Why did the speakers make a noise before the cell phone rang?

Why did the speakers make a noise before the cell phone rang?

Remember when your computer speakers made characteristic noises when your cell phone was nearby? Check out the reasons for this curious phenomenon and some ways to avoid the problem these days.

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Reasons behind the noise

Keep in mind that the cell phone not only made noise when it was near the speakers. The same thing was repeated with the device close to any other device capable of reflecting radio frequency (RF), such as televisions, for example.

It was usually the speaker’s fault. The best-selling models did not have a very robust construction. Also, to keep the price low, the components intended to isolate these frequencies were of poor quality, which made it difficult to contain the radio waves.

nokia 3310 mobile phone
The phenomenon happened a lot in the era of analog mobile phones. Image: Haelen Haagen / Shutterstock

In practice, the sound system of your computer acted as a kind of antenna, picking up the same signals as the phone and generating interference. It is worth noting that the frequency and strength of the signal picked up by your mobile phone also influence the emission of noise.

In the past, the big thing was that the box would make a noise for a second before receiving a call or an SMS message. Remember the nostalgic sound below:

Currently, what is still happening are noises also caused by the constant communication of telephone towers with the mobile, which, depending on the quality of the mobile network, still generates intermittent interference:

Do you have a solution?

The answer is no. Because cell phone interference is a problem with the operation of cell phone technology, it is almost impossible to get rid of noise altogether. What several electronics manufacturers are already doing is adopting more sophisticated insulation techniques in their products, which help reduce noise.

How to fight interference?

While there is no definitive solution, there are at least some ways to mitigate this interference if you notice the problem. Here are three tips.

1. Frequency filter: Did you notice that some cables have a thicker component at the ends? Well, inside is a core made of ferrite, which basically works as a noise filter produced by other electronic devices.

Example of a ferrite core noise suppressor. Image: Reproduction

This is a strategy that can help combat the interference caused not only by mobile phones. The good news is that the component can be purchased separately online or at electronics stores by simply plugging it into the audio cable of your sound system.

2. Airplane mode: The second way to avoid noise is not so practical: turn on airplane mode. As the feature shuts off the device’s communication with the signals that cause interference, the noise disappears, but you will no longer receive calls, text messages, or you will not be able to use the 4G network.

3. Keep the device away from the speakers

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