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Audio Systems/intermittent buzzing


QUESTION: I hope this isn't a dumb question. I am running google play music on a high-end laptop computer. I am running the headphone output to a standard stereo system. The sound is normally fantastic, but recently I have been getting an annoying intermittent buzz. I can stop it by jiggling he plug that goes into the headphone jack. However, it seems to be occurring more often. Every minute or so I have to jiggle the doggone plug to stop the buzz. Is there some way to stop this buzz permanently? Thanks.

ANSWER: If the laptop has Bluetooth, you could get a Bluetooth recover for your stereo, and bypass the cabling altogether.

There are also inexpensive DAC units the would go from the USB to dual RCA connectors that would then go to the stereo.

One thing you could do to try and fix your current situation is to clean the plug and the headphone jack. It sounds like you have some deposits in there causing problems. or should have a decent selection of all items I've described.

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QUESTION: Thanks. Yes, my laptop has bluetooth, so that seems like a convenient option. I assume that it just plugs into the RCA jacks of my amplifier. How is the sound quality? Is it as good as a cable (without the buzz)?

ANSWER: Generally the sound pretty good. I use one for my iPad to play through my system (my home production studio), and it's usually just as good as a cable

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QUESTION: OK, one more question (I hope). I ordered a bluetooth audio receiver (a Belkin Song Stream) and hooked it up to my stereo. It worked for a short time, then it started breaking up. Badly. At a range of about 5 feet from my laptop it kept dropping out and breaking up so badly as to be completely unacceptable. I let it go for a while to see if it would improve, but it didn't.

The paper instructions are written in a font that is virtually microscopic, so they were basically useless.

I went online and tried to figure out if I had done something wrong. Then it occurred to me that perhaps I need a USB dongle transmitter for my laptop. Could that be why this thing is working so poorly? Thanks.

If it was working at first, and then "broke down", I'd say it's either the unit you purchased OR the bluetooth transmitter on the laptop. Since I am not there to see/hear exactly what's happening, it's a little hard to say conclusively - I will say that any digital transmission is typically a case of "it works, or it does not work".

I am assuming that the cabling from the Belkin to your stereo is in good order? That can be tested with an iPod or any device with a headphone jack. Make sure the receiving unit is in a fairly open area (not stuffed behind the stereo or back in a cabinet). It's kind of like wi-fi... the less obstructions, the better it will connect.

A better transmitter may help... You may want to contact who you bought the Belkin unit from for replacement information under warranty before purchasing a transmitter.  

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Wayne Tapia


Home Theater Audio Cabling (from HDMI to speaker cable). I WILL REJECT ALL CAR AUDIO QUESTIONS - I am not a car audio guy.


I am a Certified Audio Engineer that also works in the A/V cabling industry. I would like to dispel the myths and outright lies about the cables that connect your home theater systems together. Here's a hint - many of you have been misled out of hundreds of dollars for cabling systems.


Audio Recording Technology Institute Vancouver Film School

Past/Present Clients
Post Magic Studios Khaos Studios Glass Forest Entertainment Funkbuddha Productions The Capital Playhouse Art In Music Global Music Project University of Washington Belle and Wissel

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