I need help troubleshooting buzzing noise in microphone

  • #1
TL;DR Summary
I bought a Boya BY-M1 lavalier mic, but it produces a buzzing noise when my laptop is plugged in, likely due to electrical interference. The issue persists with different laptops and outlets. Need advice.
Recently, I purchased a cheap lavalier microphone, the Boya BY-M1, and noticed that the recordings have a constant electric buzzing noise, similar to the sound produced by a Tesla coil. This issue only occurs when my laptop is plugged in, leading me to believe it’s a case of electrical interference. I tested the microphone on another laptop from a different brand, and it too produced the same electrical noise whenever it was plugged in. I also tried different wall outlets in various rooms and even used a power strip, but nothing seems to fix the issue.

Additionally, one of the laptops has a weird issue where the capacitive touchpad becomes laggy, skippy, and unresponsive after being on for a few hours. From my online research, it seems like this could be due to static electricity build-up on the touchpad.

Can someone help me understand what is happening? I am not very knowledgeable about electricity-related matters, so detailed explanations would be appreciated. Can someone also advise me on what to do? For context, I live in an Asian country.
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  • #2
Have you toggled the switch to battery power.
  • #3
entrydew said:
I purchased a cheap lavalier microphone, the Boya BY-M1
Have you tried contacting their Customer Service folks? They have likely heard about this issue in the past, and may have a workaround solution for you (like a ferrite clamp on the cable to the laptop, for example).


  • #4

for the Noisy Microphone:
Since it happens only when using wall power the problem is coming from the switching power supply. Switching supplies turn On-and-Off very rapidly while operating, causing much interference.

The suggestion by @berkeman to put a ferrite noise-suppression clamp on the microphone cord is a good place to start.

If it is an external power supply, try adding a ferrite core noise suppressor to both the power cord and the charging cord to the computer; put these on the cords as close to the power pack as you can. Also moving the external supply away from the microphone may help.

for the Touchpad:
Since it takes so long for the problem to happen, it sounds like the computer is overheating.

If you are comfortable opening the case, open it up and clear the dust that has collected around the fan and air vents.

If you do not want to open it up, you can CAREFULLY use "Canned Air" .
Canned Air is a gas in a pressurized can, much like a spray can but without the liquid.

You can spray it into the ventilation holes of the case to blow out the dust.
The CAREFULLY is because the Canned Air can get the cooling fan spinning fast enough to cause damage. Short spurts should be used to avoid damage.

Hope this helps!
And please let us know how it works out.

  • #5
I do not personally have experience with (modern) microphones, but I understand getting a shielded/balanced (analog) or digital microphone will help a lot, so if you end up looking for a new microphone this should certainly be worth considering. It seems both wired USB and wireless Bluetooth clip-on's are around same price level as unshielded 3.5 mm jack clip-on's so price shouldn't be determining factor if you are getting a new one. Going for 2.4 GHz wireless do seem a bit more expensive but then you also get a lot more range.
  • #6
entrydew said:
the recordings have a constant electric buzzing noise
If the frequency is in match with the line frequency there (50 or 100Hz, likely), then the issue is likely the poor grounding in the building: or some other equipment in the building is driving the protective ground. Both issues are hinting a troublesome underlying problem.

If you have the necessary equipment and experience you can check whether there is some stray AC voltage on the protective ground.
If not, then I would try to get an electrician.
  • #7
Update: I forgot to post a recording in my original post. Here is what it sounds like, by the way.
  • #8
A quick-and-dirty check of the sound recording has most of the noise in the 1kHz to 3kHz band with another peak around or below 100Hz.

That, along with the noise not present when operating on batteries, indicates that a switching power supply is the most likely guilty party.


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