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Noise suppression guide

Diagnosing and treating noise problems in your car audio system

Buck Pomerantz was born and raised in Philadelphia. His parents bought their first television set when he was born. He figured out how to run it by the time he was two. Besides athletics, his formative interests included electronics, amateur radio, music, and stage crew work. He got his BA in writing from Brown University. Then he joined a rock 'n roll band as their soundman and moved to Charlottesville, Virginia. After that venture failed, he spent time in Boston, New Orleans, and Berkeley. He worked in a music store in Austin manufacturing, installing, repairing, and operating sound systems for recording studios, clubs, and bands. He moved back to Charlottesville, ran a little recording studio and finally joined Crutchfield as a copywriter. He has 2 grown children and 3 grandchildren, but after a good nap he can still rock out.

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Noise Suppression Guide

This guide will help you diagnose and treat problems with extraneous noise in your car audio system.

Dealing with noise

You've installed a new receiver or amplifier in your car, and now you have a noise problem. What can you do? The trick is to determine what the source of the noise is. Noise can be introduced into your system from a number of sources. This is especially true if you have an amplifier. The type of noise you're hearing can help determine the cause.

Read over this article for some hints and explanations of what can cause noise in your system. Use it as a checklist, eliminating possibilities until you find the culprit. You can also use this diagnostic flowchart as a guide to walk you through the troubleshooting process.

And don’t forget – if you purchased your gear from Crutchfield, or purchased tech support separately, don't hesitate to call on our tech support team (have your Crutchfield invoice handy).

Noise and your new receiver

If you’ve just installed a new receiver, here are two quick and easy starting points:

Receiver with antenna lead, power, and ground

Noise in your receiver is often due to a poor ground wire connection or a poorly grounded antenna.

Is your receiver securely grounded?

Improper ground is one of the biggest causes for introducing noise into your audio system. Is the ground wire located near a noise source (like a heater, air conditioner, or computer)? Is the ground wire actually connected to the vehicle's ground? Since the antenna lead can act as a ground (thereby enabling a new receiver to operate without its ground wire properly connected), the antenna lead is frequently the source of noise problems.

Antenna noise

Check to see if you're getting noise on all sources — CD, auxiliary/USB, AM, and FM
If the noise is present only on the radio, then it's most likely coming through your antenna lead.

Unplug the antenna. If the noise goes away, try an antenna noise suppressor (like American International's AS100). This filter plugs in-line between your receiver and your antenna, breaking the ground path between them, thus preventing noise from entering your system.

Antenna filter

An antenna filter, installed between the vehicle's antenna and the receiver, can minimize noise entering your system from a poorly grounded antenna.

Radiated noise

If the noise isn’t coming in through the antenna, try pulling the receiver from the dash while a CD is playing. If the noise goes away, it's being radiated into your system due to the receiver's proximity to a noise producer (like a heater motor or car computer). This is often referred to as “sideway noise.”

If the noise-causing accessory has a motor, a source noise filter can be installed on the accessory's power lead to minimize radiated noise. If the car computer (or other motor-less accessory) is causing the problem, move your receiver's wiring away from that accessory to minimize the radiated noise.

Try using magnetic shielding foil (also called Mu-metal) to shield the back of the receiver or wrap the wire or component that's radiating the noise into your system.

Engine noise

Noise introduced through the power and ground wires connected to your receiver is called engine noise (sometimes referred to as “backway noise”). If engine noise is your culprit, you may hear a whining or clicking sound. Its pitch will usually vary with engine speed.

If this is the case, you can install an alternator noise filter on the power line between the battery and the alternator to minimize the problem. You can also install a noise filter on the receiver's power lead to cut down on signal pollution (American International's S15A (15-amp, 250-watt) or S25A (25-amp, 350-watt) filters, for example). Most often, however, backway noise comes from a loose or intermittent ground connection. See the section below about noise in the electrical system.

Alternator noise filter

An alternator noise suppressor connects inline between the alternator and battery, and can reduce high-pitched whining noise that modulates according to engine RPMs.

