Blue Snowball High Pitched Humming

My blue snowball which just came in the mail this morning is making a high pitched noise. I have tried connecting it to all my usb ports but it still does it. Any help would be appreciated.

Describe the computer.

The noise is the 1KHz + harmonics whine which is generated [and radiated] by the computer …
frequency analysis showing peaks at 1kHz, 2kHz, 3kHz , etc.gif
it can be picked up by induction , (through the air , a bit like radio waves ), in the mic and mic cable.

A workaround is to use the code below in Audacity’s “Nyquist Prompt” to notch-out the whine …

    (setq mysound s)
    (setq q 10)         ; set the base Q for the filter
    (setq iter 15)     ; set the number of iterations
    (setq freq 1000)  ; set base frequency

    ; start the DO loop
    (dotimes (i iter mysound)   
    (setf mysound (notch2 mysound (* freq (1+ i)) (* q (1+ i))))
    )                     ;end of loop

Is their anyway to get rid of it for good?

Is their anyway to get rid of it for good?

And you never described the computer. It’s a Windows laptop, right? While it is possible the trash is flying around the air through radiation, I’ve never had that happen. The usual point of injection is a ratty USB line.

The computer has to make five volt battery on the USB connection in order to run all those “Conveniently Powered From USB!!” devices like keyboards, mice, some sound mixers, etc. They don’t care at all if the voltage is a little low or noisy, but your microphone does. It’s expensive to make clean five volts and it’s expensive and heavy to clean it up later, so both your devices are pointing fingers at each other.

If you’re on batteries, try running from the wall outlet. Try it backwards. I bet if you try a different computer, the problem either goes away or is different.

The usual way to force this to work is put a wall-powered USB hub between the microphone and the computer. Clean battery to run the microphone then comes from the hub, not the noisy computer. It has to be wall-powered and you can only have the microphone on it.

That’s the only convenient way I know of.


If due to EMI radiating from the computer the noise will become louder if the mic is moved closer to the computer.
If due to a dirty power supply [what Koz says] then moving the mic about shouldn’t make any difference to the volume of the whine.

Good point. If it’s a distance issue, you are going to run into a USB Microphone Problem. You can’t ever get further away from the computer than one USB, generally 6 feet (2M). Back to the HUB solution, that will give you 12 feet.

Commercial, Broadcast, or Entertainment non-USB microphones can go for a hundred feet or more. That’s one of their advantages.


I’m running on a desktop but if its anything to do with the power supply then I will be replacing that in a few days for my new gpu. My mic is about 4 foot away from the computer.

My current specs are as followed:
Intel Core i7 860 2.8ghz
P55-US3L Motherboard
8gb RAM
1gb Edition GTS 250
500gb Hard Drive
600w Power Supply

Did you try moving the microphone close and further away from the computer? That will rule out EMI and RFI problems if it doesn’t change. If I had to guess at it, I would point to the motherboard USB services, not the power supply. But anything’s possible until we nail it.

And try to keep up with the questions and comments. This is the second time we told you to do this.


Even when I moved it the full length the lead will go it still makes the noise. Same with it being close to the pc.

Excellent. That means it’s almost certainly a problem with soft or ratty USB services.

You’re upgrading from a 600W power supply? Are you welding steel girders?

You may have inadvertently pointed to the problem. If you have a rock-crusher, nuclear weapons-grade video card, that can totally create noise and damage to the systems inside the computer. They warn you when you buy a new simple soundcard to mount it as far from the video card as you can get it.

Does your video card have its own dedicated connections to the power supply? Do you wish it did?


Then Koz is correct , the 1KHz + harmonics whine noise is on the 5 volt power supply at the USB socket powering the microphone.

Maybe someone has made a gadget to fix this : a decoupling capacitor [which costs pennies] fitted to a USB cable could remove the 1KHz ripple signal from the 5Volt DC power supply.

I’m sorry but i’m of lost. So is replacing my power supply and gpu a good thing or a bad thing?

GPU? Graphics Processor? So I was right. You have a killer video card and it is indirectly causing sound problems.

The only thing we can do from multiple different time zones is tell you what is likely wrong or the conditions likely to cause problems.

It’s very likely your microphone is fine and something in the computer is causing sub-standard USB services which is then causing the microphone to act badly. Most mom and pop computers do not have killer video cards and their microphones tend to work just fine, so it’s pretty safe to assume your customization may be causing the problem.

Full stop. We have no idea what you did or how to solve it, except it’s a better than even chance if you split the USB services by installing a wall-powered USB hub for your microphone alone, there’s a good chance that will cure the problem. It has for similar situations in the past.

No guarantees though. We have also had posters with bad or miswired wall power and fixing the wall power in their house cured all the sound problems.

I think that’s the whole list. Good Luck.


Hey thanks for helping me out on this by the way. About the wall powered usb. If I connect my mic to the wall if I got one installed then how would I link that up to my computer?

If you’re going to upgrade the PS and GPU anyway, do that first and see if it helps. If it doesn’t, connect a wall-powered USB hub to the computer like you would if you were going to put your keyboard and mouse through it, except put the microphone through it and leave all the other ports blank. The voltages to run the microphone will come from the clean wall power and not the noisy computer.

A regular USB hub isn’t going to do it. They get their voltages from the noisy computer and pass them right on to the microphone.

Also if you have a choice, get the USB connection from the back of the computer not the front. The front connections usually go through a wiring harness which can pick up noise.

That should do it.


Could you send me a link of a wall powered usb hub. I keep coming up with phone charger plugs and I don’t think they will connect to the computer. Also the new power supply and graphics didn’t help the problem. Its just the same.

Plugable 7 Port Aluminum USB 3.0 Hub (VIA VL812 Chipset with Latest 908x Firmware, and UL Certified 4A Power Supply)

That looks like it should do it. I don’t have one, but the specifications appear good. I don’t know why you would need a 4 Ampere power supply, but I’ve been the subject of product advertising people before, so I understand…


Please be clear that it could still be something else. We are diagnosing problems from half-way around the earth and not seeing the same things you are, but this hub thing will probably be successful. I have done similar tricks at work.