Question about Bose Acoustimass 15 System

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Bose Acoustismass 15 subwoofer hums when main cable is plugged in. Does not hum when cable is not plugged in.

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Check to see if any wires are touching or if any pins are bent in connector.

Posted on Jul 05, 2009

  • fulcore Jul 05, 2009

    Also check to see if rca (if using) at amplifier are seated well.

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Loud hum from subwoofer


The number-one cause of subwoofer/speaker hum is the coaxial cable connecting your cable or satellite receiver to your provider (either through an inground run to a cable box or through a satellite dish). Here is how you test for this:
  1. Turn your system on and get it to produce the hum by watching a movie. Pause your DVD or videotape so that the hum is all you hear.
    TIPDon't use a normal cable or satellite program for this; you're about to disconnect the cable that provides the audio and video for your cable/satellite feed.
  2. Find the coaxial cable running from your cable or satellite receiver to your service provider, and while listening to the hum, unscrew the connector and disconnect the cable.
Did the hum stop or reduce by a large amount? If so, the cable you disconnected is the source of the noise. If this is the problem, you have several ways to fix the issue permanently (if not, jump ahead to the next section):
  1. Call your cable or satellite company and ask for a service call. Sometimes you get a smart cable guy, and if you demonstrate the problem he can do something upstream to ground the coaxial cable and remove or reduce the hum.
  2. Buy a power strip that has F connectors as part of its surge protection. Plug the strip into the AC outlet and feed your main coaxial signal through these connectors. This ties the shielding of the coax (the source of the noise) to your AC ground and sometimes can solve the problem.
    WARNINGOddly enough, this solution (surge protection) can sometimes increase the humming.
  3. Go to your local RadioShack store and buy three inexpensive items: a Matching Transformer (part #15-1253), an Indoor/Outdoor Matching Transformer (#15-1140), and a Cable Coupler (#278-304). Connect your coaxial cable to the cable coupler, and then to the first matching transformer. The output is two screws for the old two-wire antenna wire. Your indoor/outdoor matching transformer has two connectors for the screws, and the other end is a coaxial connector. Hook your cable or satellite receiver into this connector and see if the hum goes away.
Here is why this trick works: the first transformer converts your 75-ohm coax into a 300-ohm antenna connector. The second transformer converts the 300-ohm back to a 75-ohm connector. The humming, which usually is at around 60 Hz, can't pass through these conversions.

Ground Loop Hum

The second cause of hum is called a ground loop, and it almost always shows up right after you bring home a brand-new, self-powered subwoofer, or perhaps an external amplifier.
Take a look at all the plugs on the power cords on your home theater equipment. In most systems, the receiver (or amplifier) has a three-prong power plug, but most of your other devices have only two-prong plugs. This is not by accident; the device with the three-prong power plug is grounded. This means that device "owns" the ground. As long as no other power device has a three-prong plug, everything works well.
When you bring home a self-powered subwoofer and plug it in, though, you might notice it has a three-prong plug; this is for safety reasons. However, when you connect an RCA cable from your receiver to your subwoofer and turn everything on, you suddenly notice a loud hum.
The external amplifier in your subwoofer is now fighting with the amplifier in your receiver for possession of the ground. Both devices want to define 0.00 volts. But because the wiring in the two amplifiers to your household AC ground is different, one device is really using 0.001 volt and the other device uses something closer to 0.003 volts. The subwoofer cable connects the two, and the fighting begins.
You have to stop these two devices from trying to own the ground, or get them to not "see" each other. First, make your system produce the humming noise. Disconnect the single RCA cable between your receiver and subwoofer. Did the noise stop? If so, you have a ground loop issue.
The proper, safest way to solve this problem is to buy a special subwoofer cable with little arrows on the wire to show the signal direction (see ).
[img src="http://oreilly.com/images/hacks/htheaterhks/figs/htheaterhks_0601.jpg">
Figure 1. Subwoofer cable with directional arrowUnfortunately, many people have been ridiculed when asking about these sorts of cables at their local electronics store: "But cables don't really have a direction. My expert friend at work laughed at me when I asked about this!" Yes, your friend is right. Cables don't have a direction, but these little arrows indicate that this cable will prevent or solve your ground loop problem.
Remember when I said the hum started when you connected the RCA cable? That RCA cable really contains two wires: the center wire and something called the shield. The center wire carries the audio signal, but the shield tries to define 0.00 volts. The shield is the wire that lets the two different components (the receiver or amplifier, and the subwoofer) see each other's ground, and causes the fight. What if you took your subwoofer cable and disconnected the shielding from just one end? Wouldn't that solve the problem? Yes, it would. This is exactly what a subwoofer cable with little arrows does. The shield is not connected at both ends. The shield has to be connected at one end, for connecting to your receiver or amp, so you should run the cable so that the arrows show the flow from the receiver to the subwoofer.
WARNINGIt is unsafe to use a two-prong to three-prong "cheater" plug on the subwoofer power cord to solve the hum problem. Even if the subwoofer came with a cheater plug in the box, it's REALLY not safe to do. Don't do it.

