For some people, the buzzing noise in their headphones is a minor annoyance that they can live with. For others, it’s an unbearable distraction from what they’re trying to listen to and learn. If you’re one of those people who can’t stand the sound of buzzing coming from your headphones, this blog post will help you find out how to fix them!
Why are my headphones making a weird buzzing noise?
There are several reasons why your headphones could be making a buzzing noise. We will take a look at each of these in turn.
Power surge or outage
If you’ve experienced an electrical disturbance such as a power surge or power outage, the headphones might have been affected and need to be replaced because they could have sustained some damage. This could result a buzzing sound, but if this is the cause, the only real option might be to buy and new pair of headphones. You might want to check my post on headphones that are suitable for mixing a live band.
Headphone Jack socket is dirty or broken
The headphone jack can get jammed with debris from your pocket, or the headphones could have been damaged and need to be replaced. Before taking it to a shop though, try cleaning out the socket with a cotton bud dipped in alcohol.
- fill the headphone jack with clear, distilled or boiled water and shake for about 30 seconds to remove any debris
- dip a clean cotton bud into the liquid and run it around inside of the socket
- remove excess water from the outside of the headphones by shaking them out upside down
Headphone jack not fully inserted
The headphone jack can become loose over time with use and should be tightened periodically by twisting it slightly up until you feel resistance. It’s also important to make sure that the connector is properly positioned in its housing before putting away your headphones. This is also a common reason for headphone volume being too low, where one side of the stereo jack is not connected properly.
Earth loop noise issue
Another reason for a buzzing sound. could be a problem with an earth loop where the ground wire is connected to both of the devices. First, try connecting one end of your audio cable’s ground plug into an available grounding hole on a wall outlet and then check if it still makes noise.
If this is the case, remove any device that may be touching this same earth loop from its power source or turn off their power switch completely and restart it again to see if the buzzing noise goes away.
Dry joint problem
You could also have a dry joint, where the audio connection cable’s wires are not properly connected. You will need to open up the headphone’s housing and find the headphone cable. You need to be extra careful when doing this that you don’t break any of the wires inside because they can easily snap. You will know it is a dry joint if you try tapping the connections lightly and the buzzing noise stops.
To fix it you will need to use a soldering iron to solder the wires together again. Make sure the solder joints are well insulated so that the solder doesn’t touch any other wires.
If you aren’t confident doing this, you will have to take your headphones to a professional to get it fixed. If the headphones aren’t expensive, you might be better just buying a new pair.
PC Software drivers
Software drivers are a common cause of a buzzing issue in headphones used with a computer. To fix this, go to the control panel and find your audio device drivers. You may need to update or uninstall the drivers first if they’re not working properly. Find any option that says “headphones” and select it as default playback device in your audio settings rather than speakers or microphone. Setup for this will be different for Windows 10 and Apple macOS.
Check that you have the latest driver software from the manufacturer’s website and that you have installed all available updates. To rule out any other possible software issues, you should also update your pc operating system.
If they still buzz, test them on an external device like a laptop or tablet to make sure it is not just your PC causing the problem and it’s a headphones issue rather than a software issue.
Interference that causes buzzing
Interference can cause a buzzing noise or static in headphones, typically at low frequencies and with high volume levels. This is because the interference creates harmonic energy that affects both sound wave amplitude and frequency (pitch), which together produce an audible buzz.
If you are listening to music near radio waves or other devices broadcasting on the same radio spectrum as your headphones, interference can be caused by the electric currents produced by those devices.
Interference may also occur if you are listening to music on a device that is near other electronics (i.e., laptops and TVs) which emit electromagnetic waves of sufficient power within the same frequency band as your headphones.
Your headphones can pick up audio interference from the hard drive or cooling fans of your pc.
The solution is to keep your headphones away from any other wireless devices to avoid interference. To reduce the risk of interference, turn off all nearby electronics when listening with your headphones.
How do I stop my Apple headphones from buzzing?
For Apple headphones, you will need to follow similar steps as above to find out what is causing the buzzing noise. There is one hardware difference between Apple audio devices and phones and standard music players. Apple devices use a lightning connector, rather than a jack socket.
If there is no buzzing at all when using these headphones in another device, but there is still buzzing when using them in your iPhone, then you will need to take the headphones back and replace them with a new pair.
If there is still buzzing on other devices but not on an iPhone device, then it could be interference from cell phone or WiFi signals that are too close to your device. You can try moving closer away from these sources.