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Hear sounds with VGA plugged in

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This is something that's been bugging me for quite a while.

Laptop only (no monitor hooked up via VGA): all well and fine

Laptop OFF:

Plug in VGA cable

Speakers slightly pop and make a "sssssshhhhhhhhhhhhhhh" noise - never ends.

Stops when laptop is powered on.

Laptop ON:

Plug in VGA cable

All is well

Turn off laptop

"sssssshhhhhhhhh" noise starts. It never stops.

It's not particularly loud, I can only hear it when everything else is off.


I have no idea if it is my monitor, cable, or something else. It's an older monitor, that get's an image burned in in about 30min - it is rather dated.

IIRC it happens on my other display as well. The one I hookup to at work I cannot tell if there is an issue due to the ambient volume.

Regardless, something doesn't seem right. Any ideas?


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I assume you are talking about external speakers, but it doesn't really matter, as I don't have a solution.

However my experience is, that problems like flickering screens, buzz noises or even partially working usb are often common ground problems. Sometimes your devices want to share a common ground, sometimes not, it is a bit a gamble.

I'd guess, that your vga ground is internally connected to your audio ground and that as long as the computer is running its audio hardware is capable of keeping the voltage between your speaker cables an the audio ground where it is supposed to be (zero, if your audio is off). But when the computer is off and the vga cable attached, the vga cable acts like an antenna and the voltage of its ground starts fluctuating like wild and together with it, the ground of the speakers.

Maybe a high quality vga cable with a ferrite core close to your computer can help.

I also remember that with vga cables one pin is sometimes connected and sometimes not, you might want to investigate that too.

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