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R-15PM white noise? Help please!


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Hello all,


Disclaimer: I am a wind musician and a computer hardware enthusiast, so audio equipment is not necessarily my area of expertise. I come seeking advice / confirmation that what I am experiencing is actually a problem.


I bought a set of R-15 powered monitors and a R-10SW to accompany them back in January. I'm using a mediabridge ULTRA sub cable to connect the SW. I'm using the speaker cable included with the R-15PMs to connect the left speaker to the right main one.


I pretty much only use them as desktop speakers, placed at roughly 10 and 2, about 4 feet away from me, with the tweeters roughly at head level. They are connected via usb 3 to my desktop, and I rarely use the bluetooth functionality to connect my phone. 


For about three months the system worked flawlessly. Starting around the beginning of the summer, however, I noticed a very faint white noise beginning to sound when the speakers were on but nothing was playing through them. It was exceptionally faint, and could only be heard when the air conditioning was off (my PC is liquid cooled and is virtually silent, so my office space is very quiet when the AC is off). The white noise has progressively gotten worse to the point that it is not able to be ignored, and if you put your ear right up to the tweeter you can actually hear some kind of strange electronic scratching sound. I don't know how to describe it, really, but it is rhythmic, and is kind of like a needle on a turntable, sounding at about 140bpm.


When something is playing through the speakers, the white noise is not noticeable, but if nothing is playing, it is all I can hear. I can feel my sanity slowly slipping away through the combination of this problem and the pandemic keeping me inside.


Just to troubleshoot, I have tried basically everything I can think of. The noise persists regardless of what input you select, how you adjust the gain knob, and whether you actually mute the system. The intensity of the noise does not change at all. I have tried using a different power cable (it is the same cable that a desktop PSU uses. I have tried taking the right speaker and going to basically every outlet in my home and plugging it in to just see if the current in my office wall is the culprit. Nothing is working.


I do notice that the system has a GND port on the back, but from my limited knowledge of this hardware, that would only be used in a phonograph setup.


I have had a support ticket opened for two months now, and have only gotten a single response 21 days ago. I frontloaded the ticket with all the info I have given here in the hopes that I would expedite the process and make their lives easier as I know the pandemic has negatively impacted customer service in all markets. Regardless, this is frustrating.


Is there anything anybody recommends that I try to fix the problem? Is an audible white noise "acceptable" from a 370 dollar pair of PMs? Is this to be expected? Scouring the internet, I only saw a single comment in the Amazon reviews from 2018 that even mentioned it, so I am inclined to think that this is not acceptable or regular. Thanks in advance!

Edited by mysticunicycle
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