Speaker emits high pitched sound when plugged in, but not when on Bluetooth.

Kat Donegan
Kat Donegan used Ask the Experts™
on
I have a Bluetooth speaker that can also be hardwired. When I plug it into my PC, it emits a high pitched sound. But when I use it for my phone via Bluetooth, it sounds fine. What could be causing the high pitched sound when plugged into my PC? Note that my PC doesn't have Bluetooth and that's why I have to plug it in.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Two possibilities (and there may be more).

Power to the speaker from the PC may be causing the speaker coils to squeal (the wires can move so slightly).
The frequency response of the PC may be higher than the phone but not pure causing a squeal noise rather than music at the high end.

Is the speaker a known very good brand?
Kat DoneganUX/UI Designer

Author

Commented:
It's called UE Boom and I got it for free a couple of years ago so I've been using it ever since. Not sure if it's a good brand. It seems to have good reviews, and it works perfectly via Bluetooth. I was also thinking the aux cord could be the problem but I'm not sure.
Business Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018
Commented:
Perhaps get a larger gauge cord to make sure it carries the full power supplied by the PC. Losses in the cord could lead to change in frequency response which could then lead to the squeal.

You can get a Bluetooth adapter for your PC and since you know it works to your satisfaction on Bluetooth, this may be the best solution in your case.
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Kat DoneganUX/UI Designer

Author

Commented:
Which cord would you recommend? And since you mentioned it, which Bluetooth adapter would you recommend? This is a gaming PC so it's quite a beast.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018
Commented:
Kat DoneganUX/UI Designer

Author

Commented:
Ok thanks! I'll try getting a better cable and a Bluetooth adapter and let you know how they work out.
Top Expert 2016

Commented:
i think you are experiencing feedback, disable your microphone or enable echo cancellation in your microphone.
Kat DoneganUX/UI Designer

Author

Commented:
I don't have any microphones enabled. I should also add that the high pitched sound isn't present when first turning on the speaker. The high pitched sound begins once I start to play audio through the speakers, then stays until I turn the speakers off.
Top Expert 2016

Commented:
try moving the speaker a bit further away (I still think it is feedback)
Kat DoneganUX/UI Designer

Author

Commented:
I can't really move it away because the cord is too short and it needs to be plugged in because my PC doesn't have Bluetooth. I moved it as far as it can go and the noise is still there.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Thanks. Please let us know when you have the Bluetooth adapter and new (longer?) cable.
Top Expert 2016

Commented:
is this a laptop or a desktop, if a laptop put a piece of tape over the microphone
Distinguished Expert 2017

Commented:
Feedback or interference due to poor grounding.

potentially cabling is an issue, but a USB bluetooth adapter can be had rather ... get the latest Bluetooth version...
Lucas BishopMarketing Technologist

Commented:
As others have said, likely related to poor grounding.

I'm assuming this could mean either the wall outlet, power-strip, power supply, motherboard (on-board audio) or soundcard itself aren't grounded well.

The first (and easiest) thing to try is plugging your computer into a different outlet.

Using a "power-strip?" Try not using it. Try using a different one. etc

The screws that hold your power supply to your case - Are they painted? Are they screwed in tight?

Does your pc have onboard audio, a separate soundcard, or both?  Try plugging into each one to see if the issue goes away. Have a different soundcard you can test in the pc?

Are you plugging into an audio jack on the front/back of the pc case? Is there a different jack you can try?
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
hey Kat - check if the volume is normal - and check the eaqualizer settings too - too high amplification can cause it also
Kat DoneganUX/UI Designer

Author

Commented:
Sounds possible. I'll check all these when I get home! The Bluetooth adapter should be arriving tonight as well so I'll see how that works.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Seems like you got it working - Thanks.
Kat DoneganUX/UI Designer

Author

Commented:
Looks like a Bluetooth adapter did the trick! Something about it being wired into my PC was causing the noise. It's in the same spot it was with no other changes except it's being used via Bluetooth. Thanks everyone!!!
Am I correct in thinking that the speaker has a built-in microphone designed to make the unit work as a "speakerphone" when connected to a mobile phone?  I have my suspicions that this is enabled and causing feedback, just as David Johnson suspected the squealing is being caused by feedback.
Kat DoneganUX/UI Designer

Author

Commented:
The speaker doesn't have a microphone. I tried to reduce the feedback the best way I could but it still wouldn't work. So far the Bluetooth adapter solution has been working amazingly.

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