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Simple setup.. I use a small form PC to play a white noise mp3 file loop but the problem is I don't know if its the cheap amp I am using, the speaker wire, or the speaker but there are cracking and distortions in the sound. When I use earbuds I don't notice it. What type of speaker would work best for say a ambient waterfall sound to run 24/7? Also what gauge cable should use? Using 16 now.

  • Does the distortion occur with other audio files?? There are artifacts that can be apparent in speakers but not in earphones. Can you try different speakers/setup? Otherwise, I'd say refer to Mark's answer. – Marc W Nov 29 '16 at 12:53
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It's possible that the cracking and distortions are actually digital clipping or artifacts in the mp3 loop. Remember mp3 is a lossy format which means that the encoder is looking for patterns and for sounds that can be masked by other sounds within the same frame. Psychoacoustics is very important in being able to compress audio.

White Noise is entirely random. There are - by definition - no patterns to be had. Therefore, mp3 is really not the the best solution to store this type of audio. I would recommend something non-lossy - WAV, or FLAC.

There isn't much bass in the sound of running water, so you would probably get away with a decent mid-range and tweeter. You won't need much below 250Hz

  • I think thats what the problem is. Are there any programs or ways I can generate real white noise ? Not white noise recorded in mp3 format. Maybe like a way in audacity I can do this? Thanks a bunch! The noises are driving me insane! Literally! But without it I feel like I would murder my neighbor and his children every time they get noisy! – Matt Tewell Dec 1 '16 at 21:06
  • The problem isn't with generating the noise, it's the way you are storing it. Just use a normal white noise generator and you should be good.... but.... store the file in WAV or FLAC, and also don't have the level too high, so that it clips. Make sure you are recording with RMS level at about -20dBFS and you should be fine with the peaks - they won't exceed the maximum. – Mark Dec 2 '16 at 0:29
  • So your saying if I use a flac it shouldn't clip at all? I just downloaded Audacity and doing what you sauid. When generating the noise it makes no clipping sounds. I think I am going to build a SFF PC and have it generate white noise 24/7 with Audacity since it works fine. – Matt Tewell Dec 6 '16 at 0:20
  • The clipping artifact is generally due to levels of the signal exceeding the numerical ability of the storage medium to actually store the right sample value. The "clipping" sound is generally a discontinuity in the waveform. This is less applicable with noise as everything is random, so the clipping you are hearing is more likely to be an encoding artifact. You will definitely get a better result with FLAC or WAV. Yes you can create noise with audacity, but you will probably not need a dedicated PC to do this - just create a long enough sample and then loop it. – Mark Dec 6 '16 at 1:58

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