Question Shielding one's cables from electrical interference


Nov 28, 2021

So I bought Yamaha HS7 studio monitors yesterday and they sound pretty great. I connect them to my Steinberg UR44 audio interface with balanced 3m instrument cables (Roland black series).

I soon noticed, though, than when I connect my laptop to its USB-C power connector, the audio cables start to experience pretty horrible electromagnetic interference. It's a high-pitched whining noise, a bit like Morse code.

I tried to move my laptop further away, but it doesn't work. If the laptop is in the room charging, the interference is there. Is there anything I can do? Even if you suggest some crazy tinfoil solutions that might work, honestly I'm willing to try.

Also, are there more expensive cables that have some unusual extra layer of protection, something that's not just snake oil, that could reduce the interference?

All help appreciated!


Well-known member
Sep 24, 2008
Balanced cables reject all but the most extreme interference (There is nothing in the home that will require you to upgrade the cables) the problem as mentioned above is with the power supply interfering in the signal path, make sure the UR44 is connected direct to the laptop and also the power supply is connected direct to the laptop (If you are using any form of dongle to connect them not all are as good as they seem and can cause these type of problems), also try using different USB sockets on the laptop as this can sometimes solve the problem.



Well-known member
Nov 27, 2008
Try a USB filter, but buy it from somewhere you can return it to for a full refund if it fails to function, I have a similar issue if my phone is plugged into my Roon NUC, so I stopped plugging it in. I am sad that Naim do not have filtering on there inputs.



Well-known member
Nov 11, 2021
Some suggestions/thoughts.

A USB-C cable is not the best interconnector.

Use a good quality USB-C connection cable, there are a lot out there that are very poor quality no matter how much you pay for them!

Is there an option to use a different USB, if you can use a USB-B cable that might well be the answer?

Any USB cable should be as short as possible and certainly no longer than 3000 mm or you will get signal degradation.

Earthing (aka grounding) hum/buzz/clicking/noise is usually due to electrical interference and often this is because of different earth potentials. The answer is to ensure all equipment is using the same earth point. Doing that in practise might be a simple as plugging all the equipment into the same set of socket outlets but it can be tricky to achieve.

Cambridge Audio use ‘Ground Lift’ switches on a lot of their amps to avoid this issue so it might be worth Googling around the subject with them.


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