I am new to any audio work. I have an Intel NUC PC with a 3.5mm TRRS out. It doesn't have a have grounded mains plug (I am in the UK). This is connected to a Motu Stage B16 mixer via a TRRS to left/right split XLR cable. I then have a pair of PA speakers connected via XLR to the mixer. The NUC is connected to a separate power strip to the mixer and speakers.

I have getting a very annoying clicking/static buzzing sound. But when I move my connection from the NUC to a proper desktop PC with a sound card it disappears.

Would a USB sound card or DI box (USB or jack one) solve my issue?


A USB sound card usually has better isolation from interference than a built-in DAC, but there's no guarantee. A DI box won't help against this particular problem.

You could check if the PC has a Toslink output (some have Toslink on the same 3.5 mm connector as the analog audio out), that would definitely solve the interference problem (but you'd need a Toslink->analog adapter).

  • Interesting, I'm curious as to why a DI box won't help? Won't that isolation because of the transformer (soundonsound.com/techniques/using-di-boxes)? The NUC PC only has USB and TRRS output.
    – GodAtum
    Sep 15 '20 at 19:32
  • a DI box converts the unbalanced signal to a balanced signal. This will prevent interference from leaking into the balanced signal. It can't remove interference from the incoming unbalanced signal.
    – Hobbes
    Sep 16 '20 at 6:13
  • Unfortunately a USB sound card did not work. This is the sound (turned the volume up to make it easier to record) dropbox.com/s/c8qkt1mn2t8nrbf/sim%20sound.m4a?dl=0
    – GodAtum
    Sep 17 '20 at 13:26

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