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Nano emits high-pitched whine or buzz

17950 Views 254 Replies Latest reply: Jan 1, 2007 10:50 AM by Doug Stringham RSS
  • nicholasr Calculating status...
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    Oct 5, 2006 4:19 PM (in response to Sinergie)
    Yep... that's the sound my 8gb has.

    I just sent it back to Apple today, for DOA exchange. I should have the replacement in a week or so, and I'll let everyone know if the new one buzzes or not.
    20" iMac Core Duo, Mac OS X (10.4.5)
  • hoojamaflip Calculating status...
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    Oct 6, 2006 4:23 AM (in response to nicholasr)
    Hi there,

    Just registering that my new 2G 8gig nano does this too.
    Sounds like an old CRT.

    What's the consensus on this? Is it a product fault and how likely is it to be replaced with a quiet one?

    I got mine through Amazon UK, so if i return it, do i send it back to Apple as a product fault or do i sent back through Amazon's returns process?

    An ideal solution would be if i could go into an apple store, find one that didn't whine and swap it. But i doubt that's going to be possible.

    2G ipod nano 8GB Windows XP Pro
    Windows XP Pro
  • Energie Calculating status...
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    Oct 6, 2006 4:35 AM (in response to nicholasr)
    Delivery man just picked mine up, returned it for money back. Doubting if i should re-buy one again and hoping it hasnt the issue. Sound quality is really poor on the ipod nano.
    PC, Windows XP
  • VinylAddict Calculating status...
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    Oct 6, 2006 6:00 AM (in response to Steve from Canada)
    Mine's doing the same thing - I'm wondering if this is really a genuine problem or just an annoyance? Is it really going to have an impact upon the long term reliability of the device?

    I know there's not easy answer to that - but I do know that I've encountered many small form-factor electronic devices (cell phones, MP3 players, remote controls, etc.) that do the same thing.

    I visited the Apple Store in Charlotte, NC yesterday - and EVERY 8GB Nano that we tried was doing the same exact thing.

    At this point I'm inclined to ignore it as I can’t hear it with the headphones on and the music playing even at low volumes.

     17" 1.83GHz Intel Core Duo iMac, 2Gb DDR2 SDRAM   Mac OS X (10.4.7)    Airport Extreme Base Station  Vinyl... the only way to listen to music...
  • Lucid1337 Calculating status...
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    Oct 6, 2006 9:05 AM (in response to Steve from Canada)
    My Nano 8GB also makes this noises.I have juste opened an incident at apple with the number 69215398. They have told me, that this is a well known problem, but they could not tell me, when this will be fixed.
    I will send my Ipod nano back to Amazon and wait, maybe this problem will be solved sometime. Thanks to German laws, I get my money plus shipping 100% back.
    Or has someone received a new one, which does not make this noises anymore? Please keep us up to date!

    PC   Windows XP  
  • Stradivari Calculating status...
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    Oct 6, 2006 11:03 AM (in response to Steve from Canada)
    As an electronic engineer, i hope to shed some light on this matter. I've read through all these threads, and have come to the following conclusion:
    One or more of 3 things can emmit such a sound:
    the internal speaker, a faulty capacitor(even within the processor) or a switch-mode regulator.
    I have found lcd's operating at high frequency making a noise as well, but this is not the case, seeing that the noise comes from the lower half.
    Seeing that all the nanos does this, chances are small that it could be faulty capacitors.
    The only option left is the design.. either software or hardware.
    Working with such small components in high speeds causes noise, which is difficult to avoid with such a small pc board.
    One user got rid of the noise by playing around with firmware versions.
    On the 5g forum, another user got rid of the same noise on a 5g by resetting it.
    If you listen closely, when changing songs(far apart), there's a different sound,almost like a harddrive reading.
    When plugging into USB, the software changes to a different state, and the noise is gone.
    These 3 facts almost rules out hardware as a direct cause.
    My believe thus is that either a software issue causes noise(from transistors switching at high speed) to leak to the internal speaker, be it the speaker driver, or the logic or that a lowpass filter is either not present or not activated.

