Back in June this year I reviewed Razer Carcharias. The newer 2013 version has a USB port used to power the headset and the video review I made has a number of people mentioning they get a hissing problem with the headset. At first I thought it may be the odd person, however now multiple people are mentioning in my video looking for advice so I decided to do some research around the internet and compile a list of potential fixes. Please let me know in the comments on this post or the video if any of these fixes have helped you.
Why is there a Hissing Problem
Now I’m no audiophile and I’m not going to even pretend I know about electrics, frequencies etc, however I found a couple of quotes that seem to explain the problem well.
“This is a common problem that occurs with amplifiers powered by switching power supplies. The switching frequency used in high power sources such as used in pc are close to the threshold of audible frequencies of 20KHz, and therefore cause interference in the audio. To work around this problem quality sources have common mode filter, but not always the plugs of these sources are grounded and so these filters do not work. Therefore, it is necessary that the sources are effectively grounded. If this filter included not solve the problem you need to add another Butterworth filter of at least third order, consisting of a capacitor (C = 47uF), an inductor choke (L = 10mH) and a capacitor (C = 100uF), connected in series in the supply of 5VDC USB.” andre_murari. 2013 – Toms Hardware
Possible Hissing Solutions
Different USB Port
One really simple solution but you have probably tried this already, is just to use a different USB port to power the headset. Disconnect the USB cable from your USB port on your computer and use another. Ideally don’t use the one directly next to where you have just attached the USB connection use one further away.
USB extension cable
Next you can try a USB extension cable. You can pick these up very cheap from eBay or Amazon or you may already have one. There is no guarentee though, and don’t let “premium USB cables” make you think your getting anything better, its all digital so makes very very little difference if any. Here are a couple of links to help you out: USB extension cables on Amazon
USB Charger / Phone Charger
This is the solution many have said has worked. Rather than getting the power from your USB ports in your computer use a USB mains adapter like the one that comes with an iPhone, Android phone etc. Don’t worry about the USB not been connected to your computer, it is only used to power the headset no audio or data is transferred. If you have one of these just try it, if it works you could get another just for your headset. Here are a couple of links to help you find one or if your not sure what I’m referring to: USB Chargers on Amazon
This one is a little more drastic, and while I have seen a couple of mentions that this works I would probably try the other methods first. Some say the hissing isn’t from the USB but from the Jacks. So if you can test this first using the below method:
- Unplug the jacks from your computer.
- Plug the headphone jack (green or look for headphone symbol) into something that you can play audio through like an iPod, MP3 Player, phone etc.
- Keep the USB connected to the computer! (this is a must)
- Play some audio.
If you still hear a hiss the problem is the USB ports not the sound card so use a method above. If you can’t hear a hiss it could be a sound card problem.
On board audio, i.e. the sound built into the back of your computer, is built onto the motherboard. While sometimes this works fine, often it produces poorer sound and can pick up noise from the other parts of your computer.
Therefore a dedicated soundcard should prevent noise been picked up and has worked in the past for me. Also they produce far better sound. I can personally recommend the Asus DGX 5.1 sound card.
Soundcards on Amazon
But if you don’t know how to our are worried about opening up your pc to add a soundcard this might not be for you but check out the video below as it should help!
Other Options – Over to you
If you find another solution please mention it in the comments below or on my video so I can add it to the list!