ZVOX 580 Audio "popping" with PS3 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-12-2012, 10:08 AM - Thread Starter
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I recently purchased a new ZVOX 580 and had some audio problems. When loading a DVD from my PS3 I get some very loud audio "pops" each time a chapter is loaded at the beginning of the DVD. Also when ejecting the DVD from the PS3. I have been working with tech support from ZVOX and they have been very helpful. However, I just received my second new unit and it does the same thing. I have tried changing out my HDMI and my Optical cables but no difference. Also tried running optical audio direct from the PS3 to the ZVOX but still the same. I don't get the audio pops when loading content from my ROKU or from my standard DVD player. My setup includes the PS3; ROKU hooked to my Sony Bravia with HDMI and Optical audio from the Bravia to the ZVOX. It's annoying but not necessarily a big issue. I do worry about speaker damage from the pops over time but not sure if that is something I should be worrying about. Outside of this issue I love the ZVOX. Anyone having this issue? Thanks in advance for any suggestions or help offered.
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post #2 of 7 Old 07-12-2012, 01:11 PM
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Hello mzkman,

This is Fred Pinkerton, Product Manager at ZVOX Audio.
Your symptoms indicate some problem with the digital stream coming from the PS/3. It is possible the digital signal stream coming from the PS3 changes format or timing each time you perform an action that causes a "pop". The ZVOX may not be able to re-lock onto the digital stream properly/quickly and a pop is generated during the "locking-in" time. The input circuits inside a ZVOX 580 are very good at locking in on the wide variety of digital signal formats and timing. I can't explain why the PS/3 would sound OK through the TV speaker but not through the ZVOX, but there may be some digital signal timing change that just upsets the ZVOX during the actions you cite.

If your PS3 or TV has a "digital format" change option, you could try switching this to eliminate the problem. ZVOX 580's can decode both Dolby Digital and PCM digital audio. If you can switch the output format to PCM, this may eliminate the problem.

I can't recall every having heard of this problem before, especially with PS/3s. I have to conclude that this issue isn't normal with a Sony Bravia and a PS/3. Since all your other sources play fine with the ZVOX, it points to the PS3 unit as creating something unusual in its digital stream.

Your Sony TV has an analog audio output also. I would try that. If you set the Sony analog audio output to "fixed" level, it will still sound very good and it should eliminate the problem. I am assuming you don't hear the pop if you listen to the sound through the PS/3 through the TV speakers.
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post #3 of 7 Old 07-12-2012, 01:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi ZVOX_Fred: Thanks for the response. I tried changing the audio settings on the PS3 to just PCM (No Dolby) 44.1 and 48 KHz. Still get the same audio pops. I made a video using my iPhone that demonstrates the pop. I could upload to DropBox for you to view if you like. I will try running analog from the TV to the ZVOX but if I can't use the ZVOX with digital audio then it pretty much defeats the purpose of purchasing the unit. I used the PS3 previously with the sound going from my TV to an older Sony stereo (analog) and never heard the pops but also didn't have great sound. I agree that it is probably an issue with the digital flow. But again, I purchased the unit so I could have high quality digital sound. If the pops are of no consequence as far as damage to the speakers I can live with it I think. The pops are pretty loud. I am open to any other ideas you may have. I will let you know if the pops go away when running the audio signal through analog connections.
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post #4 of 7 Old 07-17-2012, 01:10 PM
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Hello mzkman,
In reading through the list of things you tried, I don't see that you tried connecting any other digital audio reproducer to the optical digital output of your TV or PS/3 besides a second ZVOX.
If you connect such a device and hear the pops, then you have confirmation the problem is clearly in the PS/3 signal processing.

The ZVOX 580 is essentially incapable of "hurting" itself. So the pops are simply annoying, not dangerous. However, I would consider them unacceptably annoying. Switching to analog audio would be highly preferable (in my mind) if it eliminates the pops. Also, switching to analog in this particular case (from the Sony TV's analog output going directly to the ZVOX) involves little to no overall quality reduction.

Analog audio's main problem is that it does not "travel" well (as in many yards or miles). When you go from microphone to tape, then to records, analog suffers big hits in quality. But converting a digital audio signal ONCE to analog in the Sony TV then sending it directly to the ZVOX using the Sony's "fixed" level analog output makes VERY little difference in the sound from the ZVOX.

As part of the ZVOX design team, I can strongly claim that the advantage of the ZVOX is ALL in the processing we apply to the audio signal (analog or digital). From the perspective of "sound out of the ZVOX", a high quality "fixed level" analog signal is essentially indistinguishable from a digital signal if the only "D to A" transition occurs at the output of the TV.

Fred Pinkerton, Product Manager, ZVOX Audio
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post #5 of 7 Old 07-17-2012, 02:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks again Fred for the second reply. I have tried to hook the analog from the TV directly into the ZVOX but I get no sound. I assume I am hooking up correctly (using analog cable with red and white RCA's) going from audio out on the TV to the audio in on the ZVOX. Tried both 1 & 2 and no sound from either. I am pretty sure this is a PS3 issue but am amazed I am the first to complain about it. Does that mean I have a bad audio signal from the PS3? It is fairly new and still under warranty. If this is a PS 3 defect I would like to get it taken care of before the warranty expires. I've watched a few movies and streaming TV shows over the last few days to continue to trouble shoot. The only time I get the popping is with the PS 3 when loading a BluRay. Not sure what to think about the analog not working. I used the analog out when using my old Sony stereo as a sound source and it always worked. I tried multiple sets of cables, switched TV between TV and Sound System for sound but only silence from the ZVOX. Just for the record I wanted to say that the customer service from OneCall (Huppin's out of Spokane, WA) has been stellar. They sent me a second ZVOX to try to see if it duplicated the problem and have tried to help troubleshoot as well. Kudos to them. I still may return this and find a different solution for my TV sound although I am quite impressed with this unit and would hate to return it. If I don't have to worry about damage to the ZVOX I may just live with a few audio pops as movies load from the PS 3. Let me know if you any final thoughts or advice.
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post #6 of 7 Old 11-08-2012, 11:58 PM
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Did you try connecting your PS3 to your TV and connect ZVOX to TV with optical cable. This should be the recommended way to connect your ZVOX and your consoles, DVD player, etc. Hope it works out.
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post #7 of 7 Old 11-09-2012, 12:08 AM
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If you have access to another PS3 or XBOX, you can see if the popping sound will duplicate or not. If it does not, then you know it is your PS3.
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