The Streamer X is capable of very high quality audio, and also features a powerful headphone output for monitoring. If you experience unexpected or unusually loud noise (hiss or hum) in the headphones, it could be due to a number of reasons, so check the steps below to get the best result.
Check for Unwanted Open Channels
One of the most common reasons for hiss or hum is that there are open analogue inputs active. An input, especially a microphone input, that does not have anything connected to it will create hiss or hum, due to the ungrounded nature of the open input.
Because the Streamer X has a number of inputs, it is possible that there is an unused input that is faded up and adding noise to your audio.
If you are using UNIFY, check below as there are a couple of additional things to be aware of. If you are using the unit standalone, use RØDE Central to check the following.
- You have the correct microphone input selected, and have a microphone attached to that input.
- If you have a device connected to the HDMI input, any audio from that device will also be added to your audio. This includes cameras, which may have built-in mics or noisy audio circuits. Unless you specifically need audio from the HDMI input, use RØDE Central to fade the HDMI audio all the way down.
- Ensure that any computers connected to USB are not also feeding unwanted audio into the Streamer X, especially if you are using both USB inputs. Check your computer configuration to ensure that unused or unwanted programs are not sending audio (for example a chat application or browsers).
Turning the microphone gain all the way down is NOT the same as removing (or fading down) that channel in RØDE Central or UNIFY. The gain control (the front panel microphone control) controls the input gain of the device, and even when turned to minimum still delivers a signal into your audio. So we recommend using RØDE Central to remove (or fade down) unwanted audio sources.
Additional note for UNIFY users: If you are using the UNIFY software with the Streamer X, it is possible to use all three of the analogue inputs (XLR, Headset and Wireless) at the same time. When configuring the Streamer X for UNIFY, ensure that only the device(s) you need are added to the mixer. You can remove unwanted channels by clicking the ‘x’ above the channel identification icon.
Set the gain and Volume Correctly
Because the headphone output is very powerful, it is easy to set up the Streamer X with the headphone level too high, and the microphone level too low. This creates a poor ‘gain staging’ signal flow which will increase the noise. To address this, please do the following:
- Turn down the headphones dial on the Streamer X.
- Then turn up the gain on your mic until the red peak indicator flashes on the loudest peak of your voice.
- Slowly increase the headphone dial until the microphone level audio is comfortable and able to be heard clearly.
Check for USB Interference
Sometimes, when operating the Streamer X on USB bus power (powering it from the USB1 connection to your computer), the computer can supply a poor-quality power voltage to the device, which can add noise to the signal. To confirm if this might contribute to the issue, look at the following steps:
- You may find using the included dedicated power supply will deliver a better result.
- Disconnect any peripheral devices from your computer such as monitors or audio equipment. Observe any improvements in the audio quality – if noticeable, a potential grounding issue with your power outlet may be the cause.
- Try the Streamer X on a different computer with the included Super Speed USB-C cable.
Choose the Correct Headphone type
When using lower impedance passive headphones with the Streamer X's powerful headphone amp such as IEM or wired earphones/ headphones (between 16-32 ohms), you will notice more self noise from the Streamer X when compared to higher impedance headphones (between 150-300 ohms).
- Explore the option of using higher impedance headphones or earphones with your Streamer X.
- If you're using an adapter to connect headphones to the Streamer X, try a different 1/8" to 1/4" adapter.
By implementing these steps, you can effectively troubleshoot and enhance the audio quality of your Streamer X setup.
If you're still having issue with the product, please reach out to our Service Team contact page for further assistance.