eli5 what makes buzzing noise in electronics?


so, I was wondering what exactly is the annoying buzzing of light bulbs, power sockets and generally any things which work with electricity I hear all the time. as far as I know electricity can have extremely quiet sound or no sound at all, so what exactly it is? is it circuits and electrical parts working or is it something else?

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3 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

A lot of electrical devices use AC (Alternating Current), which is what comes out of the electric sockets in your house. That current ‘alternates’ 60 times per second. That change sometimes translates into a very small physical motion of electric components, which in turn results in the 60 Hz sound you hear.

Anonymous 0 Comments

To add on:

If electronic noise is a 50/60Hz signal, why is it a high pitched whine instead of a bass rumble, like you’d think the low frequency would indicate?

Anonymous 0 Comments

Just as a fun aside – that 50/60 cycle hum is gives single-coil pickups their distinct sound, but can be annoying for some listeners/musicians. So they developed a different type of pick up that puts two coils opposite each other so the hum essentially cancels itself out, that’s called a “Humbucker” pickup.