AirPort Extreme Dual Audible Noise

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by klmckenzie03, May 1, 2009.

  1. klmckenzie03 macrumors member

    Jun 21, 2008

    I just installed my new AEBS dual band yesterday and I have both a dedicated 5 GHz N network and a 2.4 GHz B/G running. I have my DSL modem patched into the WAN port on the AEBS and a LaCie 2-Big NAS hooked into a LAN port. The first thing that I noticed caught me a little off guard. I noticed that the AEBS was making a very faint ticking noise as if something inside was turning on and off. I have had a few AirPort products in the past including the UFO style base station as well as the first generation of this new style AEBS that only allowed a single band. I have never heard any of these devices make noise of any kind.

    The thing that concerned me even more is that when I plugged another patch cable in to configure my AirPort Express the AEBS starting to make a very audible "sizzling" or "static" sound. I left the patch cable plugged into the AEBS and removed the other end from the Express but the noise was still present. The noise however does go away when the patch cable is completely removed from the AEBS. I have tried all LAN ports and have the same result. The only thing I could think of was maybe some kind of interference? The patch cable I have running to the LaCie is shielded but the one running from the AEBS to the DSL modem is not. Neither of these are producing any noise.

    Is this just a bad cable, or some sort of interference? I am a little leary and afraid this could be some sort of fire hazzard. Is anyone else experiencing any of these noises with their AEBS dual?
  2. rgarjr macrumors 603


    Apr 2, 2009
    Southern California
    I have 2 dual AE (one is the 09 model) and none of them make any noise.
  3. systimax macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2005
  4. klmckenzie03 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 21, 2008
    I will have to turn the radios off when I have an opportunity and plug the patch cable back in and see if I get this "sizzling" noise. Initially I was going to return this unit but now it seems as though maybe everyone is having this problem.
  5. JasonR macrumors 6502a


    Nov 11, 2008
    How loud is it, and how close do you have to be to hear it? Mine's 5 feet away from me and I can't hear a thing.
  6. klmckenzie03 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 21, 2008
    Well the ticking noise can only be heard if you put your head within a few inches maybe 12" max from the unit. The sizzling noise I get when I plug the patch cable in can be heard from across a room, I'd say at least 10 - 15 feet away. I yet to turn the radio off and see what happens when I plug a patch cable in. It has been a busy week and my sister relies heavily on the internet for college. I should be able to test this sometime this weekend and see what happens.
  7. systimax macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2005
  8. MadMacxxx macrumors 6502a


    Apr 27, 2009
    Newport Beach, CA
    You can add me to the list... just discovered this yesterday. I knew I should've went with Linksys.
  9. angemon89 macrumors 68000


    Feb 5, 2008
    The place where Apple designs stuff
    WTF, mine is making noise too. At first I thought it was my hard drive but no, it's the dual band airport. I wonder why.
  10. kruehl326 macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2009
    Is it a hard drive?

    Ok, I know it looks like a Time you think it really is, just the firmware shuts off the hard drive?

    It sounds like a laptop hard drive in there...when I'm doing file transfers from one machine to the other over wireless it definitely makes noise like a hard drive....
  11. hyxal macrumors newbie

    Sep 14, 2009
    Having the same problem here. I do have a lot of warranty left but wouldn´t mind having it fixed at home in case it´s easy. AEBS is about 6 feet away from me and I can hear it buzzing every time I use the web, very annoying.
  12. Fatdog macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2003
    My AirPort extreme dual band also makes the high pitched noise. I also noticed that my MacBook (aluminum model) also sometimes makes the noise, but not as loud. I have to put my ear to the keyboard to hear it. I think it's just capacitor noise that for some reason is more noticeable with 802.11N.

    It's very annoying because I have very good hearing and I work in a quiet environment. I still love the Airport Extreme though. Right now I'm backing up my MacBook using TimeMachine and an external hard drive connected to the AirPort Extreme. It's nice to have one less wire hanging off my MacBook.

