Speaker noises often happen in complicated audio setups. When too many electrical devices are in an enclosed space, their signals interfere with one another. They also interfere with radio signals in the air. Fortunately, it is repairable.
How to prevent radio interference in speakers? Many times, you can stop the irritating sound just by rearranging the wires, switching the power outlets, or troubleshooting your computer. If the noise persists, follow the instructions below.
Firstly, identify the source of the problem. Is it your computer, microphone, mixer, or speakers generating the noise? Then, get compatible cables or noise cancellers for the faulty equipment. Finally, connect the device and inspect the audio again. Now, the audio will be crystal clear.
In this article, we will guide you to stop radio frequency interference, how to find it, and fix it in detail.
- Identify the Source of the Problem
- How to Troubleshoot the Microphone
- How to Fix Computer Picking Up Interference
- How to Troubleshoot the Speakers
- Helpful Tips
Identify the Source of the Problem
Radio interference on speakers happens when one device in your sound system picks up unwanted signals. Before you carry out any complicated procedures, try these:
- Rearrange the wires: On the ground, move signal cables away from power cables. When these lines are close, they pick up the other’s signal.
- Turn off any dimmers or transformers: These appliances can radiate electrical signals that interfere with your computer.
- Check for viruses: If your computer speakers pick up RF signals, the computer might have viruses. They cause tiny noises that sound like music. You can solve this with anti-virus software.
- Switch power outlets: Are your computer and speakers connected to adjacent power sockets? If so, separate them to stop FM radio interference.
- Rearrange USB devices: Unplug all USB devices from your computer, such as the mice, keyboard, printer, flash drive, and external hard drive. Then, switch their outlets.
When none of these works, you need to figure out the faulty device in your system. Wait until the noise comes up and unplug all inputs to your mixer (e.g., microphone, computer, processor), leaving only the speakers connected. Now, can you still hear the noise? If you hear it, disconnect the speakers and replace them with your headphones.
- When you disconnect the speakers and the noise stays, the mixer is faulty.
- If the noise stops when you use headphones, your speakers are faulty.
If the noise goes away when you unplug the other devices, the problem lies in one of them. You should reconnect them one by one. As soon as the noise appears, notice the device you have just plugged in. That device needs fixing.
You can also hear the interference to identify the root of the problem. Buzzes and hums indicate that there is a faulty hardware device, while music and voice indicate computer viruses. When you know what causes the disrupting sound, read the related part of this article to fix it.
How to Troubleshoot the Microphone
When the microphone interferes with signals, you should fix its cable. It is the line that picks up unwanted signals, not the microphone.
What you will need to stop the microphone line collecting signals
- Balanced microphone cables
There are two types of microphone cables: balanced and unbalanced. Unbalanced cables are inexpensive but tend to pick up noise. If you don’t have balanced cables in your sound system yet, this is the first change you should make to stop speakers picking up radio frequency (RF).
Step 1. Switch to balanced cables
Unplug the unbalanced microphone cables and plug in the balanced cables. Make sure the cables wire correctly. If the noise persists, move to the next step.
Step 2. Turn off all volume controls on your mixer
Now, turn off all volume controls or channel faders on your mixer and see whether the interference goes away. If it does, you should turn the controls back on one at a time and see which ones bring the interference back.
Once you identify the faulty volume controls, watch this video for how to fix it:
Step 3. Use a filter cable
If the noise stays after you have adjusted the mixer, your microphone line is distorted. To stop radio interference, you’ll need to buy a filter cable that is compatible with your microphone cable and mixer input.
All you need to do is connect one end of the device to the mixer and the other end to the microphone. The filter will cancel out any noise and prevent RF interference.
How to Fix Computer Picking Up Interference
When the root of the buzzing sound is your computer, you have a ground loop problem. This issue occurs when you have too many grounded devices in your audio chain, causing the signals to come through the USB port of your computer.
What you will need
You’ll need a USB audio ground loop eliminator, which you can easily purchase online. The gadget will help separate your computer’s audio input from the interference.
Remember that USB eliminators are available in many connection versions (e.g., USB A input to A output, USB C input to A output, USB C input to C output). Make sure you get the one that is compatible with your setup.
Steps to prevent RF interference coming from a computer
Step 1. Disconnect the audio interface with the computer.
Step 2. Replace it with the USB ground loop eliminator. The gadget comes with output on its end; you should plug your audio interface into that output. Note that you must charge the gadget beforehand.
How to Troubleshoot the Speakers
Before you begin, try switching the speakers’ power outlets.
- If they are not connected to the same power outlet, make sure they are.
- If they already are, plug one of them into a different power outlet.
Sometimes, just switching power outlets will cure the problem. If the problem persists, it is the wiring of your speakers.
What you will need
- Two short pieces of cables (one for each speaker)
Steps to replace speakers’ wires
Step 1. Remove the old cables that connect your speakers with the mixer.
Step 2. Attach the shorter cables. To stop interference on speakers, your wires should be as short as possible. Don’t leave coils of extra wires. The wire coils act as an antenna and collect unwanted signals.
When you have a full sound system set up at home, radio interference is unavoidable. Besides fixing the problem, you should keep these helpful tips in mind to ensure the interference won’t return.
1. Use a power conditioner
As mentioned above, the interference can come from your sources of power. So, use a power conditioner to make sure your system is at its best potential. It provides your audio devices with a proper electric source, keeps all the jacks in one place, and protects them from power surges.
2. Don’t over-amplify
Over-amplifying the music will bring buzzes and hums to your speakers. This is a common usage guide for audio electronic devices. Also, when you turn the volume up too high for an extended period, the wires and speakers heat up and suffer irreversible damage.
3. Don’t overuse compression effects
Compression effects sound cool, but too much compression will distort your tracks. Adjust your compression threshold to be between 1.5:1 and 10:1.
Don’t fret when you hear buzzing noise from your sound system. You only need to rearrange the wires and power outlets; besides, ensure you don’t have any loose connections. If the noise persists, purchase a compatible noise-canceling gadget.
We tried to cover most of the causes and solutions on how to prevent radio interference in speakers in this article. But you might have complicated issues and end up with more than one faulty device in your system. So, don’t hesitate to contact us if you have further problems. See you then!
Robert is our content writer. He has in-depth knowledge about two-way radio communication, including mobile, handheld, and base, as well as ham radio satellite and emergency communication. He is in charge of researching and reviewing the best and latest products as well as gathering information about your queries and issues in using ham radios.