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Novice
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USB (soundcards) produce high pitch sound

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Dear Community,

 

would you be so kind to help me with a audio sound/noise issue on the NUC10i3FNK?

 

tl;dr

1) usb sound cards on the NUC do not work noise free

2) NUC is disturbing indirect connected (e.g. via usb or hdmi switch) devices

 

SETUP:

I have the following setup (see appendix A.jpg): the monitor is connected via video switch to the NUC and my tower pc. The keyboard and mouse is connected via an USB switch to the NUC and tower pc, too. The audio amplifier is directly connected with the tower pc.

I had this setup before, but instead the NUC, there was a Laptop. There weren’t any issues.

 

ISSUE:

When the NUC is turned on, there a some weird high pitch sounds (hear appendix B.mp3). Ignore the 50 Hz electric hum, there I messed up. I refer to the periodic high pitched noise. Actual this is the periodic movement of my mouse. It’s strange, but I can hear my mouse movement over the audio boxes. The OS isn’t booted so far. The mouse movement was performed in the BIOS.

This happens when either just the HDMI or just the USB is connected to the switch.

 

THOUGHTS:

1) First, I thought the NUC has some EMC problems, but this wasn’t the case. As I disconnected the video and usb switches, the high pitch sound wasn’t there anymore.

2) Then I thought, that there are may some ground loops. But normally, this results in a 50 Hz sound.

 

Okay, I went on with some tests. The NUC is now disconnected and the setup is quiet easy (appendix C.jpg): mouse, keyboard and monitor are directly connected to the NUC. I’m afraid I cannot use the combo audio jack, because I’m a noob linux user and wasn’t able to fix the combo jack audio recognition of my OS. Okay, lets use some usb soundcards:

I started with a low budget (7€) LogiLink USB soundcard. As soon as the NUC starts to power up, the high pitch sound appeared. As the OS started, I was able the hear music etc. over the usb soundcard, but the strange noise was still there.

 

Let’s continue with a better soundcard. I used the one I use for my DAW computer: the Steinberg UR22 USB audio interface. Long story short: same problem.

 

Note: Both usb devices work properly when connected to my tower pc or laptop.

 

FINAL WORDS:

I know that Linux is not supported by the NUC devs, but in my opinion, this isn’t a driver problem of the OS, since the noise is there, when the NUC is in the BIOS. Furthermore, the noise affects devices, which are indirectly connected (e.g. via usb switch or hdmi switch) to the NUC.

 

I am not an expert, but a few things came to my mind as I had similar issues with a low budget switched-mode power supply for my guitar effects:

1) Maybe the frequency of the power supply for the NUC is “too low” that it is still in the frequency, a person can hear

2) Maybe the onboard switched-mode power supply, that converts the 19V down to the 5V USB or 5V HDMI voltage lacks in high switch frequency, so that high pitched noise can still be heard by the consumers.

Somehow, I don’t have this issue when the sound comes out of my monitor via HDMI but I also do not know, if the monitor is able to play such high sound.

 

I’m afraid I couldn’t test this with a better power supply, because I do not have one. Perhaps somebody has noticed this NUC behavior, too or there is already a post here in this forum?

Is there a simple solution for this issue instead of building a “low”-pass filter for my audio amplifier?

 

 

Thanks and best regards,

noob

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Highlighted
Moderator
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Hello noob,

Thank you so much for your patience.


Based on the behavior that you are experiencing I would recommend the replacement of your power adapter as there are some instances where the power adapter will cause this behavior when external sound cards are used with the device.


For this you would need to contact Intel Customer Support to initiate the fulfillment process.


I would like to share with you the pages for Intel warranty information:


U.S. and Canada: Intel Customer Support

Latin America: Intel Customer Support LAR

Europe, Middle East and Africa: Intel Customer Support EMEA

Asia-Pacific: Intel Customer Support APAC


In the information provided above you can find the phone number and also the business hours to continue with the support in that channel.


Do not hesitate in providing this thread as all information is documented there.


As you will require direct assistance from our Customer Support team we will proceed with the closure of this inquiry.


If you need any additional information, please submit a new question as this thread will no longer being monitored  

 

Esteban D.  

Intel Technical Support Technician 


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6 Replies
Highlighted
Moderator
187 Views

Hello noob,

Thank you for posting on the Intel® communities.

I appreciate the complete information provided and all the testing that you performed on your side.


To better assist you, I would appreciate if you could confirm the following information:

  • For how long you’ve been experiencing this behavior with your NUC? Is this the first time that you are using this setup with the NUC?
  • I agree that the behavior might not be related to drivers as the noisy still occurring during the boot process, correct?
  • Do you have any special settings/configuration in BIOS? If so, please let me know what changes were made.


I would like to know more information about the system in terms of firmware for that please run the following tool and 

attach the reports generated.


Intel® System Support Utility (Intel® SSU) for Linux* Download link.


