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I have a set of Dell MMS 560 speakers. I just recently moved into an apartment from a house. Immediately upon setting up my computer at the new apartment, my main speaker (the one with the volume knob on it) is now picking up a local radio station, even when the computer itself is powered off. As long as the speaker itself is on, the noise comes through. Sometimes it's very faint with a lot of static, and sometimes it's very loud and clear. The radio tower is at least a couple miles away. The volume knob on the speaker does not affect the volume of the radio station, but if the speaker is all the way off, no sound is heard. I tried clipping a noise filter on the cord and it reduced the noise very slightly. I also plugged the speaker into a surge protector that is supposed to filter out this kind of noise. It didn't help at all. Is there any way to get rid of this noise?

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  • ricola83 Sep 15, 2010

    I have had these speakers for seven years. I briefly had this same problem a few years ago but it went away on its own. It seems much worse this time.

  • ricola83 Sep 15, 2010

    Thanks for the info.

  • ricola83 Sep 16, 2010

    Thank you. You seem to know what you're talking about. I will probably not get a chance to test this out for a few days but I will let you know how it goes.

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  • Master
  • 905 Answers

Hello,

For testing purposes, move the main speaker as close to the PC as you can. Roll the excess cable up into a tight circle. You are creating a "choke" and should help with the symptoms that you are having. If it sounds like the problem is diminishing, make note how the coil lays (flat or upright). Then turn it the other way, and note if it reduces the sound or not. If you get a noticeable improvement, then Radio Frequency Interference is being coupled via the input leads.

On the power lead, do the same thing. Move the speaking close to the power outlet, and roll the power cord into a tight circle. You should be able to hear a reduction in the noise. Make note of the position (flat, upright), and switch to the other position.

Whether it be the input lead, or the power lead, whichever one had the greatest effect is where a noise filter needs to go. Some electronic retailers (Radio Shack for example) sell filters that are designed to have the cord wrapped around and through. These are very effective. You will probably find that this type of filter will be needed on both the input as well as the power cord to the speaker system.

Another method of reducing the noise is to shield the cables. While they are coiled up in tight circles, try wrapping a small piece of aluminum foil around the circle. You should notice a drastic improvement if the signal is being coupled through the cables. Try the foil on both coils. If there is an improvement, then you might be able to use copper or aluminum braid as a shield. This method is expensive though, the braid is a bit pricy. To use it, you would feed the cable (one cable per braid) through the middle of the braid, and then ground the braid to the metal chassis of the computer. If noise is *still* getting in, then it is likely being coupled off the power line. A good quality AC noise filter designed for this purpose would be in order here. A local electronics shop may also be able to add on an inline noise filter to the power cable just before it connects to the speaker itself.

Post back your results, I enjoy noise issues, and have become pretty good at identifying source, and mitigating their effects.

Posted on Sep 15, 2010

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  • Master
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My first thought is that it's the nearby radio station, and there's little you can do about it without trying heavy shielded speaker wires. This blog talks about different situations, and some may work- I've never tried it:
http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic7677.html
If you use shorter speaker wires, that might also help, but would cut into the stereo separation, but shielded or shorter are the most likely solutions I see.
Good luck, and hope this helps.

Posted on Sep 15, 2010

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  • Expert
  • 4,070 Answers

Hi! Have you tried using a different speaker? Try it for the current speaker may be prone to statics. Try using a different speaker and see how it goes. Hope this helps and thank you for using FixYa!

Posted on Sep 14, 2010

  • 1 more comment 
  • dj_relly999
    dj_relly999 Sep 15, 2010

    Mostly this is caused by short circuitry or tripping capacitors.

  • dj_relly999
    dj_relly999 Sep 15, 2010

    Have a nice day!

  • dj_relly999
    dj_relly999 Sep 17, 2010

    Good luck on this!

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