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Bose Companion 20 - power supply making high pitch sound

Last response: in Home Audio
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March 14, 2012 9:45:50 AM

Hi everyone

I have recently bought a set of Bose Companion 20 speakers. They are really great (though expensive) except for one thing.

Right from the beginning the power supply (and a replacement power supply the sent me after I complained) made an easily audible (when not listening to music or the like of course) high pitch sound. This is when it is just lying behind my desk on the floor.

All power supplies of this type makes buzzing sounds if you put it right against your ear (power supplies for laptops, speakers, monitors etc), so that's not what I am talking about.

It is the kind of sound whose intensity changes dramatically with the angle of your head. Change the angle of your head the tiniest bit and you cannot hear it. Change it back and it is unmistakably there again. It makes me the most irritated in the morning when I wake up (my bed and the speakers are in the same room, I'm a student, living in a small apartment). No other noises are there, your ears/brain have had all night to "reset" and then there is this high pitch sound if you place your head in the wrong angle on the pillow.

So if you own a pair of Bose Companion 20, please let me know if you experience this as well. Bose say that they haven't heard anyone complain about it before.

Best regards
Wuhtzu
March 17, 2012 2:00:51 PM

No one else with this problem?
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March 17, 2012 10:55:24 PM

All power supplies produce noise depending on the design and how much the developer cares about noise suppression. High end AV equipment will often have heavy noise suppression built-in.

Bose evidently didn't care so therefore you get this noise. I have this problem with some of my cheaper AV equipment. As far as Bose saying no one complains about it, you really think the manufacturer is going to talk about product defects? lol...

Besides what is the point of your thread? No offense but are you just looking for a shoulder to cry on?...
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March 20, 2012 9:52:03 PM

No, I'm not looking for a shoulder to cry on :p  I got Bose to take back the speakers and give me my money back.

I am actually looking for people with this problem to come forward so I can hopefully prove (at least to my self) that this is not just me being picky, but a real problem :) 
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March 26, 2012 1:15:45 PM

Hi there. We represent Bose's technical support group.

We're sorry to hear that you had to return your Companion 20, but we wanted to respond to your posting here.

We'd like to acknowledge that a slight hum is not out of the ordinary for a power supply of this type. Being able to hear it without being very close to it is not though.

It's recommended that any customer who owns a Companion 20 and is concerned that the power supply is louder than it should be should contact our technical support at 1-800-711-5772 - Monday - Friday: 8:30AM - 10:00PM , Saturday: 9:00AM - 7:00PM.

Thanks!
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April 8, 2012 9:00:57 PM

It is very kind of you to respond to this post BoseService.

Maybe I was a bit unclear in one of my replies, Bose has not exchanged the speakers yet, just offered to to so. So I am still in possession of my Companion 20 speakers.

I have since my last post discovered that the high pitch noise is only there when the speakers are turned off / on standby (plugged into the wall socket but turned off/put into standby using the control-pod). As soon as the speakers are turned on again (via the control pod) the high pitch noise disappears.

This must be something other people have reported.
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May 9, 2012 6:38:56 AM

I have that problem with my Bose speakers too. I have the SoundDock digital music system - I dont use it often anymore because the sound is so horrible so i keep it unplugged. Its a real shame because they are such good speakers! It has done the same thing since i got it about three years ago.
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June 2, 2012 3:16:24 AM

I have had the same problem since day one and feel the same, the noise is really loud and annoying to wake/fall asleep to. The first time it happened I returned it thinking it was a defect but it happened to the second one as well.

I'm not sure if this has happened to anyone here, but I also get a low level scratchy/static noise coming out of my speakers at all times. It is easily heard while listening to low volume music. I have not dropped or damaged the speakers and it has only started to happen this last 2 months (speakers were bought in Dec. 2011). Any advice?
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June 2, 2012 4:55:54 PM

B O S E
Buy Other Sound Equipment
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August 19, 2012 8:51:45 PM

wuhtzu said:


I have since my last post discovered that the high pitch noise is only there when the speakers are turned off / on standby (plugged into the wall socket but turned off/put into standby using the control-pod). As soon as the speakers are turned on again (via the control pod) the high pitch noise disappears.



Hello, I have exact same issue with my Bose companion 20 speakers. If they are in standby, I can hear the hum as you mentioned, and if they are turned on, the noise disappears. So, what did you end up doing? Did you get your speakers or the power adapter exchanged through Bose?

Thanks!
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Best solution

August 20, 2012 6:15:27 AM

wuhtzu said:
No one else with this problem?

Generally we avoid bose products, because they have problems.
There is nothing you can do except send it to bose, or modify it.
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August 29, 2012 11:55:57 PM

soundguruman said:
Generally we avoid bose products, because they have problems.
There is nothing you can do except send it to bose, or modify it.


I guess you are right. I know for a fact that you can make small power supplies like that which do not emit these high pitch noises. So somewhere they have slacked on the build quality of that power supply and still they charge like $300 for them (in Denmark).
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September 6, 2012 5:44:26 AM

Best answer selected by wuhtzu.
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March 26, 2013 9:48:26 AM

wuhtzu said:
No one else with this problem?


