You’re sitting at your desk, listening to some Katy Perry streaming in from your Yahoo! Music. The beat and mood are right, you’re into the groove and you’re making some serious progress on your project. Then you hear:
“DZZZZZSHT DIHHHT DU DIGHHHHT ZZZZEEEEEEEEEEEEEEIIT”
The GSM signal from your mobile device causes your computer speakers to emit devilish sounds, obliterating your mood as well as your music, sending you into a virtual frenzy in search of your cell so that you can toss it into the waste receptacle.
Ok, not quite that bad but annoying enough.
In scouring the net for a possible preventative measure, it appears this phenomenon has created enough “buzz” to warrant some clever solutions in dealing with the ever-present GSM-buzz scourge of modern times:
Ferrite Beads - As shown in the pic above, these are small cylindrical chunks of iron, and are available for purchase at your local Radio Shack (referred to in the store as a “choke”). They come in varying configurations and designs depending on where you find them.
And for those of you who prefer to hack rather than shop, Ferrite Beads can also be found in the ends of USB cables, usually sheathed in a plastic housing (see below):
As detailed in this article, the beads (once extracted or purchased) can actually be placed onto your speaker wires leading up to your speakers (right where the wire connects to your speaker) — a little electrical tape will hold them in place. You will need a separate bead for each affected speaker. Once attached, the buzz should be a thing of the past.
Solution #2 (Best)
An Anti-Static Bag - If it wouldn’t bother you to have to physically remove your phone from a clear-plastic bag each time you want to fiddle with it, then this is the quickest and perhaps easiest solution of them all. Anti-static bags act something like a Faraday cage to isolate the higher frequencies from interfering with the electronics around it.
For some phones, simply setting the phone on top of the bag is enough to do the trick:
Just slide your phone into an anti-static bag and keep it in your area (still not right near your speakers). You can still get calls on your phone and sync it to your computer. The advantage of this method is that you don’t need to cut any cables AND it will work even if your mobile device isn’t connected to the data cable. A bit clinical, but nonetheless effective.
Dock-Extender Cable - For those of you out there with iphones, a fix (or at least a reduction in interference) may be as easy as simple proximity. A dock-extender allows you to move your iphone further away from your computer’s speakers, increasing distance and decreasing proximity — thereby reducing the amount of buzz created by the GSM’s constant activity.
So there you have it. No more buzz, much less stress, and more of that uninterrupted top 100.