"Pumping" on some speakers, not all Speakers

(Audacity 2.2.2. Windows 10 home version 1903 64-bit.)

My audio files (.wav, mono, and they meet ACX standards) sound fine on an iPhone, and they sound fine on blue tooth connection to any remote speaker, including in the car and on expensive stereo speakers.

But on my computer speakers (only) there is a tooth-rattling silence between phrases. The “room tone” is gone, and replaced with silence. The effect is extremely unnatural and sounds like a very aggressive noise gate .

I do use a noise gate. How worried should I be that the room tone between phrases is lost on my computer speakers only?

The Black Silence of Space. Yes, that’s one of the results if you use a gate wrong.

I would be digging in my Windows machine and see if you have any playback effects applied. I once got a machine from the Systems people in our company that had “Cathedral Effects” running during playback and nobody caught it.

Do you use Skype or other chat or conference software? Stop. Turn it all off and restart the machine to make sure auto echo or noise suppression isn’t running. Skype doesn’t ask you about sound setting changes. It just does them.


I am curious about your gating technique. Are you saying it passes ACX because it passes ACX Check, or because you’re a published author?


I use the Audacity plugin called “Noise Gate.” Settings attached .

Also, a few seconds audio clip attached . Which sounds perfect on my headphones.

BY “ACX Check” I mean the Audacity plugin. Yes, I have two audiobooks out there, and the plugin has always accurately predicted approval. (although I’m not sure if ACX cares about this noise gate issue)

noise gate Capture.JPG

BY “ACX Check” I mean the Audacity plugin. Yes, I have two audiobooks out there, and the plugin has always accurately predicted approval. (although I’m not sure if ACX cares about this noise gate issue)

We expect ACX Check to accurately predict passing the actual ACX Hardware or Robot test. That was the model for the program. ACX has a second test I’ve been calling Human Quality Control. That’s the test sensitive to theatrical quality of work and distractions. Hard to get a software package to judge your lip smacks or, as happened once, asthmatic gasping for air. Humans do that one. That’s where you fall over if your background noise pumps or drifts in and out, and yes, that can be very much a gate issue.

I think I see what happened. Your gate settings are very graceful and gentle and I suspect strongly you might have been able to pass ACX Noise without it. Forum posters sometimes want us to rescue them from recording in the noisy kitchen background sounds and that’s a lot harder.

So this is all about you. Did you find the Windows Playback Effects? Shut down Skype? I can’t help a lot with settings since I’m on a Mac.


Thanks. I don’t have Skype or any effects on the computer speakers.

However, my computer speakers are USB “music” speakers (Edifier R1580MB ), about $100 worth, and they are very bass-y for voice stuff.

I’m going to conclude that the problem is the computer speakers, since I am satisfied with the sound through my Sennhesser HD 600 headphones and through any other output source. Puzzling, though.

they are very bass-y for voice stuff.

I see a bass control on the back panel.

Nothing about processing in the instructions, but since it’s USB connected, it doesn’t go through the regular soundcard. Did you install a driver? Does the speaker maker show up on a Windows search? Windows Control Panels should show them as sound devices.


Are we talking about the same thing? R1580MB are BlueTooth speakers. Not USB. I don’t know I would trust BlueTooth with anything quality. I’ve had some nasty problems with BlueTooth.

In one instance, the BlueTooth service shuts down periodically for maximum efficiency and then wakes up again when it thinks it’s needed.

Periodically shuts down… Where have we heard that before?


Sorry, I gave you the wrong Edifier speakers model. I have Edifier-R1280T, USB.

Basically they’re bookshelf speakers that connect to the computer by RCA cables that end in a usb plug.

I didn’t find see any special drivers. (Not sure this is going to help, but it may at least unconfuse somebody)
audio driversCapture.JPG

The only other thing I got is a design defect. There’s a way to design speaker amplifiers—incorrectly—so they just don’t respond to super quiet sounds. You can promote this design as super high efficiency (which it is) and ignore the sound distortion.

Are these speakers actually powered by USB, they don’t have a power cord or power brick at the wall?