Static Hiss Coming from Speakers

Hey there,

I received my Adam T5V’s today. I have problem, there’s a static hiss coming from the speakers. I’m guessing it’s coming from my DAC, which is a SMSL M3, since when I disconnect the cables form the DAC the static noise seems to disappear. The static hiss is also present when I directly plug them into the DAC. Is there a way to fix this problem or should I be looking for a new DAC?

My current setup SMSL M3->In-line volume controller-> Adam T5Vs

Hmmmm is it constant or only if the dac plays audio? My guess is it might be a ground loop, what are you using to run signal to the m3?

Yup it’s constant, I’m using a random micro usb cable that I just found laying around and when I’m playing music that isn’t that loud I can clearly hear the static noise in the backround.

Are you also using the external power on the m3? If you can perhaps try a different usb port or plugging it into a different pc if you have one

I tried different usb ports, even tried a different cable,nothing changed. Hooked up external power to the M3, still the same. I found that the speakers themselves hiss a little bit, but it’s not the same hiss.

Yes there will be a little bit of hiss from the speakers alone, that’s normal and shouldn’t be too noticable when playing music, but the dac issue isn’t normal. So just wondering do you have an optical cable and a PC with optical out? If not then you can get a new dac which would be an upgrade, you could run balanced to the monitors depending on the dac you go with which would help prevent this too (along with the dac also having most likely a better power supply and USB isolation)

Unfortunately I don’t. Any recommendations? I was already looking at a few lol, none of them were balanced tho. My price range is most likely going to be 200-300$(€).

Can you borrow another DAC to verify it’s the DAC?
Can you plug the speakers into the same outlet as the PC and DAC?
My concern is it’s noise introduced by the ground or power on the USB connection, and another DAC maybe no different.

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That is mainly what I was thinking, a dac with a better isolated usb would help but it still has the potential to have issues

@Fractal perhaps check out the smsl su8


They are already running from the same outlet as the DAC and the PC. I don’t think I can get my hands on another DAC, I can possibly try a laptop.
Also the weird thing is that when I use my mouse wheel, there’s a crackle in the static noise.

Yes do this if you can, also try it on battery and on wall power

It for sure is a ground loop then

So PCIe extension card with a optical out should/could fix the issue then?

If you remove the USB cable from the DAC does it go away?
Assuming you have separate power to it.
It certainly sounds like some sort of ground noise, but if your using wifi, can you shut that off?
It’s also possible it’s EMF, that can come across as crackling in some environments.

Yes it goes away. I could disable it from Device Manager, but other than that I’d have to disconnect the extension card.

I guess I don’t understand the response I’m just asking if you disconnect the DAC from the PC, but leave the DAC with power (ideally from a wall wart) does the noise go away.
If it does it’s ground loop of some sort, basically you have 2 sources of ground one in the Speaker, and one linked through the PC to the DAC’s USB input, which is causing the noise.
If that’s the case, swapping DAC’s might not fix it.
You might be able to get a USB isolator.

That or use optical

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Yes, when I disconnect the DAC from the PC and leave it plugged in the static noise goes away. I will try a laptop today.
No static noise when a connected the DAC to the laptop, tried both plugged in and unplugged(on battery power).

So then to solve this you would either want to grab an optical cable for your pc to the dac as that would electrically isolate it so you wouldn’t get the ground loop, or get a usb idolator (the optical will be cheaper)

I don’t have a optical out on my mobo, so I also need a sound card or something with a SPDIF out. I found a Nobsound usb isolator for 15$ but I don’t know if it’s good or not.

I would trust a cheap usb to optical converter more than a cheaper usb isolator imo, this would do the job. I do recommend upgrading the dac itself in the future though for better sound quality, not sure if you can find something like this where you are