I hear a hum or a buzz

Somethings off. I’m hearing a buzzing in both sides of my in-ear monitors. Any clue as to why?

Something is off. But based on what you’re saying, I don’t suspect that it’s the monitors themselves. You see, since the sound is generated by balanced armatures rather than by dynamic coils like most typical headphones, there are a few tell-tale signs to listen for when diagnosing an issue. Buzzing is not typically associated with a bad driver and both the right and the left monitors having the same issue at the same time is highly unlikely.

Don’t get me wrong. Balanced armatures can fail. The wand can stick to the magnet but this causes more of a distortion. The frequency range that you’d hear the distortion in would be dependent on which driver failed. And if you ever do experience this problem, it is an easy fix for our lab technicians. You’ll just need to send your set in for a repair. But a failed driver is actually a relatively infrequent occurrence. More often than not, a repair issue usually has to do with excessive ear wax build up but we’ll save that topic for a different post.

Back to the Buzz:

Anytime you experience an issue in the field, it is important to ask yourself these 3 questions. More often than not, these troubleshooting guides will solve most issues. 

    • Is this something that is brand new? Have you heard the sound/issue before? And if not, what other new variables could be contributing to the issue? If you hear a strange buzz during sound check, plug your in-ears into your iPhone and listen for the same issue there. If you don’t hear it on a different source, check your signal chain. Chances are, you’ll find the culprit.


    • Is it cable related? If one of your ears is cutting out or sounds weak or is dead completely, chances are you are experiencing a cable issue rather than a driver issue. And since the cables are user replaceable, this is an easy test and fix.


  • And if neither of these did the trick, pause for a moment and ask yourself one last time if anything new has been introduced to the system. Did you do anything different that ended up in a strange result? Were you playing louder than normal? Was a different frequency boosted that is normally not present? Put your Sherlock Holmes hat on and see if you can find that variable that’s throwing a wrench into the system.

As for the question above, after a bit of real-time trouble shooting, it turned out to be a new charger for the computer. The artist in question was using his laptop for recording and his ears for monitoring and the new charger introduced the buzzing sound. When the computer was unplugged, the sound went away. Sometimes it’s really as simple as that.

And remember, we’re always an email away to help solve problems and our repairs department is outstanding when there are issues that can’t be fixed in the field.

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