    The noise is annoying but hopefully I won't notice it after this backup is complete. I never noticed the noise until I started this TimeMachine backup.
  13. chuckbrunstad macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2011
    Hey guys,
    I have two airport extremes, one being an dual band and the other being the previous model - and unfortunately the whining noise is present from both, however at a much lower decibel on the older model. In fact, the sound can only be heard when you practically jam your ear as close to it as possible. Even something as trivial in terms of data transmission as browsing the web causes the dual band to whine - very distracting. And I hate to say this, but I don't believe there is an easy fix, or any fix for that matter as it seems to be emitted as a result of any wireless activity. Besides, in my experience, Apple has never been very attentive to noises - when I told them about a high pitched whining sound emitting whenever I gave a little pressure to the area on the right side of the trackpad, they called it normal. I know five people with the same exact models that dont make this sound. :\
  14. modit macrumors 6502

    Apr 8, 2008
    2011 AirPort Extreme Effected

    I am shocked to say my 2011 AirPort Extreme suffers from this issue. Every time I visit a webpage, the router emits that noise. It's even worse when running a online speed test as the whining noise is extremly obnoxious.

    My old 2009 refurbished AirPort extreme was dead silent compared to this. Oh well, time to call Apple.

    Do you think they'll just ship me a new replacement or a refurb? :(
  15. vasuvasu macrumors member

    Aug 8, 2011
  16. ProMod macrumors 6502a

    Dec 29, 2005
    I bought a new 2011 model at Best Buy yesterday, brought it home, set it up, and heard the crazy noise. I thought I had a bad unit for sure. My old 2007 model AEBS is dead silent, as is any other router I've ever been around.

    I drove right back to Best Buy and exchanged the unit, and I honestly think the one I have now is actually louder than the first one. Looking forward to hearing more about others' findings with this issue.
  17. ProMod macrumors 6502a

    Dec 29, 2005
    Anyone find any new info on this? Does it affect ALL units, or just some?
  18. iMule macrumors 6502

    Feb 11, 2009
    Greenville, SC
    Mine does it too. I got mine on August 5th and it makes a "static noise" almost like when you put your finger in an old lift up CD player to slow the disk down. It doesn't have any noticeable affect on my network speed, but it's still annoying when it's quiet in the room. Mine is loud. I don't have to have my ear on it to hear it. I have a CAT6 cable from it to my Apple TV and I don't notice any noise when streaming. What's with Apple lately? I'm on my 3rd iPad 2 and I had the antenna issue with my 4. Everyone has it, but mine is considerably worst. Apple has replaced everything for me, so I guess I can't complain. It just seems like it's tough to get a good quality Apple product on the first buy. I'll bookmark this thread. I'm probably going to exchange mine tonight.

    Does this happen with the time capsule?
  19. Gordy macrumors 6502a

    May 22, 2005
    Bristol, UK
    They all do it, but not all the time and not everyone has sensitive enough hearing to pick it up. I just slung mine in a cupboard. It hasn't effected the wireless strength and makes it impossible to hear.
  20. Badseed macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2011
    I ironically heard this noise today for the first time and came to this forum. I only have a few things hardwired in and a few devices connected via wifi. My Macbook (wifi connection) has Dropbox running on it. As soon as I quit the service, the noise stopped instantly. Not sure if that helps anyone, but I thought I'd share that.
  21. Jezza1685, Oct 9, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2011

    Jezza1685 macrumors newbie

    Oct 9, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    The reason the airport extreme makes a noise is because it is transmitting and receiving at high power. In the past I have also heard the airport card in my MacBook making the same noise. I got a new MacBook pro this year and it had the same noise when browsing the web. Replacing your device Will not fix this as the cards they out in the devices were made this way. My airport extreme makes this noise and I also thought it was a hard drive at first but then thought about why it would make this noise. Only one conclusion...

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