Updated: 07/31/2022 by Computer Hope

Noise may refer to any of the following:

Child wearing headphones

1. With electronics, noise is any disturbance that interferes with data transmission or communication and corrupts the quality of the signal. Below are examples of where noise can be encountered in data transmission and its common causes.

Audio, image, or video signal noise

Degradation in audio and video signals can reduce the overall quality of audio, images, and videos. In audio, noise manifests as a hiss. In images or videos, noise refers to random multicolored or varied-brightness pixels that overlay an image. Noise is often caused by one or more of the following reasons.

  • Loose connection; verify all your connections are attached correctly.
  • If you have more than one wire used for audio or video, or other nearby cords or cables, make sure they are separated to prevent crosstalk. Cables with poor shielding can cause noise in close wiring.
  • Bad cables; try replacing cables.
  • When taking a picture, grainy or noisy images can be caused by a high ISO setting, low light conditions, camera sensors, analog conversion, or digital processing techniques.

Electrical signal noise

Electrical or power noise can create disruptions in power, causing devices to temporarily not work or permanently fail.

  • To help protect against power spikes, surges, and other line noises, connect all your electronic equipment to a surge protector.
  • To protect your devices from failing in a power outage, undervoltage, or brownout, connect your equipment to a UPS (uninterruptible power supply).

Wireless signal noise

Wireless noise or poor connection is often caused by one or more of the reasons listed below.

  • Receiver blocked - If the antenna is not set up properly or a wireless receiver is blocked, it can cause noise.
  • Out of range - As you get further away from the receiver, your signal strength decreases and can cause noise or lost connection.
  • Other wireless interference - If other wireless devices are around your location, their signals can disrupt your connection.
  • Lower power - If the batteries are failing on the wireless device, it can degrade the signal being transmitted or received.

2. Noise can also refer to an audible sound that can be heard.

Artifacts, Distortion, EMI, Interference, Noise cancellation, RFI, Sound terms, White noise