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I just installed speakers after moving, and there’s an audible buzz. What’s causing it? How can I fix it?

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There are a number of reasons that speakers might emit a buzzing noise. Likely, the power supply for your speakers is too low/poor quality. I’ve learned that laptops are likely culprits for this. Also, a power strip or outlet that’s powering multiple devices may cause a hum.

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It’s an improper ground!

Sounds something like this, right? One of your wires isn’t properly connected, or it’s improperly grounded. Here’s how to figure out where it’s coming from:

  1. Make sure your components are plugged into the same outlet pair. A surge strip would also work.
  2. Swap cables to see if that fixes the issue. Sometimes a cable (or interconnect) goes bad and you need a new one. Try replacing the cables that lead into your speaker with different ones to see if the hum goes away. If yes: perfect, you’re done! If no, the problem is likely somewhere else.
  3. Try using a different power cable.
  4. Test your outlet for wiring problems
  5. Check the back of your receiver or amp for a ground wire. While it’s unlikely your home system will have this, many car stereo amplifiers will. Make sure it’s attached or touching metal.
  6. If all else fails, it’s likely your power supply has a damaged or blown capacitor.

 

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