Noise and your new amplifier

An amplifier can introduce noise into your system through a bad ground or through a poor mounting. Rubber grommets or feet can help isolate the amplifier from the chassis of the vehicle, a potential source of noise. If all else fails, install a noise suppressor. The tricky part is figuring out which step or steps to take. Please read the rest of this section and try some of the simple tests.

Amplifier connections

Where is the amp mounted?

Is it near something that could be radiating noise, like a rear-mounted tuner or computer? If so, unbolt it and move it away to see if the noise stops. Remove your patch cables. If you still hear noise, check to see if your amp is isolated from the vehicle's chassis. Any contact between your amp's metal casing and your vehicle's body could cause noise problems.

Check your ground wire

Is it securely attached to the vehicle's chassis with a good contact to clean metal? Your ground wire should ideally be 18" long at most — a longer ground wire can cause noise problems. Improper grounding causes most system noise problems.

Check your gain structure

If you have an external amplifier in your system, the first thing to do is to quiet any system noise, which sounds like a constant, low hiss. First, check for system noise with the engine off. Insert a CD and put your CD player on pause. Listen to the system with the volume way down, then way up. Put on music. If you hear hiss in either instance, reduce the gain on your amplifier.

Pass more signal from the receiver to the amp by leaving the receiver's volume higher before you set the amp's gain. Experiment until you eliminate the hiss or reduce it as much as possible. A tiny bit of hiss is okay — you won't hear it while driving.

Noise in the patch cables

Noise can be picked up by the RCA patch cables connecting your components. To test this, detach the cables from your amp. Insert one side (left or right) of a spare patch cable into the amp's left and right input jacks (see illustration below). Turn on your system and engine.

RCA noise

If the noise is gone, reconnect the cables to the amp, and disconnect them from your receiver. If you hear the noise, your patch cables are definitely picking it up. Try re-routing them. Separate them from your power cable by at least 18 inches. You could try a better brand of patch cables. The inexpensive RCA cables many people use to connect their components don't have the insulation or conductivity necessary to deflect noise in a metallic, highly conductive automobile.

How much noise your cable receives depends largely on the size of its “loop area;” the larger the loop area, the more vulnerable your cable is to induced interference. A cable's loop area is equal to the distance between its center conductor and outer shield times the length of one complete twist in a twisted pair configuration, or the entire length of the cable in a coaxial type. Consider trading your old cable for one with a twisted pair design. You'll get a smaller loop area and less noise.

Twisted pair patch cables

Patch cables with a "twisted pair" design help reject noise

As a last resort, a ground loop isolator (like PAC's SNI-1) can be installed between the receiver's preamp outputs and your amp to minimize this problem.

Noise picked up by the power or ground cables

We discussed ground cables above, because that’s the cause of noise more often than not. If the noise wasn’t due to a poor ground or through the stereo’s antenna cable, it may be coming in through the amplifier's main power cable. Noise can be created by cable of insufficient gauge, so you might try thicker cable.

Ground loop isolator

If you cannot find the faulty ground in your multi-amp system, a ground loop isolator can help minimize the problem.

Multiple amplifiers can also create ground loop problems, which can usually be solved by grounding each amplifier with its own separate wire. If you are unable to locate the cause, a ground loop isolator (like PAC's SNI-1) can be installed between the receiver's preamp outputs and the amplifiers to minimize this problem.

Noise in speaker wiring

Noise can also come in through the speaker wires. To test them, turn the system off and disconnect the speaker wires from the amps. Now start the car. If the noise is still there, then it's being radiated into the speaker wires. Reposition them, or, as a last resort, shield them by wrapping them with Mu-metal foil.

Noise from electrical system

If you've tried all of the noise-fighting tips above and you still hear the noise, the problem might be with your vehicle. You might simply need to fill your battery with fluid. If that doesn't help, have a mechanic check your alternator and battery.

If your car is older and hasn't been tuned up recently, you may have ignition noise. It's a ticking noise that varies in speed as you accelerate. You may need a tune-up involving resistor-type spark plugs, shielded carbon-core spark plug wires, distributor cap, and coil.

If the noise doesn't disappear, then your ignition system may not be grounded well enough and is broadcasting ticks to other items such as your air cleaner, hood, exhaust system, etc. Chances are, grounding one of the under-hood components will eliminate the noise. With your sound system on and the car running, try grounding each of these different components of the car. It's possible that grounding one of your car's components will eliminate the noise. If so, make the ground permanent with a braided ground strap.

