Computer Speakers, Avoiding Radio Signals

Ledgem

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jan 18, 2008
1,884
714
Hawaii, USA
Greetings all,

I'm currently using Harmon Kardon model HK395 speakers, a 30-watt 2.1 sound system. I've been pleased with the sound quality, but the speakers are getting old and are developing some issues. The absolute biggest issue that I have (which isn't age-related) is that the speakers pick up stray radio signals.

I've looked into this issue and know that it's not limited to these speakers. However, these speakers seem particularly sensitive. When I lived in a rural area, they picked up religious radio rather softly at night; now I'm back in a city, and they give off one sports station all of the time, seemingly becoming louder in the afternoon and evening (a normal phenomenon, according to what I've read). Since I often listen to piano music at low volume, the sports station is extremely noticeable. The radio signals are still passed through even if the speakers are not plugged in to the computer, and they still pick up the radio even after I've tried repositioning them and repositioning their cables.

What I'm interested in are recommendations for speaker models from people who had a similar issue that went away when they upgraded, which should indicate that their particular model (or its cables) is resistant to radio. Alternately, if anyone has expertise in this area and knows what to look for when browsing, I'd really appreciate that as well.

Thank you!
 

Ledgem

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jan 18, 2008
1,884
714
Hawaii, USA
You need to get shielded cables for your speakers.
Thanks for the reply! For standard "consumer-grade" speakers ($50 and under) the wires aren't replaceable, from what I've seen. The wires also don't receive mention as a talking point for speakers, unless it's about the length; thus, there seems to be no way to know about wire shielding when making the purchase. I'm not really sure what to do to get around those issues.
 

flopticalcube

macrumors G4
You can make your own shielding by striping the shielding from a RG6/RG59 video cable (like the antenna or cable TV cable) and sliding that over your wires. You will have to connect the shielding to ground somehow. Just slice open the RG6 cable lengthwise after snipping off the ends and remove the plastic cover. The shielding should then be able to be slid out. I have also seen people use a small amount of aluminum foil over the wires. I'm not keen on the final "look" however.
 

mgartner0622

macrumors 65816
Jun 6, 2010
1,018
0
Colorado, USA
I've had no issues with logitech or bose speakers (Although overpriced they may be, I love my companion 3 series ii) My old pair on infinity monitors had this issue only twice. Frankly, the first time it happened it was quite scary, they started playing the theme from Ghostbusters in addition to the dialogue from the first movie for about 15 minutes. The next time I got sports radio interference like you describe.
Since buying multiple pairs of logitechs later, and after owning both the bose companion 2 and 3, I've yet to reencounter the issue.
 
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