Sep 01, 2013 | Denon Audio Players & Recorders

2 Answers

I own a Bose Acoustimass 7. I noticed humming coming from bass more noticeable than before (although I recently moved it to another smaller room) I also noticed when I hear this humming- the higher I turn...


I was having this very same problem. I finally figured out that I was getting feedback to the system because my TV cable coming into the house wasn't grounded right.

Oct 04, 2011 | Bose Acoustimass 15 System

1 Answer

I have an Onkyo TX SR 700 receiver, Bose Acoustic Mass 10 speakers, Panasonic Viera 52" flat screen with my computer connected to the receiver. The computer uses a high end sound card. The flat screen...


Hi, what causes hums from speaker is when there is no ground shield from either the power supply or from the cable you plugged into the socket from the power supply.

So you will need to check that out and replace untrusted cables for connection..

If after doing this troubleshooting exercise, you will now need to test the speaker with another set to be sure the humming sound is not coming from there.

I guess that will Do.

Have a nice day...

Feb 18, 2011 | Bose Acoustimass 10 Series IV Home...

1 Answer

After a power outage I have a loud hum.


Hi, The Ground Rules Of all the annoyances that can afflict any audio/video home theater or even a simple stereo installation, the notorious "ground loop" may well be the most difficult and persistent one to track down and eliminate. A "ground loop" is caused by the difference in electrical potential at different grounding points in an audio/video system. (All the grounds in an A/V system should ideally be at "0" potential.) A ground loop typically adds a loud low-frequency hum or buzz as soon as you plug in any of various audio or video components, including subwoofers, cable-TV outboard boxes, satellite-TV feeds, TV displays, amplifiers, A/V receivers or turntables. The buzz/hum is a byproduct of the multiple power supply cables and a ground voltage differential within your system and its network of interconnecting cables.

Here are some methods to help you get rid of ground loops. Try these first and don't waste money on a power "conditioner" which, in most cases, won't help. (There is no need to "condition" the AC power for your system. Your receiver or amplifier already has a power supply with its own filters and transformers. No further filtering is normally required.)

If you get your system up and running and hear an audible buzz or hum, the first culprit to look at is either the powered subwoofer or your cable-TV or satellite-box feed at the entry point to your system.

First, the subwoofer: unplug the coaxial cable that connects to your powered subwoofer to see if the ground-loop hum disappears. If it does, it's likely coming in through your cable/satellite TV feed.

Reconnect your subwoofer's coaxial cable from the subwoofer input to your receiver's subwoofer output and disconnect the cable-TV feed (or satellite feed) from your outboard set-top cable box or satellite tuner. Be sure and disconnect the cable before any splitters. Now see if the hum/buzz from your subwoofer stops.

If that eliminates the hum, you can install one of these inexpensive in-line ground isolators from Parts Express or Bass Home. Note that these transformer-based ground isolators will work fine with analog cable-TV feeds, but depending on their design they may interfere with or block reception of HDTV signals via a digital cable or satellite dish feed.

Install the ground isolator between the cable-TV feed and the input of your outboard cable-TV box or satellite tuner (or the TV display's antenna or cable input if you have a set with a built-in TV tuner or a cable-card ready set). In many cases, the ground isolator will "break" the loop and remove the annoying hum or buzz by isolating the TV-cable ground.

