How to Eliminate the Amplifier Hum From Speakers

Written by james clark
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Amplifier noise is often caused by electronic components connected to the same grounded outlet, with the result being an annoying buzz or persistent, low-frequency hum from the attached speakers. In some cases, the buzz comes from the cable television connector, which creates interference with the audio components in a stereo or home theatre system. Several cures are available to fix the problem, and are listed here in increasing order of expense.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Amplifier
  • Speakers
  • Home theatre audio/video components
  • Surge protector
  • Isolation transformer available at electronics stores

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  1. 1

    Move the speakers away from the amplifier. Loudspeakers positioned too close to a powerful amp can begin buzzing due to noise voltage from adjacent electrical wiring.

  2. 2

    Adjust the amplifier setting control to each component connected in the system to determine if the humming sound is isolated to a specific component, such as a DVD player or turntable. If located, this could be caused by a bad power cable or a failing component that should be disconnected and checked by an electronics technician.

  3. 3

    Unplug all components in the system from the wall outlets.

  4. 4

    Connect the power cables to a single, grounded surge protector power strip and plug the strip into an outlet. If the hum persists and the amp is connected to a cable TV receiver, proceed to Step 5.

  5. 5

    Unplug the cable TV receiver box from the wall outlet and plug it into an isolation transformer, which controls the flow of electricity so that it cannot pass from one circuit to another. This transfer of electricity through electronic components causes a humming sound in loudspeakers connected to the amplifier. Once the cable receiver is plugged into an isolation transformer, the transformer can then be connected to a wall outlet, which should resolve the problem.

Tips and warnings

  • Disconnect the amp from the power when attaching or removing any AV or power cables from other components that are connected to the amp.
  • Do not attempt to defeat three-prong ground plugs by connecting them to two-prong adaptors that can be plugged into a wall outlet. The ground plugs on electronic equipment can protect components from serious damage.

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