The Acoustic Energy WIFI Internet Radio
AE 100 users are well aware of a common pitfall of this unit. When the volume is low your listening experience is impaired by frequent crackling noises.
Where do those crackling sounds come from?
Inside the AE 100 there is a WIFI USB stick, that implements the connection to your wireless LAN. The RF energy of its transmitter leaks into the wires which connect the loadspeakers to the analog amplifier circuit, where it is rectified and causes transmission packets to be heard. Well, it’s not a Sony 😦
How to avoid them?
There are some work-arounds for this bug, notably the one provided at AE 100 crackle problem : yet another fix. Philippe gives detailed instructions on how to dismantle the unit and how to shield the loadspeaker wires using shielding foil from STP computer cabling.
My no materials approach: Just twist them wires
Losely following Philippe’s instructions (I put the unit flat on its side, so I would not need three hands to handle the housing parts), I opened the case and unplugged the loudspeaker wires. Then I twisted them gently, so that they looked similar to the ones found in UTP cabling. I then reconnected the wires and reassembled the unit, trying to put as much of the wires near the loadspeakers as possible.
Less noise in almost no time at all
The crackles can still be heard with the volume set to 1 bar and your ear next to the front grid, but they are no longer perceivable at all during normal use 🙂
The actual noise level may be more or less random depending on the position the wires will take when closing the unit.