I am running into the same issue, although I am just getting around to do something about it. Luckily, the speakers are in my home office and not lying next to my head when I'm trying to sleep (Sorry, to hear about that!). I admit it's not a loud noise, but it can be quite annoying if you're just using the computer with the speakers off (like checking email or searching for something quickly). I talked to a technician on the phone. She has suggested a replacement power supply, which I'm assuming isn't going to work based on what I have now read. We did troubleshoot this thing into the ground, it seems. Plugging the power supply into different outlets (which I have done previously) and unplugging the control pod to eliminate possible interferences... to no avail. I wonder what the problem is since I am not electronically inclined (I vaguely remember college physics, capacitors and resistance and all that).
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March 26, 2013 10:04:12 AM

soundguruman said:
B O S E
Buy Other Sound Equipment

agreed +10 x 16 = a lot

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March 26, 2013 10:10:39 AM

I'm a physicist and know some basics about electronic components (an electronics engineer would out perform my knowledge about this by orders of magnitude).

But I think it's one or mroe inductors (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inductor) which vibrate do to the oscillations of the AC it (along with the rest of the "power supply", it's actually an rectifier) is trying to convert to DC. If low quality components are used those wire windings can easily begin to vibrate.


Angela Tucson said:
wuhtzu said:
No one else with this problem?


I am running into the same issue, although I am just getting around to do something about it. Luckily, the speakers are in my home office and not lying next to my head when I'm trying to sleep (Sorry, to hear about that!). I admit it's not a loud noise, but it can be quite annoying if you're just using the computer with the speakers off (like checking email or searching for something quickly). I talked to a technician on the phone. She has suggested a replacement power supply, which I'm assuming isn't going to work based on what I have now read. We did troubleshoot this thing into the ground, it seems. Plugging the power supply into different outlets (which I have done previously) and unplugging the control pod to eliminate possible interferences... to no avail. I wonder what the problem is since I am not electronically inclined (I vaguely remember college physics, capacitors and resistance and all that).


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March 26, 2013 10:11:13 AM

Maliceinslaughterland said:
soundguruman said:
B O S E
Buy Other Sound Equipment

agreed +10 x 16 = a lot



And yes, I'll never by Bose speakers again.
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April 27, 2013 8:03:51 PM

This is indeed a real problem you are speaking of. The least, I have the exact same problem as the one you have defined. I recently purchased my Bose Companion 20 speakers (2 Days back) (April 25th, 2013) and whenever I mute the speakers (via the control pod) a high pitched noise emanates from them. Least to say very annoying.
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October 12, 2013 12:34:17 PM

don't expect a good quality of made in china, the main reason why it is humming or creating a high pitch sound of your power supply the dc transformer E core have gap, and not fit properly the magnetic field leaking in this gap and creating vibration. and the E core touching each other and creating friction and cause a high pitch sound
:bounce: 
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March 27, 2014 3:00:13 AM

Wow thanks for this disussion! I remember good old Hi-Fi Speakers had always excellent Materials used. I always thought that BOSE is a Hi-Fi Quality Product but as I can see from all your comments I'm not the only one who overypaid for these China-Junk BOSE Companion Speakers. I'll forget BOSE after this incident, High Price and Bad Quality is not acceptable. They lost me as a client with this forever.
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June 29, 2014 8:06:15 PM

We have exactly the same problem with Bose Companion 20 speakers that my wife just bought. Plus, she puts them right next to our bed so it is really annoying when trying to sleep at night. The hissing noise appears right after you plug the power cord in, but disappears after the control pod is turned on. I guess I'll have to leave it on all the time to avoid that noise or make a trip to return it.

By the way, if you plan on leaving this speaker always on, the power comparison is:
0.3 Watts (Standby) vs 2.4 Watts (Powered On)

wuhtzu said:
It is very kind of you to respond to this post BoseService.

Maybe I was a bit unclear in one of my replies, Bose has not exchanged the speakers yet, just offered to to so. So I am still in possession of my Companion 20 speakers.

I have since my last post discovered that the high pitch noise is only there when the speakers are turned off / on standby (plugged into the wall socket but turned off/put into standby using the control-pod). As soon as the speakers are turned on again (via the control pod) the high pitch noise disappears.

This must be something other people have reported.


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June 29, 2014 11:32:44 PM

My speakers turn themselves off after a period of time (10 minutes or so) with no activity. So for me it was not an option to leave them always on.



bruce0126 said:
We have exactly the same problem with Bose Companion 20 speakers that my wife just bought. Plus, she puts them right next to our bed so it is really annoying when trying to sleep at night. The hissing noise appears right after you plug the power cord in, but disappears after the control pod is turned on. I guess I'll have to leave it on all the time to avoid that noise or make a trip to return it.

By the way, if you plan on leaving this speaker always on, the power comparison is:
0.3 Watts (Standby) vs 2.4 Watts (Powered On)

wuhtzu said:
It is very kind of you to respond to this post BoseService.

Maybe I was a bit unclear in one of my replies, Bose has not exchanged the speakers yet, just offered to to so. So I am still in possession of my Companion 20 speakers.

I have since my last post discovered that the high pitch noise is only there when the speakers are turned off / on standby (plugged into the wall socket but turned off/put into standby using the control-pod). As soon as the speakers are turned on again (via the control pod) the high pitch noise disappears.

This must be something other people have reported.




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August 5, 2014 8:29:49 PM

Hi , guys I have same issue with my companion 20 here!
I really want to say Bose quality just like shirt !,!
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August 5, 2014 8:39:30 PM

I can't sleep , if I don't plug out the power cord !
And also I have a Bose music monitor speakers , it is same shirt quality from Bose !
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