A very effective fix for electrical system noise is called "The Big Three" upgrade. This is where your vehicle's battery charging wire and chassis ground wires are augmented by adding large gauge wires (1/0- or 4-ga.) to those connecting the alternator to the battery's positive pole, the battery's negative pole to the chassis, and the chassis to the engine block. This establishes better current flow and more consistent voltage, which improves your system's signal to noise ratio. It also ensures against loose or restrictive ground connections, which, as said before, are common sources of noise. Read our article about The Big Three for more information.

Noise and your nervous system

Noise problems can be very frustrating, especially when you can't wait to hear your new equipment. It helps to remember that you've just placed a very sophisticated piece of electronic gear (a new receiver or amplifier) in the middle of an extremely complex system — your vehicle's electrical wiring. Noise is just nature's way of telling you that something's out of whack. Just run down the list, eliminating possible noise sources until you find the problem.

Crutchfield Tech Support

If you bought your gear from Crutchfield, you could call Tech Support for free help troubleshooting your system. The toll-free number is on your invoice. If you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support — 90 days-worth for only $30.

  • Loren from United States

    Posted on 7/12/2015 10:47:48 PM

    I need a filter! I am running my karoke (on my computer) using head phone jack and going to my amp?speaker.. it is a guitar amp. But I am getting "computer noise" through the amp is their a filter available to stop the noise?

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/14/2015 11:52:30 AM

    Loren, I'm not sure what "computer noise" means, but using the headphone output of your computer to feed a guitar amp's input has probably set up a ground loop which hums or buzzes. Guitar amps by themselves are inherently noisy. Have you tried plugging the amp into the same power strip as the computer? Have you tried switching the amp's ground lift? Sorry, Crutchfield doesn't carry an isolation filter for this situation.

  • Daniel from Muncy

    Posted on 8/12/2015 4:16:42 PM

    I'm trying to hook a car amp and subwoofer to my home theater system using a ac to DC power converter. When I hook everything up correctly I turn on my home system. When I play country music on the home system I'm getting an entirely different channel playing music through the car amp and subwoofer only. Country on the home system and classic rock on the amp and subwoofer only. Any reason why this is happening?

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/13/2015 12:15:51 PM

    Daniel, It sounds like your subwoofer amplifier is plugged into a tape output that's tuned to a different source than the main output. Like you're playing a CD while the tape out is set to the FM tuner. Normally in a home theater system a subwoofer gets its input from the receiver's LFE (low-frequency effects) output, which plays the bass of the program playing.

  • mike from roseville

    Posted on 8/30/2015 4:40:12 PM

    I am having popping noises comming from the speakers when I turn my system off. I have a jl audio v2/75x4 watt 4 channel amplifier and a pioneer deh-x8700bh head unit along with alpine spr-60c and spr-682. thank you for your time

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/31/2015 12:25:35 PM

    Mike, Usually those kinds of noises are the results of a loose power or ground wire. Check that first. If you bought gear at Crutchfield, you could call Tech Support for free help troubleshooting your system. Their toll-free number is on your invoice. If you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Click on this link for details.

  • Chris from Baltimore

    Posted on 9/30/2015 11:15:15 PM

    Hello Buck. I was thinking about installing a home/computer speaker system I already have into my car in order to save money. The speaker system I have is the Klipsch Promedia 2.1 at 200 watts total system power (2 speakers and a 6.5inch subwoofer). It has an amp with a subwoofer knob and a main volume knob. The amp is described as a "Digital/Linear A/B Amplifier". The 2 speakers connect to the back of the sub, as does the amplifier, and the system power cord. -To my understanding, all I will need to buy in order to install these in my vehicle is a power inverter? Would a 1000W power inverter be enough? -The power cord coming out of the sub (that powers the whole system) only has two prongs, as in there's no ground. This would plug into the inverter which would be wired straight to the battery. Do you see any potential problems here, either with grounding or possible noise? I guess I won't know until I have the system installed but if it won't work, I'd like to know before I buy the inverter. Will I need an isolation transformer between the inverter and the speaker system or a ground fault circuit interrupter, or a ground loop isolator? Thank you.

