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I'm on Linux Mint 19.3 (Kernel 5.3.0-28) and my mainboard comes with a Realtek ALC887 onboard chip (snd_hda_codec_realtek). Due to the default power managment the power saving state switches on and off on a regular basis, resulting in noticable "click" sounds when the codec gets switched back on to full power. This is pretty annoying, e.g. when visiting websites with an embedded audio element - it makes an audible click every time through the speakers.

How can I disable the power saving permanently?

Or is there a way to fix this popping noise with some sort of option for the snd_hda_codec_realtek module? I remember that I didn't have this noise on Windows at all even at startup. Realtek also advertises the ALC887 with "unique de-pop circuit: Reduces start-up popping noise".

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  • On my ASUS motherboard running Zorin OS 16, after 7 seconds my card turns "off". Then I can hear a loud hum: 50 hz at -66 dbm and 250 hz at -77 dbm, loud enough to put my amp on standbye or hit volume up/down to bring it back online. It's driving me nuts. Funny how this board is an Aorus model supposedly due to it's sound.
    – Tomachi
    Oct 4, 2021 at 8:16

1 Answer 1

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It appears that the snd_hda_codec_realtek module does not support power saving, unlike snd_hda_intel.

If you are using PulseAudio, it will suspend any audio sources that have become idle for too long. The pop sound you described also occurs with external Realtek USB microphones. When starting a recording after inactivity, the first few seconds would be replaced by a loud pop sound.

As a workaround, you can comment out the following line in /etc/pulse/default.pa:

load-module module-suspend-on-idle

Afterwards, restart PulseAudio with systemctl restart --user pulseaudio.

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  • This solved problem when external DAC connected through Toslink would start doing constant white noise when no audio is played. Toslink laser would just turn off and DAC then would start doing white noise. This answer makes laser always active and fixes problem with external DAC.
    – Vinigas
    Aug 31, 2022 at 23:37

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