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Audio Buzz Through Laptop Headphone Jack

We have a professional audio/visual system.
We also have an input for laptops that can connect directly to it to do presentations.
However, whenever we connect any laptop's audio via the headphone jack output of the laptop, there is always a buzzing sound in the professional speaker system.

Any ideas how to fix this so the buzz goes away?

BTW, this does not happen with desktop computers.
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HaimD
Asked:
HaimD
1 Solution
 
MISOperationsCommented:
I has to due with the charging of the battery while its in use, remove the battery while you have it plugged in while in use, the error will go away.
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Robert Sutton JrSenior Network ManagerCommented:
Check the settings on input from the laptop side. This could be a few different things.. Slight ground or cable defect, bad or low quality Sound cards in those laptops, or just a simple speaker setting change on your laptops audio output(IE: Headphones, Speakers, SS, etc). Try changing the settings on a laptop's audio output to whatever your A/V setup has for speakers... 5.1, 7.xx SS etc...Then see if your problem persists....
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HaimDAuthor Commented:
Wow...I have to try that...it's been months with this issue!  I'll be super happy if it's true...
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srjacobCommented:
It has to do with the fact that the laptop is not grounded, and is acting as a big antenna for 60 Hz hum.  The chassis of desktop computers is grounded to the ground side of the electrical plug, whereas laptop chassis are not.

You might try this:  Take an audio cable and peel back the insulation at the laptop end so that the braid is exposed.  Take a piece of bare wire and wrap one end around the braid and the other end to an electrical ground (a screw holding an electrical plate would would if the screw isn't painted.  See if your hum goes away.  If so, make up a permanent audio cable to do this.  My guess is that the audio cable from the audio visual system to the laptop is fairly long.   If you don't know how to find the electrical ground, as an electrician.

As the headset output is fairly high level, you probably should be going into a line level input on your audio visual system, and not a microphone input.
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Michael-BestCommented:
The headphone jack output of the laptop is controlled by the amp via a volume control, thus if you reduce the volume to a lower level (to be = to what a pre amp / line out level ) would output then your buzz should go away.

Also keep audio cables away from power cables / sources as this too can cause feedback or buzz.

Hope this helps.
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Michael-BestCommented:
The headphone jack is not a "line out" so it is better to use a USB to audio line out adapter.
This is advertised as a line in adapter but also has line out ports:
http://www.dak2000.com/reviews/2086story.cfm

Or this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829126101

You may be able to find a cheaper adapter by searching "line out adapter for laptop"

Hope this answers you question.
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HaimDAuthor Commented:
Sorry guys...none of these worked for me...
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Michael-BestCommented:
The USB to audio line out adapter did not work?
(10/05/11 06:55 AM, ID: 35724580) ;
http://www.dak2000.com/reviews/2086story.cfm
Or this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829126101


Try it on another laptop and also try another audio cable as a bad cable and or bad audio plugs may be at fault.
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HaimDAuthor Commented:
No...we tried a few and they didn't work...
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Michael-BestCommented:
Well if it not a laptop or audio cable problem then it can only be a problem with the professional audio/visual system.
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HaimDAuthor Commented:
Some laptops are better than others.  What of that then?
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Michael-BestCommented:
I asked did you try a USB to audio line out adapter / another laptop and also try another audio cable ?
05/17/11 09:36 AM, ID: 35774080

You replied:
we tried a few and they didn't work

I presumed a few USB to audio line out adapters / laptops / audio cables, and all didn't solve the buzz.

Can you try a desktop PC that has an actual "line out" jack & eliminate (the headphone jack is not a "line out") being the cause.
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MereteCommented:
Some laptops are better than others.<>absolutely
If you buy a laptop with supporting speakers externally then you have a better laptop and better sound output with what I call a full duplex  sound card.
And you can use the line out. PC speakers
When one considers that the sound output on a laptop is for internal speakers and head sets only.

Most laptops because they have internal speakers have a half duplex audio chip on the motherboard which shares the same resources to all the audio.

The audio output is minimal compared to a desktop PC with a full duplex sound card
All you need do is look at the sockets for audio if there is no line out forget it.
As you said>BTW, this does not happen with desktop computers.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_card

Sigmatel cards found in DELL notebooks have Full Duplex and tinkling with registry can produce a good output.
These laptops support TV out so the audio is included.
How To Connect your laptop to your DJ Mixer!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mck3zRcVeUw

It also depends on how loud you have the wave out and what type of line you're using to connect to the AMP.
This all about ohms as well. You have a very small line inside the laptop and a very large line outside.

try connecting the audio cable from the laptop to the AMP>> CD in.
In my AMP I have a few settings like LD/DVD CD audio  / Phono /tuner

I have a PC with PCI audio card and connect the PC speakers line out to a switch box audio L/R and that switch box connects to the AMP, my TV is also connected to this box.
So really I have just added  a little more details to what has already been said.

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auburntigerrichCommented:
I agree with srjacob that it is because the laptop is not grounded.  If you unplug the AC adapter and just run off the battery, you should notice that the buzz goes away.  (Assuming that the laptop and receiver/amp are running off the same circuit)

If not, then my next step would be to take a DI box and run 1/8" to 1/4" into the DI box, and then XLR into a mic input on the mixer.  This was our standard practice in the A/V company I worked for.  

There is nothing worse than running unshielded copper straight into a mixer from an ungrounded source with all sorts of background noise like a laptop.  A DI box will usually fix this.  Toggle the ground lift switch to see which gives the best results.

Good luck!
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HaimDAuthor Commented:
This was actually the only solution that relieved SOME of the noise, but definitely not all of it.  The other solutions did not work out for me.
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