Last night, I purchased the new B&W MM-1 speakers and connected them to my Mac. The sound is great -- but there is an annoying "hiss" or whitenoise sound sneaking through the quieter parts of songs. I noticed this on the first few songs I played, and thought maybe it was just the encoding of the songs, but then I did some further digging around.
Anytime the MM-1's are turned on, when nothing is playing, I can hear a clear "hiss" coming from them. In a quiet room, you can hear this hiss all the way across the room. The hiss is at a constant level of volume and doesn't increase or decrease when the volume on the MM-1 is adjusted.
The hiss is present when:
- The speakers are on
- They are connected to a powered-on USB device
- The auxiliary 1/8" input cable is connected to them (even if the cable isn't connected to anything else, and even if the USB cable is unplugged)
If the MM-1's are only connected to USB, if you unplug the USB cable, the hiss immediately goes away. If they are only connected to an aux cable, the hiss immediately goes away when you unplug the aux cable.
I've tried connected the MM-1's to a variety of devices and different power outlets, and they still exhibit this behavior.
I'm kind of bummed. At louder volumes, the music sounds great on them -- but this steady hiss anytime they're on is more than slightly annoying, and it makes it sound like a wind is blowing in the background when songs are played quietly.
If anyone else has purchased these, can you tell me whether you hear any "hiss" coming from the speakers if you put your ears up to them when they're on, but nothing is playing?
I'm trying to determine if this is just a defect with mine, and whether I should spend time replacing them or simply return them. I would expect the speakers to be completely quiet when nothing is playing. Previously, I had the USB Harmon Kardon SoundSticks (purchased many years ago), and they never hissed like this. They didn't have as rich and full sound as the MM-1's, but they were quiet when they were supposed to be.