My laptop squeaks while using Audacity

Hello guys, I’m about to describe a problem that is really, really weird.
So basically, each time I use Audacity 2.3.3 on my laptop (running openSUSE tumbleweed, package installed from the official distro repository) and I open a file, whenever I click on the audio waveform to do anything, I can hear a squeaking noise coming from the under the keyboard. The noise doesn’t come from the speakers, but directly from some hardware component. If I click and drag the mouse cursor on the waveform, the squeaking noise is prolonged, and goes away as soon as I release the mouse’s left button. I recorded the noise and uploaded it here:

I’ve noticed that if the laptop is not connected to the AC charger, the squeaking noise is still there, but fades out quickly and is not prolonged until the end of the click&drag movement. The noise is not related to the CPU load of the pc, because when I build some heavy projects using my laptop, I cannot hear it.
Audacity is the only program in which I’ve been able to find such a “scientific” way to produce this noise.

Let me add a few details, just to make the situation even weirder:

  • no noise is produced when using Audacity on Windows
  • no noise is produced when using Audacity 2.2.1 on Ubuntu 18.04
  • no noise is produced when using Audacity packaged through Flatpak on openSUSE Tumbleweed!

It seems a problem of this specific, rpm-packaged release of Audacity (2.3.3).
I don’t know to whom I should report the issue (Audacity devs? openSUSE bugzilla?)


What he said. You should be doing a complete, comprehensive backup of all your work on that drive.

Picture what would happen if it stopped working very soon.


Ah sorry guys, I forgot to mention the laptop has got an SSD! So the drive can’t be the problem here

In detail, how did you do that?

Is there, absolutely definitely, without shadow of doubt, no sound coming out of the laptop speakers?

There are laptops with HDD & SSD.
The only other moving (spinning) part is the optical-drive, (if it has one).

No, the laptop had an HDD, I disassembled it and replaced it with an SSD.

I’ve recorded the noise using my phone.
There’s no sound coming from the speaker and I know it because the sound is the same, no matter if the system audio volume is set to 100% or 0%.
I hope this leaves no shadow of doubt.

Not quite - that’s about 99% there.
If you plug in headphones into the laptop and ensure that sound goes to the headphones and not to the speakers, that gets us 99.9% no shadow of doubt.

I’m being very picky about this because I know that mouse movement can cause electrical interference inside the computer, and it sounds similar to your recording, but electrical interference itself is absolutely silent. Electrical interference can only be heard if it passes through a transduce (a “loudspeaker”) to convert it into sound. If electrical interference caused by mouse movement is the cause, then I’d expect the sound to come through the headphones if connected.

If, on the other hand, the sound continues to come from “under the keyboard” when headphones are plugged in, then I would suspect it could be coming from a fan, though I can’t explain how that could possibly be related to mouse movement.

I’ve plugged my headphones in and the noise still comes from the under the keyboard. It comes from the area where the battery, the cpu and the fan are placed (I’ve watched a laptop disassembly video to confirm this).

To be clear, does the sound NOT come out of the headphones?

Does the graphics card / chip have a fan?

What sort of mouse are you using?
Does the squeaking happen even if you are not touching the laptop?
Is the laptop on a flat, level surface?

I’m using a wireless mouse with a small USB receiver. The squeaking happens no matter if I’m touching the laptop or not.
The laptop is on a flat desk.

Exactly. No noise comes out of the headphones.

I can’t explain it. If you’re concerned about it, then I think the laptop will need to be opened up to determine precisely where the sound is coming from. (Don’t do that yourself unless you are competent repairing laptops).

Or, since this a forum, users helping each other, you can wait until someone posts with the same symptoms and compare notes.


What I find really really unexplainable is the fact that this happens only with the rpm packaged version of Audacity. It really makes no sense. I know how to open the laptop (I’ve already opened it to put the SSD in) but honestly I don’t really care about this problem. I’ll use Audacity on Windows when I need it.