loud crackle while on skype.

Does anyone know what just broke?
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  1. I'm assuming you're using optical cord to connect your z5500. Crackle noice when using an optical connection means two things, software problem or hardware failure. Hopefully not the latter.

    Check your sound settings and make sure you selected the proper sound devices and output in your computer. Unplug the optical cord from z5500 and check the center of the pin if there is a red light while your pc is on. If that fail, try to un-install then re-install the sound driver, as you may have a damage driver. Make sure the cord is working and properly connected too. You can also try to connect your headphone to your computer just to make sure soundcard is still working. You'll need to change the setting from digital/optical to speaker ofcourse.

    Also try to shut the z5500 from the main switch and power it back on, i don't think the speaker unit is the problem but at least you try that one too.
  2. before laying blame on any one component you need to do a series of tests to try and isolate where the problem is coming from.

    -hook up the speakers to a different source using optical
    -hook up the speakers to a different source using a different connection
    -plug your headphones in to a different computer or source
    -test your pc sound card with different speakers
    -follow rexters idea of checking the optical output
    -double check all of your software (reinstall drivers perhaps)
    -check all of your cabling, look for damage

    my guess would be the same as rexter.. either some driver corruption (or other software problem) or hardware failure (most likely to do with the soundcard). in order to know what the real issue is though you need to test everything such as the ideas mentioned above. stating the effect of each test will make it easier to diagnose.
  3. Hi and thanks for replying,

    Yes, I'm using an optical cord for the speakerset. I have checked every connection, every cable and every setting and everything seemed to be alright. I then hooked up my 5500 to the internal sound card of my PC and it worked! After a bit of testing I found out it's my external sound card which died on me. I have no idea why it did because I've only had it for a couple of months and I never touched it or anything except when I first placed it on my desk. I'm just gonna go back to the store and claim my warranty :)

    Once again thanks for the informative replies! Guess it was a hardware failure after all.
  4. often the answer is a simple one once you have done a few tests.

    why did you buy an external card? if you have a desktop pc it would be better to buy an internal card.
  5. Yes I suppose it doesn't always have to be hard ;)

    I don't really have a reason for buying an external card instead of internal, I wasn't sure there was any difference in quality between the two of them so I just went with an external one. What advantage, other than cleaning up the mess of cables on the desk, would an internal card have then if I may ask?
  6. External makes easy installation than internal and you can move it from one device to another faster. Like when your doing a test on another computer, going away for a sometime and wanted to take with you and such. Easy is the answer. And if the dicrete card is any good then the quality does noticesable, but if you are using dts the you'll have a hard time to notice it. I have several soundblaster cards and even one with external controls. I don't use them when i connect my logitech speakers with the optical. The only thing i like about the SB card is when i want to get the frequency really low down to 10 hz.

    Anyway, reason i'm not using discrete card is i've change my sattelite speakers with my old bookshelves speakers, and with dfx audio enhancer, the sound is much better than what it was.
  7. i've had better luck with internal components being made better and lasting longer.

    as far as audio quality goes... that depends on the models. if comparing two decent cards you shouldnt notice much of a difference as a typical consumer.
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