Airport Extreme - noise concerns

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Kaizen, Sep 16, 2009.

  1. Kaizen macrumors member

    Nov 11, 2006
    Hi all. I bought an Airport Extreme a few weeks ago, and was able to get it connected to the internet and broadcasting 2.4 and 5GhZ signals without any problems.

    However, i've noticed that it produces a bit of noise whenever there's network traffic. It's a sort of buzzing, clicking noise. I've found a couple threads related to this issue, but they never seem to do more than document a few users' concerns. I'm interested in finding out whether this is a sign of future hardware problems, or simply 'within spec'

    So i guess my question, to those with an Airport Extreme (N version) is: do you notice a similar noise?
  2. MacMini2009 macrumors 68000


    May 22, 2009
    I recently bought the newest Airport Extreme at Best Buy and I do not hear any noises.
  3. TwinCities Dan macrumors 603

    TwinCities Dan

    May 19, 2008
    Double Parked out front of the Courthouse
    No noise here as well, sounds like something may be wrong with your hardware? :confused:
  4. rgarjr macrumors 603


    Apr 2, 2009
    Southern California
  5. fehhkk macrumors 6502a


    Jun 11, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    No noise at all. Where is the noise coming from, the unit itself? or the power supply?
  6. Kaizen thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 11, 2006
  7. Chris3125 macrumors member

    Aug 20, 2005
    I Bought an Extreme yesterady and today I have noticed this same issue, when traffic on the network it makes the same noises you describe. Tempted to take it back and ask for a replacement, however they might just think i'm stupid when I say 'I want this replaced because it makes a noise!'
  8. Constantine1337 macrumors 6502

    Dec 3, 2009
    Same issue here... You can hardly hear it, however due to the fact that I live in very quiet place, and my MBP has SSD, I can hear AirPort Extreme squeaking every time there is traffic going on.
  9. metalic macrumors newbie

    Apr 22, 2008
    they all do this actually. I had the old and the new AEBS. 3 in total. No difference. Just ignore it ;)
  10. Marcode macrumors newbie

    Apr 30, 2009
    London, UK
    AEx buzzing

    Hi bought my new AEx a couple of weeks ago. I get the buzzing sound.
  11. psxguru macrumors 6502a

    May 19, 2006
    These kind of high frequency noises annoy me as I can always pick them out. I can also hear similar noises from my Macbook when the cpu is under load.
  12. Bear Hunter macrumors 6502a

    Bear Hunter

    Aug 10, 2008
    The only noise I get is when accessing my networked drive (which is connected to it)....which is the HD spinning up.
  13. applefan289 macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2010
    I get the same clicking noise if I put my ear *right* next to the Extreme. I think I may have heard one buzz. And it doesn't have to be when there's traffic. It happens all the time when the green light is showing. It does not happen when the system is showing amber. I think that's just a sign that it's working.
  14. chulsupark, Dec 17, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2010

    chulsupark macrumors newbie

    Jul 4, 2009
    Ithaca, NY
    I hear the noise from my unit as well

    The AEBS unit itself (not the power supply) has been making something
    like clicking and fan spinning like noise, as if it has a cooling fan
    (like a macbook) and (a bad cooling fan).
    Not that loud but can hear from a foot distance. Tonight, I started to
    hear high pitched noise loud enough to be able to hear from several meters
    away from the unit, almost sounded
    like a bad hard drive. I grabbed the unit and pressed the box, tapped
    couple times and now high pitched noise is gone but the old clicking
    fan-like noise is still there. I'm curious if there is any moving parts
    inside AEBS?
    Should I visit apple store to get a service? Or it's me be just a a normal
    working sound? (I don't like to hear the high pitched noise, very

    EDIT: it turns out that the high pitched noise is due to the network activity, whenever
    I transfer files (high speed) between laptop and desktop, it makes hard drive (or
    laptop cooling fan like) whirling/scratching noise. Hmm, and it seems to be a feature
    of latest AEBS as many reported in Apple forum (pointed by one of previous post in this
  15. batistuta macrumors regular

    Jan 15, 2008
    I am having the same issue :-(
    Room is quiet and so is my Mini with SSD underneath the Extreme. Very irritating as it sits approx 1 meter from my chair!
    This is the latest A1354 model. Will check if it is also present in the A1301 I have in the attic.
    Bummer Apple - quiet is everything!
  16. kruehl326 macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2009
    Wifi Noise - Not with Ethernet

    I purchased the Airport Extreme almost 2 yrs ago and also noticed the same clicking noise when downloading substantial amount of bandwidth. Make sure the room is very quiet and the Airport is right near you, connect to it with Wifi only and goto and do a test. When it downloads you'll definitely hear a slight "pass-through" type noise...almost sounds like a Hard Drive running inside of it.

    I at first wondered if the Airport Extreme was in face the Time Capsule with the Hard drive functionality just simply turned off... because it only happened when mass bandwidth went through the device. (I've never opened it up to confirm though... )

    But, what I also noticed is that it does NOT make a noise if you turn off Wifi Connection to it and go hardwire Ethernet to the box. Runs smoothly with no noise. Also, on, if I'm hardwired I'll traditionally get about 20 - 22 Mbit/sec and if on Wifi around 17-18... So this helps sway me even more for a hardwire connection.

    Let me know if you get No Noise if going hardwire Ethernet with Airport on Mac turned off.
  17. Jezza1685 macrumors newbie

    Oct 9, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    real reason

    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...
  18. Jqbliss macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2012
    Had the same issue but only noticed it after I changed the channel for the 2.4ghz network. Changed the channel a few time and there is a different degree of buzzing. The more data Rx and Tx seems to also have an effect on the volume of the buzz.

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