1. Open the application and click on "Scan" to see the system and device information.

2. By default, Intel® SSU will take you to the "Summary View".

3. Click on the menu where it says "Summary" to change to "Detailed View".

4. To save your scan, click on "Next", then "Save".


Esteban D.

Intel Technical Support Technician


Highlighted
Novice
172 Views

Hello Esteban,

 

thank you for offering your help and the fast reply.

 

You will find the answers of your questions in PART 2 of this post. But I recommend to read PART 1 first, it is worth reading.

 

PART 1

tl;dr I bet a fiver, the problem is caused by the internal DC-DC and/or the external AC-DC converter.

 

EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

I’ve split up an USB cable into two parts: 1 male connector for power, 1 male connector for data and the female connector for the usb sound card (see appendix D.jpg). So the usb sound card is now powered by an external power source (pic is also in appendix D.jpg) and only the data wires are connected to the NUC. The behavior now is different but not that much better.

The good thing: There is no high pitch noise…

The bad thing: … until a sound is played.

So as long as the NUC sends data to the USB sound card (“Green LED indicates working status” [1]), the high pitch noise is there (hear appendix E.mp3). And if no sound is played -- so no data is send to the sound card -- there is beautiful silence, as expected.

 

PART 2

For how long you’ve been experiencing this behavior with your NUC? Is this the first time that you are using this setup with the NUC?”

-> I bought the NUC last friday (2020-11-06). After setting up, there was this behavior. I guess this behavior was also in the “setting-up” process. But my sound device was turned off during the NUC installation.

-> It is the first time that I use setup A (appendix in the first post) and setup B (also in appendix in the first post). It is the first time I have ever used a NUC.

 

I agree that the behavior might not be related to drivers as the noisy still occurring during the boot process, correct?”

-> Correct, noise appears when I am in the BIOS menu, during boot and in the OS.

 

Do you have any special settings/configuration in BIOS? If so, please let me know what changes were made.”

-> Changed “Boot Option #1” back to SSD, after I changed it to boot from my USB stick to install OS

-> User Password is not installed (no password needed to boot the system)

-> Supervisor Password is installed (password is needed to change BIOS settings)

- > Secure Boot Mode is custom with the imported key of my bootloader

 

SSU report is in the appendix (localhost-live.txt). The installed OS is a Debian based system. But I did the scan with a live session of fedora (which is the bleeding edge OS of centOS, which is RHEL without support).

 

 

 

[1] http://www.logilink.de/media/datasheets/UA0053.pdf

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Highlighted
Moderator
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Hello noob,

I really appreciate the information provided.

Please confirm the following:

Are you using the original adapter that came with the NUC?


After reviewing the SSU report attached, I first noticed that you are using an outdated BIOS version for your NUC.

To ensure the system top performance and stability I would recommend to perform the following steps:

  1. Download and save the Recovery BIOS (.CAP) file to a USB device. Here is the link.
  2. Plug the USB device into a USB port of the target computer.
  3. Start the Intel NUC. During boot, when the F7 prompt is displayed, press F7 to enter the BIOS Flash Update tool.
  4. Select the USB device and press Enter
  5. Select the .CAP file and press Enter.
  6. Confirm you want to update the BIOS by pressing Enter.
  7. Wait 2-5 minutes for the update to complete.
  8. When the BIOS update is complete, the computer will boot back into Windows.


Please give it a try and let me know if you notice any improvement.

This is an interesting behavior and I will further investigate this for you.


Esteban D.

Intel Technical Support Technician


Highlighted
Novice
150 Views

Hello Esteban,

thanks again for your fast reply.

I can confirm that I use the original power adapter, which was inside the NUC box.

I updated the BIOS but unfortunately nothing has changed. You can find the new SSU report in the appendix.


Thank you for your investigations!
Best regards,
noob

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Highlighted
Moderator
142 Views

Hello noob,

Thank you for the update.

We are currently investigating this behavior for you.

We will provide an update as soon as possible.


Esteban D.

Intel Technical Support Technician  


Highlighted
Moderator
82 Views

Hello noob,

Thank you so much for your patience.


Based on the behavior that you are experiencing I would recommend the replacement of your power adapter as there are some instances where the power adapter will cause this behavior when external sound cards are used with the device.


For this you would need to contact Intel Customer Support to initiate the fulfillment process.


I would like to share with you the pages for Intel warranty information:


U.S. and Canada: Intel Customer Support

Latin America: Intel Customer Support LAR

Europe, Middle East and Africa: Intel Customer Support EMEA

Asia-Pacific: Intel Customer Support APAC


In the information provided above you can find the phone number and also the business hours to continue with the support in that channel.


Do not hesitate in providing this thread as all information is documented there.


As you will require direct assistance from our Customer Support team we will proceed with the closure of this inquiry.


If you need any additional information, please submit a new question as this thread will no longer being monitored  

 

Esteban D.  

Intel Technical Support Technician 


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