This happened a while ago and I can't tell anymore why or when... It just didn't bother me enough at the time but now I can focus on this issue.

Whenever I have a cable plugged into the headphones output of my soundcard and there is no sound playing (like youtube, mp3) it starts to buzz (60Hz buzzing). If I remove the power chord from my laptop, the buzzing stops. I am an electrical engineer and I think that the soundcard somehow turns off the power when not in use and that's why I hear a current loop. Would make sense in a laptop anyway to save power.

I workaround this problem by having a VLC player play any random file at 0% volume. That keeps the soundcard going and not buzzing. But I would like to go back to a state where I don't have to play silent music in the background to have a non-buzzing soundcard.

I use Ubuntu Studio 18.04.

uname -r

cat /proc/asound/cards
0 [HDMI           ]: HDA-Intel - HDA Intel HDMI
                     HDA Intel HDMI at 0xc4310000 irq 51
1 [PCH            ]: HDA-Intel - HDA Intel PCH
                     HDA Intel PCH at 0xc4314000 irq 52

(Topic is about PCH Soundcard) Thanks for any help!


Thanks for explaining the issue, I would never have figured it out myself.

For future searchers, there are instructions for enabling or disabling the audio card's power saving mode here:


The bottom line for AC97 or Intel HDA cards is to create a file named /etc/modprobe.d/audio_powersave.conf and add one of these lines:

# For AC97 cards:
options snd_ac97_codec power_save=0
# For HD audio cards:
options snd_hda_intel power_save=0

Then reboot.

  • You are the man! This absolutely fixes the problem that I have been suffering from for years. Thank you so much :D Glad, we could work this out "together". – password is password Aug 24 '20 at 12:33

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