I have a noise problem with my speakers and my PC. I've tried everything I can think of and I still can't eliminate the noise.

Speakers (Yamaha HS7 x2) quarter inch jack to RCA to connect to M-Audio Fast Track (Audio Interface). This has USB Type B - USB Type A to plug into the computer.

Computer with noise: Windows 10, intel i5-7500 with retail fan, corsair DDR4 3200Hz 32GB RAM, Gigabyte Z270P-D3 motherboard, bought a new power supply Corsair HX750 but this did not solve the issue. Removed GPU, tried different plug sockets, changed the monitor, and changed rooms in the house. I also tried bypassing the M-Audio and using the line-out from the PC but this just made the problem worse. I have tried using small, handheld speakers and am unable to replicate this problem.

When I unplug backlit keyboard or bluetooth mouse, noise reduces. I find that moving the mouse around the screen greatly increases the noise as does pressing keys on the keyboard. When I play audio, noise increases. Noise stops if I unplug the M-Audio from computer. Very slight noise can be heard even when PC is turned off and stops when I unplug the M-Audio. I tried plugging the M-Audio into another PC and experienced the same noise. I bought a USB cable with ferrite chokes incase of electromagnetic intereference but this actually made the noise worse.

However, when I plugged the M-Audio into my 2011 MacBook Pro (High Sierra) or Windows 10 laptop, there was no noise (when on battery power and with the power supply plugged in).

If any more information is required to try and help solve this problem, let me know.

3 Answers 3


You are using an unbalanced connection to the speakers. You need to be working with a balanced connection.

  • Thanks for the reply. So speakers to M-Audio use an unbalanced pair of jack to RCA. I assumed that the audio interface would handle this as I’m not sure you can get singular balanced jack to RCA (at least I haven’t found any). However, when using line out and bypassing the M-Audio, I have 2 unbalanced jacks joined to a single balanced 3.5mm jack cable so this should mean that balanaced cables aren’t the solution?
    – adbailey14
    Feb 15, 2020 at 1:20
  • No, I didn't say that. What I said was that you need a balanced connection. Balanced cables are a requirement for that, but also your interface output needs to be balanced as well.
    – Mark
    Feb 15, 2020 at 5:03
  • Thanks Mark, you were correct. I tried a Scarlett Focusrite which has balanced 1/4” jack output with balanced cables and the noise was eradicated! The M-Audio only has RCA outputs which I think are unbalanced.
    – adbailey14
    Feb 15, 2020 at 18:16
  • Anything with two conductors anywhere in the connection path is going to result in an unbalanced connection. Always 3 for balanced. Glad it's fixed and working!
    – Mark
    Feb 16, 2020 at 1:27

It seems the noise comes from the PC through the USB port and the audio interface doesn't filter it.

I would try an USB audio filter (like https://www.amazon.com/EZSync-Isolation-Filtering-ADUM3160-EZsync3102/dp/B01N4QX9XO), but I havn't tried it.

The M-Audio Fast-track outputs are unbalanced, then I doubt balanced cable will help (and I guess the output is already noisy).


You could use a so-called "ground loop eliminator" that are available at different price points. They may affect low frequency transmission. Cheap ones with 1/8" stereo jacks work reasonably well for most computer audio purposes; if you want better, you may want to look for two separate or a stereo DI box: those convert unbalanced signals to balanced and typically offer an optional "ground lift" which makes sense when both units are grounded. For convenience, you'll likely want a passive DI box since the active ones need a separate power supply.

Note that a "ground loop eliminator" and a "passive DI box" are essentially the same thing, just with differently specced insides and connectors. For best results, using the latter with short cables to the unbalanced signal source and XLR cables for the main distance is your best bet.

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