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 10/1/2015 10:30:36 AM

    Chris, I do not recommend putting stereo gear designed for home use in cars, where road noise and listener positioning become obstacles to fidelity. What you propose is possible, but it won't be as loud as you think. Klipsch rates that system as 35 watts per speaker and 50 watts for the sub (120 watts total) while playing at 5% THD, audibly distorting. A more realistic interpretation would be to expect about a clean 70-watt total output. AB amplifiers are about 50% efficient, so a 150-watt inverter should work. Don't forget to firmly secure the gear in your car so that in the event of an accident pieces of equipment don't become lethal projectiles. As far as noise issues, you can't troubleshoot a problem that doesn't exist yet, but equipment designed for home use may not work very well with a car's electrical system.

  • Joel cawoski

    Posted on 10/28/2015 9:44:36 PM

    I am having a problem with my amplifier/ car speakers. The system sounds great with the key in the accessory position. When I turn the key the full way to start the ignition there is buzzing sound. The buzzing sound is constant at any volume even on zero. The rca cables are routed on the opposite side of the power cables so it can't be that. How do I fix this problem?

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 10/29/2015 12:40:47 PM

    Joel, Locating and correcting noise issues in a car audio system are often difficult and confusing. Most of the time noise is caused by a loose ground connection somewhere. As an aid, we've made an interactive flow-chart, that you follow step-by-step, in order to help you solve some common noise problems. Go to How to diagnose and suppress noise to start your troubleshooting.

  • Josh from Champaign, IL

    Posted on 11/23/2015 4:39:51 PM

    I finally located the source of my whine/squeal/ringing. I replaced my head unit thinking that was the problem. That didn't do it and it does it whether the engine is on or off. Finally sat and listened, realized it was coming from the rear. Got in the trunk and figured out that it was a faulty mini-sub from the factor. Unplugged it, problem solved! 2002 Nissan Sentra.

  • Anthonyt from Ottawa, Ontario

    Posted on 12/1/2015 9:47:07 PM

    If I need 2 RCA cables for my 4 channel amp, one for subwoofer channel and one for the front mid/high range channels, which channel would benefit most from a higher quality (twisted pair) RCA cable? I plan to buy one average RCA and one higher quality RCA. Or would both Subwoofer and mid-range benefit equally from high quality RCAs?

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 12/2/2015 3:51:06 PM

    Anthony, All signal channels benefit from using good patch cables. Why would you want one channel to be more susceptible to noise than another? You don't need to get extra-expensive silver-coated wiring, but a matched set of decent RCA cables will ensure proper signal flow to all the parts of your system.

  • Ratan Varma from Cypress

    Posted on 12/9/2015 1:43:53 PM

    I am having a hissing sound coming in through the speakers in my 1998 Acura nsx after installing a pioneer avh 4100 nex. The nsx has a facotry amplified bose sound system. When I connect the blue wire on the harness 'antenna' it both grounds and operates the antenna, I get the hissing black ground does nothing. I have unplugged the antenna black cable as well and tried running music through Bluetooth and I still have the issue. Not sure what to do. The hiss is very loud.

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 12/9/2015 3:13:20 PM

    Ratan, The vast majority of noise issues arise due to bad ground connections. Did you follow the wiring instructions on how to connect the receiver harness to your vehicle interface harness? It sounds like the receiver's trying to get its ground through a powered antenna connection instead of the black ground wire attached to the metal frame of your vehicle. For more detailed troubleshooting instructions, you can use the interactive noise suppression chart to pinpoint your problem and offer a remedy.