If a hum remains with the TV cable completely disconnected from your system, or you don't want to risk degrading reception of HD signals from a cable or satellite system, then you may have to add a ground isolator like this Radio Shack Model 270-054 between the line-level coaxial subwoofer cable from your A/V receiver and the line-level input jack on your powered subwoofer.

In all cases, if your subwoofer has a ground-lift screw like some of Axiom's subwoofers, try first removing the screw (or replacing it) to see if it increases or eliminates the hum. It may or may not make a difference.

If you do not have easy access to the aforementioned ground isolators, here are a few more tips:

Try plugging the subwoofer into a different AC outlet in the room, one that isn't supplying power to your components (A/V receiver, TV, cable box, etc.). That might fix it.

Try reversing the AC plug for your A/V receiver or the powered subwoofer. If it's a 3-wire plug or a polarized plug, which has one prong wider than the other, you won't be able to reverse the plug. For safety, do not use a "cheater plug" to bypass the 3-wire plug.

With the power OFF, reverse the AC plugs one by one of any other components that have a standard 2-prong AC plug that isn't polarized. Each time you reverse a plug, turn on the system with the attached component and your subwoofer and see if the hum disappears. In some cases, reversing one or more plugs will eliminate the hum.

If you have a turntable, try connecting a separate ground wire to a chassis screw on your preamp or receiver and see if the hum disappears. If you already have a turntable ground wire, try removing it from the preamp. One or the other may eliminate the hum.

Finally, here is another solution that worked well for a member of our message boards who decided to discard his ground-loop isolator on his subwoofer: "I took off the ground-loop isolator I'd been using and connected a plain 14-gauge wire to chassis screws on the sub and the receiver then powered everything on. Although hum was still there, it was far lower than before. Next I unscrewed the ground-loop screw on the back of the sub and that took care of the hum completely."

Almost certainly sounds like an earth loop to me, but can be caused by a poorly made transformer or phase shifts on the mains supply. Visit some power conditioner web-sites like Isotek or Isol-8 (or google "earth loop") where there's plenty of advice on how to reduce/eliminate earth loops and other causes of mains-induced hum (transformer problems etc).

Hum on the speakers usually indicates that there is a DC voltage on the speaker line. DC voltage on the output lines would be caused by a shorted output transistor.


Have a nice day...

Feb 16, 2011 | Cambridge Soundworks BassCube 12 Speaker

1 Answer

Sunfire MK II Subwoofer hum. I have a Sunfire MK II subwoofer that hums when it is plugged in (it even hums when no signal is connected). I've tried multiple outlets on different circuits, but hum...


you have a ground loop issue you could purchase a ground loop isolator, jensen makes them for about 40 bucks.I have discovered that if you have cable tv, unplug the incoming cable in your cable box and see if hum disappears.

Nov 25, 2010 | Sunfire True Sub MK II Subwoofer

1 Answer

Loud hum when Bose Companion 3 Series II speakers are turned on.


I had the same problem for many months. I asked a sound & video professional and he suggested I move the subwoofer away from any power source. I had the subwoofer next to my UPS. Once separated and moved all wiring away from the power supply (about 12") the low bass hum was practically gone.

Jun 28, 2009 | Bose Companion 3 Series II Multimedia...

2 Answers

BOSE 901V WITH EQ PIONEER XSV -95 RECIEVER.


Turn down the second amplifier (which the speakers are connected to). This hum is the amplified 'noise' from the EQ and/or amplifier. Try using a much higher graded second amp (eq 500w)

Mar 21, 2009 | Bose 901 VI Main / Stereo Speaker

1 Answer

Subwoofer humming/buzzing


It sounds like one of the internal solder welds to the cable or a/v connections inside the cable box is bad.

Dec 19, 2008 | Bose Acoustimass 10 III System

2 Answers

Acoustimass Subwoofer has a low "hummm" sound when turned on.


Sounds like an inadequate ground wire in the signal cable. You may have to replace the cable between the reciever and bass module. It also, however, may be IN the bass or reciever module.

Aug 04, 2008 | Bose Acoustimass 15 System

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