[XPS 13 9360, Realtek ALC3246, Black Headphone Out, Front] High noise floor

Bug #1845810 reported by Robie Basak on 2019-09-28
6
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
linux (Ubuntu)
Undecided
Unassigned
Bionic
Undecided
Unassigned

Bug Description

Since linux-image-4.15.0-60-generic 4.15.0-60.67, the background noise in my headphones has increased to unreasonable levels. In linux-image-4.15.0-58-generic 4.15.0-58.64 and previous kernels the noise was present but at a bearable level, which I had always assumed was a hardware design issue. Now, with the increased noise floor, the headphone socket is essentially unusable.

This is a regression in a stable release (Bionic). The problem consistently reproduces as follows:

OK: linux-image-4.15.0-58-generic 4.15.0-58.64
BAD: linux-image-4.15.0-60-generic 4.15.0-60.67
BAD: linux-image-4.15.0-62-generic 4.15.0-62.69
BAD: linux-image-4.15.0-64-generic 4.15.0-64.73

Steps to reproduce:

Hardware: Dell XPS 9360 (shipped with Ubuntu). I'm using a manually reinstalled Ubuntu Bionic, not the OEM installation. Mostly everything is on defaults.

1. Boot with no headphones connected
2. Log in
3. Plug the headphones in

Expected: normal noise level
Actual: very high noise level. Playback does work correctly but the SnR is terrible.

The "Select Audio Device" prompt appears, but the noise problem is present before I make a selection. If I select Headphones or Headset (I'm using a headset) then the noise remains after a brief (~0.5s) interruption. If I select Microphone then the noise goes, but then the audio comes through the speakers and not the headset as required.

I have tried messing with alsamixer but haven't found anything to explain or reduce the noise. Switching to a previous kernel fixes the problem immediately with no settings change required.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 18.04
Package: alsa-base 1.0.25+dfsg-0ubuntu5
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 4.15.0-64.73-generic 4.15.18
Uname: Linux 4.15.0-64-generic x86_64
ApportVersion: 2.20.9-0ubuntu7.7
Architecture: amd64
AudioDevicesInUse:
 USER PID ACCESS COMMAND
 /dev/snd/controlC0: robie 2126 F.... pulseaudio
                      robie 3648 F.... alsamixer
CurrentDesktop: ubuntu:GNOME
Date: Sat Sep 28 23:51:05 2019
InstallationDate: Installed on 2017-05-11 (870 days ago)
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 17.10 "Artful Aardvark" - Alpha amd64 (20170507)
PackageArchitecture: all
SourcePackage: alsa-driver
Symptom: audio
Symptom_AlsaPlaybackTest: ALSA playback test through plughw:PCH successful
Symptom_Card: Built-in Audio - HDA Intel PCH
Symptom_Jack: Black Headphone Out, Front
Symptom_PulsePlaybackTest: PulseAudio playback test successful
Symptom_Type: High background noise, or volume is too low
Title: [XPS 13 9360, Realtek ALC3246, Black Headphone Out, Front] Background noise or low volume
UpgradeStatus: Upgraded to bionic on 2018-07-28 (427 days ago)
dmi.bios.date: 03/14/2019
dmi.bios.vendor: Dell Inc.
dmi.bios.version: 2.11.0
dmi.board.name: 00GCYR
dmi.board.vendor: Dell Inc.
dmi.board.version: A00
dmi.chassis.type: 9
dmi.chassis.vendor: Dell Inc.
dmi.modalias: dmi:bvnDellInc.:bvr2.11.0:bd03/14/2019:svnDellInc.:pnXPS139360:pvr:rvnDellInc.:rn00GCYR:rvrA00:cvnDellInc.:ct9:cvr:
dmi.product.family: XPS
dmi.product.name: XPS 13 9360
dmi.sys.vendor: Dell Inc.
---
ProblemType: Bug
ApportVersion: 2.20.9-0ubuntu7.7
Architecture: amd64
AudioDevicesInUse:
 USER PID ACCESS COMMAND
 /dev/snd/controlC0: robie 2329 F.... pulseaudio
CurrentDesktop: ubuntu:GNOME
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 18.04
HibernationDevice: RESUME=UUID=ae23a431-2f44-4c12-992a-a0da8186bfcc
InstallationDate: Installed on 2017-05-11 (871 days ago)
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 17.10 "Artful Aardvark" - Alpha amd64 (20170507)
Lsusb:
 Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0003 Linux Foundation 3.0 root hub
 Bus 001 Device 003: ID 0bda:568b Realtek Semiconductor Corp.
 Bus 001 Device 002: ID 0cf3:e300 Atheros Communications, Inc.
 Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
MachineType: Dell Inc. XPS 13 9360
Package: linux (not installed)
ProcFB: 0 inteldrmfb
ProcKernelCmdLine: BOOT_IMAGE=/vmlinuz-4.15.0-64-generic root=/dev/mapper/ubuntu--vg-root ro quiet splash vt.handoff=1
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 4.15.0-64.73-generic 4.15.18
RelatedPackageVersions:
 linux-restricted-modules-4.15.0-64-generic N/A
 linux-backports-modules-4.15.0-64-generic N/A
 linux-firmware 1.173.9
Tags: bionic
Uname: Linux 4.15.0-64-generic x86_64
UpgradeStatus: Upgraded to bionic on 2018-07-28 (428 days ago)
UserGroups: adm cdrom dialout dip libvirt lpadmin lxd plugdev sambashare sudo
_MarkForUpload: True
dmi.bios.date: 03/14/2019
dmi.bios.vendor: Dell Inc.
dmi.bios.version: 2.11.0
dmi.board.name: 00GCYR
dmi.board.vendor: Dell Inc.
dmi.board.version: A00
dmi.chassis.type: 9
dmi.chassis.vendor: Dell Inc.
dmi.modalias: dmi:bvnDellInc.:bvr2.11.0:bd03/14/2019:svnDellInc.:pnXPS139360:pvr:rvnDellInc.:rn00GCYR:rvrA00:cvnDellInc.:ct9:cvr:
dmi.product.family: XPS
dmi.product.name: XPS 13 9360
dmi.sys.vendor: Dell Inc.

