X-Fi & Logitech Z 5500 problem ...


Giovanni Azua

Hi all,

I have the following problem explained bellow (it is kind of long email),
any ideas?

My System:

- Creative XFi platinum installed on Dell Precision 670
- Logitech Z 5500
- SpeedLink Headset


The first day with Z 5500 everything worked just great. The day after
when connected and started the computer there was a horrible noise.
To start troubleshooting I went through all the power suggestions but they
did not work the noisy sound and humming was still there.

Then I noticed the problem was the connection of the microphone line
coming out of the Xfi card. If I completely disconnect the microphone line
then the noise goes away. I need the microphone line to connect to my
so I can switch between Z5500 and the headset anytime I need to e.g. using

How can I avoid the noise and still keep my headset connected to the
sound card? why this problem came out the day after and not the first
time I connected everything? as far as I can tell nothing changed from
day one to the day after ...

A. Sound card-

If the humming or buzzing gets louder or softer with changes
in the volume setting, this is an indication of noise coming from the sound
In this case, check all of the connections to the sound card to make sure
they are
all completely plugged in and secure. Then, adjust the level setting of the
sound mixer
to obtain the best performance. Generally, you should leave your CD volume
in the mixer at full and reduce the sound card's master output level down.
information on doing this, please refer to your sound card manufacturer's

B. High-power devices-

If you are using other high powered devices on the same electrical circuit,
they may
be causing hum or buzz. If so, discontinue their use while you are using
your speaker
system. Examples of such devices include microwave ovens, halogen lamps,
power tools, etc.

Also note that high-power devices with dimmer switches (such as halogen
lamps) will cause an especially pronounced buzzing effect. To minimize hum
or buzz,
make sure that the dimmer switch on these products is either all the way on
or off.

C. Electric Polarity-

If the wall sockets are not polarized where you have the speakers plugged
in, it could
be difficult to properly match the polarities of your computer/DVD player
and the speaker
system causing this buzz. To solve the problem you will need to remove the
power plug from
the wall outlet, rotate the plug 180°, and re-insert it into the wall. Try
this for your
speaker system power cord, your computer power cord, or both. You should be
able to
find a combination that will eliminate the humming and buzzing.

B and C are definitely not the problem. I have tried moving away the Z 5500
from any other
electronic devices like PC etc and even plugging into a different and
isolated power outlet the
noise effect is still the same.

Regarding A I also checked that the Sound Card is properly connected to the
MOBO and
that all 4 connectors (Microphone + 3 Z5500 inputs) are properly connected.

Bellow please find more info for the diagnostic:

1-. When I connect the SpeedLink headset to the "Control Pod" there is NO
noise of any
kind coming from the headset. Hence it shows that the problem is NOT
the Xfi Sound
Card otherwise I would get the same noices from the headset too, right?

2-. When I keep the Microphone "Volume Control" not muted from Windows and
the Speedlink Headphones from the Xfi Microphone output there is still
a noise that is
not sooo bad as when the Headphones are connected to Microphone output
of the Xfi card.

3-. When I mute the Microphone from the Windows "Volume Control" from System
tray, the
main and lauder humming/buzzing coming from all speakers and Subwoofer
stops. However,
even when the microphone is muted there still remain some very low
but still bothering buzzing
coming from the Z 5500 speakers but not from the Subwoofer. However
note that when the
Headset is connected to the Z 5500 Control Pod there is still no noise
of any kind ... again
meaning the problem here is not really the Sound Card.

4-. When the Microphone is muted from the Windows "Volume Control" I get
some (is it
normal?) minor buzzing from the speakers only that reduces with the
Volume control of
the Z 5500 "Control Pod". When I change the Z 5500 "Control Pod" effect
from "6 Ch Direct"
to any other like e.g. PLII Music effect mode then all buzzing/humming
stop completely.

please note that the only mode that brings the noise problems in different
levels is the
"6 Ch Direct" all other Effect modes work OKAY.

My configuration is as follows:

- Creative SoundBlaster XFi Sound Card platinum (includes the front panel
that I actually don't
have connected to anything).

- The Headset Speed link that connects to the direct Microphone output of
the Xfi Sound Card. It
still has a connector left to connect the Headset to the Z 5500 "Control
Pod" and work in "Headphones

- The 3 remaining sound outputs go directly connected to the Z 5500 "Control

Still not clear to me why the first day there were aboslutely no problems,
but these issues started
late the second day. Is it possible this was a defective Z 5500?


Thanks in advance,
Best Regards,

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