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Problems with Logitech Z313 computer speakers, probably because of a dodgy 3.5mm plug

Terry Woods
Terry Woods asked
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Last Modified: 2020-01-23
I need some advice on speakers for my computer.

My current speakers are giving trouble, despite my attempts to deliberately avoid buying cheap low quality ones. Any tips on more reliable replacements are welcome, or maybe some advice on how to get the plug fixed on my existing ones.

TL; DR?

Currently I've got a set of Logitech Z313 speakers (5 or more years old, I think) which sound pretty good, but there seems to be some problems with the plug. The speakers work fine sometimes when first plugged in, but soon afterwards the volume drops to just about nil, as if the electrical contacts aren't adequate. Unplugging it and plugging it back in can fix it for a short time, but sometimes it takes multiple tries. Also, when I plug it in or out of the computer, the speakers make a really loud buzzing sound (turning the volume down turns down the volume of the buzz) for the brief moment while the plug is being put into the socket. This makes for a pretty disappointing audio experience, when it needs replugging in frequently.

On the volume control for these speakers, there's a socket for plugging in headphones. When I use this socket with my headphones, there does seem to be enough electrical contact for the headphones to work just fine. These speakers are probably fine if I could fix the plug, but I don't know where to get a better quality plug or how to wire it safely. Advice is welcome.

I just read over this thread discussing the same issue with the buzz. The OP says their speakers buzz loudly even when just touching the end of the 3.5mm plug (mine do that too), but one response indicates that's actually ok:
"If this is an amplified subwoofer, or contains the speaker system's amp, then it's suppose to buzz when you touch the input. Just like if you put a guitar cable into an amp's input, and touch the center pin on the opposite end of the cable, it will buzz like hell, (and you might break something)."

Since the buzzing appears to be normal, I suppose the main issue then is just that the 3.5mm plug is not connecting as well as it should. I see I can get a replacement gold plated plug for next to nothing from a local electronics store, so perhaps I just need to figure out how to replace it (or pay someone probably the full cost of replacement speakers to do it for me).

When I've tried these speakers in other computers, the same problem happens, so it's definitely a problem with the speakers rather than the computer itself.

My wife has similar speakers, but Creative branded ones (10+ yrs old though I think). The volume control is getting dodgy on those, but I suppose they've had a good life. The 3.5mm plug is at least working ok...
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