5 Types of Audio Noise & How to Clear Them Out

Audio noise is part of the audio world, but when you know their source and how to get rid of them, it can be a big sigh of relief, at the least. Although some types of audio noise are innate in the audio sound like speaker hums and hisses, these commotions generally come from substandard wiring, earth or ground loops, and other electromagnetic interferences.


In audio broadcasting or recording, audio noise typically refers to the extra low-level sound generated by vibrating objects. Since there are slight changes in the air pressure, it generates an unwanted sound that travels as waves through the air and reaches the human ear. These sounds depend upon the blend of different sine waves and rules out either pleasant or unpleasant.

To clear unwanted audio noises, let’s understand its types so you will know what to do:


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Types of Audio Noise That You Want to Read Rid Of

1) Natural Sound

Brown Field and Blue SkyThese sounds are produced in actual settings like nature, wind, water, leaves of trees, insects, animals, environment chimes as well as those produced by non-biological sources. All these add a layer of soundwaves to your normal soundscapes.

The most common culprit is the sound of the wind. As weather conditions are not constant, it can destruct your online audio. Wind normally interacts with your microphone diaphragm that generates extra low frequencies. This is the customary nasty or rumbling noise that has been dominating your audio.

Check Mark, Tick Mark, Check, Correct, Ok, Yes, GreenHow to get rid of wind?

The best approach is to keep the wind away from your microphone’s capsule. You can do this by pointing it away from the direction of the wind or by shielding the mic in its position. Thanks to the foam designs that come with your microphone or earphones, they work as a windshield. This is where furry designs fit great.

2) Electrical Interference

Gray Electric PostsThere always are random electrical waves that disrupt clean signals. These are universal noise that happens as a result of conducted noise, radio frequency interference (RFI), and signal grounding. Shot noise, flicker noise, burst noise, are other examples of noise generated by electronic components where the higher current can also lead to more noise.

Anything that uses electric power may cause interference. Buzzing or hissing sounds heard on AM and FM radios are interference issues that affect a good radiofrequency.

Check Mark, Tick Mark, Check, Correct, Ok, Yes, GreenHow to get rid of electrical noise?

Shielded cables can help minimize mode electrostatic noise. Cable routing is also important so signal cables as dispelled away from electrical and power sources. Using smaller resistors also reduces thermal noise. Proper cable routing, good ground, and the right signal cable will stop electromagnetic interference and keep signals clean.

3) Ground or Earth Loops

White Ceiling with Electrical Wiring Poking OutGround loops are a prime cause of hums and interference in your audio, video, and computer networks. They happen when two circuit points that are supposed to have the same ground reference potential unintentionally creates a different potential between them resulting in an induced feedback loop caused by these circuits sharing the same electrical ground.

The cause of ground loops can also be due to the combination of cabling, equipment interaction, faulty ground wiring, and environmental elements like humidity. They can also be caused by multiple pieces of equipment that are connected together and plugged into different power outlets.

Check Mark, Tick Mark, Check, Correct, Ok, Yes, GreenHow to get rid of these loops?

Pull out one of the ground paths and make way to convert the system to a single point ground. Use short, high-quality power cables for low impedance connections. Using a transformer also helps balance inputs and outputs ensuring balanced cables and audio devices. Always isolate the metal casings from one another. Connect all physically connected devices to the same power outlet and see to it that the grounded plugs are connected to the same circuit, as well.

4) Mechanical Noise

Woman using smartphone and taking notes in notebookIf you think your video or audio equipment does not do toss anything to the table, you’re wrong. Although they are working silently, the sound of your moves, keyboard sound, squeaky stands, motor fan, cable wires, screws, and even operator clothing can also give away noise. That includes hums and hisses from speakers and microphones. Since these sounds are constantly happening near you and your audio device, they are free to govern the audio track.

Check Mark, Tick Mark, Check, Correct, Ok, Yes, GreenHow to get rid of mechanical noises?

The most obvious solution is to avoid any situation that can create unwanted noise. If your audio or video devices constantly share harshness or vibrations, change the way they are mounted. Not using an onboard microphone also prevents thrust sounds. Mechanical noises are among the noises that you can control, so you can stay on top of things.

5) Background Noise

Woman in White Shirt Using Black Headphones

Can you hear the cars passing or other street noise from outside? What about people inside the house talking or colleagues in the next rooms? Are you disturbed by the sound of your kitchen appliances or even the buzz from the fluorescent lights?

Those are just a few of the many background noises that affect the audio. It may sound simply like some typical sounds around you, but they actually mess up the good signal that you are supposed to be getting. The result is an unclear outcome. It’s either you hardly can hear the other side, or your voice is not clear to listeners.

Check Mark, Tick Mark, Check, Correct, Ok, Yes, GreenHow to get rid of background noise?

When you’re outdoors, you can’t avoid noise sources, but when indoors, you can choose a less rowdy or clamorous space. Close-up techniques like using a lavalier mic, or using a noise-cancelling headphone will successfully reduce most low-level unwanted noise. Directional mics are designed to pick up the highest sound from the front, unlike omnidirectional mics that capture audio in every direction.

How to Remove Background Noise from Audio 

The secret is to prepare the room or space before recording or begin with an environment that is as quiet as possible. That means you may need to close the windows, turn all home appliances like the washing machine or a roaring air conditioner. A professional recording studio would be great, of course, but if you’re out of budget, practicality is key. If you’re recording at home, in your own apartment, or classroom, then you should be familiar with the usual ambient sounds around you.

Having issues with audio noise in your recordings?

Recording clean audio is a real challenge, but having to reduce background noise is even harder. This is where noise reduction or removal comes in and will help eliminate unwanted sound in your video.

Watch this video.


To Sum It Up

You can’t eliminate noise. Regardless of where you are, there is air, wind, nature, resistors, and other power supplies where noise can arise from. But now that you’re already familiar with the main types of noise and their common causes, the objective is to figure out the root cause and work from there.

Remember the most practical step – get the quietest place possible for a clean and clear recording. If you know how to use any noise reduction tools available, it is very helpful, too. I hope the above information will help you handle audio noise in a less problematic approach. Here’s the good news: Audio noise is not much of a problem these days because there are noise-cancelling headphones you can trust.

Do you know of other audio noises I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments.