Question Extremely irritating audio problem. No idea what it is or how to fix it.

Jun 21, 2020
I'm running windows 10, and have an issue where my computer's speakers play audio into my mic line. This happens if I use my speakers, or my headphones. I have a small hardware switch to swap between my speakers and headphones, so they are plugged in at all times. I was able to unplug my headphones, set the switch to headphones, and this error still occurred. It cannot be my mic picking up audio even if in my headphones due to this.

I do not have stereo mix turned on. In fact, I have that device disabled. The same goes for my Sound Card's equivalent feature (a Soundblaster AE-5. But this problem existed with my old soundcard too... but not my motherboard audio.). Audacity records the problem audio at -38 DB, but Discord plays it almost as loud as it plays for me, meaning everyone hears themselves in an echo. I have no idea why this is or how it's possible.

Further complicating this issue, to the point of madness for me... is that it goes away if I reboot. The problem only occurs when booting up from a shut-down state, once rebooted using the windows "reboot" command, the problem is gone. I do not understand how or why this fixes it, or what it signifies for the nature of the problem. Please, help, this has been driving me in sane for months.

Oh, and this problem has persisted between a windows 10 reinstall... and running the windows self-repair program, even though the self repair program flagged and fixed a ton of stuff.

Also the LED in my mouse are supposed to stay green at all times, but turns yellow if I play Factorio, but only while I load the game. Not sure if that means anything or is related, but it happens.

PC Specs:

CPU: Intel Core i7 3770k
MB: Ausus P8Z77-V LX
RAM: 24 gigs of DDR3 @ 1600 Mhz
GPU: Nvidia GTX 980 Ti
Storage: Samsung Evo SSD (think its a 900), and several Seagate and WD HDDs for bulk storage.
Audio: SOundblaster AE-5
Add-in-cards: PCIe to SATA III adapter