Computer speakers buzzing extremely loud

I could here an extremely loud buzzing noise coming from upstairs today (I live in a two family home). I thought the girl who lives upstairs left her vibrator on. When she got home she called me and asked if I could look at her computer. It was her speakers. They buzz super loud, even with the volume all the way down. I tried plugging them in a different outlet and disconnecting the jacks that go in to the computer. Anyone have any ideas?

Check the microphone volume. This sounds silly, but this is sometimes the cause. Mute the mic. and see if it goes away. If not…maybe just bad speakers and it’s time to put them out to pasture.

You say they buzz with the volume down, but do they buzz if muted? Is the volume only controlled on the computer’s software, or is there a hardware control too? If both, turn the software down and hardware up, see if buzzing is worse/better. If worse, then do the opposite. Software volume up, and hardware volume down.
(And I think it’s funny your first thought is that her vibrator was left on.)

She doesn’t have a mic. They buzz when turned on even when not hooked to the computer. It also happened spontaneouly after she left for work. I’m guessing that your speakers are shot theory is correct.

My speakers buzz when the microwave in the other room runs. I thought this was related to something it emits but then realized it’s probably a power thing, maybe try plugging the speakers into another outlet?

There are two types of speakers, amplified and non-amplified ones. Non-amplified ones rely on there being an amplifier in the sound card. Amplified can use a sound card with or without an amplifier.

Amplified speakers, especially the cheaper ones, are much more succeptible to electrical noise. They are also usually powered off of wall warts (those little power supplies that have a box that plugs into the wall) which are generally very cheap devices with nothing but a transformer, a diode for a rectifier, and a filter capacitor. How do you make an AM radio receiver? Use a diode and a capacitor. Quite often, the design of these speakers and power supplies makes them really good (unintentionally) at picking up radio noise. Your microwave, since it is basically a radio transmitter, has some leakage which the wall wart will easily pick up, and the amplifier in the speakers will happily amplify to the point where you can hear it. Computer speakers will also often chirp when cell phones are nearby, for exactly the same reason.

Jeesh I was off, thanks though that’s pretty neat. So…it’s just crappy speakers then.