Robie Basak (racb) wrote :
Robie Basak (racb) wrote :

> I'm using a manually reinstalled Ubuntu Bionic

Actually it looks like I upgraded up to it from Artful.

Robie Basak (racb) wrote :

Oh, I didn't notice that apport sent this to alsa-driver. Reassigning since I believe this to be a kernel regression.

affects: alsa-driver (Ubuntu) → linux (Ubuntu)

This bug is missing log files that will aid in diagnosing the problem. While running an Ubuntu kernel (not a mainline or third-party kernel) please enter the following command in a terminal window:

apport-collect 1845810

and then change the status of the bug to 'Confirmed'.

If, due to the nature of the issue you have encountered, you are unable to run this command, please add a comment stating that fact and change the bug status to 'Confirmed'.

This change has been made by an automated script, maintained by the Ubuntu Kernel Team.

Changed in linux (Ubuntu):
status: New → Incomplete

apport information

tags: added: apport-collected
description: updated
Robie Basak (racb) wrote : CRDA.txt

apport information

apport information

apport information

Robie Basak (racb) wrote : Lspci.txt

apport information

apport information

apport information

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apport information

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apport information

Changed in linux (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Confirmed
Kai-Heng Feng (kaihengfeng) wrote :

I'll borrow the 9360 from Taipei office and work on this.

Changed in linux (Ubuntu):
assignee: nobody → Kai-Heng Feng (kaihengfeng)
Changed in linux (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → In Progress
Kai-Heng Feng (kaihengfeng) wrote :

Please test this kernel package:
https://people.canonical.com/~khfeng/lp1845810/

Changed in linux (Ubuntu):
status: In Progress → Incomplete
Robie Basak (racb) wrote :

Your build works very well. The noise floor is even lower than before the regression, and my audio quality is now the best I've heard it. Thank you!

For clarity:

Medium noise: linux-image-4.15.0-58-generic 4.15.0-58.64
High noise (initial regression): linux-image-4.15.0-60-generic 4.15.0-60.67
High noise: linux-image-4.15.0-62-generic 4.15.0-62.69
High noise: linux-image-4.15.0-64-generic 4.15.0-64.73
Low noise: linux-image-4.15.0-66-generic 4.15-0-66.75~lp1845810

Changed in linux (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Triaged
Kai-Heng Feng (kaihengfeng) wrote :
Changed in linux (Ubuntu):
assignee: Kai-Heng Feng (kaihengfeng) → nobody
Connor Kuehl (connork) on 2019-11-14
Changed in linux (Ubuntu Bionic):
status: New → Fix Committed

This bug is awaiting verification that the kernel in -proposed solves the problem. Please test the kernel and update this bug with the results. If the problem is solved, change the tag 'verification-needed-bionic' to 'verification-done-bionic'. If the problem still exists, change the tag 'verification-needed-bionic' to 'verification-failed-bionic'.

If verification is not done by 5 working days from today, this fix will be dropped from the source code, and this bug will be closed.

See https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Testing/EnableProposed for documentation how to enable and use -proposed. Thank you!

tags: added: verification-needed-bionic
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