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I have a Logitech USB headset ( I think it's a H330, but I don't remember the model number right). Occasionally, on Linux there would be a loud buzzing noise in the right ear that was many times louder than the audio. This happened in different apps with different files at different times. I wasn't able to narrow it down until recently, when I found out that it appears to be an issue with 48khz audio.

I have two video files. The first has mpeg audio at 44.1khz, the second has mpeg audio at 48khz. The second causes the weird buzzing, the first does not.

The results:

  • 44.1khz audio, VLC on Linux, headset plugged in - no buzzing
  • 48khz audio, VLC on Linux, headset plugged in - has buzzing
  • 48khz audio, mplayer, headset plugged in - buzzing
  • 48khz audio, VLC on Windows, headset plugged in - no buzzing
  • 48khz, VLC on Linux, headset plugged out - no buzzing

So it appears to be an issue at a driver level or something to do with pulse. I think I've ruled out hardware problems or issues with the video file with this testing (although it wasn't a issue with the file anyway, as this happened on some youtube videos too)

Any idea what's causing this and how I can fix it?

share|improve this question
Did you mean "the second causes the weird buzzing, the first does not?" – ire_and_curses Sep 22 '12 at 22:02
@ire_and_curses Yes. – Macha Sep 23 '12 at 17:21
What sample rates does the headset support natively? – Kaz Oct 29 '13 at 17:07

I have faced this problem before. The problem was that my headset's own mixers were all at max. So I turned them all to zero, then slowly raised the volume on it and the buzzing sound was gone!

I hope this will help you as well.

share|improve this answer
AFAIK, my headset doesn't have its own seperate mixers. How would I find these if they existed? – Macha Sep 23 '12 at 17:26
@Macha You could run alsamixer and see if they appear there. Check in case you're using Gnome, you could check in PulseAudio Volume Control and PulseAudio Manager to see if your headset appears as audio device. If it does, it has its own mixers. – polemon Sep 23 '12 at 20:47

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