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Weird problem with H95 turning off

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Garreon
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Garreon posted on Fri, Mar 26 2021 1:27 AM

Hi!

Coming with a very unusual issue - couldn't find anything even remotely similar case on the internet, so any suggestions would be extremely welcome...

Setup:

  • I have new B&O H95 headphones, using them WIRED;

  • I have PC with Sound Blaster AE-7 which is reasonably strong sound card, using direct mode with no software disturbing the picture;

  • H95's auto turn off mode OFF;

Issue: at random time intervals (usually between few minutes and and hour) the headphones just turn off - audio stops, like if they were switched off (but they physically weren't). The source however keeps playing the sound, so if I disconnect these headphones and connect other headphones, or switch to speakers output audio continues playing. For my B&O H95 I need to manually switch headphones off and back on with the physical switch to make them to continue playing the audio...

What makes things more complicated

  • When I use same headphones, via same cable with my MacBook, everything is fine;

  • When I use same headphones, via same cable with my PC (one causing the issue) but not via Sound Blaster AE-7 but via front jack panel (which is connected to motherboard/Intel audio controller) everything is fine as well!

  • No issues via bluetooth either;

In other words the problem only occurs when I have headphones connected via AE-7's "headphone-out". Same PC but motherboard audio = no problem.

I am in contact with B&O support but this but their answer was that the sound card may give "too faint" signal and bye bye - which is ridiculous since the sound card has amp built in and can easily drive headphones up to 600 Ohms (while H95 are 12 Ohms or so), the signal is more than sufficient. It is much more powerful than MacBooks or Intel audio from motherboard...

So I'm lost, I love these headphones for their comfort and versitality but this issue is so annoying and I can't figure out what is the problem (not counting support will help neither...).

I tried tinkering with everything, including power options in Win 10, tinkered with literally every option in audio settings.

I think it's just poor software in these headphones that turn switch "auto turn off" function for some random reason caused by something but it's beyond my understanding.

 

Will appreciate ANY ideas. Thank you in advance!

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Geoff Martin
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A couple of comments/questions before giving a helpful answer::

- the input impedance of H95 is about 1.5 kΩ, which should not be part of the issue.(if it were 12 Ω then I might blame the sound card being asked to deliver too much current)

- what are your volume settings on the two devices? If the sound card is able to go much higher than 1 V RMS at its output, then the H95s might be shutting themselves down to protect themselves from an overloaded input. So, if your sound card output volume is set to Max, and you're turning it down in the headphones, then this might be the issue. (however, it really depends on the max output of the sound card). A MacBook's maximum output level is 1 V RMS, so IF this is the problem, then the Mac can't cause it to happen.

Cheers
-geoff

 

Garreon
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Hi!

Thank you for your reply.

As for the impedance, the soundcard offers 3 options: 16-31, 32-149 and 150-600 ohm. I am of course using the first one, but tested the second one as well - with no difference for the subject in question.

HOWEVER your second point is very interesting. I have card's/PC volume max, and only changing the volume via the headphones - my thinking was that maybe the signal is too weak, but you made me think maybe it's indeed opposite and it's too strong.

Seems this is RMS per each output:

16 - 31Ω (1,9V Rms), 32 - 149Ω (3V Rms), 150–600Ω (5.6V RMS)

So even at the lowest option it's 1,9V RMS which is more that you say - I will test by lowering the output volume on the PC/card and test if this works. Stay tuned! :)

 

Edit: I noticed who responded to me and I am honored sir!

Geoff Martin
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Hi again,

Hopefully, dropping the output level on your sound card will solve the problem. If not, then we'll start digging a little more. I'd leave it at the highest expected load impedance setting and just dropping the level.

The H95s minijack input is more like a line input than a headphone input. (Usually, a line input would be more like 10 kΩ or more) This isn't a problem when connecting to a headphone output of a device - it just means that the device's output amplifier will be delivering a lot less current than it's designed to do.

Cheers
-geoff

 

Garreon
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Garreon replied on Sun, Mar 28 2021 11:03 AM

So far it seems this solved the problem!

I lowered the output/sound card volume from 100% to 20%, and increased headphones volume - which provides basically the same volume level, and been sweating this with an excessive testing for few hours and nothing, not a single instance of headphones switching off!

It's kinda funny, I've tried literally every possible combination of settings I could find, including power saving, software interferences etc., but in the it was just a simple volume change.

Let's hope it stays this way and Geoff thank you very much for your help, your hunch here was right to the point. I am very happy because I really love H95 and it was such a bummer to have an annoying issue like that.

Cheers!

Geoff Martin
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Hi again,

Glad to help! This one wouldn't necessarily be a "normal" problem to de-bug. The only reason I thought of it as a possible answer is that I had the same thing happen to me when driving a pair of H95s with a source that delivers up to 8 V. The headphones immediately got unhappy and shut off... Normal people with normal sources would never experience this problem - but I've never considered myself to be normal... :-)

Cheers
-geoff

Garreon
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Suggested by Jaffrey2230

After week of testing, re-confirming all is good.

Case closed! Drinks

Mikipidia
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Geoff Martin:

Hi again,

Glad to help! This one wouldn't necessarily be a "normal" problem to de-bug. The only reason I thought of it as a possible answer is that I had the same thing happen to me when driving a pair of H95s with a source that delivers up to 8 V. The headphones immediately got unhappy and shut off... Normal people with normal sources would never experience this problem - but I've never considered myself to be normal... :-)

Cheers -geoff

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Jaffrey2230
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Interesting that B&O support basically gave the wrong answer! One reason I stopped going to B&O support for anything. But glad it worked out. I love the H95, worth every penny and much more IMHO Smile

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