  • Brian from Austin

    Posted on 12/29/2015 8:55:20 PM

    I recently installed a new Pioneer AVH-X2700BS. I have it running both a 1200W mono and 250W 4 channel RF Prime amp. I can hear the alternator at low volumes as a high pitched, albeit rather low volume whine. With the volume up, it can't be heard. All 3 preouts to amps are run with twisted pair RCA cables. I experience the whine heavily in the front 2 speakers and less so in the rear, none in my subwoofers. After testing other inputs into the amp using alternate sources and RCAs on every channel, I've determined that this noise only occurs when the HU is my audio source. Adjusting the gain does not alleviate the whine, and the amplifiers are well powered and grounded. Voltage of the sanded ground points (a seperate grounding point for each amp) up to where paint is present reads 13.6V idle. The amps are powered by a 4AWG lead from the battery to a fused distribution block and a 4 and 8 AWG power lead to the 1200W and 250W amps respectively. RCAs are run on the opposite side of the vehicle from power, the one point where power and speaker wire are close to one another, they are positioned orthogonal. I can not, for the life of me, figure out where the source of that alternator whine is, and it's incredibly frustrating. I have read that PICO fuses in pioneer HUs can blow and cause a similar issue, but I don't believe that is the case here, as the HU is brand new and I have not, as far as I know, removed the RCAs with it on. Any thought as to its source?

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 12/30/2015 11:59:37 AM

    Brian, The vast majority of noise issues arise due to a bad connection or ground loop. Your troubleshooting has uncovered that neither your speaker wiring nor amplifiers are the source of the noise. You can continue troubleshooting the problem by following the steps in our interactive diagnostic flowchart. If you bought your gear from Crutchfield, you could call Tech Support for free help troubleshooting your system. Their toll-free number is on your invoice. If you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Click on this link for details.

  • matt from Indianapolis

    Posted on 1/15/2016 6:33:34 AM

    Hello, I have installed a radio on my golf cart, this is wire to a 48v to 12v converter. The radio works fine until I turn on the lights. With the lights on I lose the radio station it goes to static, I also tried playing music from a patch cord plugged into a Iphone and the same thing. I tried hooking up the radio to it's own power converter and the same thing. Any suggestions. THe power reducer is hooked up across the battery pack. With golf carts they suggest not grounding anything to frame. Thank you

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 1/15/2016 1:26:41 PM

    Matt, I'm not familiar with golf cart electrical systems, but it sounds like yours won't support headlights and a radio at the same time. The only thing I can think of is to add a separate 12-volt battery to run the receiver. You'd also need a battery charger to refresh the battery after use.

  • Dave from Dayton

    Posted on 2/15/2016 3:19:23 PM

    Hello, I am replacing my TV in my conversion van. I am going from a 12v DC model to a 120v AC model. Testing the TV with the inverter I plan to use I have no issues with audio from the tv speakers or even out the headphone jack when using a small pair of computer speakers (this is the output I plan to use to feed into the van's DHS surround sound amp). When I test the system in the van with the DHS amp, I get a loud noise once the RCA's are connected into the TV via the headphone jack. The noise seems to be coming from the LED TV itself as I can move the RCA cables farther away and it seems to reduce the noise, but still very loud. The van came with a Pyramid NS-21 and is in line. I tried another smaller AC TV and it worked much better. Should I be looking at insulating the RCA cables or insulation material for the TV or both? I could take this TV back and try another one, but I am not sure how to know how much noise is generated by each. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 2/16/2016 9:48:59 AM

    Dave, It sounds like the electrical system using the inverter has a different ground potential than the van's audio system, creating a noisy ground loop. Isolation transformers in the signal path might help. If you bought any of your gear at Crutchfield, you could call Tech Support for free help troubleshooting your system. Their toll-free number will be on your invoice. If you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Click on this link for details.

  • Manuel from Milwaukie

    Posted on 2/26/2016 1:25:28 AM

    My car came pre-wired for an amp and some subs, it had the power cable going all the way to the trunk, it also had a remote wire and a ground wired to the chassis by the back seat and the trunk, I recently added a 5 channel jvc amp to my car to power my 4 speakers (front and back) and i have a sub coming soon, for now I'm just running the amp at 4 channels, i ran the speaker wires on the right side of the car along with my 2 RCAs, when i turn the key half way (engine not running) it sounds great but when i turn the car on theres a whining noise coming from the speakers it gets louder when i turn up the output sensitivity on the amp, and you can hear it really whine when u step on the gas, i read that it could be the ground wire, so i took the bolt holding it down to the chassis and found another ground wire under the ground wire i am using for my amp, could this be the problem? 2 ground wires on the same bolt, my amp ground is obviously not touching the bear metal with the other ground in it's way

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 2/26/2016 2:01:44 PM

    Manuel, Most problems of this sort are caused by poor ground connections. It's alright to use a ground bolt shared by another device. Many installers paint over the ground connector and bolt to prevent corrosion. You should disassemble the nut and bolt, remove all paint and dirt, get it all down to bare metal, and then reattach and make your connection. There's a good chance this'll solve your noise issue.

