Why Your Blackberry or Cell Phone Causes Speakers to Buzz

Update (07/21): it appears that a anti-static bag (or something that looks similar to it, anyway), will help kill that annoying noise. Check this out:




He's charging $5 for a 2-pack. Just need a way to get it to have that shielding while in the holster; then it would sell very well! Thanks for the tip, Dave.

I came across a very interesting article this week that explains why a blackberry or (less often) cell phone causes that annoying buzzing sound near speakers. I'm sure you've heard the noise; it's kind of like a bunch of buzzing bees. Basically, here's the crux of the whole thing:
To get to the root of the issue, I spoke with Duncan Bradley, Research In Motion's (RIM) director of global market intelligence. RIM is the BlackBerry manufacturer. Bradley explained to me that cell phones cause this buzzing interference when near some speakers or other devices that can resonate radio frequencies (RF) because such devices often feature poor quality shielding mechanisms to block radio waves from being received.
Last week at church I heard the noise over the speakers at just the worst time (of course, I've caused that sound myself more than once). Basically, the solution is to move away from the speakers and the noise goes away.

I have the problem in my car and in my home office, though the most annoying part is that I must keep my BB at least 4 feet away from my office phone at all times or it interferes with my business calls. There's not really a good solution to the problem, but it does help to explain it. They say some devices are worse than others, and some network types are worse. In my experience, GSM devices (AT&T) and RIM devices (Blackberries) seem to be the worst offenders.

Do you have any funny buzzing moments?


Comments

TJ said…
Yeah, it happens, and yes, the fault is with all parties, the phone manufacturers, the speaker guys and, of course us to be addicted to both!

Many of the new speaker phones and speakers and now coming shielded. The up side is, no more buzzing, the downside is even small speakers can become a tad bit heavier.

I take the train everyday from Irvine, CA to down town LA. The funny thing is every time the station master wants to make the announcement, we know at least ten seconds in advance because she turns on the loud speaker, and you have the entire station buzzing. I guess no one has told her yet....
Unknown said…
Hey there is a solution to this buzzing. Go to www.stopthebuzzin.com They have a simple solution to this incredibly annoying problem. Too simple. Site has video that shows it in action.
Check it out.
Unknown said…
That is crazy how instantly it stops the buzzing. I had an extra bag in my office and it helps out big time. Thanks for sharing.

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