    Which ever the case, producing sound needs energy, which has to come from the battery. This shortens the battery uptime. Depending on battery design and filters, high frequency currents could damage a battery.(which I do not thing is applicable here)
    The noise itself is so low, that it doesn't bother me at all.
    Hopefully Apple will find the solution, if this is a problem in their opinion, whereafter I will replace my nano.
    Intel, Windows XP Pro, Linux
  • Oscar Murillo Calculating status...
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    Oct 6, 2006 11:11 AM (in response to Steve from Canada)
    I just received my replacement nano. My first one was sent to Apple for "Engineering Review" because of the high pitch sound. They contacted me because of a post I made here (proof that they do read these forums). The replacement still has a sound when pushed against my ear, but this is not the same as the high pitched sound coming from my first one. That sound was very annoying and would only disappear when I put it in sleep mode (screen was off). I'm content since I can only hear it when its pushed against my ear.
    pb 15in 1.5ghz 1.5gb ram, pm dc 2.3ghz 2.5gb ram, Mac OS X (10.4.8), iPod (5th Gen) 60 gb, iPod Nano (2nd Gen) 4 gb
  • Energie Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 7, 2006 6:51 PM (in response to Oscar Murillo)
    If i would re-buy the 2g nano via an other shop than the apple online store will i be able to contact apple for a replacement if the nano has (again) the high pitched sound ?
    PC, Windows XP
  • Sinergie Calculating status...
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    Oct 8, 2006 10:40 AM (in response to Steve from Canada)
    Still no official response from Apple on this matter i guess?

    Someone also made a video from his flawed iPod:

    New 2G iPod Nano whining
    Windows XP Pro
  • Pieter Zaandam Calculating status...
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    Oct 8, 2006 1:37 PM (in response to Sinergie)
    Yes, I also have the same problem. A shame to Apple! If I read it before I waited to buy. But tomorrow I go back to the store (V&D) to change it. But I will first hear in the store if the new one the same problem has. If so, I ask my money back or I make an arrangement to wait when the problem is solved and bring him then back.

    Why is Apple not responding to us?
    Stupid Intel machine, Windows XP Pro
  • raaar Calculating status...
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    Oct 9, 2006 1:08 AM (in response to Steve from Canada)
    Mine does the same thing and it's really annoying! I can hear it from two metres distance and gives me a headache. I called apple care, but they don't want to send me a replacement. According to them I have to send it in for repair and wait weeks for them to decide if should get a replacement!

    They did give me a casenumber so I can go to a service provider. (I bought mine at online) I hope they will admit the problem and just give me a replacement. I would hate to wait for weeks without an ipod…
    Windows XP
  • Zappa Calculating status...
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    Oct 9, 2006 6:39 AM (in response to Steve from Canada)
    I own two 2nd Gen nanos, both 4gb. Both are silent.
    After reading this forum I booted them up and listened closely in a quiet room.
    I have no problems at all so they certainly aren't all noisy (and before anyone asks I have VERY sensitive hearing !)

  • sebsasse Calculating status...
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    Oct 9, 2006 6:49 AM (in response to Steve from Canada)
    Same here with me. The replacement Nano whines as the original nano did. The FW Upgrade didn't help at all.
    Apparently its a new technology: After the MacBook now the second gen Nano features the iWhine/iBuzz technology...
  • yarry Calculating status...
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    Oct 9, 2006 8:06 AM (in response to Steve from Canada)
    That high-pitched sound struck my attention right away, when the 8GB 2nd gen nano was laying ~80 cm from my head on the table.

    And the ambient noise in the university building is quite high: we even have some vacuum pumps running; I am scared to think how it will sound at home, late at night.

    Sony Vaio VGN-A117S   Windows XP  
  • yarry Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 10, 2006 5:10 AM (in response to yarry)
    More or less the same effect at home, where the apartment is extremely quiet.

    I can hear the buzzing distinctively if I hold the ipod in my hand and extend the arm to the side - left of right. If I keep it centered in front of me, the buzzing is almost gone (though some ear discomfort, psychological or not, remains). Indeed for these high-freq waves direct propagation is very important; they do not bend over the corners as good as low-freq sounds.

    The headphones, in fact, do not shield from the whining. If the volume level is moderate, it reaches through. You have to remember to put the ipod far enough from your ears each time after manipulation.

    Anyway, I went to apple support page (on my first day of owning the ipod!) and ordered a warranty-covered service. The confirmation email even says "replacement". But will I now get a refurbished ipod instead of my new? And if so, will it then be eligible for refunding if it buzzes all the same? Searched the Apple website, but could not find any references to that Dead-on-Arrival condition that you guys mentioned. (The ipod was purchased online through
    Sony Vaio VGN-A117S, Windows XP
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