What causes car stereo hum?

Asked By: Lanmei Carriel | Last Updated: 27th April, 2020
Category: automotive auto infotainment technologies
3.9/5 (1,249 Views . 14 Votes)
One of the most common causes of speaker whine comes from the vehicle's alternator. The issue at hand is that noise from the alternator is getting into your head unit via the power cables. You can deal with the problem in one of two ways: Install a noise filter between the alternator and the battery.

Click to see full answer


Herein, why is my car stereo making a humming noise?

Hearing a buzzing sound from your car stereo speaker can be really annoying. You may hear the buzzing only when playing music really loudly or when the music has a lot of bass. The problem can be with your speakers, forcing you to replace them, or the problem could be with other components in the car stereo system.

Additionally, how do I stop my car radio from making noise? How to Eliminate Engine Noise

  1. 1) On the head unit, turn the volume down to zero.
  2. 2) Turn the gain up on the amplifier until you can hear the engine/alternator noise.
  3. 3) Unplug all of the RCA cables at the amplifier.
  4. 4) Plug the RCA cables back into the amplifier.
  5. 5) Unplug the RCA cables from the head unit.

Simply so, what causes buzzing in speakers?

There are many causes for the speakers humming sound issue. One of the common reasons is the electrical ground loop. Apart from that, the hardware issue can result in the buzzing sound from the speakers, such as your speaker faulty. In addition, the software issue, such as driver corruption probably causes the issue.

How do I fix my ground loop hum in my car?

Grounding a head unit to a cigarette lighter instead of the chassis also can introduce a ground loop. The right way to fix the problem is to tear down your sound system and attach the grounds from components like the head unit and amp directly to the chassis in the same place.

22 Related Question Answers Found

Why does my amp make a buzzing sound?

More often than not, when your amp is making a humming sound, it's caused by dirty power, a bad ground connection, or fluorescent lighting.

Why are ground loops bad?

Ground loops are a major cause of noise, hum, and interference in audio, video, and computer systems. Wiring practices that protect against ground loops include ensuring that all vulnerable signal circuits are referenced to one point as ground.

What does a blown speaker sound like?

What does a blown speaker sound like, and how do I know if I have one? The most common aural indication of a blown speaker is an unpleasant buzzing or scratching sound, by itself or roughly at the pitch of the note the speaker is attempting to reproduce. Or there could be no sound at all.

How do I stop my speakers from humming?

How to find and fix hum in 3 easy steps
  1. Turn the volume control up and down. Does the hum in your speakers go up and down with volume?
  2. Select different inputs. Does the hum go away?
  3. Disconnect all inputs. Remove the cables connecting the receiver, power amplifier, or device powering your speakers.
  4. Examine your answers. Yes, to Steps 1 and 2.

How do you eliminate a ground loop?


The ground loop can be eliminated in one of two ways:
  1. Remove one of the ground paths, thus converting the system to a single point ground.
  2. Isolate one of the ground paths with an isolation transformer, common mode choke, optical coupler, balanced circuitry, or frequency selective grounding.

What does ground loop sound like?

Ground loops can appear when there are two or more devices connected to a common ground and can sound like a low frequency hum, similar to touching the end of an instrument cable connected an amplifier. The current that is flowing through these different ground connections can cause a 60Hz hum in your audio.

What does 60hz hum sound like?

The 'hum noise' usually comes in two flavors, a low non-irritating drone (50 or 60 Hz) or a slightly higher pitched buzz or raspy/irritating 'angry insect' sound (100 or 120 Hz). Video hum is usually seen as diagonal bars across the TV or screen of a projector.

What is a hum eliminator?

The Ebtech Hum Eliminator is designed to eliminate 60 cycle hum (60Hz AC signal) caused by Ground Loops. It is also designed to convert unbalanced lines to a true balanced lines. These ground loops act like radio antennae picking up hum and noise.

What causes ground loop hum?

Ground Loop Hum is caused by a difference in electrical potential at grounding points. When you have more than one piece of equipment in your sound system connected to a common ground through different paths, like different outlets on the same circuit, you can get a ground loop.

What is a radio noise capacitor?


The radio suppression capacitor acts as a noise barrier as it dampens engine noise in the cabin of the vehicle. However, sometimes the wire in the capacitor corrodes and fails to dampen noise from the engine. Additionally, the wire may come loose, blowing fuses or even the battery.

Why does my car radio crackle?

If you only hear the static when listening to the radio, and not when listening to CDs or any auxiliary audio sources, then the problem is either with the antenna, the tuner, or some external source of interference. Check the car radio ground connection. Unplug the radio antenna and check if the sound is still there.

How do you get rid of an alternator whine?

How to Remove an Alternator Whine From a Car Stereo
  1. Check the wire routing for your car stereo.
  2. Use a digital multimeter to read the voltages from the lines connecting to the battery, the radio and the amplifiers.
  3. Ground your amplifiers before grounding any other components.
  4. Install a noise filter in the power line between the alternator and the battery.

How do I fix my car sound system?

Do it Yourself: Repair a Car Radio
  1. Check the basics first. Ensure the car stereo is set to radio mode (not CD or tape) and that the volume is turned up.
  2. Check the aerial.
  3. Play a CD or tape in the car stereo if the function is available.
  4. Remove the radio from the dashboard and check the audio connections.
  5. Replace the fuse.

How do you stop radio interference?

There are three basic methods of reducing RFI. The first is to prevent the radio interference from reaching the antenna by shielding. If the noise source is totally enclosed in a metal can, then the noise is contained and cannot reach the antenna.

Why does my radio whine when I accelerate?


One of the most common causes of speaker whine comes from the vehicle's alternator. The issue at hand is that noise from the alternator is getting into your head unit via the power cables. You can deal with the problem in one of two ways: Install a noise filter between the alternator and the battery.