  • Alex from Richmond

    Posted on 3/21/2016 12:28:12 PM

    Excellent article. I've spent 1+ week trying to resolve an engine noise issue to no avail. I have an '03 BMW for which I just installed a new aftermarket (Dynavin) head unit (HU). The OEM radio connection is in the trunk. I was thus provided with a 20-foot long extension to route this connection into the dash & into the head unit. The connection goes like this: OEM stereo connection in trunk > OEM-to-Dynavin adapter cable > extension > HU. When the engine is running, there is a buzzing noise coming from the right-hand speakers. Only at idle. Revving causes it to disappear. With revs on the way down & at idle, it reappears. Here's the catch: the ONLY reproducible fix I've been able to find is connecting the head unit directly to the OEM/Dynavin adapter cable. I thought it was a grounding issue. I shortened the extension's ground cable. I grounded the HU directly to the grounding point in the trunk on the chassis. I've tried entirely separating the speaker cables from the power/BUS/etc. connections from one another. I've re-wired the pins on the extension so that they source power/ground/illumination directly from the OEM HU's pins in the dash. I replaced the RH speaker cables. No luck. The seller I purchased the HU from has been very helpful & is very knowledgeable/experienced. He's also stumped. He says differences in resistance between different equipment on their ground circuits manifest as noise. Only potential fix is a power line filter. Any other ideas? Th

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 3/21/2016 3:49:59 PM

    Alex, I'm not familiar with that receiver or what a 20-foot long connection harness consists of, but it sure sounds like it's picking up interference somewhere. Most noise issues come from grounding problems, so the first thing you should do is check all grounds. If you bought any of your gear from Crutchfield, you could call Tech Support for free help troubleshooting your system. Their toll-free number would be on your invoice. If you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Click on this link for details.

  • Tanner from Salt Lake City

    Posted on 4/18/2016 12:32:40 PM

    Hey, I've gone through this flow chat without any avail. You mention that Ground loop isolators should be used as a last resort. Why is that? What drawbacks do they have? Thanks!

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 4/19/2016 2:10:16 PM

    Tanner, A ground loop isolator doesn't actually fix the situation that created the noise in the first place. That's why we say to try all other methods of repair first before employing one.

  • James from Crystal Lake

    Posted on 5/5/2016 9:32:46 AM

    I recently installed a JVC receiver and after full proper installation I turn the car on and hear a constant white noise sound coming from all the speakers at the same sound level. I turn the radio up or down the same white sound is still heard and does not fluctuate any time. The sound can be heard over the music and is not ideal to listen with the noise. I checked the wiring and what I came across is the remote wire is what is causing this noise but why? It was connected the same way with the last receiver I had installed and no white noise! This receiver is an upgrade with Bluetooth iPod ready and has a talk mic but that is not installed as it was optional. Can I attach a noise suppressor to the remote wire? What else would you suggest?

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 5/6/2016 1:53:09 PM

    James, The remote output lead of that receiver is to be used to turn on aftermarket audio processors and amplifiers - if you don't have those, that wire shouldn't be connected to anything. If you bought your receiver at Crutchfield, you could call Tech Support for free help troubleshooting your system. Their toll-free number is on your invoice. If you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Click on this link for details.

  • Mark Stettler from Hillsboro, OR

    Posted on 5/18/2016 4:48:08 PM

    Hi Buck! I've recently bought an Alpine HD148BT receiver from Crutchfiled which I am using in a portable "Boom Box" that I have made. The box is powered by running standard AC from the wall through a 12V 10A DC converter; the converter is a two-pronged device, so there is no explicit ground connection. The unit operates flawlessly (no noise) in every mode except when I connect ANYTHING to the AUX input on the front. Even an unconnected 3.5mm stereo line (with no device connected to it), will cause unacceptably loud noise. I have experimented with all combinations of levels from the connected devices and the input settings on the receiver itself, but the noise issue remains. One other piece of data: I tried an Alpine CDE163BT receiver in this exact setup and had NO noise problems at all with the AUX jack. Because of this, I am concerned that the HD148BT has a fundamental noise problem with it's AUX input jack; I have seen similar comments on the web with this unit. I would appreciate any advice. Thank you, Mark.

