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Audible click when starting audio playback at pcm5122

Other Parts Discussed in Thread: PCM5122, PCM5242

Dear TI-Forum,

I am currently working with the pcm5122. Every time I start audio playback, a click is audible. I read the datasheet a lot of times, but maybe I am missing something.

So far I can reduce the problem to the transition from standby to normal operation. The click is also audible, if I play “silence”.

My setup:

  • The data is sent from an ARM CPU to the pcm5122 by I2S.
  • DAC runs in VREF mode
  • The DAC is BCK and LRCK master
  • My input clock is a non-audio clock at 28 MHz. The clock is connected to GPIO5, converted by the PLL, output at GPIO3 and externally connected to SCK. This is described in this post -->
  • The problem stays the same, no matter if I use standby or power down
  • The problem stays the same if I use the DAC as BCK master and LRCK slave

 The schematic is the following:


I also have some images measured from the I2S and output of the DAC. Please note that the Y-axis is not correctly scaled.

1. If I send the DAC to powerdown and wake it up before sending audio data, I can see the PLL settling to the input clock.

If I only send the DAC to standby and not to powerdown, BCK and LRCK are present all the time. The rest of the behavior is the same. I also get the click if I only use standby and not power down. For better visualization I use power down and sine here, so you better see the timing.


2. There are multiple things to see after the PLL settled.

(1) wake up from power down

(2) square signal, approx. 4 ms after (1), the data sheet states 4 ms from start of clocks to release of internal reset

(3) spike, probably the audible click

(4) some noise, probably after unmuting, stops after elapsed time for auto mute

(5) less noise, auto muted

(6) spike at begin of I2S data, probably another click

(7) sine from audio data

If I play “silence” instead of sine (I2S data stay at zero), I still see the points 2 – 5.


The used configuration is the following. The columns are

{Register, bits to set, bit mask}. For example { 0x08, 0x0C, 0x3F } means register 0x08, bits 0x3F are cleared and 0x0C are set.

{ 0x08,  0x0C, 0x3F }, // Reg 8 - GPIOs enable

{ 0x09,  0x11,  0x11 } // clock master

{ 0x0C,  0x03, 0x03 }, // Reg 12 - Master mode BCK, LRCLK reset (0x7F)    

{ 0x0D,  0x30, 0xFF }, // Reg 13 - PLL clock source select (GPIO input)         // not documented in data sheet

{ 0x12,  0x04, 0xFF }, // Reg 18 - PLL clock source select (GPIO input)         // not documented in data sheet

{ 0x14,  0x01, 0x0F }, // Reg 20 - PLL dividers P divider (P=2)

{ 0x18,  0x00, 0x0F }, // Reg 24 - PLL dividers R divider (R=1)

{ 0x25,  0x04, 0xFF }, // Reg 37 - Ignore some errors / AutoClock off                                                     

{ 0x3D, 0x70, 0xFF }, // default volume

{ 0x3E, 0x70, 0xFF }, // default volume

{ 0x3F, 0x22, 0xFF }, // Reg 63 - Digital volume ramp speed

{ 0x52, 0x10, 0xFF }, // GPIO        (from TI forum)

{ 0x53, 0x0A, 0x0F }, // GPIO


Then at page 0xFD, enable flex clock

{0x3F, 0x11, 0x00}

{0x40, 0xFF, 0x00}


Clock setting for 44100 Hz (probably does not matter for this problem)

{ 0x15, 0x06, 0x3F}          // 21 PLL setting

{ 0x16, 0x25, 0x3F}       // 22 PLL setting

{ 0x17, 0x02, 0xFF}       // 23 PLL setting

{ 0x1B, 0x01, 0x7F}          // 27 DSP source clock devider

{ 0x1C, 0x0F, 0x7F}          // 28 DAC clock devider

{ 0x1D, 0x03, 0x7F}         // 29 CP clock devider

{ 0x1E, 0x07, 0x7F}          // 30 OSR clock devider

{ 0x22, 0x00, 0x03}          // 34 fs speed

{ 0x23, 0x04, 0xFF}          // 35 + 36 DSP clock cycles per frame

{ 0x24, 0x00, 0xFF}      


Can you give me any hint where to do any further research to avoid the click?

  • Hi Tobias,

    What is the first few samples that are sent to the PCM5122 device? What is the audio source? I am wondering if the the audio source is sending audio that is causing the pop (point 6), but if we check the samples them selves then we can rule this out. As for the first pop, what does your power on sequence look like for the DVDD, AVDD/CPVDD, and IOVDD?

  • Hi Tobias,

    Another suggestion to eliminate the second pop is to turn off the auto mute.

  • Hi Justin,

    thank you for your answer.

    The data is coming from an ARM processor. I am probing the I2S with an external oscilloscope. I checked the samples coming on I2C. The sine starts with zeros and then nicely forms the sine curve. I copied the data to Excel and plotted it. No errors here.

    The power supplies are permanently powered with 1.8 and 3.3 V. So there is no startup procedure. Did I understand this right? I also tested the power supplies with the scope, the voltage is absolutely clean.

    Is it possible that the clock setup is a problem? As I mentioned in my post, we are using the PLL in an uncommon (but proposed from TI) way.


  • Hi Tobias,

    I would try disabling the auto mute in register 0x41. This will stop the output from powering down which can cause the pop when it is powered up again.

  • Hi Justin,

    disabling the auto mute would prevent the second pop. The first pop will still be there since we explicitly call powerdown and wakeup via I2C.If I do not send the DAC to standby, there is no pop, but this is no option. We have strong restrictions to power consumption since the DAC will be integrated in a mobile device.

    The datasheet states at the first page "Internal Pop-Free Control For Sample-Rate Changes Or Clock Halts". My assumption was, that this is also true for standby to running transition. Is it not?

    Actually we have the same problem when changing the clock settings, especially when changing the frame size.



  • Hi Tobias,

    For the pop in the beginning there are two options I see to get rid of this, one is to add an external mute circuit that would be a transistor to ground. This would allow you to control the output with a GPIO of the 5122 or from the host controller. The other option is to use the PCM5242 which is a differential output DAC, that would eliminate this pop as it would be a common mode noise.

  • Dear Justin,

    thank you for your answer.

    We are using the DAC for two reasons: First, the data sheet stated "Internal Pop-Free Control For Sample-Rate Changes Or Clock Halts". Well, so far in case of a clock halt I don't get it pop-free.

    Second:we need one pin on ground because we also provide the option to use the speaker in passive mode, e.g.  connecting it with a hifi system without a powered DAC. Using the PCM5242 is not an option for us.

    I will try the option to use a GPIO and trigger on auto mute or PLL lock or something.