View Full Version : G74S Flickering clicking sound in audio output

08-08-2012, 09:02 AM
Hello again. I'm hoping someone could help with this new issue. I did search the forum for audio clicking issues, but most turned out to be hardware issues, the users mentioning that sound via headphones was ok.
In my case, that clicking sound remained regardless of whether I was using the speakers or the headphones. The weirder part was that it wasn't guarantied to manifest. So far, I hear it most often when playing a youtube video, or say browser flash games. It becomes more pronounced as the volume is raised higher of course. Also, when nothing's playing, no clicking. There has to be an active audio playing for it to be heard.
I'm testing these situations as I'm typing this, and it's getting very confusing. I just tried playing some movies in VLC. No clicking sound. I even thought that the location of whatever audio I was playing mattered, so I copied a movie file to the C drive and played it from there, on both VLC and WMP. No clicking.
Software wise, it's just as inconsistent. I hear it in one MMO, while in the other, it's crystal clear sound, no matter how I raise the volume.
By now some of you may be thinking this is a joke. I assure you, it's not.
*headdesks* And now I went browsing on youtube again. The videos are with clean audio again. But when I opened say a flash game on browser in another tab, it's back.
Seriously, I have no idea what to test for anymore. It's like it's randomly manifesting now.
Does anyone have any ideas? Any hint will be appreciated.
Thanks in advance.

PS: I even recorded the clicking sound, but I don't think this message board supports attachments.

08-09-2012, 02:31 PM
Attachments are supported. I hear it occasionally too.

it's definitely not a joke and I recall a few others acknowledged hearing it. It's not as loud as fireworks going off inside the laptop, but it's clearly audible and if you're attentive to sounds, it can get annoying fast.

One explanation is that the Class D audio amplifiers that drive the speakers and headphones are just poorly designed. After all, sound quality isn't the first (or second, or third, etc.) concern for laptop design engineers. Class D is cheaper and draws less power, and those are probably the two foremost design parameters.

When you cut sound quality corners in other kinds of audio amps, only audiophiles and test gear tend to notice it. When you cut sound quality corners in Class D amps...

I copied the following from a document on Class D audio amps at Analog.com:

Clicks and pops, which occur when the amplifier is turning on
or off can be very annoying. Unfortunately, however, they are easy
to introduce into a Class D amplifier unless careful attention is
paid to modulator state, output-stage timing, and LC filter state
when the amplifier is muted or unmuted.

It's a possibility, anyway. I sincerely hope I'm wrong and that it's a driver issue or something like that, though.

As far as fixes, I doubt an RMA would do it so I wouldn't put up with the hassle myself. On the DIY side, a lot of things might affect the amps' stability such as the notebook's power plan and advanced power settings in use and the temperature near the amps. I'd also be interested to see if a pair of high-impedance headphones makes any difference. If so, it's not too hard to add a resistor in line with each speaker.

On the other hand, we do have SPDIF digital output and USB audio options and there are all kinds of decent DACs (Digital to Audio converter) and DAC/headphone amp combos available for pretty cheap from eBay and elsewhere. I swapped wireless cards for an Intel 6230 and use the BlueTooth audio most of the time, so at least I don't have to hear the snaps too often.