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 5/19/2016 9:26:57 AM

    Mark, It does sound like the aux input jack on your receiver is damaged or malfunctioning. I strongly recommend you call Crutchfield Tech Support - their toll-free number is on your invoice - or Crutchfield Customer Service. That receiver carries a one-year warranty, so you may be entitled to a free replacement.

  • Derek from Conway Pa

    Posted on 5/22/2016 2:50:12 AM

    I had a dual radio running with 2 alpine type E 800w amp an 5 kickers mids/highs worked fine then radio broke//replaced with Jvc HU now every time I turn it up loud the whole system cuts out but when I turned the bass down it stops cutting out or one volume notch helps sometimes I've tryd every radio out there all the same. only one that works good are dual radios. Any ideas for help would be great threw email thank you!

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 5/23/2016 11:25:21 AM

    Derek, If you bought any of your gear at Crutchfield, you could call Tech Support for free help troubleshooting your system. Their toll-free number would be on your invoice. If you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Click on this link for details.

  • Rache from Livermore ca

    Posted on 7/15/2016 12:34:27 AM

    Hi Buck, I installed a AVIC 8100NEX into my Lexus LX470 SUV. There is noise coming from FL speaker which is constant white noise. It onl;y comes when the key is in ON position. No issues when the key is in ACC position and I have very clean sound. Any thoughts? Thank you.

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/15/2016 9:20:58 AM

    Rache, I suggest you check out our noise diagnostic flow chart. Going through it step-by-step should give you the source of your noise and tips on how to eliminate it. If you bought your receiver from Crutchfield, you could call Tech Support for free help troubleshooting your system. Their toll-free number is on your invoice. If you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Click on this link for details.

  • Jaeden L Hudson

    Posted on 7/21/2016 12:01:18 PM

    I am having a rather different noise issue than what is being described above. I have 3 amps. I am running all of my speaker wiring on the same side as my rca cables. (using factory harness for connecting speakers to amp as I can not re-wire the doors) The power wire is on the other side. I get a static noise from my speakers when my subwoofer plays. This is at lower volumes, but is noticeable. If I turn the subwoofer preout off on my head unit the noise goes away. What could be causing this?

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/21/2016 12:40:33 PM

    Jaeden, First, I'd find out precisely what the source of the static is. With the full-range speakers turned down, does the static play from the sub? Then you'd check the sub amp and its wiring. If it's being induced in the speakers by the subwoofer's vibrations, there may be a loose speaker wire somewhere. If you bought your gear from Crutchfield, you could call Tech Support for free help troubleshooting your system. Their toll-free number would be on your invoice. If you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Click on this link for details.

  • Tom Lynch from Parshall

    Posted on 8/6/2016 5:50:05 PM

    I recently installed a new heater/AC blower fan motor and ever since I've had static interference on my AM radio stations. It increases with fan speed and is there when vehicle is running or just in "On" ignition position. Is there any type of filter that could help. Thanks.

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/8/2016 11:36:57 AM

    Tom, You could try moving the radio's harness and antenna connection wires away from the fan motor and see if that reduces the static. The only true way I can think of to eliminate the static is to get a better fan motor that doesn't radiate radio frequency static. Assuming the original factory fan motor didn't do that, you could go to your vehicle's brand dealership and get an OEM fan motor that probably won't be noisy.

  • James from henderson ky

    Posted on 8/29/2016 8:10:25 PM

    I am getting noise thru my 2016 wrangler speakers only on sat radio every thing else is crystal clear. What can I do

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/30/2016 1:02:08 PM

    James, It sounds like the satellite radio antenna connection might be loose. Or your radio is malfunctioning. If you bought your receiver from Crutchfield, you could call Tech Support for free help troubleshooting your system. Their toll-free number is on your invoice. If you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Click on this link for details.

