Severe short term audio distortion when watching Netflix

Hi all , I can't find a reason for this anywhere - so posting as widely as possible

My Setup

New Win 10 PC with Matrix Element H USB card - Sablon 2020 cable to May KTE DAC - handmade Silver XLR's to Hegel H390 to Dynaudio Heritage Specials

For the last 12 nights, while watching Netflix or Youtube - the audio is swamped by severe high pitched distortion for 3-4 seconds , then all returns to normal

This only happens once per night - between 7 -10PM. Only once, never during the day and only for 3-4 seconds - all was good for more than the last 12 months with this current setup

I have contacted my internet provider - all is good from their end - have checked with a speed test as soon as distortion starts and speed is normal

I have replaced the Ethernet cable

I have uninstalled and reinstalled the Holo Audio driver for my MAY KTE DAC - on a suggestion from Microsoft Support

I have rebooted  PC several times and switched off May DAC and unplugged power cord for 30 seconds

Any ideas or suggestions appreciated




Well, this could be a power station switching issue.  Call up your power company and ask them if they are doing anything at this time.  They often do not monitor power quality closely enough to tell when they have bad switching issues.

It sounds like your DAC is switching to the wrong sample rate or a similar problem.  This can happen if the power has been interrupted or it gets a surge from somewhere. 

Another source of a problem is a scheduled job on your PC that causes this, such as your anti-virus refreshing.  Check the logs and see when it last updated.

Has your electric utility recently installed a "smart meter?" Do you have a security system with wireless monitoring?

I would try watching your computer processes (Process Monitor?) and see what is running during the distortion.  If you have a way to substitute a laptop or old computer for the new one you may be able to rule out the computer completely.  But not the peripherals that are shared.

Thanks for your quick reponses

No Smart Meter and no wireless security system

Regarding Power Station issue - wouldn't a interruption or surge cause more issues than just Audio for 3 seconds? - Picture ( video) is not affected

It's a different time each night - last night 7:08 PM, night before 9:55PM - but always between 7-10PM 

I'll check the Power and antivirus leads and get back here if I have any further updates

Thanks again for your help


I'm guessing the PC.  go to a roku streamer for $40 and see if the problem goes away.  Or I can loan you one I'm not using. 

I'm not saying permanently switch.  You figure out what your configuration should be.  But for troubleshooting, get the computer out of the circuit and see if the problem goes away.

Thanks - I don't have a TV - only PC monitor - and know nothing about streaming

I'll ask my mate who built this PC for me to investigate the Process monitor angle

I've been shown how to access real time process monitoring from the task bar - I'll bring up that window at 7pm tonight and see if anything spikes during distortion.

What sort of interference do you mean  - I live in a ground floor apartment in a group of 5 - as far as I'm aware - my neighbours all use laptops - don't know if that info is of any use

It's the fact that the duration of the distortion is always 3-4 seconds only  - not longer , not shorter and only once per night - just at different times during the 3 hour timeframe

If it was interference from outside - why always the same length?, and why only once?

The 3 second of distortion on it's own is no big deal from my perspective - just don't want it to be slowly frying my speakers - even though I recognize it straight away and immediately turn the volume down - it may happen when I'm out of the room

Do you live in a single family home or multi-unit building?  Does someone in your residence or a neighbor return home during that time window and switch on some device, like an air conditioner or something that might be drawing a heavy load for a couple minutes and possibly interfering with your power?

Yes I live in a 5 unit group - 3 units in my block and a separate block of 2 units

Entirely possible that my neighbours are coming in and out and switching on AC, devices etc- But this has only started happening 12 nights ago - nothing has changed in my system and neighbours are the same - and I've been home for the last 2 months  and haven't seen any work installing new AC etc 

It's a burst of data flowing inside the computer that's causing the interference. Or maybe it's a bad bit if memory and the time >s irrelevant or only relevant to the extent that is the time you typically use it for this purpose. 

Thanks Gregdude - But again, the computer is running and I'm watching something online - either you tube or Netflix most of the day and night ( I'm retired and lazy !)

Why did it only start 12 nights ago and how do I identify and isolate that burst of Data?


It just happened again at 8:10PM

I had  task manager window opened on processes and nothing spiked, not even 1%

I'm ready to pull my hair out 

What the hell can it be????


Well as far out as this seems it could be the datalink to satellites being switched, most everything bounces off satellites these days.

At any rate, I'd bet it is something completely external to your system.

Do you live near any heavy industry?



Check with NASA for sunspot activity...not joking.

My Samsung TV with cable and ethernet feed was going all digital artifacts once a

night for a while.  I bitched to the cable company and they knew about it and also knew there was nothing they could do because it was sunspot activity messing with the satellite link.



I do not think the issue originates your power company. I think @carlsbad's suggestion to test a Roku in your system is a good idea - it will help narrow down the source of the problem. Process of elimination.

I plan to call my power co. tomorrow to see if they can provide any info re: switching feeds etc - I live in a suburban area , just a few shops and petrol stations , no industry

Can’t be sunspots because it’s winter here in Australia... 😀

Thanks to all for the flood of suggestions - I’m sure there is a solution somewhere


+1 Roku.  Choose the ethernet direct-connection option instead of wi-fi connection.

Post removed 

Power co. - no joy - they just said everything looks fine from their end and couldn't give me any info on switching power feeds or transformers etc..

Have an ethernet cable from Internet wall box direct to PC , no modem, no wifi

The Netflix thing is a possibility , but the first night it happened, I was watching a movie on Youtube

Can you describe your Netflix issue more?

New spanner in the works - a few days ago, same 3 second burst happened twice in an hour while listening to wav. files stored on my PC... 🤣


Just to finish this post for any future reference - It appears to be my Matrix Element H USB card that is the culprit

After 14 or more days of the Distortion happening at least once per day - plugged USB cable into a rear M/B port and nothing for 10 days

Replugged into Matrix Card and although it took four days to occur -distortion again

Back into M/B port and all good again for 10 days so far

Thanks for everyone input


Glad to read you found the source of your problems. Hopefully you can return the add-in card and get your money back.