Why do my Speakers Buzz?

Lawrence Bonk Profile image

Written By:

Updated June 27, 2022

If you are new to the world of home audio, you may wonder why your speakers buzz. Some of the best speakers, after all, can buzz on occasion in certain scenarios. So what causes speakers to buzz, how can you prevent it from happening, and what to do if it happens? Keep reading to find out.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Speakers buzz and crackle for many reasons, though it typically comes down to faulty wires or audio cables.
  • Another reason speakers buzz is signal interference, or a ground loop, from those audio devices sharing a power outlet or wireless network.
  • You should also clean all knobs, particularly the master volume control knob, to prevent buzzing and other sound issues from your electrical device.

Common Speaker Issues

In addition to buzzing, some consumers may wonder why their speakers crackle, which is a similar concern. In most cases, speaker buzzes and crackles fall down to faulty or incorrect wiring, though there are other causes. Let’s take a look at some.

Insider Tip

Keeping your speakers cleaned and maintained goes a long way toward preventing buzz.

Old and Faulty Cables

As previously mentioned, bad cables lead to speaker buzzes and crackles. How can you prevent this? Check the instructions to learn what gauge wire for speakers is and perform some basic troubleshooting tips. Start by testing every wire and cable, plugging them into another device if possible. You should also always have a few backup cables to try as an alternative means of testing. The good news? Cables are cheap and easy to plug in, so you won’t have to learn how to repair stereo speakers. Just plug and play to resolve the issue.

Check Any Pots

Some knobs, otherwise known as pots, can cause buzzing and crackling when they are filled with dirt, dust, and related debris. Give this a test by turning any relevant knobs, such as the volume control knob, up and down slowly to see if that engages or fixes the buzzing. If you suspect your knobs are to blame, there is an easy fix. Go in with a can of compressed air and carefully remove any detritus. Once the knobs are clean, your buzzing problem should be solved.

Signal Interference

Buzzing is caused by signal interference with speakers. This happens in several ways. First of all, if you are using wireless speakers, such as Bluetooth speakers or RF speakers, you could run into interference issues with other devices sharing your wireless bandwidth. Put your speakers on a separate channel and test them out. Also, speakers can run into interference when plugged into a busty AC outlet with plenty of other devices. Give this a test by unplugging your speakers and plugging them in a dedicated outlet all by themselves. Then, test and check for buzzing and crackling.

F.A.Q.S

How to find and fix audio hum?

Start by troubleshooting your audio equipment by performing the tests outlined above, including testing for electrical ground loops and out-of-date audio drivers.


Why is my iPhone speaker making static noise?

It is unlikely a ground loop, as your iPhone isn’t plugged in, but it could be interfering radio frequencies, out-of-date audio drivers, or a faulty signal wire or extension cord.


How to check if your speaker is blown?

This is a fairly complicated process involving uncapping and feeling the speaker cone, but you can typically tell just by listening to your audio equipment. If it sounds blown, it likely is a blown piece of equipment.


STAT: There are two basic types of buzz: 120Hz buzz, typically caused by ground loops, and 60Hz hum, typically a result of poor shielding, cable problems, or close proximity to strong magnetic fields. (source)

Lawrence Bonk Profile image