  • Stephen S from Bensalem

    Posted on 9/12/2016 12:23:50 AM

    Hey Buck! So I have followed your extensive checklist to navigate and attempt to find out where excess noise is coming from my 2016 Volkswagon Jetta. However I am still getting some strange behavior out of my subwoofer. When the vehicle is parked everything sounds great, however every once in a while no matter what type of music I am listening to there is an excess buildup of volume coming from the subwoofer to the point it is shaking the car and it drowns out everything, five minutes later everything sounds perfect! I am using the stock head unit and running a non powered LOC from PAC. All grounds in the system as well as in the car have been tested and are reading between 0-.2ohms I am using an ignition switch wire as a trigger wire, my head unit is run off of a data system that has no trigger wire. The gain on the LOC is maxed out in order to get the voltage needed to fire the kicker amp and everything was Oscilloscope and voltage tested to check for proper tuning. My question is what else could be causing this issue and would it be wise to switch to a powered Line Output Converter like an audio control lc2i? The parts installed for the amplifier are the Kicker 4ga 2 channel installation kit, PAC line converter, Kicker 300cxa amplifier, and the subwoofer is a Kicker comp 12inch subwoofer.

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 9/12/2016 11:00:43 AM

    Stephen, I've never heard of an issue like this before - it sounds like a malfunctioning amplifier, or an intermittent connection. If you bought your amp from Crutchfield, you could call Tech Support for free help troubleshooting your system. Their toll-free number is on your invoice. If you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Click on this link for details.

  • Eon from Boksburg

    Posted on 10/2/2016 10:08:06 AM

    I just put in sound in my Toyota Hillux but i am getting feedback when every amp goes on but it is not an ground issue they say it is because of the stander radio that i have in the hillux has Bluetooth build in so they say it is giving me feedback but if doe not matter if i listen to music through Bluetooth, cd, stick or on the radio i still get the feed back and have get the ground all the connection antenna everything you mentioned but still feedback the guys and the sound shop says i need a 3sixty force gate prepossessing unit to get rid of the sound my Bluetooth radio id causing but it is very expensive can you please help me

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 10/3/2016 11:39:57 AM

    Eon, Acoustic feedback, that loud ringing that occurs when a microphone picks up and rebroadcasts the sound of a speaker, would only be possible if your factory Bluetooth system is in hands-free calling mode and the volume's too high. Maybe there's something wrong with your receiver - the microphone should not be on unless you're making a hands-free call. Or maybe what you're hearing isn't feedback, but some other kind of problem, like a ground loop. I doubt that adding an expensive processor will solve the issue. Perhaps using our interactive flowchart will help you pin-point the problem better.

  • Dolan

    Posted on 11/14/2016 3:00:26 PM

    Hey, i installed a aux cord in my 2004 Honda Accord through the stereo system inside the dash. There's this whining noise that occurs when the volume is higher than 50% and increases in pitch when I accelerate. I purchased a ground loop isolated but it seemed to not help the problem. A day ago a very quiet noise like a hum or whine is coming from the engine when the radio is off and a very loud whine when I switched the input to aux, although the radio and CD player are completely fine. There is no interference when the car engine is off and the stereo is on though. Thanks

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 11/14/2016 4:43:00 PM

    Dolan, Most of the time when engine whine is audible it's because of a bad ground connection somewhere. I don't know how you've installed your aux input, whether it's to a factory radio or aftermarket receiver, but it sounds like you need to check over your wiring. If you bought your gear from Crutchfield, you could call Tech Support for free help troubleshooting your system. Their toll-free number would be on your invoice. If you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Click on this link for details.

  • James from Paso Robles

    Posted on 12/20/2016 3:21:26 PM

    Whine and crackling sound in my JVC KW-710 AM/FM Radio when running the power window in my 2002 GMC Sierra 1500 pickup. It seems to be louder the front door speakers and in areas with poor radio reception.

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 12/20/2016 4:23:31 PM

    James, Usually the noises you describe occur due to a bad antenna, power, or ground connection. I recommend you check over the receiver's wiring and ensure all connectors are tight and secure.

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