Random burst of loud white noises, need help debugging

I’ve been chasing a somewhat ghost issue recently. I have the following chain

Spotify > Macbook > Audioengine B1 Bluetooth to Optical > Gain Cell DAC > PS 300 > Speaker.

Recently I experienced two episode of sudden white noise “attacks”. Because of the lack of data points, I couldn’t identify where in the chain might cause the problem. These white noise attacks last around 5 seconds and it sounds like a full blown loud white noises at constant volume while Spotify is playing music at moderate volume. The attack has a very clean cut start and clean cut ending. The white noise sounds extremely loud but my ear doesn’t ring or feel damaged afterward but when it happened my heart beat will go up probably to 120bpm from 80bpm instantly due to the jump scare type of thing. I really wish I have more clues but I need some help so I could sleep better.

Weirdly enough, the trigger of this white noise seems to be related to the act of starting a song by clicking a button. However, what I don’t understand is the system outputs at very low volume controlled by the GCD (I always make macOS and Spotify volume at 100%), therefore it doesn’t seem quite possible that macOS can push out a signal that is higher than the max signal it is outputting already.

After these bursts, the system appear to be performing perfectly fine. In terms of my order of suspicion, this is what I think

  • Something to do with macOS software
  • Something to do with the amp
  • Something to do with the bluetooth to optical transmitter
  • Something to do with the dac
  • Something to do with the cable connection
  • Something to do with my home power line

Does anyone have experience dealing with sudden white noise attack? I also want to understand if it has something to do with the amp or DAC component, what type of failure is this and if it this is even theoretically fallible. Thank you.

I have a somewhat similar problem that is not yet resolved, except I get a blast of white noise at the end of each track from AIFF music files. If I convert the files to WAV, which have much less metadata, then no white noise.

I suggest you start at the source. Is all well when the Macbook is providing audio from Youtube? Do you have iTunes with stored music files (MP3, AAC, WAV?)?

My suspicion is with the Bluetooth segment. Bluetooth is lossy so the bitstream going to the DAC may be the problem. Can you connect the Macbook via USB directly to the DAC?

I hope this helps.

I had the exact thing happen to me two or three times (scared the crap out of me). My system was different then than now and it has not happened since. However the only thing your system and mine had in common during the static is the MacBook. Nothing else at all was the same.

This is certainly not definitive but seems to point to the Mac.

Over the last month, I’ve basically isolated this to my MacBook as well. It is a top of the line 16 inch model. Ever since this cracking and loud popping happens, it has never stopped. Sometimes opening a browser tab causes the crack. I’ve now only using my iPhone to hook to the BT and it is fine. I contacted Apple and apparently they’re clueless.

TL:DR, some Macbook is pretty bad for your system for bluetooth connection and might be able to damage your speaker.