So you got a brand new speaker system, you connect it, and all your hear is an annoying hum sound. Speaker hum is a common problem, and one that I’m betting we have all experience at one time or another. In most cases, that hum noise is easy to fix. Today we look at the three most common causes of that annoying noise and what you can do to fix it.
The number one cause of hum and noise in your speakers are ground loops. Why? Because they are very easy to create without even realizing it. A ground loop is caused by plugging your devices in an AC outlet at different locations, and then connecting those devices together with cables whose shielding is connected to the ground. That means RCA, component, composite, and even HDMI can cause noise in your speakers.
So how do you fix it? It’s pretty simple. The easiest way to do it is to connect everything to the same AC outlet. Depending on your setup and your devices, this may not be possible. If an extension cord won’t do the trick, then you may need to look at a hum reducer in order to finally get rid of that pesky noise in your speakers.
Not all noise is caused by a ground loop. Often, it could simply be due to your wiring. There are two main possibilities:
- Bad wires – There can be shorts in the wire or even cuts or tears from years of use and moving furniture around them while they were connected. These shorts and cuts can cause an interruption in the signal which can lead to noise in your speakers when you power them on.
- Wire Setup – What do I mean by wire setup? There is a general rule of thumb that everyone should follow when wiring speakers. You NEVER cross a wire with an AC cable unless you have no other choice. While most cables are pretty well shielded, you can still get interference and cross talking on the two different wires. This will lead to noise on your speakers that could drive you crazy.
So what do you do? It’s fairly simple. All you have to do is practice good wiring setup so everything is neatly organized and not moving across each other, and make sure you use high quality wiring that is in really good shape when you connect your speakers.
AC Line Noise
It’s possible to have everything set just right and still have noise in your speakers. Most everything can cause noise on your AC line. This could be a hair dryer on the same circuit, a blender, even a dimmer switches or fluorescent fixtures. In some cases, they can even show the noise on your television.
The easiest way to eliminate this problem is to remove whatever is causing the issue to a different outlet on a different circuit. But, there are times when this is hard to track down, and if it is a dimmer switch that’s to blame, then removing it may be impossible without physically changing the switches. Another way you can stop it is by investing in a UPS and run everything through that. A UPS will control the flow of electricity to your speakers and reduce any spikes and noise on the line.
We all want our speakers to look and sound good. Hum and other noises in our speakers when we turn them on can be quite annoying. But, thankfully, in most cases it’s pretty easy to fix. All you have to do is follow the advice above and you should be able to eliminate that speaker hum once and for all.